I probably shouldn’t tell you this, but …

What are you afraid of?

What makes your heart skip a beat? And what keeps you awake at night, staring at the ceiling?

I probably shouldn’t tell you. After all, I’m the guy in the superhero cape in Times Square. I’m not supposed to be afraid of anything.

Christopher Elliott's consumer advocacy site is here for you.

But I am.

What happens to consumer advocacy when I’m gone?

What happens if Superman gets hit by a bus? That could easily happen in Times Square, you know. Who will help you with your consumer problems?

Who is going to take up your cause?

I wouldn’t want you to deal with one of those fake advocates or ambulance chasers that charge money for services they may or may not provide. And please, don’t get me started on organizations that pretend to advocate for “better” businesses but end up just siding with the company most of the time. You deserve better.

A new organization with you at the center

For the last decade, this site has been a team effort, a virtual organization of like-minded advocates. Today, Elliott.org is just one part of a much larger, informal organization. We have departments dedicated to advocacy, editing, forums, production, and research.

Earlier this year, with your encouragement, we decided to incorporate as a nonprofit organization called Elliott Advocacy. This step will ensure there’s always someone here to help you — even if something happens to yours truly.

It was a big, scary step — signing the incorporation documents, applying for 501(c)(3) status, putting together bylaws and forming a board. But the one that made me the most nervous, though, was removing all of the ads from this site. I knew advertising didn’t belong on a nonprofit site, but I wasn’t sure how we would pay our bills.

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It’s your turn

What’s missing from the consumer advocacy?

You are.

Today is the first day of our spring fundraiser. I have a ton of great premiums to give away, and I’ll tell you about them soon. But right now, consider these facts. This fledgling consumer organization is taking flight during an exceptionally challenging time. We’ll need to raise $30,000 in June just to keep the lights on. But later in the year, we face even more big expenses, including the cost of rolling out a new website design, marketing expenses and other staff costs.

You’ve leaned on this site since 1997 for useful advice, problem-solving help and highly effective advocacy for any consumer problem. Now, we’re leaning on you to help this organization take flight.

It won’t happen without you.

Can you imagine a world without the consumer advocacy on Elliott.org? I can’t. There’s no other place that offers the same useful information and bold, public-service journalism. Every day we advocate for readers, offer free advice in our forums, and cover their dramatic cases right here on this site.

I’ve spent many sleepless nights worrying about you — and what might happen to you if something happened to me. Together, we can create something that will last a long time and help you, your kids, and your grandkids.

Let’s get started today. Please consider becoming a supporter now. If your name is already on the list, consider giving again and getting a second coveted star next to your name.

Christopher Elliott

Christopher Elliott is an author, journalist and consumer advocate. You can read more about him on his personal website or check out his adventures on his family adventure travel site. Contact him at chris@elliott.org. Read more of Christopher's articles here.

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