Grassroots Fundraising and Participatory Grantmaking
I co-wrote the following reports as a partner at The Lafayette Practice:
- “Letting the Movement Decide: FRIDA Grantmaking” (2015)
- “Funding Free Knowledge The Wiki Way”: Wikimedia Foundation’s Participatory Grantmaking” (2015)
- “Who Decides: How Participatory Grantmaking Benefits Donors, Communities and Movements“(2014)
I co-wrote this report as a staff and collective member of Sylvia Rivera Law Project
“Fundraising for direct action and legal defense: a case study of the 2000 RNC protests” by Ezra Nepon and Kris Hermes.
Published in Interface: a journal for and about social movements (Volume 7 issue 1) and in Grassroots Fundraising Journal (July-August 2015, Vol. 34 No. 4). Click to download the article as a free PDF.
Crowdfunding tools like Kickstarter, Indiegogo, and GoFundMe have quickly become popular tools for raising funds for everything from art projects to emergency healthcare to organizational budgets. While these tools can and do help people and organizations raise lots of needed funds, this interview explores the limits and ethical challenges of the fast-evolving medium.
Crowdfunding: The New Wave of Online Grassroots Fundraising. Grassroots Fundraising Journal. Nov-Dec 2011, Vol. 30 No.6. Building Our Collective Resources.
There are new tools to raise money online for all kinds of projects, even those without 501(c)(3) status. Get an orientation to some of the hottest crowdfunding sites and how you can make them work for you.
Global Philanthropy Project
Program Officer, Astraea Foundation (May 2015-present)
Funders and philanthropic advisors working collectively to expand global philanthropy to support the human rights of LGBTI people in the Global South and East.
Partner, The Lafayette Practice (July 2013-present)
The Lafayette Practice (TLP) specializes in advising on philanthropic strategy and management. TLP supports organizations from grassroots nonprofits and NGOs to International Foundations in planning and implementation; institutional partnership-building; development and fundraising strategy; public relations; marketing; and relationship management.
Development Coordinator, William Way LGBT Community Center, Philadelphia, PA (August 2013 – December 2014)
Director of Grassroots Fundraising, Sylvia Rivera Law Project, NYC, NY. (2007-2010)
Annually met budget expectations through diverse events, donor campaigns, direct mail, newsletter, annual report, earned income strategies, and online outreach. Increased total donor giving by 25%, and online giving by over 50%. Doubled income of largest annual event. Coordinated database transition to CRM model, managed organizational website. Managed interns and volunteers, co-supervised development staff.
Check out: “From The Bottom Up: Strategies and Practices for Membership‐Based Organizations” (2013)
Here’s a great article about SRLP’s Grassroots Fundraising: GETTING IT RIGHT FROM THE START: Building a Grassroots Fundraising Program By Dean Spade, JANUARY/ FEBRUARY 2005 • GRASSROOTS FUNDRAISING JOURNAL
Founding Director, The Self-Education Foundation, Philadelphia, PA. (1998-2003)
This public foundation raised and distributed $30,000 in grants to over 80 grassroots organizations, sent four local youth leaders to the 2005 INCITE! (Women of Color Against Violence) Conference, and supported ten grassroots education-activist programs as a fiscal sponsor. Raised annual budget through grassroots and institutional fundraising. Acquired 501(c)3 status. Solicited and managed National Board of Advisors, program staff, and volunteers.
Articles about SEF:
- The Practice of Freedom: A History of the Self Education Foundation (Jessica Hoffmann, enoughenough.org; 2010)
- Interview with SEF Director Emily Nepon (Life Learning Magazine; 2002)
- SEF’s origins in No More Prisons (William Upski Wimsatt, 1999)
- Social Change Philanthropy and How It’s Done (Allison Goldberg, Foundation News; 2002) (PDF Attached)
- Where Help is Felt Most (Silja J.A. Talv, Christian Science Monitor; 2000)
Jews for Racial & Economic Justice, NYC. Fundraising mentor to Grace Paley Organizing Fellow Rye Young. (October 2012 – March 2013)
Media Action Grassroots Network (MAG-Net). (April 2012)
With Yasmeen Perez, co-facilitated a webinar on Web-Based Fundraising Tools and Strategies
Mariposa Food Coop, Philadelphia, PA. (2011)
Worked with Expansion Committee to successfully meet the fundraising goals of the first phase of Mariposa’s Capital Campaign. Primary responsibilities included pursuing leads and closing loan and donation pledges. Coordinated creation of online fundraising campaign including video, and led a fundraising training for the Board of Delegates.
Reflections from an RG Fundraising Training – Hummingbird Collective’s Sarah Abbott documenting lessons learned from a 2011 fundraising workshop by myself and Yasmeen Perez.
- “Funding the Unpopular: Innovative Models of Funding.” Queer Dreams and Nonprofit Blues Conference. Columbia University Law
School, NYC. October 4-5, 2013.
- “Creative Fundraising Strategies; How to do serious fundraising while having fun! with: ALP, QEJ, FIERCE & SRLP.” Money & The Movement Conference: Grassroots Fundraising in Times of Economic Crisis. Brecht Forum, NYC. February 21, 2009.
- “Young Donor Organizing. ” Council on Foundations Annual Conference. Dallas, TX. 2002.
- Leeway Foundation, Philadelphia, PA (2019-)
- Resource Generation, Boston, MA (2004-2006)
- New Society Educational Foundation, Philadelphia, PA (1999-2005)
TRAININGS & CONFERENCES ATTENDED
- 2010: Money for Our Movements: A Social Justice Fundraising Conference
- 2009: Money & The Movement: Grassroots Fundraising in Times of Economic Crisis.
- 2008: Raising Change: A Social Justice Fundraising Conference
- 2007: Advanced Grassroots Fundraising Training by Kim Klein and Stephanie Roth, as Staff of Sylvia Rivera Law Project, NYC
- 2001: “Securing Assets for Grassroots Empowerment” (SAGE) Training, presented by Kim Klein. With ACT UP Philadelphia, attended program designed to improve the capability of social justice non-profit organizations to mount effective annual donor campaigns.