Why should I become an RG member?
- TO BUILD COLLECTIVE POWER. Membership-based organizations are incredibly important to building effective movements for collective liberation! RG encourages young wealthy folks to break the class privilege pattern of individualism by choosing belonging over “doing it alone.” Committing to an organization through membership is key to building the power our movements need to win. It’s a measure of our power: 1200+ young people with access to wealth are serious about building a political home and changing this world together by committing to the long-term project of organizing wealthy communities into movements!
- BECAUSE INVESTING IN RG IS STRATEGIC. RG membership levels up our collective redistribution beyond what any individual can do. Over time, RG members give on average 16x the amount to social justice movements they did before getting involved in our work. Investing in RG results in real, tangible returns for movements for social justice. RG plays a unique and necessary role in our movements, by building the leadership of young people with access to wealth to act in solidarity with poor and working-class-led organizing.
- TO COMMIT TO AN ORGANIZATION. In an age where young people are less likely to belong to unions or religious formations, it’s important for us to have institutions that we can have a sense of ownership over, shared stake in, and collective responsibility towards. Being a member with RG is more than giving money, it’s saying these are my people and I believe in our liberation.
- TO FUND OUR OWN ORGANIZING AS PEOPLE WITH ACCESS TO WEALTH AND CLASS PRIVILEGE (AND NOT EXPECT OTHERS TO). RG is 95+% member-funded so we aren’t competing for funding with grassroots frontline organizations. All of our organizing, programming, and infrastructure is made possible by membership dues. Movement infrastructure is essential to building power, and building and maintaining infrastructure requires resources. As an organization building a movement of young people with access to wealth, we should be the ones supporting it. Wealthy people often get free and subsidized things, and paying membership is stepping up to pay for the cost of running the organization we get so much from and contribute so much to.
- TO FIND COMMUNITY. Becoming a member also gets you access to members-only communication channels on Facebook and over email, and the opportunity to inform national strategy and priorities through the National Member Council.
Where do membership dues go?
- We are committed to building sustainable and solid organizational infrastructure aligned with our commitment to organizing young people with access to wealth in solidarity with poor and working-class-led movements. This is an integral part of building cross-class power with depth and accountability.
- Our campaign issue banner is “Valuing Labor for All.” It’s important for us to live into our own values as we build and maintain our organizing infrastructure. We pay our cross-class staff a living wage and offer the kind of benefits that we believe everyone should have access to. About half of our 20 person staff come from poor, working, or middle-class backgrounds.
- We build deep accountability and strong relationships with a cross-class group of presenters, partners, and consultants by paying people for their labor, including at retreats and webinars.
How does membership fit in with the Redistribution Pledge?
- We ask all RG members to sign the Redistribution Pledge, and all pledge signers to become RG members. If you are a person with access to wealth, these are two of the foundational actions you can take as a member of this community. If you haven’t already, sign the Redistribution Pledge today!
- Joining any organization as a member is part of what it means to build collective power. We use the Redistribution Pledge to track the amount our community is moving to movements for social justice. Without membership, the pledge is just a collection of what individuals are doing, with little accountability. When we report on “how much RG members moved this year to social justice,” we want to be able to include you.
- In addition to 5% of your overall giving going to RG dues, the Redistribution Pledge asks you to commit 10% of your overall giving to one or both of RG’s campaign partners, the Movement for Black Lives and Center for Popular Democracy. All of these are examples of building the same muscle: moving out of isolation, making meaningful commitments to organizations, and sticking to those commitments. It’s our hope that your RG membership and Redistribution Pledge can form the basis of an ongoing giving plan or help you escalate your current giving, as part of a lifelong commitment to the equitable distribution of land, wealth, and power.
How do I know how much to pay in RG Membership dues?
- We ask people to contribute between 5% and 10% of their total annual or monthly giving to RG as membership dues.
- A couple examples to illustrate:
- RG member X gets paid a $240K salary in their tech job, which amounts to about $20K in monthly income. Through RG, they form a giving plan to redistribute 50% of this each month (~$10K/mo) to social justice movements. They settle on dues of $500-$1K/month to RG.
- RG member Y doesn’t have a direct inheritance or high income, but is able to direct about $1M in annual giving to social justice movements through their family foundation. They pay RG dues through a $50K annual grant from their family foundation.
- RG member Z has $100,000 in assets, and is giving $7000 (7%) a year to social justice movements. RG member X pays $350-$700 (5-10% of $7000) as RG dues.
- As you can see, an important part of RG dues is having a consistent giving/redistribution practice. If you don’t have a giving plan yet, we encourage you to make one! Check out the Redistribution Pledge and Redistribution Guidelines to get started. If you have lots of questions, join RG by starting with an amount above or at $250 that feels meaningful to you. This is our minimum membership ask of wealthy people, which would represent 5% of a $5000 annual giving plan.
- If you or your family fall into the wealthiest 10% of the US economy but you do not have current access to wealth (i.e. you have class privilege and/or access to wealth but actually can’t afford RG dues in your budget at the moment), consider joining at our stepping stone level.
- If you are not wealthy but want to support RG’s work as a dues-paying member, please consider joining at our advocate level.
- Finally: in order to sustainably fund our work, it’s important that all of our members give proportionately to their overall giving – and, ultimately, to their overall access to wealth. Unlike many other organizations, we can measure the success of our organizing by how many of our members are giving big AND how many are spending down and may eventually no longer be able to be major donors to RG and other organizations. While we encourage all of our members to commit to the lifelong work of redistribution, we know that will look different at different points in people’s processes. When more of our members are paying a solid 5% dues to RG, our budget will rely less on high net wealth members and will align more with the organizing and leadership trajectories of the full RG community.
I’m over 35 and wealthy. Can I still join RG as a dues-paying member, and what rate should I join at?
Yes you can! Our alumni and 36+ members are an important part of our community, and being a dues-paying member is a great way you can invest in young people’s leadership and help build an intergenerational movement of wealthy people in solidarity with poor and working class movements. We recommend joining at the same “5% of overall giving” level, if that feels doable to you, or otherwise at a level that feels meaningful to you.
Didn’t RG used to ask for 10%? What should I do if I already pay over 5% in dues?
- We used to have a 10% membership ask that was applied unevenly and inconsistently in individual conversations. Our only public facing baseline membership ask was the $250 minimum for wealthy members. We are shifting to a consistent “5% of overall giving” membership ask in all of our public-facing materials.
- This change is in response to our members’ growing redistribution– we are on track to collectively move $100 million in 2021. A 5% ask meets RG’s $3.6million budget and is responsive to what our members have been giving– the majority of our members already give around 5% of their overall giving plan to RG, and so this shift also aligns us better with where our membership base is at.
- If you already give over 5% of your annual giving plan, we ask that you consider increasing your overall giving to social justice movements if you are able, rather than decreasing the amount you give to RG.
Why should I give to RG and other non profits, in addition to mutual aid efforts/projects outside the non profit system?
- We believe that RG members have an important role to play to ensure that underfunded work gets resourced! Many RG members give to groups that are not non-profits and to mutual aid efforts. Historically and currently, mutual aid and power-building go hand in hand and enable each other. A commonly known example is the Montgomery Bus Boycott– the boycott wouldn’t have been successful without the ride-sharing mutual aid efforts that accompanied it and got people where they needed to go, and if ride-sharing had been the only tactic, the movement wouldn’t have won the policy change that materially impacted people’s lives and ability to ride buses with safety and dignity. Because we see voluntary redistribution as a tactic to get us to involuntary or structural redistribution, we encourage our members to be sure to also give to power-building efforts for structural change whether or not they are incorporated non profits. This includes supporting RG through RG membership dues. Check out our Social Justice Philanthropy principles and Guidelines on Interpersonal Giving for more resources.