Kathleen Littlepage shares her story.
This is the second year that “I Live Here, I Give Here” has sponsored Amplify Austin, a 24-hour online fundraising event designed for small nonprofits to reach donors through their social networks. The idea is that the people closest to an organization, those who are passionate about the mission, are the ones who can spread the word most effectively. This crowd-sourcing model relies on a whole lot of people making small donations. I was helping Truth Be Told (TBT) with some administrative work, including setting up the page for Amplify Austin. Once that was done, I tested one of the site functions and created my own fundraising page for TBT.
It took about a half an hour to construct my page, write my own message, and upload some photos. Carol Waid gave me the link to our brand new video. Of course, no one knows you have a fundraiser going unless you tell them, so I shared the link on my Facebook page and went to make a cup of tea. When I came back to the computer, I was almost to my $300 goal. My brother in Florida who is retired gave $100, my sister in California made a donation, and then my ailing friend who lives a quiet life in the hill country did. My page had been up for less than an hour! I felt so good that they made donations right after seeing the post—no hesitation there. I knew it was because Truth be Told is such a great organization, but I also felt that it was because they love me, believe in me, and want to support me. I was raising money and feeling good! I had caught the bug. I needed a higher goal. I was hooked on seeing that number go up and started strategizing.
I know lots of people who aren’t on Facebook and even those who are can miss a posting, so I decided to send the fundraiser link in an email. I crafted a message about why working with incarcerated women should be important to everyone. It was different from what I usually say about how this work tugs at my heart. I wanted people to understand that it affects all of us when incarcerated women turn their lives around and contribute to their communities. I wasn’t sure how many people I could reach until I started scanning my Contacts for names to add to the blind copy line. Have you looked at your Contacts lately? I’m fortunate to have a group email for my high school friends, college friends, and my extended family that mostly live on the east coast.
Once again, I got quick generous donations. I was surprised that the people who responded weren’t necessarily the ones I communicate with the most. My personal bonus was the emails some sent encouraging me to keep up the good work. So here I am four days after I created my own fundraising page on Amplify Austin and I have donations of about $700. Not all of them show in my total yet because some are scheduled for March 20, when the 24-hour event begins.
If you are a friend of Truth Be Told, please consider setting up a personal fundraising page.
Our goal is $10,000. If we had 33 pages that raised $300 each, we would be there! Amplify has a $5,000 prize for the organization with the most personal fundraising pages. We could be in the running for that.
Get started here: https://amplifyatx.ilivehereigivehere.org/content/getInvolved.
Consider featuring our new video to tell the story by adding this link: http://youtu.be/pAJNmdniqEs.
If we all title our pages “Friend of Truth Be Told,” we will be listed together. Carol Waid is our site administrator and can help you. Call her at 512-292-6200 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
We have been asking people involved with Truth Be Told why they support the organization. Here are some of the responses:
“You ask why I give? I give to see lives transformed. I heard Nathalie Sorrell’s story of why she felt compelled to work with women in prison. I thought, “Good for Nathalie!” A few months later Nathalie invited me to attend a graduation ceremony for Truth Be Told students in the Lockhart prison. I received a firsthand experience of the powerful work she and Carol Waid created. Although I did not feel compelled to actually work in the prison, I did feel moved to get involved. What moved me during that visit were the stories the women told. Each woman told a story about how her life had been transformed by her work with the Truth Be Told curriculum. I wanted to be a part of something that transformed lives. My involvement is the giving of my financial resources. I want to see that as many women as possible will have access to Truth Be Told.” Bobby Miser, Rogers Benefit Group and former TBT Board Member
“I support TBT because I have witnessed the healing of women who were broken. I have seen for myself the transformational power of creating a community of respectful listeners as each one tells her story. I believe that a woman transformed can transform her family. I have seen TBT nurture and support this transformation.” Jim Walsh, Walsh, Anderson Law Firm, “Law Dawg”
“Being part of Truth Be Told is like magic, electricity, freedom, and trickle-down, trickle-up love, with some sobriety and maturity thrown in. I’ve been a board member and now serve as one of the blog’s volunteer editors. I continue to volunteer with TBT because it makes a real difference in real people’s lives: in the lives of the women it serves, their families and communities, and donors and volunteers.” MaryAnn Reynolds, MS, LMT, NCTMB, The Well
“After learning all I could about Truth Be Told, how it was started and grew into a highly successful program by changing the lives of women in prison, it became more important to me to be involved with the program than any other nonprofit project I had ever worked with. It was easy for me to redirect some of my funds to this program. Not only easy, but I was eager to do so as well as donate time to serving on their Board of Directors. I wholeheartedly and unequivocally support this program, and feel grateful that I have finally found one that I absolutely must and will continue to care about in the future.” Louise Morse, former TBT Board Member