As many readers of this blog will be aware, The Archaeology Channel is a fantastic resource, which since 2000 has provided a superb and fascinating collection of online archaeology videos from around the world, all of which are free to access, which in this day and age, makes it a rare resource indeed.
However, as we are all aware, this day and age marks an era of unprecedented financial uncertainty, which means that initiatives such as TAC, which rely heavily on membership and pledge drives to raise funds to be able to continue their work, are particularly vulnerable to sudden downturns in the economy, as would-be donors draw in the purse strings, tighten their belts and hope for better times.
On that sombre note, I have just been made aware that the latest pledge drive by The Archaeology Channel has dramatically failed to live up to expectations, which has prompted this note from Rick Pettigrew…
This request for help is going out to existing and former supporting members of The Archaeology Channel (www.archaeologychannel.org). We began our Spring Pledge Drive on June 2 with the goal to raise $5000 in pledges by June 15. So far, our hopes have been dashed, as we have only $50 in pledges.
I realize this may be a poor time of year for this type of fund-raiser, but for a variety of reasons we were not able to conduct the drive in April as we had intended. Because we have lost so much in underwriting income since last October, our financial condition has become quite weak, so we have to rely more and more on our Membership Program for support.
The failure of our Spring Pledge Drive would make our situation even more precarious. To take part in the Pledge Drive, just go to www.archaeologychannel.org and take a look at the featured video in the center of the Home Page. There we are updating our Pledge Drive message every day with a link to an archive of our daily videos.
If you have not renewed your TAC Membership, please take this opportunity to do so. If you are up-to-date but able to expand on your existing support, please do so now. If you know others who would be receptive to our plea for support, please tell them without delay.
We launched TAC back in 2000 and have made great progress in bringing the human story to people everywhere through media on the Internet. Please help us get past this bump in the road and continue making progress in our efforts to create better understanding of our shared human cultural heritage. Thank you very much.
Richard M. (Rick) Pettigrew, Ph.D.,
RPA President and Executive Director Archaeological Legacy Institute
4147 E. Amazon Dr. Eugene, OR 97405 USA
Although to many of us, the sum of 5 grand seems like riches beyond our wildest dreams, in the context of the online community and the millions of people out there with even only a few bucks to spare, this amount seems a very small price to pay for ensuring that projects like The Archaeology Channel not only survive for now but continue far into the future, providing content of great benefit to us all; with enough people chipping in, this target of $5,000 would seem to be eminently attainable.
The survival of TAC, whilst obviously being important in the short term, will also have a beneficial effect on similar enterprises set up in the future, as the precedent will have been established, meaning that potential investors and sponsors will have a solid guideline with which to persuade them that there is sufficient interest and support already in place. If TAC goes down, potential investors in the future may well be discouraged by what they perceive to have been a lack of support that led to its cessation, making it that much harder for archaeologists to fund their own film-making, whilst at the same time depriving them of an audience, and ourselves of access to their invaluable work.