DARE TO DOODLE FUND: FINAL UPDATE

Kalamadoodlers,

With August behind us, we've officially concluded our first ever fundraising drive for the Kalamadoodle program. In 2016, we've worked harder than ever to show the power and potential of this community-building project. And with the launch of our fundraiser in May, we've tried to be as transparent as possible, by pulling back the curtains to reveal the limitations and realities of a small, volunteer-based program, and what it will take to remain sustainable and grow.

Overall, the enthusiasm for this project has been remarkable. We've become an important and valuable asset to Kalamazoo's craft and creative communities and take great pride in the growing attendance and positive atmosphere our culture provides. It warms our hearts to see strangers sit together for the first time, and by the end of the night, leave as friends. And we find tremendous joy in bringing our event experience to the digital page, where we can continue learning and sharing stories about the interesting people who attend these events and make them so exciting. Kalamadoodle has become something uniquely special, and we thank you, the Kalamazoo community, for making that possible.

As a project made up of only a few part-time volunteers, there are understandable obligations and demands (families, jobs, personal needs) that require full attention from our team members, often leaving Kalamadoodle with the small, yet powerful, amounts of energy and resources that are left over. With a fully funded campaign, our hope was to create our first paid position for a member of our local community to fill that could help manage and grow Kalamadoodle's capabilities and reach on a daily basis. But our fundraising effort fell short of that ambition, reaching a total of $1,865.00, or 25% of our total goal for another year of events.

This fall is going to be incredibly busy for our team members. Between personal and professional obligations, our time will be very limited, and this puts us in a difficult position deciding how to move forward in 2017. As we've mentioned before, the money raised will be put to good use on this project, and we can't begin to express our appreciation for anyone who chose to support us financially; thank you.

For now, there are no concrete answers about the future of this project and how it will continue next year. There are so many different ideas that have been discussed with family, friends, and community leaders, but several of our most exciting strategies will require enormous amounts of time, effort, and resources that we simply do not have to give. This Fall, we will be continuing our strategy and planning exploration and look forward to sharing that information with you as soon as possible. Until then, we may need to scale back the time and energy we dedicate towards this project, and hope you understand.

Having said all of that, we're still extremely excited about the line-up of events that we have happening this fall, starting with our September 21st event at Arcadia Brewing Company. We're also planning some special events for October and November and will be sharing those details through our social media channels and newsletter soon.

Thank you everyone, for your continued passion and support of this project. A caring and creative community like Kalamazoo is what makes Kalamadoodle possible.

Sincerely,

The Kalamadoodle Team