neonvincent: Coffee Party USA logo from the Facebook page and website (Coffee Party)
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Coffee Party membership card

Today is the last day to join and receive a Founding Member card with a unique membership number and an Official Coffee Party USA bumper sticker with the motto "Incite Civility & Reason." Deadline is 11:59:59 P.M., Hawaii-Aleutian Standard Time. That's just one second before 5 A.M. Eastern Standard Time, 4 A.M. Central Standard Time, 3 A.M. Mountain Standard Time, 2 A.M. Pacific Standard Time, and 1 A.M. Alaska Standard Time.

To sign up for a 1-year Founding Membership, click here and to sign up for a Sustaining Membership with automatic renewal, click here. Minimum donation is $10, which is for unemployed and students. The standard recommended donation is $50.

The membership drive was originally scheduled to last only until the end of February, but overwhelming last-minute demand resulted in the extension until just before Midnight March 3 in the farthest west inhabited U.S. states.

As of yesterday evening, more than 3000 people had contributed more than $115,000 since the membership drive began. More than $70,000 of that was donated between Monday afternnon and Tuesday night. This last amount is as much money as was donated during all of 2010!

For more details on Coffee Party USA's membership drive, join me, one of the New Media Outreach Coordinators for Coffee Party USA, over the fold.

Crossposted to Daily Kos and the Coffee Party USA community on LiveJournal.

First, the announcement, which was posted on YouTube February 1st and on the Coffee Party USA website February 5th.



A year ago, the Coffee Party was launched unexpectedly by a simple update of my Facebook status. I'm writing to you today because this genuine, truly grassroots movement deserves a chance to grow.

In order to grow from our all-volunteer, grassroots movement into a national organization with a permanent presence, we need to hire a new media communications and grassroots organizing staff to build capacity and provide better support for our local organizers.

As we enter our second year, we'd like to invite you to support us by becoming a Founding Member of Coffee Party USA. If you join us in the month of February, you will receive a bumper sticker and a personalized card recognizing you as a Founding Member.

It's amazing how much we have done with so little in 2010. We have over 120 local chapters, over 1500 events have been organized, and more than 400,000 people have become engaged online. We did all of this in the spirit of volunteerism and civic duty, with a budget just over $70,000, raised from thousands of donors averaging $17 each.

Imagine what we can accomplish with a budget at least twice what we had in 2010!

With emerging social media technology, your support, and the enduring values we share as Americans, we can rein in corporate influence on our government, and usher in a new era of informed, effective, and responsible self-governance.
The goal for the membership drive was $50,000. By the 18th, it was clear that goal would be exceeded.

Membership drive on pace to eclipse 2010 fundraising in a single month!

On February 1st, Annabel Park and I created a YouTube video announcing that Coffee Party USA would mark its one-year anniversary with a membership drive, inviting folks to become a Founding Member if they join before the end of this month. Now, thanks to your support, we are on pace to surpass our first year's fundraising mark in a single month!
...
I'd like to thank everyone who has contributed, and/or shared the membership drive with friends. And, I'd like to acknowledge the Coffee Party interim board for suggesting this membership drive.

Having an active membership base is important to us because we really value the independence that a truly grassroots organization affords us. During this historic time when the world has been so inspired by "people power" flexing its muscle in Egypt and Tunisia, we can be particularly proud of the fact that the Coffee Party has had no corporate funding, no hyper-partisan think tank funding, and no affiliations with any political candidate or any political party.

America's "Mubarak" is more difficult to expose and identify, but we think we are on the right track in focusing our efforts on uniting people across the partisan divide to address the issue of money in politics. Our mission is to build a trans-partisan network of active citizens, and experiment with the kinds of new media tools that will soon empower this emerging community to challenge corporate dominance of our elections and our legislative process, and restore the power representative democracy to We the People.

It would be a really encouraging sign if "people power" could help us match our entire first year of fundraising in this the shortest month of 2011. Can you help us by becoming a founding member, and/or sharing this page with your friends?
Coffee Party USA issued an update on the membership drive.

During this historic time when the world has been inspired and transformed by "people power" flexing its muscles from Egypt to Wisconsin, we are particularly proud of the fact that the Coffee Party has no corporate funding, no hyper-partisan billionaire funding, and no affiliations with any political candidate or any political party.

We are surprised and thrilled by the incredibly positive response to our membership drive, smashing our 2010 fundraising total in a single month. This signifies that the power of the people is growing stronger by the day, and, as we wrote on Friday, "There is a tide."
When Annabel Park sent out a final email to the Coffee Party USA mailing list last Monday, she received an astonounding response, causing the donation tool on the site itself to crash, although the PayPal link continued to operate.

Due to Hundreds Joining at Once, Our Donation Site Has Been Crashing!

Dear Coffee Partier,

An extraordinary thing happened today.

We sent out an email at 4pm ET reminding people who have not already joined that today was the last day to become a Founding Member of the Coffee Party.

Hundreds of people started joining at once and our payment site has been crashing!

We apologize for the inconvenience if you've had difficulties or have been unable to contribute. The problem seems to come and go depending on how much traffic we get on the page. To avoid the overload, we are extending the Founding Members drive until midnight Hawaiian time March 3, 2011, which is 5 AM eastern time March 4, 2011.

The great news is that despite the service interruptions, we blew past our goal of reaching $50,000 and we are now nearing $70,000.
Just after Noon Eastern Time, Annabel Park posted another update during the membership drive.

The Truth Is

Dear Friends,

Thank you for persevering despite our donations site overloading several times last night. It takes more than that to deter a Coffee Party Founding Member! This membership drive has surpassed all our goals, and, surpassed our imagination.

At this hour yesterday, we were hoping to raise $50,000 by the end of February. Last night, we blew right past that goal, hitting $65,000 before we went to bed. In 24 hours, we've had more than a thousand people join the Coffee Party as Founding Members. We are closing in on $80,000 and it's possible that we will reach $100,000 by our new deadline, midnight Hawaiian time March 3rd, which is 5 AM ET March 4th.
As I have already told you, donations had already exceeded $115,000 by yesterday evening.

More from Annabel.

New possibilities certainly open up for us with this level of financial support. This is something that we didn't even think was possible last year.

However, it's not just the financial support that's blowing us away. While we are very apologetic about the inconvenience yesterday, we were floored to discover the level of people's passion and determination to support us!

We've received many emails, voicemail and Facebook messages like this one:

"I'll gladly skip lunch out a few times to give to something and someone who work to better my life." - Jen Cricket Bidwell
There are members who are unemployed and on fixed income as retirees and students donating what they can to grow this movement.

The truth is, we are deeply moved by these gestures. It shows an amazing willingness by our members to sacrifice, share, work, and ultimately, express hope for our future.

Without that hope, there would be no Coffee Party movement at all.

What we are learning right now about our members redoubles our determination to grow this movement. It compels us to reach inward even more to find that resolve and strength and to reach out, and speak out, and work together to make a difference.

We all need to pull together to restore our democracy and help remake our government so that it truly reflects our urgent most needs and most cherished values.

Thank you so much for giving us the gift of greater clarity and stregnth.

-- Annabel, Eric, Sabina, David and the Coffee Party National Team

PS - We'd love to hear from more of you! Please leave us messages by email and voicemail with your ideas, feelings and hopes on becoming Founding Members. Email: member@coffeepartyusa.com. Phone: (301) 259-1869.
Finally, here is an unsolicited endorsement found on Twitter during a search for mentions of @coffeepartyusa. The shortened link sends one to the Coffee Party USA Mission Statement.

Want to see what a non-astroturf grassroots org looks like? Go check out @CoffeePartyUSA http://goo.gl/Y2ZJI #CoffeeParty #OpWisconsin
Anonymous says "expect us," but no one expected this!

Again, the deadline to join and receive a Founding Member card with a unique membership number and an Official Coffee Party USA bumper sticker with the motto "Incite Civility & Reason" is 11:59:59 P.M., Hawaii-Aleutian Standard Time. That's just one second before 5 A.M. Eastern Standard Time, 4 A.M. Central Standard Time, 3 A.M. Mountain Standard Time, 2 A.M. Pacific Standard Time, and 1 A.M. Alaska Standard Time.

To sign up for a 1-year Founding Membership, click here and to sign up for a Sustaining Membership with automatic renewal, click here. Minimum donation is $10, which is for unemployed and students. The standard recommended donation is $50.

On behalf of Annabel, Eric, and the rest of the Coffee Party USA Board and National Team, thank you.
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