A Big Challenge for the Secular Student Alliance March 5, 2011

A Big Challenge for the Secular Student Alliance

This is a game-changer for the Secular Student Alliance.

We’re growing in affiliates and staff and we now have an opportunity to really raise serious money that will allow us to have a bigger impact nationwide. Jeff Hawkins, creator of the PalmPilot, and Janet Strauss are pledging to match all new donations in 2011 up to $100,000.


To summarize what they’ll match:

  • New donors : 100% of your 2011 giving will be matched.
  • Past donors : 100% of your 2011 giving will be matched if you missed us in 2010.
  • Current donors : Any donation in 2011 beyond the amount you contributed in 2010 will be matched 100%.

I’m a current donor (and board member), but I’ll be giving additional contributions this year.

The match couldn’t have come at a better time. Our growth rate has just been incredible lately:

So if you haven’t given, or even if you have, please consider making a donation to the SSA. Our staff makes excellent use of the money we have and they’re reaching out to college (and high school!) campuses across the country in a way no atheist group has ever done before.

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  • Richard Wade

    Deep thanks to Mr. Hawkins and Ms. Strauss.

    Past donors : 100% of your 2011 giving will be matched if you missed us in 2010.
    Current donors : Any donation in 2011 beyond the amount you contributed in 2010 will be matched 100%.

    Does this mean that the $280 I donated in honor of Hemant’s 28th birthday last week just doubled, and the amount of that that exceeds my last year’s donation will double on top of that?

    Not trying to be greedy, just want the most for the cause. 🙂

    I’ll be scraping up more when I can. Go SSA!

  • Peter Mahoney

    Not to divert attention from THIS fund-raising plan, which is awesome and should be supported by those who care about the FUTURE of reason/rationality in our society.

    BUT, here’s an idea for ANOTHER fund-raiser that SSA may want to consider….

    How about letting people pledge the support that they would give to support starting/continuing a SSA group at the donor’s OWN prior college?? Let’s say that I decide that in addition to the $$$ that I give to SSA in general, that my OWN alma mater is really personally dear to me, so I want to give more to get a group off the ground there. How much does it cost to start a group?

    SSA could use my money to put an ad in my college’s newspaper, announcing that a donor alum has offered to help fund starting a group there, and ask for interested students to contact SSA.

    Also, when working to make inroads with college hierarchy, wouldn’t it help SSA to be able to say that one (or more) of that college’s own alumni is helping sponsor the group?

    (In fact, I would gladly divert my annual gift to my college and instead specify that it go to a new SSA group at my college… not that my college would love to hear that part!)

    Food for thought.

    MEANWHILE, the CURRENT fundraiser sounds AWESOME, so folks should support that NOW.

  • Richard,

    Jeff and Janet will match anything you gave in 2011 MINUS anything you gave in 2010.

    Thanks so much for your support!

  • Peter,

    We could do something like what you’re talking about… but you’d be shocked how much less efficient it would be than the way we work.

    The SSA supports a network of over 250 groups with only 5.5 full-time equivalent staff. That’s something like 45 groups per staffer. Campus Crusade supports something like 1,600 groups with around 3,300 staff… almost 3 staffers to each group. That’s over 100 times our staff:group ratio. The reason SSA is able to be so efficient is that we have a very bottom-up model. We empower students who are excited about organizing secular groups on their campuses. They find us and we help them with group starting packets and lots of other services you can read about on our website.

    We’ve tried focusing our efforts on particular campuses before and it is SO much work looking for those first few students to start a group than letting the students come to us.

    If you want to start a group at our alma mater, request a Group Starting Packet from our website and go hang up some flyers the next time you visit campus.

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