In addition to membership in James River Writers, you can donate to our organization so that we can keep reading and writing at the center of cultural life in central Virginia.
Individuals are encouraged to make a fully tax-deductible gift at the most generous level you can.
Overview of Funding
When it comes to fulfilling our goal as a nonprofit, there are many considerations that must be taken into account. We are constantly balancing the desire to expand our reach, serve our current members to the best of our ability, and be mindful of our very real budget constraints.
JRW maintains a staff of just four part-time employees and an army of volunteers. We love our volunteers because, without them, a large part of the work of organizing JRW just wouldn’t be doable. Programs such as The Writing Show and the annual conference are chaired by volunteer board members who do the heavy lifting around recruiting speakers and arranging for travel.
Program registration, including the conference, The Writing Show, and Master Classes, are the bulk of JRW’s funding. We make the biggest chunk of our budget every year from people paying to attend our programs.
However, registrations for programming don’t make us money. The entirety of the cost goes back into producing the program. This is particularly true of the conference which, without you, would operate at a loss.
We strive to make our programing as accessible and affordable as possible. People need to be able to come to our programs if we’re going to realize our mission to build community. So we try to find the sweet spot between charging enough for programming that we don’t sink the budget while making it affordable for as many people as possible.
Direct donations, including corporate and personal gifts, make up the second largest source of our funding. A large part of our donations are under $100 yet, cumulatively, they allow us to close the gap on our programming shortfalls, and we depend upon them to help us bring in exciting speakers from outside the Richmond area, rent event space, and cover ever-increasing food costs.
The final significant piece comes from our membership dues. Our 460 members pick up the slack and help us stretch that last bit to balance our yearly budget. Memberships allow us to run our day to day operations. They help us fund our four part-time employees, pay our phone bill, and keep the lights on.
If any three of these legs on the stool were to disappear, the entire organization would begin to teeter. We would need to dramatically cut back or end programming, which could lead to a loss of support among membership and an erosion of the community we’ve been striving to build for the past thirteen years.
Items like t-shirts don’t bring in a significant amount of money. We do them because they’re fun and we think our members would like them. We also make them to raise JRW’s visibility. If we can show central Virginia that we have a presence, if the larger populace recognizes our impact, we have the opportunity to gain new members or new sources of direct donations that will help us grow into the future.
Those intangibles about visibility and presence are also why we ask our members to write blog posts or tweet about JRW. When our members show that JRW is important and making an impact in the community it raises others’ awareness about us. Awareness and reach can lead to more funding that directly impacts our members in the form of more programming or events. In fact, our executive director often cites blog posts or tweets in grant applications as evidence that we fulfill a need in our community.
So if you’re looking for new ways to support JRW, there are several possibilities. Throw us a few dollars on the donation page, send us an e-mail to find volunteer opportunities, or simply share something about JRW on social media. They are all important and very much appreciated.
Everything we do is for you, our community, and we couldn’t do it without you. Thank you so much for your continued support.
JRW also relies on the generosity and vision of the business community and the public sector in central Virginia. We have partnered with a variety of organizations who share our vision to build community by connecting and inspiring writers and readers of all ages. By expanding our region’s literacy and enriching its culture, we strengthen the social and economic fabric of central Virginia.
If you would like more information about being a corporate sponsor, contact Katharine Herndon at email@example.com.