An Open Letter to the In Other Words Community
December 15, 2008
In Other Words, like so many of our fellow independent bookstores, has fallen upon incredibly hard financial times. If we are unable to raise $11,000 by the end of December, In Other Words will have to close its doors in early March. Many of you may have already heard about this financial crisis and in an effort to be as transparent as possible, we want to let you all know about the specifics of the situation and to update you on our progress.
The $11,000 is needed to pay back a short-term loan that is expiring in January. We have been unable to come up with the funds on our own due to significantly decreased store and textbook sales, likely the result of the economy's recession. Unfortunately, our financial troubles will not be over once we pay back this loan. Like many others, we're affected by the recent decrease in availability of bank loans and we're going to need to raise an additional $10,000 by March to pay off our expiring line of credit.
We know it sounds crazy that a small bookstore in Portland could raise this much money in such a short time, however our community of locals, out of town family and friends, as well as feminists nationwide have responded in full force to our plea. They are making online donations, swarming through our doors to support the store by doing their shopping and attending events, and by getting the word out to their own communities that we need help. And its working– we've made over $7,000 in the 5 days since we announced our financial crisis! Clearly, In Other Words is an institution that our community will not let go under.
As promising as this looks, we still have a long way to go to reach our goal. In addition to urging people to make tax-deductible donations online through our secure website (https://www.chi-cash-advance.com/sforms/appeal804/contribute.asp), in person, or by mailing a check to us at 8 B NE Killingsworth, Portland, OR 97211, there are a number of other ways we're asking people to support us.
• Come to the Dance Party Fundraiser for In Other Words, this Sunday, December 21st from 7-11pm at Zaytoon (2236 NE Alberta). Special thanks to Zaytoon's owner Aysha Ghazoul for providing the space and to Sossity Chiricuzio for organizing this fundraiser.
• Do your holiday shopping at In Other Words and receive 10% off feminist gift packages
• Mark your calendars for our After Solstice Book Sale which will run the month of January – 50% off selected titles
• Get involved in our community by attending one of our many in-store events and discussion groups or sign up to volunteer (more info at www.inotherwords.org)
Here are some things we're doing on our end to promote In Other Words' long-term sustainability:
• Restructuring and rebuilding our board of directors to promote increased functionality and fundraising ability
• Applying for external funding in the form of 2 grants
• Expanding volunteer-driven grassroots fundraising efforts to include multiple fundraising events throughout the year – the first of which is scheduled for Saturday, February 7th at 7pm
• Appealing to major donors and promoting our revamped monthly sustainer giving program, Every Woman Strong
• Restructuring our store's inventory to reflect current buying trends
We are optimistic that with our community's continued support we can achieve our goals and continue to be a vital resource for this community that sustains us. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any further questions or if you'd like to follow up.
Our community cannot afford to lose In Other Words, please help us save her!
The Staff and Board of In Other Words