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Ten ways you can help the Society . . .

Fat Guy

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As a 501c3 not-for-profit public charity, the Society depends entirely on the generosity of its donors, sponsors and volunteers. Here are ten ways you can help, and we hope you’ll choose at least nine:

Become a Society Donor. The Society’s most significant single source of funding is the hundreds of individual Society Donor memberships initiated by our participating members. These annual contributions of $50, $100 and $250 allow the Society to keep its services free to the public. In that way, the Society is similar to PBS or NPR: we depend on the support of members . . . like . . . you . . . To support the eGullet Society at the $50, $100 or $250 per year level, please sign up for a Society donor membership (note: you must already be an eGullet Society member in order to upgrade to a Society donor membership; if you are not a member please join). Society donor members receive, depending on which package they select, increased personal messenger storage allotments; increased ImageGullet storage; additional features, including personal messenger with carbon copy and attachments, unlimited searching without flood control, and priority access to new features upon release; exclusive gift items; and most importantly the knowledge that they are supporting the eG Scholarships and other program services of the eGullet Society. For higher levels of support, please contact the eGullet Society fundraising team: giving@eGullet.org or 212.828.0133

Upgrade your Society Donor membership. If you’re already giving at the $50 level, consider upgrading to the $100 level (there’s a limited edition coffee mug in it for you). And, if you’re already at the $100 level, why not go to $250, so the Society can grow with your generosity? For higher levels of support, please contact the eGullet Society fundraising team: giving@eGullet.org or 212.828.0133

Take Gully to Dinner. Were you planning to head out to dinner tonight? Stop! Gully -- the little man in the eGullet Society logo -- is hungry. Please, won't you take Gully to dinner? Most of our members and readers owe many wonderful meals -- in restaurants and at home -- to information gathered from eG Forums. Likewise, they've avoided many bad meals. So tonight, or one night soon, won't you order pizza instead and take Gully to dinner with the price of one of those fine meals? Or, if you mostly cook at home, won't you have a peanut butter sandwich one night and take Gully to dinner with the price of one of your finest home-cooked meals? For a range of donation options, please click here.

eG Shopping Block auctions. Both your buying and selling on eBay can raise funds for the Society, and you can make a profit for yourself at the same time. The new eG Shopping Block auctions work the same as eBay auctions, except the seller designates a portion of the proceeds from the sale as a tax-deductible donation to the eGullet Society. If you're already familiar with eBay, this will be a cinch for you. If you're new to eBay, we'll help you through the process! As an eBay buyer, you can choose to bid on items that are listed by eGullet Society member sellers. As an eBay seller, you can donate a percentage of your eBay sale to the eGullet Society. It’s easy, it’s fun, and it’s a convenient way for you to make a financial contribution toward the worthy causes of the eGullet Society. You control how much to give -- as little as 10% or as much as 100% from anything you sell. For more details, or to get started, just click here.

eG Stuff. Step right up ladies and gentlemen, step right up and see it for yourselves; the collective eighth wonder of the world, the missing link, the cure for whatever ails you . . . That’s right! It’s our all-new line of eG Stuff, available only at the eGullet Society Store!. Amaze your friends with items like the eGullet Society Cap . . . Not getting enough respect out by the grill? Try the swell eGullet Society Apron on for size . . . Tired of wearing shirts that don’t accurately identify you as the food maven that you are? Well, that’ll be a thing of the past with the snazzy, all-cotton eGullet Society T-Shirt . . . These items, and many others, are available now, for an unlimited time . . . or while supplies last!

Buy stuff from Amazon. Periodically you'll see a banner in rotation at the top of the forums, suggesting food-related books and products from Amazon.com. If you click on one of these links and buy the book or product (or any other books or products in the same session), Amazon pays the eGullet Society a commission of about 5% of your purchase price. It doesn't cost you, the buyer, anything to make this happen. Amazon doesn't increase the price; the eGullet Society just gets a commission. Our food-loving members and readers purchase many thousands of dollars a week worth of merchandise, with many of those purchases inspired by eG Forums discussions. A small portion of that revenue, directed to the eGullet Society, can go a long way towards enabling us to expand our scholarship program and improve our online services. Remember, once you follow one of these links to the Amazon website, everything you buy during that session will generate a commission for the Society. Or you can go directly to Amazon here to have your purchases support the Society.

Host a fundraiser. It can be as simple as getting a few foodie friends together for dinner and tacking an extra five bucks on to each person’s check, or as complex as a 100-person Chinese New Year banquet. At any scale, a fundraiser is a great way to raise awareness and revenue, and to get a good meal in the bargain. If you’d like to host a fundraiser, just contact any eGullet Society manager or the eGullet Society development team: development@egstaff.org or 212.828.0133

Make a connection for us. We’re constantly on the lookout for high-quality corporate and organizational sponsors, like our current sponsor the Mushroom Council. Are you squash partners (the game or the vegetable) with the president of American Express? What, you say the head of IBM is your spouse? You have naked pictures of Michael Bloomberg? You are Michael Bloomberg? Make a connection for us. We can make a compelling presentation about why corporations, organizations and wealthy donors should support us, but we need to get in the door before we can do that. If you can make that meeting happen, please do. Email our executive director at sshaw@eGullet.org.

Spread the word. Lots of new members find us by Googling, or by reading a news article about us, but many great potential members are people our current members already know. If you have friends, acquaintances, or colleagues (or you’re stalking someone) who you think might find the eG Forums interesting, forward an eG Forums topic to them. Or forward an issue of our NewsGullet email newsletter (you are signed up for that, aren’t you?). What, you say the food editor of your local newspaper is in your Wednesday night reading group? Spread the word.

Volunteer. The entire Society annual budget wouldn’t be enough to pay even one employee a prevailing New York professional wage. So we depend on volunteers for just about everything. Our most visible volunteers are our eG Forums hosts and managers, but we also need help with everything from technology to graphic design to public relations to legal. You are a graphic designer? We could certainly use your help. You are a professional publicist? Let us know. You just retired after 40 years as head of fundraising for a museum? Please, please, please come out of retirement and do it for us. You’re super organized, reliable and trustworthy, and you’d like to give us some of your valuable time? We can surely find something important for you to do.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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