Notes from the fundraising learning curve
I’ve been an activist and organizer since high school, and I’ve worked with some inspiring folks on a wide variety of issues. But my depth of experience with fundraising is much less, well, deep. This past year has brought a great deal of new information, practice, and some dawning understanding about what it can mean to raise the funds we need in order to organize social justice campaigns, develop new leaders, and involve people like you.
The most important thing I know for sure is that we never need to rely on foundation grants. Organizing for “peace” isn’t very “fundable” right now. But that’s ok, because community members who support PJALS at every level are our most steadfast source of support for our lean & efficient budget and always have been.
This summer and fall I’ve been meeting with PJALS donors and encouraging members to renew their support at all levels. At first I admit I was nervous. The more conversations I’ve had, the more I’ve begun to look forward to the next.
I met a man who served on the original Steering Committee of the Peace and Justice Center, who’s excited about our partnership with Odyssey Youth Center to train and support youth leaders of high school Gay-Straight Alliances.
I met with a long-time supporter who shared with me an Air Force report he’d read about how easy and beneficial it is to convert bases to civilian and community infrastructure.
I had coffee with a very busy couple who work on employment for people leaving jail and on nurturing their faith community—who told me they’ve chosen to put PJALS in their will!
In contrast to some foundations, your support for PJALS is not based on trends–it’s based on our deeply shared values and beliefs and our willingness to put our time and treasure into nurturing our hopes together.
When we connect with people like you, we can generate not only the ideas but also the material support it takes to make our work together happen.
Thanks to every person who donated, joined, and renewed your membership toward our $5000 match this October–we surpassed our goal because of you!
And thanks to all the donors who sat down to talk, who shared why you care about our work together. We set out with a goal of raising $20,000 through meetings with donors, and we surpassed that goal too.
We can go forward together knowing that our unique and important organization is secure because of the people who make it what it is.
See our Sept 15, 2013 financial report here. This was presented at the Sept 21 2013 membership meeting and volunteer appreciation party.
Tags: supporting PJALS