Wednesday, December 08, 2010
by Mark Beckwith
All my blogging friends told me "the first rule of blogging is that you actually have to do it." You have to actually write something once in a while. Silly me. Really I'm banking on your good graces understanding that I have a lot on my plate, but at the same time, who doesn't, really?
Another favorite: "When you want something to get done, give it to a busy person." That explains a lot.
Quick Megan update: I don't think it was a seizure she had on Monday. I think Megan has had chronic panic attacks and anxiety attacks for some years. The epileptologist in Memphis was skeptical of these episodes all along, and the one seizure Megan really did have in September, right there in front of him, wired for monitoring and being videotaped, was an unconscious, mouth smacking, tongue clicking, gibberish talking, no-memory-of-it event that was definitely a "real" seizure. She has not had any of these since her surgery. So anyway, if you're reading Megan's facebook posts, let's not get all worked up quite yet. I'm cautiously optimistic that we have both apples and oranges here.
The reason I have been quiet, vague, etc., about the state of Nevus Outreach donations, finances, research sponsorship, etc, is that it's been a year of interesting financial challenges - brought on by a chain of events that made us consider re-tooling to become global. In about August, we realized our eyes were bigger than our stomach, and the breaking point was realizing the IRS Public Support Test was not going to help this process, rather it would hinder it substantially.
We've had to make a lot of changes in a very short time to regain our modesty. Next year's budget is about half what we would have needed it to be (but modestly larger than this year's budget.)
Now there's light at the end of the tunnel: we have a solid plan that will accomplish most of our goals, just not "all of them all at once" as if we were some kind of government-funded bureaucracy with unlimited resources and green lights all the way. The IRS has made sure of that! Even still, I'm not sure that would ever be the right description for Nevus Outreach. Rather, we are an elite strike force, sneaking in under cover, getting the job done, and getting out just as stealthily. We're more like the Navy Seals, compared to the Pacific Fleet. We'll leave all the fanfare (and red tape) for people with more zeros in their budgets. It's not that we wouldn't like to be a million-dollar organization, but I don't think giant nevi will ever attract billion-dollar attention. Let me know if I think too small for your taste, do.
The title above says "Great News." It's official, our wonderful supporters The Morgan Family Foundation have issued a challenge to the donors of Nevus Outreach: for every dollar you give to Nevus Outreach before December 31, they will give two dollars. They will do this up to $45,000.00 - meaning we are initiating a year-end fund drive with a goal of $67,500.00. These funds will go toward the continued operation of Nevus Outreach. This is more than three times larger than any previous year-end campaign Nevus Outreach has ever mounted. Ambitious? Yes. With the help of the Morgan Family Foundation and the support of so many people who want to see our organization succeed (thanks, BTW), I don't think it's pie in the sky. I think it's doable!
Details will be posted on the Nevus Outreach website as soon as we can get them built - we only finalized it this morning. However, if you already know how to donate to Nevus Outreach (thank goodness so many of you do!), rest assured that if you give right now, it will not be lost, it will be counted toward this campaign. We just have yet to build the sexy thermometer that automatically tracks the donations :)