Revolution #206, July 4, 2010
Web-a-thon Raises Funds to “Put Revolution on the Map”
On Sunday, June 20 the first-ever “Put Revolution On The Map” National Fundraising web-a-thon went “live” with a six-hour webcast, combined with phone banking by volunteers in more than 10 cities. The goal was to raise $10,000 for “The Revolution We Need… The Leadership We Have” campaign.
By the end of the evening, $8,362 had been raised and an additional $2,115 had been pledged. By the next night, the total had jumped to $8,872 raised and more than $2,100 pledged. Stay posted for final figures.
Hosts Sunsara Taylor, Annie Day and Will Reese brought alive the national campaign: what’s been happening and upcoming plans—and how people can join in through donations and in other ways. By the beginning of the second hour, which featured clips from the talk by Bob Avakian, Revolution: Why It’s Necessary, Why It’s Possible What It’s all About, a reading from From Ike to Mao and Beyond (Bob Avakian’s memoir), and other presentations... $2,000 had been raised for a billboard in Detroit promoting the Revolution talk. The billboard went up the opening day of the U.S. Social Forum.
Highlights of the show included Michael Slate’s interview with Revolution writer Larry Everest, fresh from the Gulf Oil Emergency Summit, and Sunsara Taylor’s interview with Carl Dix and others in Detroit who were standing with the people in the wake of the police execution of 7-year-old Aiyana Stanley-Jones and taking out the Message and Call. Michael Slate also spoke about Arizona; clips were shown from Raymond Lotta’s speech, “The Gulf Oil Spill: A Capitalist Oil Spill, A System Not Fit to Be Caretaker of the Planet, and the Need for Revolution.” There were also dramatic readings of letters by prisoners who read Revolution newspaper.
The hosts called on people to write or call in their comments and questions. People spoke to how this brought alive the importance of what the RCP is doing and the growing sense of a vibrant national movement for revolution. People grasped that a small donation can be part of accomplishing something larger. A $20 donor said, “I feel exhilarated that I can make a small contribution to bring down this imperialist system and bring Bob Avakian’s name to the forefront.” Longtime supporters made comments like, “I’m loving this webcast... I had made up my mind to donate the minute I heard about this fundraiser because I have admired the activists of the RCP for many years... But watching this webcast unfold, I’m realizing just how crucial [is] the work this Party is doing.”
A significant grouping of people who have been following the Party, and who knew about the campaign, expressed a renewed and deepened appreciation for the work of the RCP and what this party is doing to put revolution on the map. This was reflected in some of the more substantial donations.
This webcast also reached a newer and diverse audience: the parent of a victim of a police murder, immigrants from El Salvador and Mexico, students, a young Black man in the projects, attorneys, Internet activists, an oil refinery worker from Texas, a bilingual teacher, and others. A professor said he’d give $100 if four students from his state gave—and this challenge was met. Near the end of the webcast a donor said he’d give $250 if three others would give $250 to make up $1000. Five people responded with $250 donations each.
The phone banking was extremely important. It was an opportunity to reconnect with some people and to connect for the first time with many who had signed up to be contacted. The webcast viewings scheduled at open houses and Revolution Books across the country also opened the door for more people to join in and donate.
By the end of the web-a-thon, funds had been raised to implement big plans immediately. In addition to the billboard promoting the Revolution talk, it was possible to send a crew of revolutionaries, including Revolution correspondents to Detroit before and during the U.S. Social Forum, and to the Gulf to organize an Emergency Summit there. The pledges that have yet to come in are still needed to make all this possible.
We have bold plans ahead this summer—and nationwide plans for further fundraising to support them. Stay tuned for future webcasts and other major efforts. Send your ideas to email@example.com.
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