Help Us Decide : What to do with the Fund Collected

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dsatish

Registered Users (C)
#1
Hi Every one,
We, at immigrationportal.org, need your suggestions regarding how we should spend the money. So far we have collected about $21,000 . Out of this, let us set aside $4000 for running expenses ($2000 for the accountant + $2000 for software, Stationary, Corporate Filing Fees, Minimum balance etc). So we might have about $17,000 for spending. In recent days, the contributions have slowed down very much and we begin to feel that it is futile to wait and do nothing till you get the minimum target of $30,000 required to hire some one for the organization for 3 months. We don’t know how long it is going to take to get that much money. So what are our options now ? What is the best course of action ? Any suggestions are most welcome.
We (core team) have discussed this issue in our last meeting but we could not agree on the outcome. Here are the different voices heard at our meeting :
1) Hire a less capable person :D for lesser period (2 months). That means, we should still go ahead with our original plan, but we may have to settle for a cheaper contractor to work for us for 2 months. Many people did not favor this idea.
2) Continue the Fund raising effort and wait till we get the required amount and go ahead with original plan (without diluting it).
3) Keep the money with the organization and use it for long term goals and also for advertisement etc.
4) For those who have contributed larger amounts (more than $50) , return the money over the $50. This way, we might be left with around $12,000 and that can be used for long term goals. That means, those who have contributed $70 should be returned $20 and those who have contributed $100 should be returned $50 etc.

Note : The backers of arguments 2 and 3, feel that we should not spend the money just for the sake of spending it.

I personally have preference to one of the above 4 options but I won’t let the cat out right now because that might influence more people’s evaluation of other options. Please feel free to tell your preference. You may also come out with new ideas about what’s the best way to utilize the money or ways to reach the target amount quickly.

Irrespective of the success or failure of the fund collection drive, we will continue to work in personal capacity towards putting more pressure on INS to act on the backlog reduction. I have prepared one strong letter to be sent to the congress men and I will present it here for review in a couple of days.

Links to the Fund Collection Threads :
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http://boards.immigrationportal.com/showthread.php?p=782682#post782682
http://boards.immigrationportal.com/showthread.php?t=122531
http://boards.immigrationportal.com/showthread.php?t=121175
 
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isGCtheKey?

Registered Users (C)
#2
I know this is may sound a bit out of the way suggestion, but since not a lot of people are contributing, for the short term (assuming clearing the 485 backlogs is the short term goal) why not hire a person who will only push for approvals for the people who have contributed (like using a service i.e. a liason). This will draw attention in the effort for other members as well and maybe bring in more contributions. Of course the longer term goal is for the improvement of the immi community.
 

dsatish

Registered Users (C)
#3
isGCtheKey? said:
I know this is may sound a bit out of the way suggestion, but since not a lot of people are contributing, for the short term (assuming clearing the 485 backlogs is the short term goal) why not hire a person who will only push for approvals for the people who have contributed (like using a service i.e. a liason). This will draw attention in the effort for other members as well and maybe bring in more contributions. Of course the longer term goal is for the improvement of the immi community.
Looks like a good suggestion to me. This is a slight variant of option 1 above.
 
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dazzling

Registered Users (C)
#4
Hmm.. so you woke up .. GOOD .. now do something .. I intentionally made those comments so that you wake up because I knew you had so much money with you which was just lying over there ... I know I have not contributed .. I will not till I see some action bearing positive results. I would rather give more money to CRY as I know it will be put to better use.

Sorry, I do not have any suggestions as I still feel nothing will happen .. backlog reduction efforts and Rajiv's lawsuit are just a coincidence that happened .... we are immigrants. Nobody cares for our rights and no amount of protests will help.

Look at the black community and dont do the same mistakes they did and be stereotyped as a community ... just a radical thought to start up some discussion .... :D :D
 

kadamtal

Registered Users (C)
#5
I pitched in $100...why?

I pitched in $100 and would do more....but i want to put forward the reasons for my initial contribution and my future ones...

1) First, during the time this contributions were requested, we were seriously burdened by the backlogs and how to fight it back was the only thought on the minds of the <leaders/core team>. The persons i have in mind when i say core team are Kashmir,140_takes_4ever.

After a while, when we saw some approvals, the enthusiasm of people died and so is the case with the core team. Purely my perception....and this site is nothing but a dull/boring place with congratulations and thankyou(s)...

2) My motive meets with the agenda of ImmigrationPortal.org. Hire some professional lobbyist and influence the politicians into doing something. Results come or not i am not worried but atleast there should be a representation from our community which has millions of people.

If the current status (lifeless) of the forum (my focus here is the 485 issues in California Service Center forum) remains the same and no motivation from the so-called core team, i am better off staying as audience/guest than participating in anything.....

Actually in which case, i would appreciate getting my total refund back :)

Hey no offense, i want to put my thoughts through...please take this as constructive criticism, if you will.
 

vi00

Registered Users (C)
#6
Core Team,
I had indicated this earlier. You got to be more agressive. People who contributed few dollars here, where not necesarily expecting the ground to move in a day but wanted some action to be taken, immediately, but you seem to be disconnected from reality.
Returning the money will set a bad example and a failure of all hopes.
Failure to take action earlier did not encourage fence sitters to jump in. Now we are at standstill and doubtful.
The conviction is gone.
Since I am not able to contribute time, I would suggest, that whatever you do, be prompt. Don't becone another incarnation of BCIS.
Please forward my contribution to Rajiv, if you decide to return the funds.
I will consider it worth the services of this forum.
 

PrinceOfDarknes

Registered Users (C)
#7
What about hiring a person on a monthly basis?

I want to suggest an option similar to #1:
hire a good person on a monthly basis.
It seems like we have money for 1 month, so we can hire a person for a month. The team can publish results which were made by this person, so more people will see that there is a value in making contributions.
 

jaxen

Volunteer Moderator
#8
Backlog is not the only problem a potential immigrant is facing. We should spend this money on another issue (like H1 revalidation efforts, monitoring uSCIS's backlog reduction promises etc.) Dont give money back. Imagine if we had this 21K a year ago when the backlogs were still rampant. By today, the backlog goal might have reached what we expect in a year. So Dont dismantle this effort.
Find a related, relevant cause and take the cause for wannabe immigrants seriously.
 

Pineapple

Registered Users (C)
#9
Returning money is not a good idea. When I donated money, I knew what I was getting into. I assume (correctly, I believe) that most others who donated knew that any benifits would probably not go to them, but to future applicants.

In fact, I wish to disabuse some people of the notion that the current efforts would help them - Even if EVERYTHING turns out to be a dazzling success in this effort, it is physically impossible for CIS to bring processing time to, say, 6 months by end of this year. Assuming a median RD interval of say, 8 months for would-be contributors, that is still a long wait, and they would be getting their GC in any case, campaign or no campaign.

In short, any contribution is for the long term.

(Someone mentioned donating to CRY... well, thats a laudable thought, but you cant seriously expect CRY to spend the $ 100 you donate to be used in the next six months. The money spent by CRY today for daily operations is money which is already in their coffers from previous donations, not the money you just donated)

I suggest we hang on to the money, and focus on drawing up detailed strategies for spending it. Vague goals like 'hiring someone' (and do what, exactly??) would not be helpful.

I think dSatish and others could detail strategies they have in mind for a) Collections and b) Campaign activities , with budget estimates for each sub-activity. We can go on from there, making suggestions and fine-tuning allocation of funds.
 

sgi

Registered Users (C)
#10
I m leaning towards the option which isGCtheKey suggested. Help fight for those who have contributed. This way those who feel they have been sidelined by USCIS will contribute even if this means increasing the contribution amount.

Since the lawsuit is fighting for the backlog reduction, the result of which has been 2003 applicants are getting approvals while late 2001 and 2002 filers are left waiting......let the fund be used to fight for those who cases have been pending for loooooong....contribute and get the results.

But if the money is not going to be used for I-485 backlog/reduction struggle I want my money back as this was the reason I made the contribution at least for now.
 

dazzling

Registered Users (C)
#11
PrinceOfDarknes said:
I want to suggest an option similar to #1:
hire a good person on a monthly basis.
It seems like we have money for 1 month, so we can hire a person for a month. The team can publish results which were made by this person, so more people will see that there is a value in making contributions.
And what do you expect this person to do. Send letters to congressmen or senators. Nothing will come out of it .. trust me. There are lot of people like us who send all these letters to them everyday. Lobbying is the only thing that can ever work. You cant do that with a patsy 21K. You need millions for that. Even Indian Government has just now started a lobby. But I doubt you can approach the Indian Consulate. Even if you do, they have no voice in america.
 

gc999999999

Registered Users (C)
#13
Long Term Results Needed

I am still at first stage of GC Process ie., my labor is not yet cleared but I contributed to the FUND with a thinking of long term results..
This FUND activities should not be limited for those who contributed to It.

If you hire a person.. what he will do for a month or two for the people who contributed...simply follow up with senetators for specific cases ..

I do not want the money to be returned back .. SET the fund money aside ...make some one like Rajeev Khanna,who is working for the cause of Immigrant community as the authority over the fund and spend on media/publicity to get attention of main stream community over our immigrant back log issues.., FOCUS ON LONG TERM ISSUES
 

Pineapple

Registered Users (C)
#14
Forgive me for being testy and impatient, but this is what I feel:

While wild-eyed ideas are to be expected in any such open forum, the current situation in which we have actually raised 21K but do not have any semblance of a coherent strategy smacks of muddle-headedness right from the start.

Absurd suggestions voiced include using the money to 'fight' for those who have contributed. Pray, tell me, how exactly are we to set about doing that?? Sue CIS on behalf of the few hundred odd donors? Then why are we bothering with the class-action motion? Plus, 21K might buy me lots of things but its certainly not going to pay for one individual lawsuit, let alone for a few hundred.

Another dumb suggestion is hiring a person for one month. As Dazzling has correctly pointed out (though I disagree with him in other aspects), that is a sure way of throwing money around pointlessly. Might as well return it.

What we desperately need is clear-headed focus from the core team. We are all hugely grateful to this team for taking the effort and bringing us here, but we need some sort of direction.

Start by focussing on clear strategies and budgets. Work on detailed plans of action and cost estimates. Forget obsessing about spending the money in hand.

THEN come to this form for suggestions. Plenty of people here have professional experience in handling marketing campaigns and managing budgets, and Then you'll have some sensible suggestions from this forum.

The lack of any detailed plan is the only reason, I believe, why the very people who can make intelligent suggestions are mostly unenthusiatic about all this.
 

PhillyKP

Registered Users (C)
#15
I agree with GCthekey, SGI, etc...in fact, if this effort is not to benefit the whole community, but only the benefactors, I will probably put up even more as a beneficiary, if I see a measurable change made to my condition (i.e., if I get adjudicated sooner).

I agree with pineapple in that my original expectation was to not see an instantaneous change to my application's status, but to ease the way the process works for anyone in my shoes, going forward. If that is not happening, if wanna-be immigrants are not willing to come together as a community (other priorities, charities - CRY, united way, dowry :D, whatever), then I say we use a previous suggestion - use the collected money to maybe set up a liason to only help with people who have contributed so far. At a very basic level, maybe hire a person who takes care of all the formalities associated with contacting a congressman/senator for an individual case, lining up all the paper work, etc? I'm not sure at this point what exactly such a resource could do, but I'm sure it would be a help. The way I look at it is even if this person saves me a 1/2 days work to put all this stuff together, that is worth $800 right there (not to me, but to my employer anyway :D )...

Another thing - I say we need to open this forum only to actual donors - people who have not donated should not be able to influence how the money is spent.
 

Pineapple

Registered Users (C)
#16
PhillyKP said:
Another thing - I say we need to open this forum only to actual donors - people who have not donated should not be able to influence how the money is spent.
Good suggestion. This should encourage people to put their money where their mouth is.
 

dsatish

Registered Users (C)
#17
ATTENTION
-----------
I think that i forgot to mention it explicitly, but it does not make any sense for any one to come and participate in this discussion without having contributed the money. This discussion is only fpr those who have contributed.
 

kadamtal

Registered Users (C)
#18
does it even make an impact....

I posted my reply in this thread and even the one inthe 485 california service center issues thread. I am yet to find the people i pointed out who are in the core team to come out and tell me that they are still interested in the activities for the community.

I see replies from them for every other questions but none to this thread. Does it even make an impact?

dsatish,

Can you put all the names who are on this fund committee and let them participate in these discussions rather than having bunch of us makes some statements?

I want to see their opinions stated first and then open it up for discussions. Otherwise, this will go nowhere. Believe me.
 

dsatish

Registered Users (C)
#19
kadamtal said:
I posted my reply in this thread and even the one inthe 485 california service center issues thread. I am yet to find the people i pointed out who are in the core team to come out and tell me that they are still interested in the activities for the community.

I see replies from them for every other questions but none to this thread. Does it even make an impact?

dsatish,

Can you put all the names who are on this fund committee and let them participate in these discussions rather than having bunch of us makes some statements?

I want to see their opinions stated first and then open it up for discussions. Otherwise, this will go nowhere. Believe me.
Kadamtal,
So far i haven't spelt out my opinion because i wanted to hear the views of others first. I guess that it is the same reason why the core team members have abstained from the discsussion so far. The views of the core team members are listed in the form of 4 different options listed in the beginning.
OK, i will join the debate in the evening (i can't type lengthy messages from work). I request other core team members to spell out their opinions. It should be noted that the core team has no official opinion on this because we are divided in our views and that is the reason we are before you. So take our opinions as individual opinions.
 

isGCtheKey?

Registered Users (C)
#20
on second thoughts

You know i was always of the opinion that nothing is going to help with the backlogs, we will have to deal with it ! Only time will fix it ! (someday).

I was trying to be optimistic about the lawsuit filed by Rajiv and trying to make it a class action suit, but looking at the way things are going this seems highly unlikely to be classified as such.

Question is what to do with the money ?

This forum is a good resource for getting at least some usefull info and sometimes getting a few sympathies. This costs money and i would rather have my money go towards the cost of maintaining this forum and it being useful for other members in future OR go to Rajiv as a small token of my appreciation for his efforts !

I have tried congressional help in it seems to be futile.
As i mentioned before TIME will be the healer and dealer of the backlogs!

Until then happy forum surfing !
 
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