Monday, March 19, 2012
III: Political Force & Gun Shows - Please Read
I mentioned recently that if NRA chose to underwrite an effort along the lines of our III Pioneer Project, they could do it with the swipe of a debit card. They'd never miss the $4 million bucks to get a company up and running and properly capitalized, build a small village for first employees, et cetera.
Because they have annual memberships.
Money is power in politics. Hate the game, not the player. If you want the III to have any sort of voice, or even if you want the III Community to grow and reach other Americans who think as do we, it takes cash to get there.
Regardless of the means: Buying online ads, magazine ads, radio ads, booths at gun shows, to print business cards and hand them out on street corners...whatever. To reach people takes cash.
As I look at the books for the 527 there is a simple fact: It is a statistically small group of people who have donated or purchased any III Gear. And the bulk of the revenue is from a smaller subset of people who contribute or buy III Gear more than once.
Yes, we are growing at a slow rate. The radio ads are doing a bit. General accretion is in play. Our ROI (Return on Investment) thus far with radio and all the other methods of raising capital are working, but too slowly to make much difference.
But one simple fact is obvious: If we are to be a group that spends money to reach others who think as do we, we need to grow beyond the small group of III Patriots who have thus far filled the coffers. There are only so many times they can swipe the debit card, folks. There are thousands of people who come to our blogs who have never even dropped $10 for a patch.
We simply can not expect to grow based on the cash offered by a small group of Patriots. It is not feasible and it is not fair.
For you folks who are feeling the economic pinch, this has nothing to do with you. Many people carry their weight in many ways, and your patriotism is NOT measured by how many dollars you drop in a bucket. Please don't think I am giving anyone a hard time, I am merely stating reality.
If we want to grow, we need a revenue stream that is broader and deeper than what we have now. We need to reach new Patriots and get them to help carry their fair share of the weight.
I have lived in the DC area my entire life, essentially. I have been involved in DC politics my entire adult life, in one way or another. There is a single common factor to every single successful political organization, regardless of their political goals: They have money, usually generated by donations, promotional sales, and annual memberships. Some even have "Angel" donors - so if anyone in the III wants to cut a check for $100K just let me know and I'll give you the address. ;)
Some of you may find it hard to follow my blog. I tend to keep many plates in the air at once in all aspects of my life. I can multi-task. I am moving forward with SHTF Project, III Pioneer, Radio ads, Magazine ads, PatCom (Birmingham in October), our III Poster guaranteed to offend the Enemies of Liberty, and several other aspects of this online III part of my life.
Now I am going to throw another one in the air, because as a Movement we need a steady stream of revenue and I am sick of asking for money, and feeling guilty when the same people show up every time. You know who you are, and if I can ever do anything for you, let me know. Bad boy dating one of your daughters? I'll bring the shovel. ;)
III Gun Shows.
Even the smaller gun shows in the outskirts of the DC region (like Frederick, Howard County, Calvert County) will draw 4,000+ people over a weekend, even in the summer.
They are not all III. Some would be downright butthurt over our general disposition regarding LEO, for instance. The vast majority are NRA types. But in every crowd there are III folks who do not know we exist.
If we can hit shows routinely, we can reach those people. We can hand them a slick postcard, perhaps with a selection of Zoomie's out-freakin-standing art on one side and a list of our blogs on the other. We can get them to donate $20 and in return they get a copy of III to Liberty and a III Patch, or some other III trinket for supporting us.
I know for a FACT that I can find a professional promotional model in any city with a gun show and she WILL convince throngs of people to linger long enough at our booth to listen to a few local III Patriots. And if she has a clipboard, credit card swiper and the smile of a lovely 20-something, she'll move patches and introduce our Natural Allies to our existing community.
Then they'll go home, drop by our blogs, and our Community has new blood.
Nothing changes about our present "Leaderless" paradigm. We simply make it an expectation to new blood that spreading our message requires a bit of their skin in the game. Printing Zoomie's art on a card with a list of our blogs is not free. Getting a table at a gun show is not free. The model is not free. Nothing is free.
I've already had several great folks volunteer to handle things in their part of the world so I would not have to travel to every show. I know we can work out the logistics. If we use the summer as a test period, we could be in a strong position for the fall, when NRA types realize that the hope they've put in Mitt (or whoever) has changed nothing.
When SHTF, does it not benefit you and me to have as many people as possible across this land sporting III Patches on their hats or shoulders or packs?
None of this changes the current cash-flow paradigm, either. All proceeds go into the 527. I do not take a salary, nor does Mrs. Kerodin. (We've put more money into this than I dare count!)
But folks, if we do not commit and find a fresh, strong and growing revenue stream, we'll continue to be stagnant.
If you think this is a good idea, I will make one final plea to our existing audience to raise some seed money so we can do this properly. Then I'll pick a gun show in Virginia, PA or North Carolina for a test run.
What are your thoughts?
Posted by Kerodin at 10:59 PM