Back from the brink

Dear friends,

I know we’ve been unusually quiet lately. The past several weeks have been incredibly challenging and busy. We’ve kept our noses to the grindstone, working hard to stabilize financially. But it’s time to come up for air—and to give you some updates!

First things first: we’re making good progress toward finding our financial footing again, and we owe this progress to incredible supporters who came to our aid in this time of need. In May, our friends at the Cummings Foundation surprised us with a $50,000 MAD$ grant, and another $50,000 gift arrived from an anonymous donor. Fundraising is a laborious process with no guarantees of return on investment, and to receive funding that we didn’t need to so much as ask for is such a breath of fresh air. We are profoundly grateful.

We also received two new multi-year grants, a 2-year $50,000 grant from the Boston Foundation, and a 3-year $75,000 grant from the Llewellyn Foundation. Multi-year commitments at a time of existential organization peril is a bold testament to a belief in our mission and trust that we do not take for granted. We are floored and humbled by this vote of confidence, which strengthens our resolve to push ahead.

Thanks to these and other generous contributions, the immediate crisis has been averted; we are no longer at imminent risk of shutting down. But we are not in the clear just yet. We lost half our team to layoffs and tightened the proverbial belt painfully in order to control costs. A class of interpreter-hopefuls is still waiting for us to restart the class we paused in March. Next week we will launch a public campaign to raise funds to rebuild capacity, and we hope we can count on your support. Please keep an eye out for the announcement!

Maria Vertkin

Maria with Skip Fuller and Nat Butler, trustees of the Cummings Foundation