"Urgent Request For Contributions" was the subject of a mass email local youth arts nonprofit Warehouse 21 sent out Sunday, Feb. 20. According to the email, W21 had 10 days to make a final balloon payment on its computer equipment.---

W21 Strategic Development Consultant Greg Malone says a balloon payment of $20,000 is due to Apple by the end of this week. The payment is the third of equal amount W21 owed to Apple for the lease of the local nonprofit’s computer equipment. 

Malone says the email was not the first fundraising push the organization made for the balloon payment.

"We recognized the fact we were up on time and we had to take a broader action on it," he says.

Malone says W21 had fully anticipated being able to make the payment, which W21 had organized three years ago with the computer giant, but "the balloon payment comes at a time when we're still rebuilding from the impacts of the recession," he says. "Most grants we get are program grants. When it comes to paying for infrastructure stuff like that, it really requires donations. Few grants actually provide for operating costs."

The deal, he says, was sound.

"The total leasing cost [$60,000] was not far from the actual purchase cost, when you take into consideration the cost of borrowing money," Malone says.

As an educational institution, W21 received a 17 percent discount on the equipment, while leasing expenses added in approximately 10 to 15 percent, Malone says.

According to Malone, W21 made the first two payments on time and, if contributions continue as they have, the final payment will be on time as well. Currently, W21 has raised $14,000 of the total $20,000 needed.

The equipment, Malone says, is integral to W21's mission.

“On the surface you see a performing arts and media arts organization, but what’s below that is creating essential entrepreneurial skills [for youth],” he says. “That’s the core agenda.”

If W21 fails to make the payment, the organization would lose its leased equipment, but Malone says such a situation is unlikely.

"We are going to make it," he says.