One of those books that I’ve had on my nightstand for months (thank goodness for really long checkouts from the university library) is Fundraising for Social Change.
Once I finally opened it up, I found not only some still-relevant and very applicable (although my edition is somewhat outdated, technology-wise) fundraising strategies, especially for grassroots social change organizations, but also even more parallels between advocacy and fundraising than I had contemplated before. This has me thinking about how fundraisers are advocates for their causes, and how advocates should spend more time asking for money, and I want to hear from those who are fundraisers and those who are advocates (and those who consider themselves both!) about your reactions to these areas of overlap. In the weeks to come, I’ll sprinkle in some posts with some specific ideas about how some of the strategies suggested in Fundraising for Social Change might be applied in an advocacy context, but, here, I’m more interested in the big picture, a sort of “Venn Diagram” of how the worlds of asking for money and asking for policy change collide.
I don’t love asking people for money. Just as I don’t naturally love confrontations with elected officials or media representatives, or policy debates with my neighbors. But I know that I can do it, and I have, and I will, because I know that winning advocacy campaigns requires money, and that money which is raised from our constituency is money that is more secure and more empowering than that which is begged from distant benefactors. I see raising the money to fund social change as an extension of my belief in it, and so it must be part of the equation.
And you, advocates, can fundraise too.