Grassroots Fundraising and Participatory Grantmaking

I co-wrote the following reports as a partner at The Lafayette Practice:

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.

Emily Post-Capitalism and the Revolutionary Etiquette of Crowdfunding. Grassroots Fundraising Journal. March-April 2014, Vol. 33 No.2. Building Our Collective Resources.

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 FundraisingGrassroots 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:


Jews for Racial & Economic Justice, NYC. Fundraising mentor to Grace Paley Organizing Fellow Rye Young. (October 2012 – March 2013)

Leeway Foundation, Philadelphia, PA (September 2012)
With Yaba Amgborale Blay, co-facilitated an Online Fundraising workshop for Leeway grantees and extended community.

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.

Hummingbird Collective: Migrant Justice Solidarity Working Group. (2011)

Reflections from an RG Fundraising Training – Hummingbird Collective’s Sarah Abbott documenting lessons learned from a 2011 fundraising workshop by myself and Yasmeen Perez.