“Planting seeds and fertilizing with the link to donate”
Raising Funds for the Revolution

Correspondence from a member of Revolution Club, Chicago

July 23, 2021 | revcom.us


When the call for the current fund drive for the National Revolution Tour was issued our club was dealing with some difficult new contradictions. Most club members had recently started working and many were working very long hours at tiring jobs. Some were also dealing with intense, time consuming, personal difficulties.

Due to these changes, we could no longer field street teams like we had done in the past. How were we going to spread the revolution and raise the much needed funds given these new constraints?

People were getting gunned down all over the city, including right around our organizing center. Just before the fund drive started we had been doing outreach from our organizing center with BA's “WEAPONS OF OPRESSION, AND THE HEART TO END OPPRESSION.” The first thing we did was issue a call from club members who had lost loved ones to the violence in the streets for people to donate to the fund drive if they wanted to see a way out of this mess. We posted this up, along with fund drive posters, and got it out on social media. This was a good beginning but by midweek we still had not raised any funds. What to do?

We decided to launch a campaign to raise at least $10 from 50 people and to make this effort a social question. We sent out mass text about this.  The mass text linked to the YouTube video from the Stolen Lives families calling on people to donate to the tour and links for how to donate. Club members promoted this campaign on their social media and direct messaged people with this call. Some people did follow up phone banking to people who got these messages. Club members also took out this campaign at their jobs.

At this point we started raising funds.  And we learned a lot of unanticipated things about the reservoir of support there is out there for the revolution.

A man who we had met in the course of the protests last summer and had related to us only peripherally before this donated $20 and sent this statement: “I am donating because I believe that liberty, for those that have been historically marginalized, can only prevail if they are part of a new revolution that resists fascism and pushes back on negative white social norms.”  Following up with him, we learned he had raised another $80 — $10 each from eight family members and friends.  He said he had been to more protests in the last year than we could imagine but out of all the speeches and pitches he heard, the Revolution Club had the best message of them all. He said that others don't want to look at the truth of what is needed in the face, but the Revolution Club does. He said most of his friends and family who donated had seen the Revolution Club in the neighborhood. A 15-year-old nephew of his told us why he contributed. He said he had never heard of the revolution but his uncle told him what it was all about and what they did and what they were trying to do and he definitely wanted to give to that.

A club member has been spreading the revolution to her co-workers, many of whom had recently been homeless or in prison. One co-worker donated $5 and reached out to his 13-year-old daughter who sent the following message: “I am donating $5 because I believe in the message that's being promoted by your organization to the Black community. I know that my $5 is going to help with materials that’s needed to reach my people!”

Another club member recounted experience taking up the fund drive on his job. He said initially was not sure how people there would react to the revolution “because of their lifestyle” explaining that the many people he interacted with at work were more “well to do.” But after he started working there, he began communicating with a few people — talking to them about the system and how it can be changed.

Someone asked him about what he does when not at work. He said “I described ‘my passion.’  I wake up and go to sleep with this on mind — how to get people to transform to get with the revolution.” When people come down he gives out materials to selective people, mostly the Declaration. He also put up posters about the RNL show. When the fund drive for the National Revolution Tour started he let them know about the drive. He said:  “I let them know what their donations would be used for and how there are many ways to participate, not everyone has to be on the front lines, some can support from behind the lines. Several asked me to text the info for how to donate. I am pretty sure that two of them did donate. I am planting seeds and fertilizing with the link.”

This club member had earlier responded to a text with a link to Joe Veale's “Who's Going to Step Up and Fill Mobile's Shoes?” with “Those are some pretty big shoes to fill.” He is starting to do just that.

Many others are stepping up to donate. A supporter of the club raised $50 for the fund drive in a few hours on her job by selling caramel apples to her co-workers. A few days ago, a man who lives near the organizing center burst in and announced that he was glad to see we were open so he could bring in his $10 donation saying that he had gotten the word about our campaign from two different people. Five Stolen Lives family members made donations which totaled $150 after getting phone calls about this campaign. Several people messaged back that they had donated after getting the text blast or message via Facebook messenger. Many of these people are first time donors. We have also reached back to previous donors and gotten repeat donations.

We have surpassed our $500 goal but have not yet reached the goal of 50 donors—34 people have donated so far. We are launching a new fundraising push via text blasts and on social using the new post of our club member reading the call to donate from people here who have lost loved ones to the violence in the streets. As the Livestream pointed out, through this drive we are not only raising much needed funds, we are also building organization.

    • Venmo: “@RevolutionTour”
    • CashApp: $revtour
    • Send a check or money order,
      payable to RCP Publications,
      memo line: National Revolution Tour.

    Mail to:
    RCP Publications
    Box 3486, Merchandise Mart
    Chicago, IL 60654-0486



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