Leave No Stone Unturned... Ideas on Fundraising

| revcom.us


Dear readers, 

I've been a part of a fundraising team and want to share some of the highlights of our experience. We thought this might be helpful and of interest to others in, around, and checking out the movement for an actual revolution, the Revolution Tour, and the exciting new RNL Show—Revolution, Nothing Less!  on YouTube — and potentially many, many, many more who are in agony over the state of the world.

We have a team of people working on this, sharing ideas and experience – including on weekly conference calls, which have been a very important time to share ideas, establish our overarching orientation, plans and priorities. Different people take responsibility for different elements of our campaign, and we all collectively make plans. Having a team is crucial to everything we’ve accomplished—and fun. 

There’s a lot to say about how we’ve worked through different issues, challenges, advances, and mistakes, but the key has been returning to the centrality of Bob Avakian in our fundraising work and promotion, in particular the need to proceed from what’s concentrated in BOB AVAKIAN: A RADICALLY DIFFERENT LEADER—A WHOLE NEW FRAMEWORK FOR HUMAN EMANCIPATION and on that foundation and overarching framework, promote the various important elements of what revcom.us, The RNL Show and National Revolution Tour are doing. 

You can’t make revolution and change the world without money – and lots of it! Raising and donating money are very important ways to be part of learning about, supporting, and/or becoming part of a community of people organizing to make revolution and emancipate humanity. So we’ve tried to do both – raise funds and make this campaign a part of building ties with people, learning from them, and organizing forces for revolution (and understanding this is a multi-layered, ongoing process, and one size doesn’t fit all).

Our approach: leave no stone unturned. The world as we’ve known it is being shattered, millions and millions are in agony, and the terrain we’re operating on is shifting (often daily), so this creates potential openings for engaging and enlisting people we haven’t talked to in years, who’ve said no in the past, or who we’ve never talked to.

Here are some specific examples of the different kinds of people who’ve donated – in amounts ranging from $10 to $2,000 – all the way from dedicated, long-time supporters to brand-new people, and many different gradations in between:

  • We called someone we’d know who’d been very active years ago, but not recently, and who one person had been in touch with on a personal level. The person turned out to be extremely upset about the current situation and really appreciated that the revcoms were among the very few standing up to the fascists (i.e., it wasn’t just about our overall framework and program, but how we’re fighting/resisting right now). He gave $200. Then after further thought and discussion, he “added a zero” and made it $2,000!
  • One of us talked to a close family friend, a progressive middle-class professional, donating to various democrats across the country and the local food bank. She isn‘t a revolutionary but is very concerned about the situation. She says her friends feel the same way, and was open to hearing our pitch. We issued a friendly challenge – you and your friends’ hearts are in the right place on a lot of things but a) you need to act outside the box on the things you know are wrong, and b) you need to engage a whole radical alternative concentrated in BA’s work, whether you end up agreeing with it or not. She was glad we talked, gave $125 and asked for talking points she can test out on her friends.
  • We called someone we’d never talked with, who runs some kind of non-profit, but it turns out he had been following us to some degree – he felt BA was very different because he put things in historical context which others didn’t. He gave $25, and we’ve talked to him more about what BA actually represents and why he really is completely different. 
  • A professor who’s given before and considers himself a “fellow traveler” (but has important disagreements as well) really didn’t want to read anything at the moment and couldn’t talk much, but did agree right away to give $200 to complete a $2,000 match. 
  • One long-time supporter who’s made substantial donations has now agreed to write a statement and work with our phone banking team to send personal emails to people about why they gave and why others should too.
  • One middle-class supporter and regular sustainer sent $400. They were sickened by what was going on and knew we needed it. (On another occasion they said, “You’ve been right about this system all along, I didn’t want it to be as bad as you said, but it is.”)
  • We talked to a 16-year-old who met some people from the Revolution Club. He talks to some of his friends about this and enthusiastically agreed to write a statement and donate $10 as soon as he can.
  • One person on our team contacted a friend about approaching one of her friends, a retired professional living in a small town. The friend initially balked, but through some discussion was won over and contacted the person. This friend of a friend gave over $1,000. 

We are still in the process of understanding and summing up all we’re encountering, but a few things are pretty clear, especially how the enormous, intensely horrifying crimes of this system in general and the Trump/Pence fascists in particular are jolting, shocking, frightening, and/or enraging people, and there are many out there willing to talk about or consider things they weren’t before.

Fundraising Livestream now taking place Sunday, 4pm PT / 7pm ET:

In light of the developments over the last 24 hours, we are postponing the livestream until Sunday afternoon. This situation underscores the importance of building up broad financial support for the National Tour to Organize for an ACTUAL Revolution and The RNL—Revolution, Nothing Less—Show.


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From a healthcare provider: “I am pledging $300 out of my stimulus check... The RNL Show is a lively, engaging and challenging show that puts forth the very real potential for a much different future for humanity.”

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