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A (perhaps not so) big ask: $6,000 to keep me sane

March 3, 2012

Wow. I only posted four times in February. My poor, neglected blog!

The fact is, there’s only so much I can manage to do without a clone. Which is why I am asking my readers for a little $$ help for my museum. If you want to skip the fluff and get to the nitty gritty, scroll down to “The (perhaps not so) big ask.”

I am effectively trying to do two jobs as I learn to be a good museum director/curator AND coordinate the process as my history museum begins a partnership with a another history museum that will result in us growing into a single institution. I also need to take care of household chores, exercise and eat right, spend time with friends and family, and sleep, in addition to writing this blog.

I spent more time with family and friends in February, so the blog lost out.

For a visual treat, here’s one of the things I made while spending time with family in Illinois:

King cake!!!!!!

If you have never had homemade king cake, you don’t know what you are missing. I had to improvise on the colored sugar this time. I couldn’t find the traditional green-yellow-purple combo in Illinois, so I made do with a blue-and-orange “Da Bears” color scheme instead. The recipe I have used since I started making king cakes about 10 years ago is here. Alas, it is not the photo-enhanced version of the recipe I have been using. Next year I’ll have to do a step-by-step blog post.

Also during February, I made cabbage burgers. I also celebrated a late Burns Night with vegetarian haggis and neeps and tatties. (For the record, my favorite Robert Burns poem is “To A Mouse.” Ooo! Just discovered that there’s a Robert Burns app! Did I download it? Oh yes I did!)

Getting back to the point of this post:

I enjoy my job, but it really takes a lot out of me. I’ve developed a deep “thinking furrow” in my forehead. I can get a touch irritable when I am constantly interrupted when I’m trying to concentrate on a task.

And I feel this way during the “slow” winter season, when tourists are rare. I am looking ahead to the summer season with a touch of dread – not because I don’t enjoy showing off the museum to tourists, but because I know that, without substantial help, I will get very little work done and/or lose my marbles.

Which leads me to this dilemma — the museum has no money to hire summer help. Zero. We’re supported mainly by donations, nominal ($3) admission fees, memberships, and interest income from an investment that museum donors established. Recently, donations are down, paid admissions are down, and the interest income from the investment is down.

We can’t cut costs any further, unless I decide to work for free. (As it is, I am earning about the same salary as the average fast food worker in north central Colorado – with no benefits other than vacation/sick time. My work at the museum is subsidized by Bugman’s job.)

We could rely entirely on volunteers, but that creates the risk of burning out the super-extra-special-wonderful-people-I-want-to-hug volunteers we already have. (I do still plan to recruit and train more volunteers for the museum. We need them!)

We could kick off a fundraiser, except that our public fundraising efforts right now need to focus on the museum partnership, which is likely going to cost upwards of $1 million. (We have more than a half-million pledged already!)

I could apply for some grants, but grants typically cover special projects and are not guaranteed, even if I spend hours and hours writing applications. I’ve not yet found one that would be a good fit and hit at the right time for our summer needs, but I will absolutely apply for them if I find them!

Which brings me to:

The (perhaps not so big) ask

If you have enjoyed reading this blog on a regular basis, or if you have landed here by chance through links or a search engine, would you make a donation to my museum to help pay a teacher to help me this summer? All we need is about $6,000 for seasonal salary and payroll taxes.

Having that help would save my sanity and enable me to keep on bloggin’ this summer.

According to my blog stats this morning, my blog pages (which I offer to the world for free!) have been viewed 36,225 times. If I could earn for the museum just a quarter for each page view, we would have the funds to hire the help I need.

If you can contribute, please send a check made out to the North Platte Valley Museum to:

PO Box 435, Gering NE 69341

Please put “summer HELP!” in the memo line, or enclose a note, so I know it’s a donation coming via this blog. The museum is a 501(c)(3) organization, so donations are tax deductible. I’ll mail you a receipt for your donation. (We don’t currently have the capability to accept credit cards. If that changes, I’ll update!)

Thank you so much!


PS – I will update this site with the total as donations come in.

UPDATE: amount received as of 3/24/12: $25. (Thank you, kind donor!)

UPDATE: North Platte Valley Museum permanently closed in 2013 to join forces with the former Farm And Ranch Museum to become Legacy of the Plains Museum at 2930 Old Oregon Trail in Gering. See the Legacy of the Plains Museum website for the most recent updates.

Copyright 2012 by Katie Bradshaw

One Comment leave one →
  1. March 3, 2012 5:45 pm

    I have a couple of ideas for a sustaining income for non-profits!

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