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Out of My Depth, but Pushing Forward Anyway

Do you ever feel like you’ve taken on more than you can handle? That you’re out of your depth? I’m having those feelings right now.

I’m in charge of fundraising for Ozarks Writers League this year. I didn’t volunteer for the position, but I accepted it when asked if I would serve. I know how difficult it is to get people to serve on the board of directors, so I was willing to accept a role in this year’s leadership. This, however, is a job with which I am struggling.

We don’t know if we’ll be able to meet in person this year, so I’m trying to plan an online fundraiser, which we haven’t done before. I considered all of my options and decided the best solution would be to sell online raffle tickets.

Once that was decided, I had to figure out what we would raffle. I pondered what items would be of most interest to a bunch of writers and artists. Gift cards are always a good choice, but I felt we needed something with more drawing power. I decided one particular big-ticket item would be the perfect thing. So, I began my efforts in getting the item donated. Thus far, I have failed.

I’ve learned a great deal about myself through this process. I’m not someone who is pushy. I’m trying to obtain donations for our online raffle with all of my powers of persuasion. When I approach businesses with a request, I see their eyes glaze over at the word “fundraiser” more often than not. I’ve put a call out for donations in our newsletter, but that hasn’t been issued yet.

Not everyone has denied me. I have received a few nice raffle items from generous donors to whom I’m extremely grateful. Our vice president was able to obtain a subscription for a service that I think many folks would enjoy. Unfortunately, I don’t think we have enough items to garner the interest needed to support our group for the year. If we don’t meet in person this year, the raffle will be our only fundraiser. No pressure, right?

I have one request that I know for certain is currently being reviewed. After two in-person visits and a signed letter, the manager gave me a definite maybe for a donation of a gift card. I’m hopeful more of my requests will be granted. I have a few other requests out there, for which I hope to have responses soon. Time will tell.

I believe in Ozarks Writers League and want to do my part to support this wonderful organization. I’m doing my best to fulfill my duties, but I can’t help feel I’m letting my group down. For better or worse, the raffle needs to get underway soon.

Ozarks Writers League (OWL) is a nonprofit organization which promotes the interests of writers, artists, and photographers throughout the Ozarks by holding workshops and conferences. We’ve been forced to meet virtually due to the pandemic, but under normal circumstances we hold two to four conferences a year in Branson, Missouri.

We currently have approximately 75 members. We offer great value to our members. Many authors don’t have the budget or desire to attend large regional and national conferences, which can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars.

We keep our events reasonable in price and rich in content. Our membership fee is only $30.00 per year with free member access to both online and in-person events. Our members are a pleasant mix of aspiring, emerging, and experienced authors and artists.

We are currently holding virtual socials as well as monthly mini classes taught by our esteemed members. We will be holding our first virtual writers conference on April 24, 2021. We hope to be able to resume our physical conferences this fall, but the future is yet uncertain.

I can tell you one thing with absolute certainty. I will not be the fundraising person next year. Asking for donations is not one of my strengths. I will, however, be asking for some help in fundraising this year.

Have you ever taken on a role and then discovered you’re not cut out for it?

Here’s the link to our Ozarks Writers League website if you’d like to check us out: If you’re within driving distance and are interested in becoming a member, we’d love to have you. If you’re feeling generous and would like to make a monetary donation, we have a PayPal button for that purpose.

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