I confess; I don’t like it when organizations ask me for donations.
Perhaps I suffer a little guilt. Maybe I feel somewhat put upon. Whatever the reason, solicitations tend to slightly annoy me.
That said, I hate asking for money more, even for legitimate reasons. I’m the word’s worst salesperson, probably because I realize I am inflicting that same annoyance on others.
But here’s the reality: organizations cannot function without cash, and the Tenth Amendment Center is no different. The things you see coming out of the Tenth Amendment Center every day don’t magically happen. The website, the activism, the email updates, the social media posts, and all of the other things we do each day require a tremendous amount of time and work. And that only accounts for what you see. Behind the scenes I make dozens of phone calls, draft hundreds of emails and spend countless hours studying just to keep up.
I work five to six hours a day plus many weekends for the TAC. That after getting up at 4:30 a.m. and working five hours a day at a part-time job to make ends meet. If you calculate my pay, I earn less than $5 an hour at the TAC. Amazingly, my workload dwarfs our executive director’s. Michael Boldin literally works upward of 80 hours per week. And my pay far eclipses his.
And I’ll be honest; the work isn’t always gratifying.
Each day I wake up realizing I’m facing an uphill battle. Most Americans don’t understand the work we do here at the Tenth Amendment Center, and the majority of those who do oppose our work. I get nasty emails. I get called names. I have to refute the same ridiculous arguments over and over and over again.
It becomes wearisome.
And sometimes downright discouraging.
I’m not telling you this to evoke sympathy. I’m not trying to make you feel guilty. But I think it’s important people catch a glimpse of reality. I want people to realize we aren’t living high on the hog here at the Tenth Amendment Center, and it doesn’t roll along with just a few minutes of work each day.
Again, I’m not trying to play the martyr. I choose to do this. I could choose to quit at any time.
So, why do I labor on?
Because what we do matters.
Recently, the Salt Lake Tribune ran an article detailing the sweetheart deal for water the city of Bluffdale, Utah, extended to the National Security Agency. You can read all about that HERE. Do you know why the paper pursued the story? Because of the work of our OffNow coalition. Had we not taken the initiative to try to fight back against unconstitutional NSA spying, the paper would have never started digging. Nobody would ever know how Bluffdale sold cheap water to the people spying on you every day.
We made this happen. The Tenth Amendment Center with its five-figure yearly budget pointed a bright spotlight into a dark place.
That’s damn significant.
I was sitting on the couch with my kids when I first read the Salt Lake Tribune story. My daughter was leaning up against me texting her friend. My son was sitting on the couch across from me playing a video game. When I looked over at them, it almost brought tears to my eyes. You see – they are the real reason I make the sacrifices I do. I want them to live free. If somebody doesn’t fight for them, they don’t have a chance.
But I can’t do it for nothing. I have to pay my mortgage. I have to put food on the table. Those two teenagers will head off to college before I know it. So, yes. I have to ask for money. Michael Boldin has to ask for money. This thing simply won’t run itself.
Do you realize the Cato institute brought in more than $22 million dollars in 2012? The Heritage Foundation operates on an $80 million per year budget. Ours is under $100,000.
I am constantly amazed that we do what we do with the little we do it with.
One thing i appreciate about the TAC is that we try to give you something back for your investment in our work. We sell T-shirts, books, educational material and memberships. For this, we’ve been criticized as “corporate whores,” and “scum.” Sometimes it makes me want to pack it up. But I know we can’t please everybody. Sometimes we just have to shake of the dust and press on. And we will. As long as we’re able.
Here’s the bottom line: if you support our work, if you believe what we do matters and you have the means, please consider becoming a TAC member, or buying a book, or picking up a T-shirt. We promise to be good stewards of the dollars you send our way. We promise to stay true to our principles. We promise to do our best to advance freedom.
I think that’s a pretty fair bargain!
Thank you for your support.
About the author
Michael Maharrey [send him email] is the Communications Director for the Tenth Amendment Center. He proudly resides in the original home of the Principles of ’98 – Kentucky. See his blog archive here and his article archive here. He is the author of the book, Our Last Hope: Rediscovering the Lost Path to Liberty/