Big Changes at SAS, please read for update
Dear Songs Against Slavery Supporters,
As our faithful and committed supporters, we wanted you to be the first to know about some major changes happening with SAS effective March 31, 2018.
We would like to start out by thanking you for your continued support of SAS. We have been blown away over the past seven years as we watched a community come together to fight trafficking. We have seen so much success during that time; putting on 31 concerts in ten states, helping 14 different nonprofits and raising awareness as well as over $370,000. So many amazing things have happened because of the incredible community of support around us. Because we value you so much, it has always been a priority for us to be completely transparent as we navigate stewarding SAS resources well. In light of that, we would like to share what is going on with SAS currently and the changes that are about to happen.
As many of you know, our goal for SAS has always been to become sustainable as a nonprofit while also raising funds for other anti-trafficking nonprofits. We have worked full time to revise and make this model work for the past 2.5 years. However, through our experiences, we have come to the conclusion that the current business model for SAS is not heading towards sustainability. With a goal of being responsible with the resources we’ve been given, we want to use all donations to fight trafficking in the most effective way possible. We do not believe our current model is the best vehicle to execute this goal.
With all of that in mind, we would like to share some significant changes that are coming up for SAS. The following includes a list of what we believe is important for you to know as we approach these changes:
- Lauren Lancaster and Grace Theisen will be working to transition Songs Against Slavery until March 31, 2018.
- Lauren has been presented career opportunities with local and global anti-trafficking non-profits and she is stepping away from SAS in order to pursue these opportunities starting on April 1, 2018.
- Grace is taking a medical leave starting April 1, 2018 and plans to return to SAS sometime this summer.
- Our work will be paused beginning in April until Grace returns from her medical leave.
- It will be up to your discretion as a donor as to whether or not you want to continue to donate to SAS while Grace takes an unpaid medical leave.
- Upon her return, Grace plans to focus on education and prevention of trafficking, utilizing her music to reach schools, churches, hospitals, etc. Grace will share a more detailed plan when it’s completed this summer.
- The SAS board of directors has directed that the large majority of our current cash balance (estimated to be $30,000 to $40,000) will be gifted to Thistle Farms in Nashville, TN. A smaller portion of the balance will also remain with SAS for use in future programs.
- Reflecting this new direction, members of our board of directors will be changing and an announcement will be made once the new members are finalized.
We are allocating a majority of our current cash assets to Thistle Farms, because we have worked with them many times in the past and believe they are doing some of the best anti-trafficking work in the nation. They have a 21-year track record of doing this work incredibly well. “Thistle Farms’ comprehensive model offers women hope and healing through a holistic residential program, employment with one of their social enterprises, and a growing national and global network dedicated to changing a culture that allows human beings to be bought and sold” (thistlefarms.org). We promised you to use our funds to raise awareness, fight trafficking and get women off the streets, and we have full confidence that this will be done at Thistle Farms.
Again, we are so thankful for your support throughout the last seven years. This transition has been difficult for our entire team, but we believe this is what is best for the business as well as the cause. Please stay tuned for more announcements as Grace’s plans come together. If you have any questions at all, please do not hesitate to reach out.
Thank you again,
Lauren Lancaster & Grace Theisen
Co-Founders of Songs Against Slavery
Lauren’s email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Grace’s email: email@example.com