By Damian Wyld -
Some weeks ago, "Marriage Equality" activist Tiernan Brady provided me with a good laugh. He said we had a "huge bucket of cash".
It sounded funny then. It sounded even funnier when Qantas CEO Alan Joyce tipped a cool million dollars out of his pay packet into the "yes" campaign. And Brady's comment is utterly comical when considered against this week's news.
According to media estimates, the cost of the intrusive "yes" text message campaign last weekend would have ranged upwards of $620,000 — and possibly in excess of $4.65 million.
Yes, you read that correctly. For one SMS blast around the country, a bill of up to $4.65 million.
I'm sure I don't need to explain that we don't have that sort of funding at our fingertips. We've had to work very hard — with your support — to find the resources we need.
It goes without saying that people — grassroots supporters — are our biggest asset. As are some other people I'd like to tell you about.
You hear from our fantastic spokeswoman Sophie York every week, and also from me quite regularly.
In recent weeks Sophie and I have asked for your help in keeping the TV ads running. We've also asked for your help in backing the amazing field campaign that's reaching homes across the country. It's these initiatives that have shifted over a million votes from "yes" to "no" in recent weeks.
Behind these amazing achievements is something else: people.
Our staff are just like you. They come from different cities, ages and backgrounds. What unites them is their unshakeable commitment to preserving the Marriage Act.
They are currently spread across the broad spectrum of the campaign, working in areas as diverse as the field campaign, communications, administration and leadership. They are working long hours, sometimes pre-dawn 'til way after dusk, because they care immensely — like you — about the outcome of this vote.
Some even left their previous employment, without firm promises for the future, because they know that this vote matters. We will not get a second chance and we must win.
In this email I'm asking something slightly different of you, but no less important:
WILL YOU DONATE TODAY TO HELP US KEEP OUR AMAZING TEAM IN THE FIELD?
PLEASE GIVE GENEROUSLY.
I cannot sing the praises of our people enough. It's an honour to work with people for whom this is not a "job". For them, it's a calling, a vocation.
All of what you receive from us, whether it be our social media, emails or our recent marriage handbook, comes from our team.
Wading through emails, letters and phone calls — literally thousands combined, and not all of them pleasant — is all undertaken by people for whom 9-5, Monday-Friday, just doesn't matter. They really do care — as I know you do.
So, while we often ask you to invest in our adverts or our grassroots campaign, today I'm asking you most sincerely to invest in our people.
We may not have a "huge bucket of cash" but it will be people — you, our team, and our friends, working together — that win this campaign.
Our team believes we can win. Will you back them?