Denver, March 1st 2017
Dear DJPC members and financial supporters,
To quote Charles Dickens from A Tale of Two Cities, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity,…” In terms of comfort and convenience, those of us living in a fossil fueled techno-utopia, it is the “best” of times. For the poor, the war ravaged, and upcoming generations, it is or will soon be the worst of times. Between the current US administration’s desire to deny immigrants their basic human rights and the extractive industries’ desire to continue polluting Earth’s atmosphere and oceans with CO2, it is clear that we are living in an age of foolishness, Orwellian Doublespeak, and daily transgressions against the poor, the infirm, the very young, the dispossessed of Latin America and beyond.
At our DJPC annual planning meeting on January 28 more than 30 DJPC members reflected on our many achievements of 2016, examined DJPC’s current methods of promoting economic and environmental justice in Latin America, prioritized and named working groups for 2017, and most importantly, discussed the financial health of the organization. Our program director, Rebeca Zuniga, facilitated most of the meeting and everyone had a chance to voice their opinions, hopes, and dreams for the organization.
To make a long story short, in 2015 we raised $32,000 and had expenses of $28,000. However, in 2016 through individual donations, a church grant, Awards Night, and Build for Peace, DJPC only raised $26,000 while the organization had expenses of $28,700. The bottom line is that DJPC must do better in 2017 to right the ship and get our financial affairs back in order.
One line item from the budget stood out above all others: Recurring Donations. Under the category of Recurring Donations for 2016, DJPC could only count on $440 per month from its members. All other donations came in at random times of the year and in random amounts. It is nearly impossible to run an organization that way. There was near unanimous agreement at the Planning Meeting that each of our members be encouraged to set up a recurring donation of at least $30/month ($35 or more suggested) in one of three ways:
- If you have a checking or savings account and that you can access online, you can use the “EZ” or “Automatic” bill pay section and set up your monthly recurring donation with DJPC. If you are not computer savvy, go to your bank and ask them to help you set it up. It only takes about 10 minutes. With most banks there is no charge for setting up a recurring donation this way. Once it is set up, money automatically lands in DJPC’s checking account on the day of the month you select, for the amount you have selected. No service charges! All you need is DJPC’s checking account # and the Routing #. Contact Rebeca at email@example.com for more info.
- If you have a credit or debit card and would prefer to set up a recurring donation via the DJPC website, it is even easier than what was described in #1. Just go to www.denjustpeace.org and click on the Donate button near the top right corner of the page. Then click “Monthly Sustainer ” and check the YES box where it asks if you want the donation to recur. Enter the amount you wish to donate monthly. Then confirm that you want your donation to be recurring. After that you’ll click NEXT and fill in the credit or debit card information that is typically required for any online transaction. Finally, click SUBMIT FOR PROCESSING and it’s done! Please be aware that 4% of your donation goes to the company that manages this portion of the DJPC website. Basically, a $1.20 surcharge on a monthly $30 donation goes to Greater Giving instead of DJPC.
- Finally, you could go to your bank and set up a monthly “direct deposit” that your bank will help you arrange. As in Option #1, you will need DJPC’s bank info that you can request from Rebeca at firstname.lastname@example.org
Any amount you are able to pledge will go a long way to making DJPC a viable, long term force for peace and justice in Latin America and here in the US. By educating ourselves about the current realities of oppressed indigenous peoples throughout Central and South America, political and economic immigrants, displaced Latin American farmers, undocumented workers in the US who keep families afloat by wiring money home every month, DJPC becomes a stronger, more informed collective force for mitigating the harm done by the US government with US tax dollars.
Please be aware that DJPC has approximately 60 regular contributors. If each of us were to donate $35/month, those recurring donations would add up to $25,200 a year. When we add in the proceeds from Awards Night, Build for Peace, and the miscellaneous fundraiser, the total revenue generated each year should exceed our expenses. Over time we might even be able to build up reserve funds if we, the core membership, do more outreach and encourage our friends and family to join DJPC or make a one-time donation each year.
Our cause is just and our human rights track record is well established. DJPC is known to many people in Latin America as a force for economic justice. In 2017 we need a more reliable, predictable system of generating revenue so that we can continue to promote human rights, economic and environmental justice for all those struggling south of The Wall.
Hasta la victoria,
Rick Clifford, DJPC member of the year 2013
Guatemalan human rights accompanier 2003
GRUFIDES volunteer in Cajamarca, Peru 2013