How We Will Spend the Initial Funds We Raise
Our first priorities are to continue developing content and expanding the website. We will promote these efforts, primarily through social media and republication on other websites. Most of these activities do not require substantial funds. We believe in being “transparent,” so we have detailed our budget expectations here.
To devote full time to these efforts, Gary Hoover will be compensated up to $2,500 per month ($30,000 per year) for at least the first year. Currently, Gary creates almost all of our content. David Stanwick is our web developer and content marketer and will be compensated up to $1,000 per month ($12,000 per year) for his part-time work. These amounts may increase after the first year, depending on funding, but not exceed $6,000 and $2,000 per month, respectively, for at least the first three years. However, no more than 60% of what we raise will be spent on Gary and David’s compensation combined.
Thus, Gary and David will initially receive the lower of 60% of funds raised or $3,500 per month. We believe these amounts to be conservative. For us, this is above all else a labor of love. This leaves us a balance of at least 40% of what we raise, hopefully more, for the Center’s other efforts as described below – and, over time as we raise more funds, a large majority will be used for those efforts.
Use of Funds Over and Above Compensation
Our next priority is to lease space for an optimum working environment. With funds beyond staff compensation, we intend to lease space in historic downtown Flatonia, Texas, near Gary’s home. Flatonia is near the center of a triangle formed by Austin, San Antonio, and Houston. This space will also gradually include Gary’s massive business history library, to be made accessible to scholars and researchers. Depending on the site selected, the lease and minimal office expenses are projected at between $2,000 and $4,000 per month. We will not lease space until “the other 40%” accumulates to enough to finance at least four months of office expenses ($8,000 to $16,000). We would make a modest investment in furniture but will be using computers and other equipment contributed or loaned by Gary.
With or without an office, we will continue to create content and build the website.
We also expect Gary to travel extensively to meet with potential donors and attend conferences to spread the word about the American Business History Center. Fortunately, he is a budget traveler: eating, sleeping, and flying as inexpensively as possible.
Over time, we will also invest in bookcases for the business history collection. We also hope to open an initially small museum to the public, possibly as soon as Spring 2020. Ideally this museum will be adjacent to our offices. It would be a half-mile off heavily trafficked Interstate 10, be open weekends, convenient to Austin, Houston, and San Antonio, and should attract local support and increased donations.
With staff in place and an office in place, we can substantially expand our programs, pursue grants, and spend money on advertising and promotion as needed. See our Program Details on the “About Us” webpage for the specifics on what we hope to achieve.