Dear Zimfest Association Friends and Members:
We hope that you are all doing well and are planning to join us for another amazing Zimfest next year at the University of Puget Sound from July 24 through July 27th. The organizing committee is already hard at work with detailed planning for the festival. In parallel, the Zimfest Association Board has been busy creating a stronger and more sustainable organization. We encourage you to review what we’ve been up to on the Zimfest blog which can be found at https://zimfest.wordpress.com.
Call to Action!
We are writing at this time to solicit your help. No organization can survive without financial support, and the Zimfest Association is no different. While the annual festivals provide some income to the Association, these funds are unpredictable and are insufficient to sustain and grow the Association. For example, in 2013 the festival made less than $1500 in profits, which greatly limited the funds available to pay our Zimfest coordinator, pay our festival musicians and make charitable donations to other organizations which support Zimbabwe. For this reason, we have instituted an aggressive strategy aimed at raising money via other means. With this letter, we are inaugurating our first Annual Campaign and Membership Drive.
Become a Member of the Zimfest Association
This year, we have changed the way that membership to the Zimfest Association is handled. Beginning January 1st, the term of membership will run for a full calendar year until December 31st. Our goal is to have all recurring Zimfest participants be current members of the organization. The minimal fee of $25 will allow a Regular member to attend the festival without paying a registration fee of $12. Members may choose to have their names published on the website and in the Festival Guide. It is our hope that a healthy dialogue about the festival and association can emerge from a membership that feels a sense of ownership in the Zimfest Association.
Provide Charitable Donations to the Zimfest Association
While fees from membership are a great start, if we hope to be an organization that will continue to put on festivals for years to come, it will take more money than membership fees alone can raise. For this reason, we are also soliciting tax-deductible donations to the Zimfest Association. While we would ideally like to see each member who is able to renew their membership also make a donation, we realize that our fund-raising efforts often go no farther than the same group of generous donors. Therefore, we are asking each of you to refer a friend or acquaintance to our donations page. Is there someone in your circle of friends or extended family who is familiar with Zimfest, has enjoyed performances by our Zimbabwean guests, or has seen how enriching your involvement in the music has been? If so, ask that person to make a donation to help support Zimbabwean musicians and assist Zimfest on its path towards a sustainable infrastructure.
We hope that you will seriously consider becoming a member of the Zimfest Association for the 2014 calendar year, as well as making or enabling a charitable contribution. If each Zimfest member can find a willing donor we will be well on our way towards sustainability! Your contributions are tax-deductible either in the 2013 or 2014 tax year, depending on when you make your payment. Please visit our Membership and Donation page on our website at http://zimfest.org/membership for instructions on how to make a contribution.
Thanks for all that you do to make Zimfest a success. Happy Holidays…
—The Zimfest Association Board
P.S. Zimfest Association Donations to Charities
This year, Zimfest is pleased to announce our support for five non-profit organizations working in Zimbabwe. The Savannah Arts Center, based in the neighborhood of Mbare, on Harare’s southern edge, will receive a donation of $500. Savannah Arts Center has a past history of participating in Zimfest, and sent a small group of musicians to perform at our festival in 2000. The other four projects and organizations will receive grants of $250 each. These are MBIRA, Tariro, the Jangano Club for teaching mbira in schools, administered through Ancient Ways, and the Chinhoyi High School Project, administered through Kutsinhira’s Zimbabwe Community Development Project.