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As an independent organization without state, federal, institutional, foundational or corporate funding, whose services have always been provided to millions each year at absolutely no cost -- not low-cost, not sliding-scale, but for free -- sustaining ourselves has always been a challenge. For a very long time now, almost our whole history, we've made clear that we can't sustain ourselves, and all our services, at only the meager level of support we've had to work with.
The kind of work we do is unsupported. Sexuality, sexual health and relationship education for young people, including additionally marginalized young people, like those who are LGBQA, transgender or otherwise gender nonconforming, those in or working to heal from abuse, those with disabilities, or of color and/or in cultures or communities deeply unsupportive of sexuality or sexual health outside very limited parameters, is unsupported. That is particularly so when our larger aim is happiness, autonomy and pleasureRead more...
As you may know, we started our major fundraising drive for the year this month. Our goal, for the year, is to raise just over $40,000 from new donors in order to best sustain, support and grow our organization.
Since we began the drive on the 13th, you've helped us raise just over $5,000. If the donors who chose to give monthly all keep that up for the year, that will get us to $8,500 of the total funds we need. Hooray!
We're still a long way off from raising what we need, though.
Here to help save the day, longtime Scarleteen donor, supporter and superhero (and also kickass science author) Stephen Luntz has offered a $2,000 match for funds we can raise from today at 9AM PST, through Thursday, February 28th, at 9 AM PST.
That's just $2,000 we need your help generating in the next 48 hours in order to grab those matching funds.
(We won't actually grab them. We'll take them only when offered and then say thank you politely.)
Check out this new infographic from Jacob, a volunteer at SRead more...
If you're someone who takes part in end-of-year giving, we'd like to ask you to consider giving to Scarleteen.
As you may already know, Scarleteen was one of the first online resources for young people about sex and sexuality, and remains the leading, most visited online resource expressly created and maintained for young people to get extensive and excellent sex and sexuality information, education and support.
We provide opt-in, youth-driven content and direct services every year through articles that don't shortcut, but give young people the depth they ask for, advice columns done with the aim of support and education, not entertainment; a staffed SMS service and fully moderated message boards available seven days a week, 24 hours a day, where young people talk to real people with the skills to do so well, not templates, machines or some random yahoo on Yahoo; an ever-growing database of referrals to direct, in-person services and to other credible websites or organizations; in-perRead more...
I'm excited to introduce and welcome Robin Mandell as our new volunteer Assistant Director!
Robin came to Scarleteen as an intern in early fall of 2011. After completing her internship, she immediately came on board as a volunteer, primarily focusing on copyediting (or, as she calls it, tidying our "stacks"), content development and our direct services. Robin's kindness, great attention to detail, and dedication to doing all she can to help sustain and grow Scarleteen and support holistic, humane sex education and caring support have blown all of us here away right from the start.
In her new position as AD, Robin will continue with the work she has already been doing, and will also bring her fantastic people skills to volunteer management and, unsurprisingly, will be...well, assisting the director, including with aspects of Scarleteen I've mostly or entirely managed alone for our getting-close-to-15-years tenure.
If you contact us and hear back from Robin, it'll probably be becauseRead more...
Last December, we began our end-of-year fundraising for Scarleteen with a goal to raise the minimum we needed from online donors for 2012, $35,000, a very modest ask compared to other organizations or projects of or near our tenure and level of service.
Unfortunately, we still have not yet been able to raise even half of that sum. As of today, we have raised almost $15,000. We're so very grateful to the 135 individuals who donated generously to help us get to that sum, but that total just won't do. We run our organization and services far more cost-efficiently than similar organizations or groups, and can stretch a dollar like nobody's business, but that can only get us so far.
We need that minimum of 35K for this year -- which, combined with a private grant and existing donors, still giv us only $80,000 to do everything we do -- in order to sustain and maintain our services and those who provide them, create new content and tools, and to keep our organization afloat.
We don't like tRead more...
And here's the second part of our volunteer profiles (part one is here) so all of you can better get to know some of the people we're so lucky to have on Team Scarleteen!
Where do you live? Melbourne, Australia
What year did you first find Scarleteen? 2004
What made you want to volunteer? I went through high school and the first couple years of university completely clueless about pretty much everything to do with sex and relationships. When I finally found Scarleteen and had my own questions answered so brilliantly, with so much information and so much obvious care, I knew I had to help out.
Best thing you ever learned from a Scarleteen user/users: That I can learn from them, really - I'm not always going to be the "expert". When I first started volunteering, I was so worried that it meant I'd have to know *everyRead more...
Our volunteers are a huge part of Scarleteen, and I call them superstars with very good reason. They're all incredible.
They play a big part in providing our direct services at our message boards and through our text-in answer service. They are our invaluable collective editorial board: even when volunteers aren't part of writing a piece, every piece we publish goes past at least some of them and their input is priceless. They're an equal part of all conversations about how we run things here, collectively informing and making decisions about how we manage and administrate the site and organization. They are a strong support circle: for all of us as a staff, for each other, for our users. They are a brilliant hivemind: our backend chat channel for staff and volunteers has had some amazing, inspired conversation about the issues we address here at Scarleteen. Most of our volunteers also started out at Scarleteen as users, so they come in with a lot of knowledge about being a user here,Read more...
Things slow down a bit here around the holidays. So, this is one of the main times of each year when I try to review all the content we have at the site and map out articles I, and the volunteers, feel we should aim to write or have written to add in the next year.
To do that, I look at the running notes I keep from observing what our users ask for in direct services and our social media; places where they ask for things and I don't feel we have just the right pieces to refer them to, or what we'd want to be able to give when it comes to on-site resources.
I also like to ask our more general readership what they want, too. While our direct services are very busy, they only make up a very small percentage of our daily readers, so we might miss some expressed needs or wants when we pull only from the readers we most often interact with.
What would you like to see here in the next year that isn't here already, or where there isn't as much content here as you'd like?
That can be about:
Just a quick update about a change starting at Scarleteen, for those who use our direct services.
With both our message boards and text service, we have told our users for many years now that they can expect a reply from a staff member or volunteer within 24 hours, though most have usually received replies more quickly than that, often even within minutes at certain times of day.
We need to make an adjustment to that timetable. Starting today, users of our direct services should be prepared for a window of waiting as long as potentially 48 hours (but more realistically, a few hours rather than within minutes).
Over the last year, we've been more short-handed with volunteers than usual. Some of our core volunteers have been winding up working more hours than volunteers should be expected to work. Per usual, our very modest budget also does not allow us to hire additional staff. Being shorthanded here is often especially typical during the summer months. Alas, that also happens to be thRead more...