Scarecrow Video Pens Letter To Film Community To Help “Save Our Scarecrow”

June 20, 2024

Pens Letter to Film Community To Help
“Save Our Scarecrow” 
Fundraising Campaign in Full Swing

June 18, 2024 - Seattle, WA - Scarecrow Video, the world’s largest video library, pens an open letter to film fans that – due to the rising operational costs and decline in video rental and sales – they will need to raise $1.8 million before the end of the year or risk closing their doors. Operating as a nonprofit, their SOS “Save Our Scarecrow” fundraising campaign will ensure they keep their doors open for many years to come by helping them stay in their current location, while providing staff with a living wage and hiring permanent leadership, and provide the working capital needed to allow their team time to stabilize the organization.
Scarecrow Video’s vast library collection features more than 148,000 film & TV titles on multiple formats, from VHS to 4K, including not only recent studio releases, but rare, noncommercial, hard-to-find & out-of-print titles, and complete collections otherwise inaccessible to the general public. 
For more information on how you can help, visit
Please find Scarecrow’s complete letter below:
Dear Dedicated Film Community,
In 2014, a group of video store clerks came together to form a nonprofit and take over stewardship of one of the most culturally significant video collections. None of us had any background in the nonprofit world, but for a decade we succeeded – largely on the dedication and sacrifice of our devoted staff and an unwavering support base. But in 10 years, many, many things have changed, threatening our ability to continue.
In order for us to meaningfully execute our long-term strategy and build for Scarecrow’s future, this campaign has a goal of raising $1.8 million before the end of the year. We know this is an unusually large ask and an ambitious goal.  But we've crunched the numbers and this is what it will take to be able to stay in our current location for as long as possible, provide our existing staff with a living wage, hire the permanent leadership we will need to break out of this cycle of scrambling just to keep our heads above water, and provide the working capital we would need to allow our new team time to stabilize our organization.
We’ve weathered the extraordinary challenges of the pandemic and the rise of streaming video, and we haven’t had to renew the SOS call – Save Our Scarecrow – for nearly ten years.
Sadly, our valiant efforts to keep things going at Scarecrow have stalled. With rentals and sales revenue dropping 40% since 2015, and major expenses increasing by 25%, the final tipping point has been a nationwide decrease in private and institutional funding, paired with the delayed after-effects of the pandemic.
Thus, we find ourselves in a dire situation. Simply put, our ongoing fundraising and cost-cutting efforts are not keeping pace with our needs.
So, this is it. This is the SOS.
Our situation is urgent, and the stakes have never been higher. If we are unable to raise this money, our ability to keep our doors open will be jeopardized, and we will be forced to move out of our space and go into “hibernation” while we plot a new future for Scarecrow. Keeping one of the world’s largest publicly available video collections intact and accessible is our utmost priority, and though there are still some uncertainties on our path forward, we are not going away.
As a cultural museum and living archive, our space is the soul of our organization. It is a place of exploration and discovery of old worlds, new worlds and even into “infinity and beyond!”  We hold the democratic ethos that ALL voices should be heard and have a place to live, which is why the journey through our aisles can take you to places you never would have imagined. Real-world experiences like this are becoming harder and harder to find, and we all must come together to fight to keep them around.
"I've been renting videos from Scarecrow for over 25 years, and that location on Roosevelt is so important and inspiring to me,” said Ken Jennings, host of Jeopardy! and a member of Scarecrow's Board of Directors. “Without a physical space, Scarecrow would become significantly less accessible to movie lovers young and old.  Now is the time for us all to step up in a big way if we want this one-of-a-kind place to stick around."
While raising this amount is critical for us at this stage, there are still other ways that really help continue our mission including: We hope you will join us in our efforts to save one of the world's most important film and television archives. We consider ourselves the caretakers of these 148,000+ voices. Let's not let them go silent.
With hope and commitment,
The Scarecrow Video Board of Directors
For more information on how you can help, visit