While others sling mud, we till the soil

While our not-so-esteemed opponents busy themselves with exhaustive efforts to paint us as a sinister menace; a blight on humanity, we have been busy with a few things of our own.

As of today, A Voice for Men is now operating under the structure of two Limited Liability Companies. AVFM Operations, LLC and AVFM Education, LLC are now in place and a lot of things are about to change around here for the better.

I am going to give you a basic sketch of what is about to happen and either myself, David King, Al Martin or Dean Esmay will fill you in with other details as needed.

Some basic changes in operations are about to take place and I am writing this to give you an understanding of how and why.

It has become apparent through years of what can only be called successful growth that we are hard pressed to mount anywhere near the initiatives we would like depending on donations from mostly disaffected men. Something about struggling to keep yourself out of prison for child support arrears, or having to restructure your entire life after a ruinous divorce not only explains the tough financing, but why we need a movement in the first place.

And since the most common reaction to men and boys in trouble is a yawn and instruction not to whine, we are forced to go in another direction. Ford Foundation is not taking our calls.

So, the first order of business is to announce an end to our quarterly fundraisers. They will be replaced by quarterly membership drives. Memberships will be billed annually or monthly and will be available at varying levels of support. Details have yet to be worked out but there will be an announcement in the near future.

Next, AVFM Operations, LLC will be taking advantage of the rather large internet presence we have built together to monetize content on a variety of levels. And yes, that means ads. They are already up on the mobile version of the site and will be up before too long on mainsite.

We understand that advertising tends to clutter up the yard, especially as some ads run counter to the values of this community. With that in mind we will be making the site ad free for paid subscribers. All content on mainsite will still be available for free, but if you want to dispense with the annoying ads it will require a subscription. It’s a very fair deal for those that support what we are trying to do.

The current donation buttons will remain until our bank accounts are set up and the corresponding business PayPal accounts are established. That should not be very long and there will be a note in the bulletins when it happens.

Additionally, you will see AVFM launch a series of new projects in the coming months, including our own publishing house, Zeta Press, which we think holds great promise.

We will also be providing web hosting services for those in the men’s movement community to host blogs and websites, secure in the knowledge that the only standards they have to worry about are AVFM’s.

We will continue with conferences at least on a yearly basis and hope to expand that into more, smaller events at different locations and different times of the year.

Mental health professional continuing education units will remain available through AVFM Education, LLC for all events.

We are also investing in more sophisticated (read: expensive) video and audio recording equipment which will enable us to produce a new and very much improved line of video programming. This will apply to our YouTube programming as well as conference live streams and DVDs.

AND SPEAKING OF THAT, many months after the event, with everything going wrong that could possibly go wrong with data, the conference DVDs from ICMI ’14 are to be picked up by me tomorrow. They will be packaged and shipped as quickly as I can make that happen, with my apologies for the delays, and my promise that I will not let this kind of delay happen again. I make stupid mistakes sometimes, but usually not twice.

Finally, AVFM will be switching to what I call a business model of activism. The fact is that activism sucks money out of your pocket like a coke habit. And as I alluded to earlier, we can’t expect the men who need it the most to finance it. What we aim to do is to take on advertising (as long as they mind their place), offer valuable education and conference services, web hosting, literature and other products as we develop them to a growing community of people who are getting tired of the crap they get from GQ and Buzzfeed.

I think it is fairly safe to say that AVFM has done its part in the growth of that community.

We will still be counting on you. We will need your memberships and your business for things like web hosting and books. We will need to see you at our conferences. Our online stores will need your traffic. Our YouTube channel will need your subs and likes.

The intent here is to provide you and others with value for what you give in addition to the activism we already do.

We think it is a fair deal, and we are committed to making it work.

I need to close with a note of thanks to David King, who in addition to being a technical wizard with our servers, has also shown a great deal of solid business acumen, tenacity and attention to detail to see us through the painful, arduous process of restructuring AVFM into its current form. No one will ever know the ungodly amount of work he put into this and anyone who supports what we do should know it.

And that is it, gents and ladies. AVFM today, in the midst of an unprecedented string of frontal assaults by the mainstream media, has responded by getting busy with our future.

We sincerely hope you will join us for the effort.

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