The Delta Grassroots Caucus (DGC) is a broad coalition of grassroots leaders in the eight-state Delta region. DGC is also a founding partner of the Economic Equality Caucus,
which advocates for economic equality across the USA.

Delta Year-End Annual Dues Membership Drive--2 Weeks Left--Dec. 31, 2014

Posted on December 16, 2014 at 11:58 AM

We have two weeks remaining in our year-end membership drive for the year 2014, and would like to thank the many people who have contributed over the past several weeks. With a pool of donors stretching over eight states and the Washington, DC area, large numbers of modest contributions add up to a substantial amount.

We would request annual membership dues in the amounts of $25, $50 or $100, depending on the size of your organizations and of course your individual preferences.

We are deeply appreciative of the many donors who contributed in recent days and weeks. Our partners of course tend to be very generous during the Christmas and New Year’s season.

This is now a requirement for our members who wish to be fully supportive and active in the Delta Grassroots Caucus advocacy for the eight-state region’s community and economic development, and the only request is just $25 once each calendar year, although some have contributed larger amounts up to $100 or $200 or more.

We have until Dec. 31, 2014 to complete this drive. Our budget is based entirely on voluntary donations in the form of sponsorships, registration fees at major conferences and annual membership dues.

For medium-sized nonprofits, businesses, chambers of commerce, smaller banks, we would suggest $50 in dues, if possible.

For larger universities, colleges, foundations, corporations, other larger organizations, or those who want to contribute at a higher level, we would suggest $100.

For your convenience, if would like to send in annual membership dues, please make out the check to “Delta Caucus” and mail to:

Delta Caucus

5030 Purslane Place

Waldorf, MD 20601

We are steadily increasing the number of annual membership dues we collect each year. We used to have a significant problem in that most people did not pay the dues, but we have been increasing our collections each year. We are sure this is just a result of some partners not focusing on the dues, perhaps thinking they are not important, or perhaps not knowing about the requirement of just $25 a year. If everybody contributes something it will be a significant plus.

Our fundraising strategy is similar in some ways to public television and radio stations, and they occasionally engage in membership drives and point out that they could not exist without these voluntary donations. The Delta Caucus is of course different from public broadcasting in many other respects, but as far as our fundraising we are quite similar.

Members receive regional email newsletters on regional issues, are invited to the two major conferences-one in the spring at the Clinton Library and another in the fall at revolving locations, and have the knowledge that they are giving to the broadest grassroots, private sector, basically volunteer regional advocacy organization in the Greater Delta. Many other organizations play vital roles in advocacy and in many other ways, and we praise the activities of the many meritorious institutions and individuals in the region making contributions to regional development in countless different ways.

Our advocacy work for community and economic development focuses on the region from southern Illinois and Missouri through western Kentucky and Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi and down to New Orleans and then east to the Alabama Black Belt-a vast area of more than 10 million people.

We also have a network of partners based in the Washington, DC area, as well as some Southern organizations that include Georgia and other areas of the South but have most of their base in the Greater Delta Region.

Key issues for the remainder of 2014 and 2015 will include:

–job creation/economic recovery,

–education and workforce development,

–women and children’s issues and support for the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation’s No Ceilings initiative for full participation of women and girls,

–renewable energy,

–hunger and nutrition,

–health care for underserved areas including support for Arkansas’ innovative private option health care plan,

–transportation, housing, broadband expansion and other infrastructure,

–the USDA rural development, agriculture and nutrition programs,

–Delta heritage tourism (including the pending bill to allow the historic steamboat the Delta Queen to resume her travels on the Mississippi), and other vital regional issues.

We also want to have a candid dialogue about the state of race relations in our region and across the country in the aftermath of the Ferguson, Missouri crisis and similar incidents across the country. We will invite a thoughtful dialogue acknowledging the need for putting a spotlight on the very real issues of racial profiling, police misconduct and excessive use of violence in some cases, but tempered with the knowledge that many police officers are reasonable people who conduct themselves in a reasonable, professional manner. We know that Martin Luther King, Jr. stressed the imperative that all protests and demonstrations must be non-violent.

We welcome input from many different points of view, including the broader community and economic impact of diversity and improved race relations across the region.

Large potential pool of small contributors over the eight states: We have over 700 people in our data base who have had extensive involvement with the Delta Caucus at some point, and over 3,000 who have had some involvement. It would be a huge plus for our budget if everybody would contribute at least $25.

If we could ever get all 700 of the most active partners to contribute at least $25 once a year, it would add up to a very large amount of money-approximately $20,000.

Many people have concluded that $25 or $50 is such a small amount that “How could it possibly make a difference so why should I bother?” The statistics above demonstrate that we have the potential to raise much more funding through membership dues-so your small donation adds up.

As Edmund Burke famously said about encouraging many people to each contribute a small amount working toward a collective goal:

“Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could only do a little.”-Edmund Burke

Vital importance of having a major part of the budget coming from many small to medium-sized contributions: Our policy is that while we will accept some sponsorships, a major part of our budget will always consist of smaller contributions in the form of either registration fees and membership dues, because we will not become dependent and beholden to a small number of wealthy interests who could then pressure us to run the organization according to their bidding as opposed to the broader interests of the region as a hold.

We are expanding our activities and the budget needs to grow along with the overall expansion of the Delta grassroots coalition outreach and advocacy.

We stretch our dollars a long way and that kind of annual membership dues would enable us to to continue our expansion.