20-20-20 in 2020 August 07 2019
We’re approaching our five-year anniversary! Through many ups and downs, and with slow but steady progress, we have persevered. Since beginning in 2014, Seven Fires has had nearly $65,000 in sales and, with the generous help of private supporters, paid over $85,000 to artists. We have not helped great numbers of people, but we have provided much needed income, sometimes in critical situations. It doesn’t really feel like time for celebration yet though. Our purpose has become better-defined and our model has proven successful, but there is so much more to do.
While staying humble is always our intention, we’re pretty proud of our model: Helping Native artists earn a living doing the work they love, helping them increase the value of their work, retain control of their businesses and preserve traditions. We have brought a few emerging artists along through encouragement and an example of trust. Mostly because we have this web site that reaches the entire world 24/7. After all, help for artists really isn’t sustainable unless their work is being sold.
Our plans for adding more artists are going fantastic, with many positive responses from tremendous artists! We’ve been reaching out via email and the Native POP Art Market in Rapid City gave us the opportunity to talk with many great artists and others interested in getting involved.
We have applied for four grants over the years without success, which has been frustrating, but financial limitations have kept us focused our online store as the most efficient way to help the most people. And the business has grown significantly each year, but not enough to accomplish the critical goal of creating two paid positions on the reservation, or to afford the investment in the business that we know can take Seven Fires to the next level.
Read more about our Mission in the About section of the web site.
While average salaries for non-profit directors in the US hover around $60K, we are seeking that amount to reach all of these goals in 2020. And so we are beginning our 20-20-20 in 2020 Campaign because we believe we can grow our operation to help more artists in bigger ways by first paying our President and Business Manager modest salaries of $20K each and by making a $20K investment in inventory, web site optimization, and marketing that can increase our profitability … and sustainability.
And so we are reaching out to our supporters and friends to ask you to include Seven Fires in your charitable giving this year and next.
We are also asking you to reach out to your friends, coworkers, employers, as well as businesses, churches or other organizations that might have an interest in being a part of our Mission.
Volunteer Opportunities are also available and we invite participation from anyone with talents to share in this effort!
Thank you to everyone who has visited our web site and especially to all of you who have supported us through purchases and donations in the past! Thank you for reading this message now! We are deeply grateful to all who support our work.
Feel free to contact me with any questions or for more information about this initiative. I am very excited about where the next year will take us!
Natalie Hilleman, Director