“Obstacles don't have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don't turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.” 

Michael Jordan

We have selected the facilitators, made the flyer, and updated the website.  Now, all we have to do is market the event.  I would love to make our workshops free but then we would not be able to sustain our organization.  Right now, no one is getting paid at Platform but that has to change.  We want to give honorariums to our facilitators, we want to pay our consultants, and we want to pay our staff. So how do we balance the need to provide training for our participants at low cost while paying people for the work they do at Platform?  I don’t know.

And I realize that the workshops are expensive for people in the nonprofit sector or students who are just trying to figure out their life.  I don’t believe that we are overcharging for our workshops.  We are not.  It’s just that the audience we want to attract don’t have the finances to attend our workshops.  Since we are just starting, we cannot seem to find wealthy enough donors who believe in our mission to fund scholarships.  I am looking and asking and sometimes even begging. Lately, my middle name is BEG.  However, I am finding out that begging is not enough.

What to do?!  My late father would tell me to just close shop and go out and make real money.  No one, absolutely no one, is worth all this hassle.  My mother would also tell me to quit everything but then she would tell me to do her bidding.  Unfortunately, her bidding is never my bidding.  That is just the problem.  So I am scratching my head, my chin, and musing. 

So let me just paint the possible scenarios: If I offer free workshops, people will be able to attend. But no one will get paid so I will have to close shop.  If I charge people, only certain people will be able to attend and I will be privileging those with money, which is against the very mission of our organization.  If I can find rich donors, that will be ideal but I can’t seem to find them.  If I can get institutions/organizations to create scholarships, that would be phenomenal but very few organizations have the resources to invest in their staff.  Yes, it can cause a big headache.  

At this point, I have no choice but to apply for more grant money.  But I need time to write these proposals, something that is very rare to find nowadays.  I too need to earn a living.  If Platform can pay me, then I could quit everything else.  But then Platform doesn’t have any money.  The whole dilemma is circular.  Sounds like the US economy.  If you start with no money, then you are stuck in a cycle of poverty.  Will a solution present itself?  I hope so.  Because no matter what happens, we will be going forward with the workshops.  And we will do our utmost to make them available to people who cannot afford to attend.


Founder. Executive Director

April. 01, 2019

Samantha Joo