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I'm pleased to announce a new program we're introducing to encourage people to join and stay as members of the Kamusi Project. From now on, membership in the Kamusi Project will include eligibility to receive awards of Kamusi gear, such as shirts, bags, and the ever-popular Swahili Time clock.
The concept is simple: every time 100 new members join the Kamusi Project, two things will happen. First, one person from that group of 100 will be selected randomly to receive their choice of Kamusi merchandise from the items shown in the Awards section of the Kamusi Project Duka. Second, one person randomly chosen from among the entire membership, including new members and loyal long-time members, will also be selected to receive the item of their choice from the Awards section. (The exact items in the section may be changed from time to time, as we phase designs in and out.)
This means that someone who joins today and remains a member in good standing will be automatically placed in a drawing for an award every time another 100 people join. If 1000 people join in a year, someone who joins today will be eligible for 11 drawings (their turn as a new member, plus 10 turns for the ten new groups of 100). If 10,000 people join after you, you will participate 101 times - and all you need to do is pay your dues every year, and tell us what item you want and where you want it sent if you win. Membership is just $30 (or equivalent), and dues are used entirely to maintain and improve the knowledge resources we produce for African languages.
Why are we doing this? A few reasons:
· First, we are hoping that this will be an innovative way of attracting people to join the project as dues-paying members. We need to expand our membership base in order to be assured of a baseline budget for the activities we are undertaking to develop resources for African languages.
· Second, we would like to find a way to thank our members for being part of the project, and for sticking with us as we have developed over the years. We don't have the resources to send thanks to everyone who supports us, but the awards program offers us the opportunity to show some of our appreciation.
· Third, we're proud of our Kamusi logo and the products that bear it. We like it when people wear Kamusi caps or drink from Kamusi mugs. We see the awards program is a way to spread the joy.
· Finally, by increasing the visibility of the Kamusi Project Duka, we hope that more people will be inspired to purchase Kamusi stuff on their own, even without waiting for the chance to win it. The project makes a few dollars with every sale, which we are able to put directly into program activities, so we are hoping that the Awards program will also inspire you to stop by the shop for regular purchases.
A word about methodology. Each time a member joins, their information will be added to a spreadsheet and given a number. When 100 new members join, we will type the range of numbers under consideration for an award into the Random Integer Generator at random.org. The number that is returned will be matched to the winning member's name in the spreadsheet, and that person will be contacted to select their award. Please note that this is a program to thank our members for their support, not a lottery or gambling activity. Also note that we will need to have accurate information to contact you if you are selected. In case a winner cannot be contacted with the address information they have provided, their award will be forfeited and another member will be selected at random from among those eligible.