Last Fall, just as the country was beginning to admit that the economy was in the middle of a recession, CityLit’s board of directors coordinated the organization’s first annual appeal campaign. We seriously discussed whether this was the right time, especially for a still-young organization, to ask for support. We looked toward other arts and culture organizations, public radio and public television, and the myriad nonprofit service providers. Everyone else was moving ahead with their fundraising efforts, so we asked if not now, when?
We looked ahead to 2009’s calendar of events and saw how we’d be hosting Pulitzer Prize winners, National Book Award winners, and other locally and nationally acclaimed literary artists at CityLit’s two public programs—for free. We saw how we’d be expanding the “Write Here, Write Now
” workshops for adults—Baltimore’s only on-going series of writing workshops—to new venues with new instructors around the metropolitan area. And we saw how the second year of CityLit Teens outshined our first effort, and knew what refinements needed to be made to produce even better outcomes in the future.
So we forged ahead with our plans and posted our first annual appeal mailing in October 2008. It was a modest, hands-on effort that proved to be a great opportunity for board members to bond as we sat around a table eating wonderful food, stuffing envelopes, and telling stories.
From this effort, 9% of you responded with contributions totaling almost $10,000.
We think that is incredible! Thank you so much for your support during these difficult economic times. It means we can continue to bring high-quality, diverse literary arts programming—much of it for free—to Baltimore and Maryland’s readers and writers.
Here’s to brighter days ahead for us all.