DownsizeDC.org
July 8, 2010
Investing Your Support
By Jim Babka

When we make an appeal that mentions our budget, we get asked, "How do you spend the money?" What follows is a brief, and hopefully helpful answer.

More than 80% of our income is invested on talented people who make things happen and smart people who help us comply with the law. Our monthly budget is presently just shy of $16,000.

My gross pay, every four weeks, is usually just over $4,000. On that income, I support a family, where my wife stays home and homeschools our three children.

I'm far and away the highest paid member of my staff, which has only three full-time people, counting me. Thanks to Perry Willis and James Wilson, we are incredibly prolific, without sacrificing quality. 

Our programmer is NOT full-time, and this has hurt our progress -- negatively impacted our growth -- significantly. There are tradeoffs, and that's what happens when you do things on the cheap. But he works 26 hours per week. Frankly, we need more hours for him, and additional developers. 

Our office manager works 12 hours per week, and our customer service/tech support guy answers your emails six hours per week. Our webmaster works about ten hours per month, and our mail server manager works even fewer hours than that per quarter. Our technical consultant has a contract with us, but generally volunteers his time anyway.

All but one of us work out of our homes to keep office expenses down, and both our web-hosting firm and our lawyers work at severe discounts, ostensibly because they like us and our cause. 

I am inspired by the support we continue receive. I am also grateful for the dedicated team DC Downsizers have helped me build through the confidence they've placed in us. But I am oh so eager to do more, and I believe our plan is the one that deserves the most dollars. There should be no shame in asking for the funds necessary to do a good thing.  

-Jim Babka

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