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Why Membership?

That's me in the photo above wearing a Law Foundation of Silicon Valley t-shirt, mask, and old lady glasses while distributing PPE in the parking lot of the Sobrato Center for Nonprofits to over 60 CBOs. Learn more about the Law Foundation here.

Dear nonprofit friends and friends of nonprofits,

I wish that every message to you all did not have to include the words pandemic or COVID-19, but here we are. And it’s not news to you all that COVID-19 is negatively impacting all aspects of nonprofit organizations and nonprofit staff’s day-to-day lives. But I’m saying it anyway to acknowledge that now doesn’t feel like a great time to ask nonprofits and nonprofit allies for help.

But. As you know, SVCN is a membership organization that supports nonprofits—who we now call “members and future members!”—which basically means everyone! To be able to do that, SVCN relies financially on some number of nonprofits banding together to each donate a bit of their hard-earned dollars to SVCN in the form of membership dues.

So I’m writing to ask: Will you kick in and join as members or renew today?

Why membership? Yes, there are tangible benefits of SVCN membership, including discounts to our programs. (Learn more here.) But it’s not just about that. It’s about declaring that your nonprofit is active in its support of the entire nonprofit community and pledging to work together to build an equitable and thriving community. And, bottom line, it helps SVCN pay for its work:

  • Advocating for your nonprofit at all levels of government

  • Engaging and supporting nonprofit leaders in collective advocacy

  • Creating learning opportunities through our (now virtual) workshops and summits

  • Supporting members by providing advice, resources, referrals, and information

  • Working with our partner CADRE on disaster response, recovery, and preparedness by convening and coordinating CBOs, acquiring critically-needed PPE, and recruiting and deploying volunteers

  • Offering networking opportunities—with each other, with decision-makers, and with elected officials

What is Ally Membership? We’ve created a new membership category for key allies of Santa Clara County nonprofits—individuals, consultants, businesses, foundations, and others. Your Ally Membership donation to SVCN is an investment in capacity-building for the nonprofit sector. It also helps those who provide business services to nonprofits establish professional connections with and demonstrate commitment to the sector. (And here’s a sneak peak: your dues will be credited towards your subscription to our business/consulting directory that SVCN is standing up this year!) Visit our website for more information about Ally Membership.

What if my organization can’t afford SVCN dues? If your nonprofit needs a reduction of dues, please request a scholarship here. We want every nonprofit to be part of the nonprofit alliance, regardless of ability to pay. If you just need flexibility on timing of your payment, please contact us. We’ll work with you.

Will you join the #nonprofitalliance as SVCN members or renew your SVCN membership today?

Again, I know this is a terrible and volatile time for your organization. The future is unclear. But one thing I know about the future of nonprofits is that collaboration will be key: it’s directly tied to the brain’s ability to innovate, it’s what allows organizations to overcome gaps and blind spots together with partners to build inclusive and resilient communities, and it’s the way we will keep ourselves accountable so we don’t forget what happened and let ourselves return to old, ineffective habits and tactics. Let’s collaborate together!

Thank you so much for taking the time to read through this request. If you have questions about the value of membership, just reply to this email. I’m happy to chat!

In community, Kyra P.S. By the way, I’m fresh out of nonprofit t-shirts. Just saying! #NonprofitTshirtFriday

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