In addition to our usual programming, this week we are focusing on membership and we are asking you, if you haven’t already, to become a member of Strong Towns.
We are a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. That’s a technical way of saying that your donation is tax deductible, but I also mention it to emphasize our mission. We want America’s cities, towns and neighborhoods to be financially strong and resilient. That is going to require enormous changes in our approach to land use, transportation, economic development and local finance. It also means that the way we interact with each other in our places – from how we get our food to how we care for the most vulnerable among us – will change too. We’re at the forefront of this conversation nationally and are impacting it in a huge way.
That’s because our ideas are not left and they are not right. We don’t fit easily into any of the boxes modern society likes to put movements like ours. That’s a good thing because this country desperately needs independent thought, but it also creates some unique challenges for us as an organization.
One of the main challenges is how to fund our operations. We are a small organization – just Jim Kumon and myself right now – and we operate very lean. That’s intentional. What is also intentional is how we have chosen to finance Strong Towns by relying largely on revenue from engagements and support from our members.
We made a conscious decision last year that we want our future to be tied to you. We don’t want to be in a position where we are filling out grant applications, chasing foundations to figure out what they want to pay for then modifying our approach accordingly. We we won’t do that – it’s not us – and our message is such that I don’t think we could be successful if we did. No, if people want to see us succeed, if they want our ideas to be projected, they will support what we do. That’s it.
So it’s up to you, and that’s why we’re focusing on membership this week. Our goal is to add fifty new members by the close of business on Friday. Let’s do that and more.
Tens of thousands of people are reading this blog and listening to our podcast each week. If you’re one, don’t rely on others. Membership starts at just $25 per year. Please sign up today.
My regular Monday post will be along here shortly, so check back for that and a membership update later today.