February 28, 2019

Jim Babka confesses his mistakes

Tuesday, we told you we were in financial trouble. If we don’t turn things around, we’re doomed.

Fortunately, we’ve heard from quite a few people!

We’ve closed nearly 30% of the financial gap, so I want to answer a couple of concerns that came our way.

We live in a world where hucksters “hype” — even lie — to get attention. We don’t do that. Indeed, we haven’t sent a “wolf at the door” message since 2010. For reasons we outlined Tuesday, we probably should’ve sent this one back in November.

  • We’re not trying to manipulate you. Quite the opposite. We don’t believe in doing to others what we wouldn’t want done to us. In fact…
  • We also know, from so many years of political and non-profit fundraising experience, that messages like these demoralize, scare, and even anger people. They even cause unsubscriptions.

You deserve the truth, which is that we need your help. And if we can’t get help from you, then from where will help come?


Some have asked… Why not throw in the towel? Hasn’t the market spoken?

Markets are built on the dreams of visionaries. Most things you now take for granted started as someone’s idea that had to struggle to survive. The world does not beat a path to the better mousetrap. It takes entrepreneurial tenacity for even the best products to prevail.

No, the market hasn’t rendered a decision. What happened was that we got spread-thin on too many programming problems. I might wish I knew then what I know now. For sure, I made calculation mistakes. But when we had a window where our most crucial tools (not all of them, mind you) were in place, we added more than 1,600 subscribers in just three months!

The real market decision will come from you and everyone reading this message. If you don’t feel concern and then act, then it’s true — the market has rendered a negative decision. But in order for you to know we needed your help, you needed to hear it from us.

Help now

When I sat down to write what became Tuesday’s Dispatch, I suspected a trio of messages would be needed to completely close our emergency funding hole. Not everyone opens every single issue of the Downsizer-Dispatch. People have questions or might need more information.

And I have one more Dispatch planned about Downsize DC’s very BRIGHT future.

I’ll tell you why I feel quite good about our prospects, especially after the response we’ve received thus far.

I’m also prompted to NOTE that… Right now, our sister organization, the Downsize DC Foundation (home of the Zero Aggression Project), is NOT operating at a deficit. I’ll have more to say about that soon. For legal reasons, Downsize DC Foundation cannot cover DownsizeDC.org’s operating bills.

But someone reading this can probably pay all or half of DownsizeDC.org’s immediate budget need of now just $5,139.

Plus, we need to generate long-term stability and constant growth. That means we must focus on getting back to our “golden days” when we had 762 monthly pledgers.


Thank you for being a loyal DC Downsizer,

Jim Babka, President
DownsizeDC.org, Inc.

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