Update: Where your 2018 contributions went

[Image: A Sankey graph showing gross income and expenses for running BFL. The total income was $10,128 and our total expenses including taxes and half the costs of childcare so I can work is $22,390.]

Hi friends!

I'm doing my yearly neurotic accounting for 2018! Charts are how I self-soothe.

So the good news is thanks to your awesomeness, I was able to cover my out-of-pocket costs for running BFL. (Except for my half of our childcare costs to justify working, this is still a work in progress.)

This graph makes me realize what a giant leech I am - let's all give a big THANK YOU to my partner Nathan for being so patient and keeping me and the kids from starving while we do this thing. 

The even better news is that my partner's start-up got funding for the next [*] months, so we can keep BFL going at least through [*] before one of us has to find a less do-goodery job. Cross your fingers that he can solve parkinson's and Alzheimers disease or whatever by [*].

*Turns out I'm not allowed to disclose that. It's a secret! For start-upy reasons!

I was hustling hard to contribute 10% of my net income to organizations that smash various heads of the kyriarchy, and obviously that didn't happen. I failed at that, super hard. OK FINE I ADMIT it's going to take more than a few years to make this sustainable. I just couldn't afford to, since 10% of no net income is still zero.

But I did put in 8.34% of our gross (pre-tax) income into organizations and activists! Here they are!

  • ACLU
  • A couple of go-fund-mes for families separated at the border (via Creighton Leigh)
  • A retroactive payment to Didi Delgado for emotional labor after asking her a stupid question in 2017.
  • Patreon contributions for Lydia X. Z. Brown, Ramp Your Voice! with Vilissa, Oh Joy Sex Toy, and The Broke-Ass Transwoman (full disclosure, this one is my sister.)
  • The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence
  • Families Belong Together
  • Karam Foundation
  • Native American Rights Fund (for voter IDs)
  • Seeding Sovereignty
  • Together Rising (for refugee relief)
  • Hold The Line Magazine (full disclosure, they did feature BFL in one of their articles)
  • Brooklyn Bail Fund & Philly Community bail fund
  • Planned parenthood
  • Massachusetts Homeless Coalition
  • The Child foundation
  • Our local elementary school to cover supplies - our school system doesn't cover stuff like computers or basketballs, so we cover our family plus a little extra for families who can't cover their fees.

And non-financial contributions in the form of local gift economy donations (mostly stuff, since I have no time. I'm experimenting with that for our wealth inequality research as an alternative to stuff like craigslist and yardsale groups. Which is painful, since I make so little that painting stuff I found on the side of the road and selling it was a good chunk of income for us before.

Goals for 2019:

So that big giant gray flag flapping in the breeze, that's half the cost of childcare to keep R2 in preschool and Q and R2 in some form of summer camp while I work 50-hour weeks year-round. I would REALLY LIKE A VACATION. So I'm leaning toward pushing harder on fundraising to close that gap so we can cover those expenses by 2020. 

Which means doubling the number of active patreon supporters. The shutdown and teacher strikes hit us pretty hard this January, and we actually lost a lot of supporters who couldn't support BFL any longer. So with the political/economic chaos going on for the next two years...finding another 200 patrons seems...impossible? GAH!

Uhh...tell your friends? 

We seem to have a pretty consistent conversion rate (about 4% of BFL members choose to chip in), so I guess I'll just keep doing what I do, and maybe our readership will double, and then yay, magic!

I DON'T UNDERSTAND HOW PEOPLE MAKE MONEY IN THIS WORLD! Stupid capitalism ruining my idealistic gift economy experiments.

Anyway. Accountability, charts, and experiments! Enjoy!

- Ashia

Psst: If you are a nerd, like me and want to make a sankey graph, I use the free tools on sankeymatic.com

Also relevant: Our accountability statement is over here, I'll update it in the next few months once I get a chance.


- A