moderated Re: #suggestion Add a Pricing tier between Basic (free) and Premium #suggestion

Sandi D <sandi.asgtechie@...>

Hi Bob,

We are a 501(c)(3). Our mission is education and community service. We are a group of elderly ladies who teach sewing to others in libraries, churches, youth organizations and our meetings. That was in the precovid days. We no longer meet in person and our venues are closed to us. So now we sew at home. 

We made 6,00 masks between March and June to meet the needs of local residential disability and senior centers. All free of charge. That is our concept of what a non profit should do.

We make 400+ bags a year for the local food bank and foster care system. We purchase and place hygiene kits into the ones made for Children in Foster care and domestic shelters. Many of these children arrive with nothing or just what they can carry. The pillowcases and bags we make give them a place to put their possessions as the "System" moves them around.

We make clothing items for babies and toddlers and give them to families suffering financial difficulties. We make pillowcases for victims of declared disaster areas. We make stuffed bears and pillowcases for children with rare diseases to bring them comfort from the invasive testing they undergo. We make beds and scarves for pet shelters and pet adoption fairs using our scraps. We recycle fabric donations and put them into use instead of it going into landfills. 

As I said we are elderly, some of us homebound and many with health issues. With Covid we had to stop our fundraising at local fairs and venues. The ladies give generously of their time and their money but many are on a fixed income. We are controlled by a Board of Directors, all unpaid. Even the national level BOD is unpaid.

Our parent chapter, The American Sewing Guild, has 3 paid staff. A receptionist, a compliance officer and a Executive Director. All on a modest salary that carries us closer and closer into the red each year because our members are retired elderly and on fixed incomes.

No one in our local chapter, or any chapter, collects a salary. We don't even ask for reimbursement for anything we spend out of pocket, like office supplies, postage and mileage. The website ($150), our storage unit ($1500), Zoom ($370) and now this group ($220) would be our major costs. 

Since Covid we have been unable to fund raise. Normally we raise about $1200 a year which doesn't cover even our critical costs. We then rely on our members to make up the deficit with personal donations in addition to the $200+ they already spend each year on fabric and sewing related supplies. 

When Mark first introduced pricing, I posted much of this explaining our mission and situation and asked if he would be offering a non profit discount. I included the information and link to Tech Soup, an organization that vets non profits and that partners with companies like Adobe, Microsoft, Zoom and so many others to bring us helpful discounts. 

The name of our NP is the Sarsota Chapter of the American Sewing Guild. Our most recent project has been to sew fabric cards and mail them to those homebound. Covid has forced many into unhealthy isolation and small, thoughtful acts of kindness like these truly help them emotionally. 

I read Mark's bio page before joining GIO. He discussed his community minded spirit and desire to share his talents in a helpful way. His words touched me in a non commercial way because that is how I live my life.  

Bob, I am not sure why you feel so strongly that small non profits like us can always turn to fund raising to meet the greater and greater expenses we are incurring as technology becomes more critical to our survival. 

We are people giving to people. That's all I am asking for. Whether a discount or a middle tier. I am not demanding it- only asking if it is possible and agreeing with other NP's that it is worth our time to inquire. Only Mark should be sitting in judgement as to whether we "deserve" the reduced level of service or discount and only Mark knows if his business operations can afford to offer a discount or reduced tier service level.

I work with a few other GIO groups to assist their hearing and visually impaired members with technology. So many times we take things for granted. The NPs that teach them accessibily software are also run by volunteers. We need venues like GIO to teach. While a sighted person like myself can teach a sighted person how to mute a Participant in zoom in under 2 minutes, it can take upwards of 30 minutes to talk an unsighted person through the steps using accessibulity menus and keystrokes.

What I am saying is that GIO has become a lifeline to many NPs. I would be saddened if it were to be out of their reach in the future. 

Sandi Dickenson
ASG Volunteers Group.

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