The following letter was mailed to subscribers of Options in early July.
In our meeting last month, the board of directors voted to suspend the printing of Options due to a lack of funds and volunteers. Despite the growth we’ve seen in readers and revenue over the past three years, we continue to struggle with maintaining the resources needed operate at a level that is expected by readers and advertisers.
We’ll use the next few months to evaluate the state of the organization, attempt to identify opportunities for financial growth that will provide stability, and gauge interest and support levels from readers. The board and the volunteers who produce Options each month want it to prosper, but our future is uncertain and we need more help.
There is no debate that after thirty-five years, Options continues to provide value. And, there is so much more that we could do if we had the resources. If you wish to see that Options remains in print, I urge you to consider how you can contribute. This is an exciting opportunity for those who want to support one of the few nonprofit LBGTQ publications in the nation. Add your voice to the publication and help us continue to be a resource and voice for so many.
There are two things that Options needs to keep the publication in print: money and volunteers. The time requirement to fulfill roles range from a few hours a month, to several hours per week, depending on the job. Roles that need to be filled in order for Options to function include a manager of advertising, distribution, website, social media, art/photography, and billing as well as finding more writers, editors, and copyeditors to get involved.
Additionally, there are seats on the board of directors that must be filled to ensure the board can operate. While an individual’s skill set can be varied, the board is in need of members who have expertise in finance, accounting, law, publishing, English, writing, fundraising, development, event planning, and graphic design.
Making a donation to Options is a great way to show your personal support of the organization and will help us evaluate the community’s interest and ability to fund our efforts. Enclosed you’ll find a response envelope to make donating via mail even easier, but don’t forget that donations are accepted online at www.optionsri.org.
If you own a business or are the decision maker at a company or organization, or can influence them, we need your support through advertising as it is what we rely on to fund our efforts. Options provides an opportunity to reach a targeted demographic while supporting a community nonprofit. Additional information about advertising can be found on our website, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
On a more personal note, after more than three years of serving as both executive director and president of the board, and more than six years as a volunteer, I’ve announced my resignation to the board. It has been a pleasure serving for the organization and I implore anyone who has an interest in seeing that Options continues to be published and a vision for the organization to make it known. There is a place for you at the table and we need you.
Volunteer Executive Director