I had wanted to make this year’s Cuba Nostalgia Convention much more exciting this year. Bigger and better, as they say. More interactive with more computers, audio visual presentations, webcams, live streaming… the whole nueve yardas.
Unfortunately Ive been spread a little too thin these past few months and have been unable to dedicate as much time to the preparations as Id wanted to. I cant take as much time off of work as I did last year – almost a whole month – and I now realize that I just cannot do it alone again this year. This is no reflection on those of you who have helped and offered to help, but there’s just too much to do.
As I type this, the plans for the Convention are in jeopardy. Primarily because of a lack of time, but also because the fundraising aspect is incredibly difficult. Good friend Julio Zangroniz came up with some excellent ideas for raising funds, but without any startup cash for these, it was impossible to see them through to the end. I also had a few sponsors last year that donated a good amount of money to help out, but this year I just havent had the time to do the legwork and make the calls and knock on doors and beg and plead. I cannot express to you how disconcerting it is to try to show someone what it is we do here, how important the work is for the cause, and have them beleive its simply not that important to fork over a few dollars to help out. I had doors slammed on my face many times last year and am simply not willing or able to live that again.
Ive also had a hard time lining up video presentations and other things that would help make the exhibit a success. i dont want to run the exact same thing I ran last year, and all the queries Ive made regarding new presentations have mostly been responded to with a “we’ll see.” Again, I dont have the time to hound everyone on a daily or weekly basis for these.
There are a few folks like Texidor Fine Art, the Ropa Vieja guys and Debra Torres Designs and Chantell that have offered a few of their products or autographed books to help with fundraising, but try as I might I cant get the logistics and techinical issues worked out. An auction would be great, as would a Tombola, but how do we get them to work? I have run the gammut on the logistics for these and have been unable to come up with a reasonable solution.
Good friend Mike H, who was instrumental with the tshirts last year and is busting his hump again this year – Gracias Mike! – is working on the tshirts as we speak, but I dont think they will bring in enough to cover all the costs. I spent over $2000 out of pocket last year and unfortunately, being that I still have a blue tarp covering my roof and windows that wont close because of the hurricane and other issues that require immediate economic attention, I dont have the money at hand to spend on the Convention.
You all know that Babalu isnt here to make money. I dont have advertisers here and I incur – gladly – all the costs to maintain the blog. I have been offered by a few companies some pretty good money to advertise on the site – one of which was an offer for a minimum of 20 links on the page at $20 per link per month – which I have turned down. This blog isnt about making money. Yet now, in retrospect, seeing how low the funds are for the convention – $100 from reader Robert G in Texas (Mil gracias Robert!) – I think perhaps I should have OK’d those advertising links, if only to ensure money for the convention.
I’m not asking you all for money. I know times are tough and Uncle Sam took his fair share of your income a few weeks ago, but I need help. Right now, I dont have the time to take care of every aspect of the convention. So if any of you out there have realistic ideas on how to procur more donations, how to get some more A/V presentations, procur a few more laptops, maybe a big flatscreen or two, some ideas to make the exhibit more user friendly, how to set up live webstream, etc… Please feel free to chime in.
The Cuba Nostalgia Convention exhibit isnt only about Babalú Blog, it’s about the work that we all do daily on the net to help foster an understanding of Cuba and promote her people’s freedom.
Update: I added a Paypal button to the sidebar for your convenience and am looking into creating a 501c and also upgrading Payapl account for easier use.