Works In Progress
The state of its economy
Works In Progress members are truly amazed and humbled by the amount and the number of donations we have received in the last few months. In addition, Media Island took us under their 501(c)3 status and shared a First Sunday Brunch benefit, and Brian (Coyote) McCracken and his friends from Old Growth Poetry Collective put on an amazing poet slam to raise money for WIP. We’re not accustomed to receiving financial gifts and so much attention, so no one can possibly imagine how grateful we are. (We’re sort of dumbstruck.)
We are also feeling incredibly fortunate to have received—out of the blue—a grant from the Northwest Workers’ Fund in Seattle. The Trust was established by the late Tom Warner who managed to amass a million dollars in tax-exempt bonds to be used to “provide money for organizations or causes for which the goals are to engage in struggle against the powerful for the empowerment of the powerless.” We are indescribably honored to be included among those organizations worthy of Tom Warner’s legacy.
The trust has challenged Works In Progress to address our “immediate financial crisis” and “long-term stability and possible expansion.”
This has not been an easy conversation—deciding on what to do. WIP is not accustomed to spending money, but we managed to come up with a plan.
Increase advertising revenue. Back in the 1990s, then WIP member Tom Freeman convinced local small businesses and organizations to purchase regular monthly advertising. Tom’s one-man effort actually funded WIP for well over a decade with many of the advertisers still continuing to support Works In Progress to this day. We hope to replicate Tom’s success.
Matching grant fundraiser. The Trust Fund has agreed to provide money for matching grant fundraiser. With the money raised we hope to increase WIP’s income in order to add another four pages each month bringing Works In Progress back to its traditional 16-20 pages. The money acquired from the matching grant will also be used to expand the capabilities of WIP’s new website, redesign the print addition, and other yet to determined possibilities.
Grant writing training. The Fund will also be providing money to allow one of our members to receive training in grant writing from Evergreen. The focus of future grant applications will be primarily be requests to allow WIP to fund articles—written in series—that examine overlooked or underreported issues primarily affecting those with the least political voice.
Expand distribution. WIP will be purchasing distribution boxes and locating additional distribution sites in south Thurston County and beyond.
So this is all very good news, greater than anyone on WIP could have imagined just a few months ago, with the funding from the Northwest Workers’ Fund Trust. However, we wouldn’t be talking about the future of Works In Progress at all if it weren’t for the generous support of people in our own community. Thank you. Because of your generous donations and efforts, WIP was able to continue through this summer with the assurance of issues in the months to come.
Thank you so much, thanks to all of you.
—Sylvia Smith, WIP member