“Why Give $ to Rich Kids?” My Experience FUNdraising for RG

Hey RG!  I’m here today to talk about my experience fundraising members for RG – but first let me tell you a little bit about my own RG journey, because that’s really where the story begins.

I found RG almost … Continue reading »

I just did my first one-on-one and it was awesome!

takling-cartoonPreparation
My interest in building the Philly chapter lead me to participate in a webinar on ‘How to give an excellent one on one.’ I thought I had never “been one-on-oned” going into the webinar and even mentioned that in my intro. Kaitlin, RG’s Campaign and Chapter Organizer, gave a great webinar while Kate, another Philly Chapter leader, and I watched from her living room. I noticed mid-way through the webinar, that in fact, Kaitlin had just “one-on-oned” me earlier that week! Somewhat embarrassing but we had a good laugh about it chatting after the webinar.

I remember about a year ago, when I was on the other side of the table and I was coming into RG. I was super nervous about having a one-on-one for my entry point for Resource Generation, Philly Chapter. I had gone to the RG website and had a general idea of what RG was about. I thought it seemed like a good fit for me and was anxious to get started.

I had been offered a one-on-one OR the opportunity to participate in an awesome tax campaign call-in day the then nascent Philly Chapter was about to do. Of course, I chose taxes! I’d much rather call strangers on the phone and tell them to tax me more, than talk to a wonderful individual in a one-on-one! For some reason, I thought a one-on-one would be a really intimidating experience, so I avoided it.

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Best and Worst Donor Practices

Piggy BankHere at RG are currently in the midst of our Fall Campaign.  You might have seen a spiffy looking mailer from us in your mailbox and you’ll likely getting a phone call soon. We are looking forward to chatting with all of you, getting some feedback on our work this year, collecting suggestions for RG’s future, and of course renewing your investment.

We are also heading to the busiest grant making time of year! Many of you have likely starting thinking about your giving already but I still felt that it’s an opportune time to share some collective knowledge from our allies and leaders around best and worst donor practices. Enjoy!

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4 Suggestions for Social Justice Funders

On a panel at the 2010 Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy pre-Council on Foundations Conference, I presented four suggestions for social justice funders to consider. Below are each of these four.

Of the many approaches to social change, I turn most towards movement-building strategies. As a funder, then, I’m constantly searching for the ways that my practice and work best align with the demands of such an approach. Below is the first of four such ways that I’ve come to believe strongly in.
1. Find a Political Home

Social justice movements require scale and scale, in turn, requires a level of consistent connectivity among people and organizations. Political homes – community-based and led social justice institutions or organizations that individuals are members of and with whom there is mutual investment and accountability – provide exactly this. We should find and join such places not only to contribute to an organization’s work, but, more so, as a space in which to be grounded, to continuously learn, to develop organizing skills, and to be only a phone call away for when those unpredictable political moments that can define social justice movements occur. CAAAV Organizing Asian Communities has been my political home for the past seven years. Time and again, CAAAV has not only responded to events and political openings, but also intentionally expanded the opportunity for others like myself to participate in those responses, from the ’06 immigration marches to the first United States Social Forum in ’07 to ’08 voter engagement efforts in Virginia. Just as important, CAAAV allows me to participate in the often unrecognized day-to-day contributions that have been the backbone of every social movement. CAAAV, in short, facilitates my choosing to engage in action over indulging in apathy. And, it does so by offering strategic and coordinated ways to act with a community of people I’ve grown to trust.

As a funder, being a member of a community-based organization allows me to be in dialogue with those to whom I most want to be accountable. It affords me the opportunity to understand at a deeper and more personal level the conditions faced by organizations that I support through grantmaking and to understand the realities of building such organizations. Only through having a political home have I’ve been able to access the experience, political analysis and honest feedback with which to ensure that my work is relevant and complimentary to the many moving parts of our social justice ecosystem.

Like any home, political homes bring their own sets of challenges and demands on our time. But, in the same spirit, they also position us to engage and engage better the world around us, allowing you and me to start from a place of love and support to which we can always return.

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But how do I choose?!? Some thoughts on year-end giving

This article is reposted from Jessie’s personal blog from 12/24/2013

Its that time of year when there is an all-time high of people in my community asking my opinion about giving and charity. I’m writing this for my personal blog, but in such a way that I hope it is shareable with all of our broader networks. It is by no means comprehensive, but its a start. When you, dear reader, are asked by your cousin or co-worker or housemate about giving, I hope this is something you will find useful to share!

Some of the questions I’ve gotten this week include: how do you know that the money is actually going to “the cause”? If an organization sends glossy fancy mailings multiple times year does that mean they’re spending too much on overhead? Should I give to causes in the global South where things seem much more dire, or give domestically?

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