Some Thoughts from Houston on Meeting the $50,000 Summer Fundraising Goal and Going Beyond



I’m writing to share some thoughts on some of the things we learned in Houston during the push to raise funds to help meet the $50,000 summer goal – and some thoughts on going forward from here to meet the new challenge to raise $25,000 by the end of October.

We are confronting a rapidly shifting situation in the country with the need and potential for real advances in driving out the Trump/Pence regime and in making leaps in building the movement for revolution. The role that the Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution Tour can and needs to play in the midst of all this is absolutely critical – if there is going to be a possibility of a real kind of real future worth living for humanity. We urgently need to meet this new challenge for $25,000 so that the Tour can go forward and maximize everything it needs to do in this next period.

Viewing the July 27 and August 25 livestreams together in Houston spurred our collective efforts to go out into the world and inspire many more people to contribute to this movement being born. While at first most people expressed that they didn’t know anyone else who would agree with this, who they could take it to, how they could build it, etc., through collective discussion, ideas came out and were tossed around a bit, and people found a way in and a way they could contribute to the effort of doing broad outreach, organizing a fundraising dinner and approaching all kinds of different people to contribute to these efforts in different ways.

One of the things we learned is that there’s a difference between asking people to donate and challenging them to contribute. Not that we should be mechanical about “forbidding” the word “donate,” but one consists of asking people to give to a project others are undertaking, and objectively seeing the donation as a “one-off” (to use that phrase); the other calls on people to be part of that project themselves, even if in a beginning way

And I think there are some important lessons concentrated in these two contrasting approaches that are integral to what we’re out to accomplish overall. One, the process of turning heads towards revolution – people who see themselves as contributing to the great project this Tour has set out to accomplish are more likely to continue following it, and the basis is stronger for them to contribute further in various ways as the Tour continues. (And this “turning” has definitely been underway for several of the people who have been part of this effort.)

Another important lesson centers on the importance of putting the need for funds front and center when we approach people. This makes the whole thing – the fact that the Tour is building towards an actual revolution and that support is needed right now for these efforts – more real and challenging, and serves to draw people in. Of course, not everyone responds favorably, or even responds at all, but there is a matter of how we set terms as we take this out in society. In other words, it’s wrong to think you need to begin any interaction with people, whether it’s approaching an individual or group, or out raising funds among masses, with long explanations of the Tour. Let them check out the material – the Call for the Tour, the 5-2-6, etc. as you tell them that they need to be part of it, and that the most meaningful way to do that now is for them to contribute funds, as much as they can possibly contribute. Let them find their way into that.

Through our broad efforts to build support for the Tour, many people were introduced to the work of Bob Avakian and to the revolution that this Tour is all about organizing. Everything going on in the world right now, as concentrated and expressed in the 5 Stops, has a lot of people angered, dismayed, concerned, etc., but most of them think that’s “the way it is,” and you have to find a way to, at best, work with that and deal with it.

But what turned the heads of many towards revolution (and here I’m mainly speaking about people encountered in the broad outreach who made small contributions) was that there is a force out there determined to organize thousands and millions for an actual revolution, and they are being invited into this process, and to help work on the challenges it faces. Hearing BA speak on the videos we ran played a big part in this. Many people from different strata and classes, and various backgrounds, commented that learning of this Tour “gave them hope.” As some high school youths commented upon learning of the Tour and listening to a bit of BA on a video, they had never even thought that the world could be different in any fundamental way.

Moving ahead and making further advances doesn’t just happen. We urgently need to push beyond the limitations of what we have done so far. We need to go to people who contributed already and challenge them to become monthly sustainers. We need to do much more to get with potentially large donors among professionals of various types, including developing salons among groupings of professors and among some immigrant professionals, as well as with some people in outlying areas. There need to be yard sales and art sales and other ways that lots of people can get involved and raise significant amounts of money in the process. And we need to continue to connect with students and basic masses and invite them in to find out about the Tour and contribute. I’m sure there’s many more ideas if people really proceed from how precious this Tour is – how much it means that there is this force out there that’s fighting for a way out of this horror and for a whole different and much better world.

The stakes are enormous, the time is short. $25,000 more is needed now. The challenge is before us all.


$25,000 Is Needed in October

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