Mernet became a 10 years-old, on 10th July this year! However, we are going through a difficult phase and we urgently need your help and support.
Mernet has received an eviction notice this month and we were asked to move out of our office by Monday, 01 August 2011, as we failed to pay our rent for the last few months.
Please let me explain as to how we came to this point today:
ALL WORK FOR FREE AT MERNET:
Mernet has no paid staff members and over 50 people running the organisation are all volunteers. Our only costs are the quarterly rent (which is inclusive of everything e.g. electricity, rates, broadband connection, and the phone line rental), photocopying/printing, postage, and telecommunication costs. The organisation always survived and can survive with an income of less than a thousand pounds per month.
NO MAJOR FUNDING:
Our main source of funding is the smallest local authority grant, namely the “Annual Discretionary Grant Aid for Small Organisations”, awarded by the Brighton and Hove City Council. The maximum amount is five thousand pounds but we have been receiving, on average, two thousand pounds per year. We can apply for it only once a year and we always apply for the April round. We have not heard the outcome of our April 2011 application yet. We hope to hear the outcome any day now.
EFFECTS OF GOVERNMENT’S CUTS POLICY ON MERNET:
Our two very hopeful grant applications, as well as a few other micro funding applications failed to materialise this year. As the government’s policy on cuts in public spending has become a priority since last year, the size and number of the available funds are drastically reduced, but the number of existing and newly-founded organisations who look for funds are always on the increase. This means that the cake is reduced in size but the number of slices has increased and it makes the fundraising more competitive than ever.
Another unfortunate fact this year was to see that some of our regular supporters also stopped making donations.
OUR MORAL OBLIGATION TOWARDS THE COMMUNITY BASE:
The Community Base, the charity which owns the freehold of the building has been very kind and supportive of Mernet. They rely on our rent payments from the tenants like us so that they can pay to their three staff members and pay their mortgage of the building. They are a not-for-profit organisation like Mernet. They kindly agreed to wait for the outcome of our fundraising efforts for the last few months. But it will be unfair to ask them let us continue to have our office without any rent payment for a longer period. Therefore we accepted to receive the eviction notice.
THESE SERVICES WE HAVE BEEN PROVIDING WILL BE UNDER THREAT:
All our services are free and provided by the volunteers free of charge: general citizens’ advice, referral to specialist agencies, personal and professional development courses, weekly community radio broadcast, film screenings, festivals, impartial news and information from Mediterranean countries, literary and academic talks, public seminars, and incubation and mentoring services for emerging community groups.
YES, THERE IS HOPE!
Our final hope is to launch this solidarity fundraising campaign to see if we can succeed in raising a minimum of four thousand and eight hundred pounds as urgently as possible. This aimed amount will enable Mernet to pay off all the pending rental invoices and continue its work without further disruption until at least January 2012. We are now being assisted by a funding specialist (who is allocated to us by the Heritage Lottery Fund) and we are realistically optimistic about our chances of securing around ten thousand pounds through “Heritage Lottery Fund”. We are also advised that we appeared to be in an advantageous position for securing an “Awards for All” grant (the smallest Lottery grant) of around ten thousand pounds.
We will be grateful if you can spare a few minutes of your time and make a small donation to support the survival and continuation of our work during our most difficult times. Suggested desired donation is ten pounds (or more, if you wish!) per supporter. Of course, if you cannot afford this suggested amount, you can pay five, three, or two… We will still be grateful to you even if you donate just one pound.
SUPPORT MERNET WITH A DONATION
You can make an online money transfer to Mernet's bank account. Here are the details:
Account Name: Mediterranean Resources Network
Sort Code: 40 07 15
Account Number: 21560980
By donating any amount securely through PayPal:
For those of you in the UK, you can send a text message to the mobile number below (70070) and donate us by text. Please note that there is one space between 12 and the £ sign:
MERN12 £10 (for a £10 donation)
MERN12 £5 (for a £5 donation)
MERN12 £4 (for a £4 donation)
MERN12 £3 (for a £3 donation)
MERN12 £2 (for a £2 donation)
MERN12 £1 (for a £1 donation)
Text it to: 70070
ASKING YOUR FRIENDS, COLLEAGUES, CONTACTS TO DONATE:
Many thanks for your support. On behalf of Mernet, I would like to express our gratefulness to you,
Co-founder & Chairman of the Management Committee
Office : 01273 234040
Mobile : 07769 206044
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org