Dear friends and supporters,
Over 4 months, we've raised our initial goal of 50,000 dollars from almost 200 donors! This means that we have the resources to spend the next 6 months building a beta version of Support.fm; in fact, we're already under way.
In conjunction with this newsletter, we're releasing a preliminary site map to give our users and supporters a sense of how the app will function. It's important to us that we be extremely responsive to our users' needs and feedback, so everything in the site map has the potential to change. But it should offer a broad sense of the site's primary features — namely, profiles where partner organizations can educate people about their work and share stories of the individuals they're working to bail out of jail and detention. We're also releasing an updated Support.fm logo and animation to share a preview of our evolving design identity.
In the past month, we've also made some important changes to how Support.fm will be structured: rather than having donors give funds to individual bail and bond campaigns, they'll support the development of longer term revolving bail funds. In other words, we're providing our partner organizations with a tool to run their own ongoing bail funds, that can be replenished if and when bail money is returned. We decided to make this modification because we want all the money donated through Support.fm to go as far as possible. Though individual donors won't receive their money back, they know that the money they give will help an organization bail out multiple members of their trans and GNC community, over a period of months or years.
Large, revolving bail funds, like the Chicago Community Bond Fund or the Brooklyn Community Bail Fund , exist all over the country. These programs have impacted their communities, helping liberate thousands of people from jail who might otherwise spend years there awaiting trial. Inspired by these organizations' effectiveness, Support.fm optimizes and centralizes revolving bail fund technology so grassroots, trans and GNC organizations will have higher capacity to do this work.
At the beginning of this month, we drove from Los Angeles to Phoenix to meet with our partners Trans Queer Pueblo and discuss their experience raising bail and bond money for incarcerated and detained individuals. We came out of this conversation committed to building a tool that makes bail money as sustainable and reusable as possible. We discussed the importance of multilingual technology, communally authoried stories, and the essential need for services that help trans and GNC prisoners let allies on the outside know their location.
We plan on hosting two more community discussions as we build Support.fm, one in Los Angeles and one in New York City. These conversations are central to our design and development process, ensuring that the site's features meet the needs of our partners and the users who want to support their work.
One of Support.fm's founders, Rye, is leading development. She has worked in information security, financial services, and as a web developer on numerous other enterprise-level apps. Rye and our team are committed to making the site as safe for organizations and as accessible to visitors as possible.
Over the the next few months, we will periodically release design and development components in order to get feedback and keep everyone up to date on our progress.
Thank you to everyone who has offered their support and encourgament over the past 4 months—we're thrilled that things are moving forward so quickly. We can't wait to go live with a working beta site and continue building Support.fm's community.
Grace, Blaine, & Rye