Organising groups need resources – even if we are often volunteer run. Raising money for our work can often be difficult, both for personal values reasons, but also practically – there is a lot of competition out there, and the bulk of philanthropic money goes towards large charities and NGO’s.
We hope this may change in the future as there is now significant research out there about social movements value and effectiveness as compared to charities.
There aren’t many foundations, or philanthropists that fund direct action, but there are ways you can get support for some aspects of your work through traditional funding models, however when you are starting out one of the first things that will help you be able to fundraise is to gather up supporters emails at events.
We found at CounterAct it was the people we worked directly for and with, who were out biggest supporters, and once you have the governance and infrastructure set up, small monthly donors can be really helpful.
Patagonia and Lush are two unlikely places that support direct action, so check out their grants pages.
As with every other issue under the sun, the Commons Library is a fabulous resource on fundraising
More to come!
Crowdfunding for civil disobedience fines
Below is a resource you may find useful if you are low income and want to raise money to cover the costs of fines for civil disobedience participation. We have long encouraged people to set up these type of funders but as the number of people participating in direct action grows, there is a couple of considerations.
- If you have a job and can afford it, or can afford to pay off over time, please consider that. in participating in civil disobedience we often consider accepting consequences as one of the principles. This is one of them. There are people who can barely afford food that may need support more than you.
- Although it is tempting to capitalise on the media and public interest around an event you are involved with, it is best to crowdfund fines AFTER you have been sentenced. We are increasingly seeing magistrates taking crowdfunding into consideration as part of their assessment of your financial “capacity”
- What really is needed in Australia with hundreds/thousands of civil disobedience arrests per year now, is the type of “bail” funds as seen in the United States, where crowdfunding is a collective project. While there is still a lovely benefit to asking and receiving surprising support from unlikely friends and family – many of us are making the same asks to the same networks and people are running low on capacity.