Federationists, Fund-Raising, and Free Enterprise by Marie Cobb
From the Editor: Federationists who have enjoyed meals in the dining room at the National Center for the Blind know that Marie Cobb, who runs the kitchen from which all those meals are served, is a wonderful cook and a gifted caterer. In fact, she has many talents and is always adding something new to her list of responsibilities. Here she describes the latest work she is doing for the Federation:
As many of you know, some of the National Federation of the Blind's traditional sources of funding are becoming less cost-effective each year. In order for us to meet this challenge, we are constantly searching for new sources of revenue. Last spring President Maurer signed the NFB on as a distributor for the American Communications Network, marketer for LCI International long-distance. This project will succeed or fail in direct proportion to the number of people who agree to participate in the program.
There are about ten Federationists who own ACN distributorships under the NFB, and we are all committed to making this relationship between the NFB and ACN a lucrative one. We believe that the combination of excellent service and attractive rates will help to make our commitment a reality. At the same time each of us is working to build a profitable business for ourselves. The more successful we are as individuals, the larger the residual income will be for the NFB.
We want to be certain that everyone understands to whom the commission from his or her long-distance or any other ACN account will be paid, so here is the agreement we ten have with Mr. Maurer. The NFB's ACN representatives will hold business opportunity meetings at Washington Seminars and at National Conventions. We will seek customers and offer those who are interested a chance to examine the business plan. We will also have a booth in the exhibit hall for the same purposes. Any person who wishes to become an ACN customer during the Washington Seminar or at National Convention will automatically be placed directly under the Federation instead of the associate who acquires the account. We, the associates, will be building our personal businesses during this time by recruiting new associates to work with us.
Here is the way you can participate: 1. Fill out a simple form to change your long-distance carrier to LCI. There is no charge for the switch, and LCI provides excellent service at a lower rate than many other long- distance carriers. If for any reason you are dissatisfied with the service after ninety days, you can go back to your original carrier at no cost to you. 2. Ask your friends and family to help the NFB by switching their long-distance carrier to LCI as well. The National Federation of the Blind will receive three to eight percent of every dollar spent on long-distance calls each month on all of these direct accounts, and one quarter of one percent to five percent of all accounts which are generated for our personal businesses.
Long-distance service is just the tip of the iceberg. There is also cellular service through the most advantageous carrier in each area, and pager service through Pagenet. There will soon be voice paging as well. In the near future we will also be able to offer cable access, local dial tone service, Internet access, and utilities. The potential income for the NFB is really exciting.
The bottom line is that this costs you nothing and indeed will save you money each month. It will also help to fund the important work in which we are all engaged. So please contact an ACN representative as soon as possible. If you do not know an ACN representative or wish to explore becoming one yourself, please contact me, Marie Cobb, at (410) 659-9314 or (410) 644-6352. I have volunteered to take calls which come into the National Office or my home and see that those accounts go directly to the NFB. However, I am also building a file of personal accounts on other occasions.