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Scarleteen is one of the world’s most respected and valued resources for sexuality education, both online and offline. We play a very important role in the lives of young people.
In 2012, as is typical for us most years, we served more than five million people internationally, most between the ages of 16 and 21.
We helped them navigate emotions, desires and pressures they faced. We helped those of them engaging in sex or relationships to have better sex and healthier relationships. We helped them prevent unintended pregnancies. We helped them heal from assault and abuse. We helped them better understand their own bodies, hearts and minds, and helped them to better care for all of those parts of who they are and make their own, unique best choices. We helped them come out to parents and friends, and to better communicate with many different people in their lives about sex and sexuality. We helped them get through hard times, and helped them become even more amazing than they already are. We helped them through their adolescence and emerging adulthood, particularly around one of those most complex parts of both: their sexuality.
We were here for them, and want to remain here for them. But to make that happen, we need you to be here for us.
We served those five million young people last year, in all of those ways and more, on a budget of only $45,000.
Not four and a half million dollars. Not four hundred and fifty thousand. Just forty-five thousand dollars.
For every dollar we had to work with, we helped more than a hundred people. Most accessed the thousands of pieces of accessible, original, progressive content in our archives. Some talked with us directly, asking one question and getting one, sometimes life-changing, answer. Others engaged with us in conversations, based on their expressed needs, for days, weeks or months. (Some we’ve been talking with for years.) Some used our message boards or other channels to get peer support, having conversations about sensitive subjects in a safe space. Some use our growing database to find in-person services, or got a personal referral to in-person services they needed from us via our direct services. Some benefit from the face-to-face outreach we do. Some use what we offer on our social media channels to interact and expand their sexuality education, or to find other credible, reliable places to explore these topics. We're sure many will now also use our new live service to connect with us for help in 2013.
We also served fellow educators, healthcare providers, parents and other youth allies and advocates with information and support they needed to work with and support youth themselves. Scarleteen remains, as it has been since we first started in the late nineties, a widely acclaimed example of ongoing excellence in sex education.
And we did all of that at a total cost of less than a penny for each person we served. That's an incredible feat, and we're pretty proud of ourselves for doing it, particularly since it makes us the most cost-effective sexuality education and support service for young people — maybe for people of any age — there is.
As impressive as it is, we can't go on this way forever. Our current budget doesn't give us the stability we need to keep going at this level, and it certainly doesn’t give us the ability to grow in the ways that the young people we serve need us to.
To keep doing what we do sustainably, we need around $88,000 to work with this year. That’s about $240 a day. Getting to that $240 daily means just $20 a month from you. For twenty bucks a month you can know that everything Scarleteen did for a day happened because of you. One whole day of Scarleteen for young people, thanks to your awesome self.
That’s not just a pitch. It’s real. Less than ten percent of our budget goes or will go to administrative costs. None of it goes to marketing. All of our energy, our passion, and our commitment goes directly to the young people we work with and work for. And you can be what makes that happen.
For a donation of $20 a month, sustained for one year, you can be the reason Scarleteen happened on that day. If you like, we can even let the world know. In recognition of your $20 monthly donation, after one year we can announce on our front page that you — or someone else you'd like to dedicate your day to — were what kept Scarleteen going that day. We’ll shout it from the rooftops, to our five thousand friends on Facebook, our ten thousand Twitter followers and our fifty thousand message board users.
So if you can, we hope that you will. We show up every day to help them out: we're hoping that today, you will, too.
We’re in our fifteenth year now, but because we’ve always struggled financially, we’ve never been able to achieve everything we have the desire and the capacity to do. If you sponsor a day, you won’t just be underwriting everything that Scarleteen is, you’ll be supporting all we can be. Here’s what an $88,000 annual budget would mean for us, and for the young people we serve:
Reaching this funding threshold can allow us to begin our fifteenth year in such a way that we know we can finally more easily sustain and manage the organization going forward, and continue to evolve and grow as creatively and progressively as we have throughout our history.
Twenty dollars. For all the young people who express a strong want and need for all we offer them: who thank us every day for what they find here, and who frequently express that in finding us, they found a lifeline they needed to help them navigate one of the more challenging parts of growing up and being a person. Who write us thank you letters years after they stopped needing Scarleteen to let us know how much it helped them when they were young. Twenty dollars to serve a thousand young people: we think that's pretty fantastic. We don't even need $20 a month from that many people. Accounting for the private grant we receive and our current donors contributions, we only need that $20 a month, sustained over one year, from around 180 more people to meet our goal.
If you have the means to donate more than that, that's fantastic. Wahoo! And thanks! But if you don't, that $20 a month, once a month, helps us out tremendously, as does a donation of any amount. And it doesn't just help us: whatever you donate is what helps bring Scarleteen to millions of young people every year, changing their lives for the better and making you both our superhero and theirs.
Young people need our help and support. To keep giving that to them, we need yours.
If you can be one of those people giving a monthly recurring donation of just $20 each month, the one who keeps Scarleteen open for a whole day, we’ll let the world know what you did. But more importantly, we’ll know. Our users will know. And you’ll know.
If you would like to support us in some other way, such as through advertising, sponsorship or by volunteering your time or if you have any questions about donating, we'd love to hear from you. You can contact us via e-mail here.
Scarleteen Founder and Executive Director