Nothing in this adventure is set in stone. Why is that?

We’re on an adventure together. We’re building an organization that will empower consumers to solve their problems and help those who can’t.

And almost nothing about our odyssey is set in stone like the faces of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln carved into the sides of Mount Rushmore.

I had the privilege of standing before the four presidents this week. For one quiet moment, I reflected on the permanence of the mountain and the integrity of the presidency. I thought about the words of my terminally ill U.S. senator, who has expressed grave concerns about the fragile state of our country. I share his misgivings. Maybe you do, too.

But I also wondered: After we are gone, what will remain?

Boundless optimism

Together, we have an opportunity to create something that will outlast all of us. It’s as if we’re standing in front of Rushmore on Oct. 4, 1927 — a mountain waiting to be turned into a national monument. Nothing set in stone yet. I see great opportunity, and I feel boundless optimism. We can make something incredibly useful.

We’re halfway there. Consider April’s record-breaking numbers:

✓ Pageviews rose 6 percent to 773,719 for the month, compared with the previous year, a new record. User sessions jumped 7 percent to 405,380. Our bounce rate declined by one percent to 72 percent.

✓ Active newsletter subscribers jumped by 544 to 21,977, also a new high water mark.

✓ We received 488 cases, up 59 percent from a year ago. That’s a new record, too.

In the next few weeks, I’ll be talking with our corporate underwriters about our spring fundraiser. I’ll ask them to donate tickets, luggage, books, and other products to support this fledgling organization.

On May 22, our spring fundraiser begins. That’s where you come in. I’ll be asking you to help support the nonprofit consumer advocacy organization that helps all consumers. You can get a head start by donating online now.

Nothing is set in stone

But as I said earlier, nothing is set in stone. The Rushmore sculptors had a plan, and so do we, but I find myself erasing the lines and redrawing them as we go along. For example, our path to a 501(c)(3) organization was somewhat circuitous. It started almost five years ago and, for a variety of reasons, didn’t happen until earlier this year. We’re still waiting for IRS approval for our nonprofit status, which can take a while.

Decisions about staffing, content, and cases, have also been taken deliberately. And by “deliberately” I mean it took years to determine who we are — and where we’re headed.

But that’s good for you. The final product will be long-lasting and maybe even legendary, not unlike the granite sculptures on the side of a mountain. Just like there are only four presidents on the side of the national monument, I expect we’ll be in good company in the pantheon of advocacy organizations.

Your support matters now more than ever

I can’t do any of this without you. You can help in three important ways.

  • Become an underwriter for our next fundraiser. Here are the details.
  • Consider becoming a volunteer. We need advocates, editors, researchers, and writers. Here’s how.
  • Write an email or letter to keep our advocacy columns in one of our newspapers. If you’re signed up for any of my email newsletters, you’ll get details.

Last week was incredible! Thanks to your letters, we saved one column and are close to salvaging another. Please see your weekly or daily email newsletter for details on how you can help this week. Because nothing is set in stone, and this organization’s success is by no means guaranteed.

This week’s stories

Please “like,” share and comment on these stories. Your interest keeps these stories in your favorite publication.

Thank you for your support.

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Christopher Elliott is the founder of Elliott Advocacy, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that empowers consumers to solve their problems and helps those who can’t. He’s the author of numerous books on consumer advocacy and writes weekly columns for King Features Syndicate, USA Today, and the Washington Post. If you have a consumer problem you can’t solve, contact him directly through his advocacy website. You can also follow him on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, or sign up for his daily newsletter.

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