which way to go

It has happened again though after a long time. We are short of funds and do not quite know how we will make payments next month. You may wonder why this has occurred. I guess we just allowed ourselves to sink into one of those dreaded comfort zones and did not see the writing on the wall. We did not realise that the loss of our on line payment facility would make such a difference. We were a tad complacent and let things run. Our little cushion against rainy days got slowly eaten away and one fine morning we woke up to the harsh reality of not having sufficient funds.

Actually the we I have so candidly used in the para above should be changed to 'I' as for the past 10 years it is I and only I who has fund raised for pwhy. True I was always painfully conscious of the fragility of this funding model but the bottom line is that I did not do much bar make lofty plans for a distant feature (read planet why) forgetting the tomorrow. Today I stand exposed and sheepish. Can I afford to say that I forgot, or that it slipped my mind. certainly not: when you hold smiles and morrows in custody you do not have that luxury. Mea culpa! I am guilty of not having kept on my toes, of not having written my erstwhile appeals, of not having sought a alternative to the on line payment option. Time to soul search and necessary amends. This time though I will not got for it alone but keep my team in the loop.

So for the past days/weeks we have donned our thinking caps to find new funding options.

Last month I got two emails from leading NGOs. One invited me to join what they called the 100 rs club, and the other solicited me to become of the 6000 people they were looking for, people who would be willing to donate 10K a year. Both bought a smile on my tired face as they reminded me of our herculean efforts to infuse life into our one-rupee-a-day programme that was launched many years back but never truly jelled. I wonder how the programmes of these NGOs who ask for 100 and 800 Rs a month will fare. I wish them luck. Maybe they will succeed as both these organisations are high profile, something we never managed to be.

Another NGO we know well had their yearly fund raising fair. They do it every year with success as do many other organisations: fairs, carnivals, melas, concerts etc. So perhaps that was the way to go. Quite by chance we were contacted by an event management company who offered to organise a show for us but there was a catch: for it to be successful we needed to find a celebrity. As we were close to despair, we even tried to do that, posting on Facebook and making phone calls. The outcome was bewildering: Delhi did not have many celebrities, and even if a Mumbai celebrity would accept to lend her/his name there was another catch: we would have to pay airfare and 5* accommodation. Where would we find that kind of money. So bye bye fairs, concerts, melas...

Maybe we should just try and revive our good old rupee-a-day deal. But how was the question. And that would take time and we needed the funds now. There was only one tried and tested way: writing appeals to friends and well wishers, the very ones who had always been there for us. I must admit I felt sheepish to do so as it has been a long time since I picked my virtual pen to write to them. There was a time not so long ago when I did write regularly, even when we needed nothing just to keep in touch. Then I stopped smugly thinking that people would read blogs and FB notes and keep abreast. Mea Culpa again. It was now time to once again retrieve the dusty begging bowl and solicit help. That was still the only way to go!