Breaking It Down to Take It Higher—

An approach to exceed the $30,000 Indiegogo goal to raise funds for the November 15 Dialogue Between Cornel West and Bob Avakian

October 29, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


From a reader


There needs to be all kinds of fundraising going on to raise the funds for the full $110,000 budget for the November 15 Dialogue Between Cornel West and Bob Avakian. These funds are needed to subsidize travel and tickets for youth and those who can't afford it from Chicago, Atlanta, Harlem and the Bronx; to really make this event known far and wide; and to pay for the production of a high-quality event and filming. Go here for a fuller description of why these funds can make a big difference.

The fundraising for this should include a lot of local projects—working with people in the projects to do bake sales, sell chocolate bars, collect funds in “revolutionary change jars,” and more. It also includes reaching out to higher-level donors—people who have resources and could contribute thousands of dollars. This article is focusing on a basic method to make a plan to reach the fundraising goal on


How are we going to reach and exceed this $30,000 goal as part of raising the larger fundraising goal for this Dialogue?

First: We better ASK for money. There’s no way that all the people who need to hear about this event and get their tickets are going to know this is happening without major national advertising—in print, online, and on radio stations. There’s no way that all the people who need to be there, including youth, students, and the un/underemployed, will be able to be in the house without funds to subsidize tickets and transportation costs. And we will not have the funds for any of this without asking!

Get out your pad and pen and start making your lists: Think about everyone you know who was active around the October 22 National Day of Protest to Stop Police Brutality, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation and the October Month of Resistance. Think about everyone you know who was following and supporting the Abortion Rights Freedom Ride this summer. Who are the people you know who have seen all or even parts of BA Speaks: Revolution—Nothing Less! Bob Avakian Live? Who are the people you know that have copies of BAsics? Who are the people you know that supported the BAsics bus tours that went across the country in the past several years? Who do you know that was moved by the film Stepping Into the Future?

So what does this mean concretely, and how can we break this down? Here are some ideas:

  1. Are there 10 middle-class people you know—maybe teachers, social workers, or nurses—who you can ask for a $200 donation? Think about everyone who has connected with a quote from BAsics, people who have gotten a taste of what it means that BA is best friend to the masses after reading the "Watching Fruitvale Station with Bob Avakian" piece. Ten donations of $200 is $2,000 raised. If we can find those 10 middle-class donations in five major cities across the country—that’s $10,000, and we’re a third of the way to our goal of $30,000.
  2. Who are the doctors, lawyers and others we know that can donate $500 each? Four of those $500 donations comes to another $2,000—and again, multiply this happening across the country. With $2,000 raised from professionals in five major cities, we’ve got the next $10,000—and we’re more than half-way to meeting our goal.
  3. Get out on the street with the Dialogue and with the fundraising campaign! Have people take out their phones and watch the Indiegogo video on the spot. Bring to life what it would mean for them to donate $15 right then on spot to sponsor a subsidized ticket! Bring tickets with you to sell, and have them participate in the white-board project to spread this on social media with the hashtag #Nov15CornelAndBA. Ten donations of $15 out on the street would mean $150 raised by the end of the day, and in many cities that will be combined with lots of smaller donations and people contributing to the “revolutionary change jar.” If we can get 10 $15 donations in 10 cities across the country, in addition to what is raised through other grassroots efforts, that’s at least $1,500 toward our goal. (For some places this will go towards the local fundraising to send people, but this should still be reported at and we should aim for matching contributions.)
  4. There are lots of people in the middle class who are inspired and encouraged when they see new people connecting with BA. We should use this dynamic to raise funds! In every city, let’s challenge one middle-class person to match all the $15 donations raised on the street. When we make our goal of getting 10 of those $15 donations on the street across 10 cities, we can raise another $1,500 in matching funds.
  5. Challenge lots and LOTS of people to donate $55—that donation level on Indiegogo will mean they get their own ticket to the event AND they’re making it possible for two more people who can’t afford to go to be in the house that day! This is a donation level which all kinds of people can give, including: students, young professionals, bus drivers, construction workers, janitors, waitresses and many more! Fifteen $55 donations is $825—multiply this by ten cities across the nation, and that’s another $8,250.

If we can take up and run with the five ideas laid out above, we would meet and even exceed our goal, by raising $31,250. This really is possible…and it can make a huge difference. So let’s reach out to lots and lots of people. Talk with them about being in the house for this Dialogue, about contributing and about spreading the word themselves. Let’s go!

Volunteers Needed... for and Revolution

Send us your comments.

If you like this article, subscribe, donate to and sustain Revolution newspaper.