(Please note that this document remains here for historic interest.  People Who Net, home of The Madness Group, is now a 501 (c) (3) and contributions may be made electronicly.  SC 10/99)

 

Sustainability and The Madness Group

This is a request for donations of money and skills.

Send tax deductible checks, noting on the memo line: The Madness Group, to:

(ALEPPOS Foundation was our first year fiscal agent.)

And send specific offerings to be of service to SylviaC@netcom.com

As always, discussion to Act-Mad@maelstrom.stjohns.edu

Background

For five years, The Madness Group has been growing as a virtual community. We have done good work and provided caring support and we have had some bumpy times. We aren't standing still. We can't. Nodes may form; nodes may dissolve; we will keep reforming a flexible structure for ourselves.

Last spring The Madness Group partnered with the National Mental Health Consumer Self-Help Clearinghouse in their application for a CMHS Technical Assistance grant. When that wasn't received, Joseph Rogers used his convincing advocacy to persuade the U S Congress to add an appropriation for a National Information Resource Center to the CMHS budget. Our partnership has been transferred to this new Center. CMHS has awarded us, through The Clearinghouse, $25,000 a year for three years. We are planning a smooth transition as we build a multiplicity of integrated systems. To start, Rainier Web Services (RWS) will maintain list management software so that we will no longer be stalled by the embargo on new lists from our current host, St Johns. RWS is also donating in kind technical support.

This has happened because of Joseph's lobbying, our e mails, and the credibility we have gained. I am very proud.

The broad plans are to:

in year one install our own e mail list managing software

E mail is our fundamental place of strength. St Johns is mostly not establishing new lists and we want about 30. And St Johns is having bandwidth T1 problems.

in year two create an information center

(prototype was at http://www.peoplewho.net )and start funding development

in year three create an interface for the library

(prototype was at http://www.rainier-web.com/library
St Johns closed our gopher last year)

in years four and five

sell training, hosting and dial-up services to become self-sustaining

The budget is at http://www.peoplewho.org/Projects/budget.htm

Globally, in many ways, there is constant flux and change. And also in health related programs and attitudes. The Madness Group must keep changing too. We are maturing into a staffed and funded consumer-operated service. Right now we are in-between a small and simple group and a more complex organization. The plans are to keep the power as distributed to subscribers as is possible and still sign contracts and raise funds.

We have been admitted as a voting member of the World Federation for Mental Health. This WFMH participation will underscore the transnational character of our concerns and support.

Our value here has been recognized by winning an offer from Visionaries to create a 10 minute web display and video for us (http://www.visionaries.org). Visionaries chooses a dozen groups a year for their short projects, plus six more for hour long films that are aired on public television. The chosen groups raise the funds to have the videos produced. Our video spot could be shown at local, state, national, and international conferences, could be offered to local television affiliates, and would promote the value of our electronic projects. It would enhance our credibility enormously to be linked to Visionaries.

And we need more dollars and more workers to sustain ourselves. This is a one time solicitation to help us leap forward.

If each of the 500 people who receives this message sends $100, we will be able to provide hardware, hire staff, and produce the Visionaries video. A reasonable budget for our growing enterprise is $75,000 a year. If you can send more than $100, please do. If you can send less, please circulate this request off line and do some fund raising for us yourself.

Donors will be recognized at a People Who Net page.

The Madness Group is *not* an incorporated non-profit, and will not be until there are more workers to manage the administration. You may mail checks directly to me, and made out to me personally. Or, ALEPPOS Foundation is willing to serve as a collection and pass through site for us.

Send tax deductible checks, noting on the memo line: The Madness Group, to:

ALEPPOS Foundation
39 Fairway East
Colts Neck NJ 07722-1418

EIN: ALEPPOS Foundation 22-3180527

http://www.aleppos.org/

Or non-tax deductible U S checks, made out to Sylvia Caras, to

The Madness Group
146-5 Chrystal Terrace
Santa Cruz, CA 95060

(Neither ALEPPOS nor I have a way yet to cash checks made out to The Madness Group or to handle non-US checks.)

As always, if you'd like to discuss this, e mail Act-Mad@maelstrom.stjohns.edu

And we need volunteers.

Here are some of the tasks that need doing:

Establish state lists for the 30 states that are not yet on line (see http://www.peoplewho.org/Madness/USStates.htm for those that are).

Establish a state master list to distribute state relevant information to the established state lists.

Establish a list for older adults

Maintain http://www.peoplewho.org/Madness/PersonalPages.htm

Create and maintain a web page for WNUSP

Manage The Madness Group master web page, currently at http://www.peoplewho.org/Madness/

Help grow the Internet training module Boston University is developing for us.

Contribute to the library at http://www.rainier-web.com/library

Maintain the People Who Information Center at http://www.peoplewho.net

(Some thoughts on what is involved in list management are at http://rainier-web.com/library/lib/ListOwner/CONTENTS.TXT )

Mary O'Hagan and Steve McKenna have just volunteered to administer the WNUSP list.

Carmen Lee, Maria Maceira have just volunteered, and Richard Ratledge has agreed to continue to administer the CINMHC list.

I would like input from you about how to be an effective coordinator of The Madness Group and what will be our new activities, input on how to be a better leader, how to better develop new leaders, input on how to make what we are offering here attractive to people who experience mood swings, fear, voices and visions everywhere.

I have been spending 12/7 for 5 years. I want to back away from daily responsibilities, spend more time actually participating in discussions on our lists and other lists, and do some reflecting and writing. I'd like to devote not more than 20 hours a week to being online. One project I am working on is writing a memoir of these five years.

My own goal is by our fifth birthday on January 27, 1999, to have some of my tasks taken over by others and to have even more of you involved as donors of money or skills.

Sylvia Caras
Coordinator
The Madness Group

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