a request from me to you

Remember when I told you that I’ve been doing some pro bono work for Natasha’s Justice Project, which is working to end the backlog of rape kits?

Quick refresher: Nationwide, an estimated 180,00 rape kits are backlogged — sitting on shelves unprocessed, for lack of money and/or will. That’s 180,000 rape victims who went through an invasive DNA collection process at the hospital, assuming something would be done with that evidence, never imagining that it would be shoved onto a musty shelf to sit for years.

The group — which is run by my amazing friend — is doing incredibly well:  Their work has been getting a ridiculous amount of media attention — the Washington Post, the Wall St. Journal, the Washington Times, Forbes, NPR, the New York Post, Newsday, CNN, and more. But what they aren’t getting is much actual funding to do their work. They have all this momentum, but they need to have funding so they can do something with it.

I’ve created a fundraising team right here. If you would like to help this amazing organization, I hope you’ll go to this page to (1) donate whatever you can afford to their work, and/or (2) join my team as a fundraiser yourself. (If you do that, you can set up your own fundraising page and help me work to meet my goal of raising $1,000 in donations for them.)

Here’s the link to help out in either of these ways:


And thank you!

{ 9 comments… read them below }

  1. ThomasT*

    As a career nonprofit professional, some of the problems I see facing our sector are unnecessary proliferation of organizations, poor collaboration among organizations, and unwillingness to lay organizations down when they’re no longer able or needed to be effective, which super-niche orgs can be especially prone to. After reading the Natasha’s Justice site and looking around a little bit, it is not at all clear to me what this new organization is bringing to this worthy cause that wasn’t already being done by the Joyful Heart Foundation, Human Rights Watch, and the National Sexual Violence Resource Center. Certainly, Natasha’s personal story is very compelling, and new media attention is great, but why start a new organization, with all the overhead that requires, rather than plug in to existing efforts? My donations pot is dry at the moment, but I will certainly give this organization serious consideration in the future if you can respond to these concerns.

    1. Ask a Manager* Post author

      Sure, it’s an worthwhile question to ask about any organization. Different organizations have different tactics, different priorities, different strengths and weaknesses, and different ideas about the best way to go about achieving their goals. NJP is focused on ending the backlog; that’s their #1 priority and where all their attention will go. The other organizations you mentioned do great work but have a different approach and different slate of projects they work on.

      This organization resonates with me because of my friend’s personal story, of course, but — almost more important — also because I believe in their particular ability to make an enormous impact on this issue. I’ve been tremendously impressed by their ability to draw a large amount attention to this issue in a very short amount of time, and I’d like to see them get the resources to continue and expand that work!

  2. Rachel*

    Allison, this may be heartless of me, but I’d really like to see a track record of something other than “drawing attention” to the issue before I donate. I know that my attitude is only contributing to the catch-22 here…they can’t do any meaningful work until they get funding, but the funding won’t start really pouring in until they’ve done meaningful work….but I do prefer to give my charity dollars to proven orgs.

    My donation pot isn’t dry and I’d love to support this organization, but I’m just really leery of new charities.

    Maybe (and I’m being serious here) Natasha should use your advice about applying for jobs in a new field to explain here why her previous experience means that this charity will be able to accomplish its goals…after all, transitioning from whatever she had been doing before to running a nonprofit is similar to changing careers, right?

    Call me crazy, but I’d be much more inclined to donate if you or Natasha spelled out exactly how this is going to get accomplished and why she’s the best person for the job…rather than telling me how good of a cause it is (and it is a GREAT cause).

    Is this harsh? I apologize, I really do. There are just so many worthy organizations out there and I can’t afford to give to all of them.

  3. Rachel*

    Oh, I’m not attempting to discourage others from donating! Was it something in the phrasing of this comment that made it seem that way?

    EVERYBODY PLEASE DON’T MAKE YOUR DONATION DECISIONS BASED ON WHAT I SAID. :) I’m not able to edit the original post, I don’t think, otherwise I’d take out whatever made it seem like I’m telling others not to donate. Again, it’s a great cause–but count me in as a “second-round” donor, once they’ve gotten off the ground. :)

  4. Anonymous*


    Though it is more art focused, have you thought of using Kickstarter or Indiegogo as a source fo start up funding?

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