The fund drive to raise $100,000 to put Revolution on the Map in 2023 was successfully concluded with the very powerful fundraising livestream on February 19, 2023. This is a big deal and a major victory! This was the result of the work of people all over the country who took up the Call from the Revcoms. People found many creative ways to reach out to people to answer this call for much needed funds. The recent historic Interviews with Bob Avakian, BA, on The RNL—Revolution, Nothing Less!—Show provided the political and ideological glue and inspiration for these efforts. This victory is significant both in terms of the money raised, but also in how this has contributed to building up a broader national community of people who are part of bringing forward the forces for revolution. All of this now has to be learned from and built on. We have said from the outset that achieving this goal was not the ceiling, but the bottom floor that we have to climb up from.
A major factor in drawing people into this fund drive has been the Interviews with Bob Avakian, attracting people to want to see BA—and the whole future he represents and is fighting for—become a major factor on the political terrain. We still have a lot of important work to do to make that a reality, including raising even more funds to make that possible. But it is decisive to grasp how important, how much of a game-changer these Interviews can be and how that was shown in a beginning way in this fund drive.
Some of the voices of those who contributed are posted on revcom.us, and many of them were shown on the major fundraising livestreams that were part of bringing people together to learn more about the revolution and what the funds are needed for—and to get involved in the movement to raise these funds. Many spoke of their sense that this system is no good, and that this revolution represents hope for a different future. Many looked to BA’s leadership and the understanding he brings that there is a very different way that we could be living. “BA wants to emancipate the world and I feel the same way.” The analysis of the dangers to humanity involved in the war in Ukraine; the situation of the uprising of women and people in Iran, and the hopes that has raised—these were some of the reasons that many donors gave for why it is so important to get this revolution, and the leadership of BA, on the map right now. Others spoke of the way that lives are being wasted, the outrages of the police killings of young Black and Brown people, what is being done to women with the ripping away of the right to abortion, and the urgency of this time to make real fundamental change.
The donations came from people at the very bottom of society, from medical professionals, lawyers, and students. And some significant donations came from people whose hopes for a different world were rekindled through connecting with the call for getting organized for a revolution in this time of great possibility and great urgency. Not everyone who donated is convinced or clear on the need for the kind of revolution that will actually overthrow the existing system, and many are just learning about all of this. But donating to make it possible for this revolution to be impacting the political terrain at this moment was something that everyone who made a donation was contributing to.
One of the most important things that we learned and have changed is getting a clearer sense of the relationship between raising funds for revolution and bringing forward the forces for revolution. There is not going to be a revolution without the support—financial and otherwise—of millions of people. Society needs to be repolarized for revolution, to where millions are challenging the legitimacy of this system and the ways that it is endangering the lives of the people here and around the world. And that process of repolarization is pushed forward when people meet the revolution and are challenged to contribute and find out more about what this revolution is all about. This lesson was driven home repeatedly through the course of this fund drive—the importance of raising funds on an ongoing basis as an integral part of building up the movement for revolution right now in this rare time.
Also important is the way that the sense of a national movement emerged, with people learning from the experiences of people in other cities, from the reports on revcom.us and the national livestreams.
Coming off of the January Livestream, the fundraising effort took on the character of a real national movement. Through popularizing examples like the 10x10 effort in Chicago, where people with few resources donated $10 and pledged to find nine other people to do the same, and the dinner plate sale held in Cleveland—the Livestream gave people a living sense of a community of people all throwing in, in different ways, to raise the funds needed to put revolution on the map.
The interview with Dr. Phil Rice had a big impact as he spoke to how the Bob Avakian Interviews had deeply challenged his assumptions that the only audience for the revolution were the people that were already politically active and how he now saw the basis to take out the BA Interviews and raise funds among all kinds of people who are looking at the situation in the world and wondering what hope there is for humanity. We need to put the need for funds before all kinds of people and not assume that there is no basis for them to be interested—or perhaps even be anxious to connect with people who are fighting to change things more fundamentally. There is more to sum up about this, and what difference it makes to break with the idea that you can’t raise funds straight up with people from the get-go.
This approach opened up whole new horizons for doing outreach and led to a flowering of collective fundraising efforts in different cities which built upon each other. Important initiatives have been taken among different sections of people. Altogether over $12,000 was raised from different kinds of collective efforts, and important advances were made in bringing forward and unleashing people to contribute to these efforts based on their conviction that these Bob Avakian Interviews need to get out in the world because revolution is urgently needed.
These efforts included dinners and open mic events, garage sales, bakes sales and dinner sales, outings to sell T-shirts, and collective gatherings to watch the fundraising Livestreams. Here are just a few examples you can find on revcom.us:
** Bold outreach to an international art event in LA where over $900 was raised.
** In Houston, a team of people reached out to stores and restaurants asking people to display materials for the fund drive and the Bob Avakian Interviews. Owners made room for revolutionary materials, displays and change jars to reach their customers.
** A dinner plate sale organized by the Revolution Club in the Bay Area where they consciously set out to rely on the efforts and contributions of many different kinds of people and learned deeply from this the need to incorporate fundraising into everything that the revolutionaries are doing.
Building on the success of reaching this immediate $100,000 goal, there is a need to learn more deeply where we made significant progress in reaching out to and involving all the different kinds of people. This is needed to build the financial base of support for the revolutionaries who are working to spread the word and organize people to be part of this revolution. And at the same time, we need to break new ground in raising the massive amount of funds—from donors who can give substantially large donations—that we are going to need to expand our reach, increase our ability to impact society, and build the capacity to bring forward a revolutionary people in the thousands.
And very importantly we will need to bring forward many, many thousands of people who are regularly donating and collecting funds from the people at the base of society—those who yearn for this revolution to gain ground and will be planting the seeds broadly to build up the sea of revolutionary people who will support and defend the revolutionaries now and in the future.
And in all of this we need to keep reaching out to all kinds of people to contribute to the mission of putting this revolution on the map this year.
We want to hear your thoughts and ideas for expanding what we have begun through this $100,000 fund drive.
Watch the February 19 Fundraising Livestream.
(Livestream starts at minute 3:47)