We rely on confidentiality to create a supportive and challenging space for young people with wealth and class privilege. It is very important that you respect everyone’s experience and take the confidentiality of the retreat seriously.
Confidentiality at Resource Generation national retreats means:
- What’s said here stays here. This is an intentional and unique space created to support young people with wealth and class privilege. People are sharing personal experiences in a particular moment and with a particular group of people. It’s up to them, and only them, to decide when to share their experiences in the future. “Speaking from one’s own experience” is a good guideline to follow. Retreats can be amazing and transformative weekends that we hope you can share, but make sure you are sharing your own experience and not someone else’s story.
- This includes not sharing information that someone shared with you one-to-one, or in a small group, with anyone else who was not present at that time.
- When talking about RG retreats, please do not share people’s names. Again, speaking from one’s own experience is a good guideline to follow.
- If you see a young person with wealth who you met at an RG national retreat at another venue, please do not announce that you met at the retreat or point out their wealth status.
- Contact information of young people with wealth is not to be shared with other individuals or organizations.
Why do we ask that you not share names? Every person has a different relationship to and experiences with wealth. Being open about having class privilege and wealth can be new and intense. Participants may have people in their lives that may not know they have class privilege/money. We create this additional layer of confidentiality to allow participants to be open with people in their lives at their pace and in the way that makes sense for them. But this is a safe space where we can talk about these challenges! Start these conversations and you may find many people openly connected to Resource Generation. We are building a community of Resource Generation members and would love for each of you to be open active members!
Confidentiality is a big deal! We have worked hard to create a supportive space at this retreat where everyone can take risks and have the difficult conversations that are hard to start in the other spheres of our lives. Discussions around confidentiality are important and ongoing, so please have them and feel free to approach RG staff with any questions or concerns.
Solicitation and Fundraising
In order to create a supportive space for young people with wealth to explore their relationship with class, money and privilege and move towards action, we strive to be mindful about how, where, and why soliciting funds from each other can and should happen.
RG is about community, organizing, education, and personal and collective transformation, not fundraising for any one individual or organization. We want the goal for young people with wealth getting involved in RG to be primarily about gaining tools, relationships, and participation in campaigns and other actions for justice over the course of their lives – not the money they or anyone else can raise for just one cause.
At RG we strive to support participants to use social justice principles, RG’s core values and vision, and well-informed strategic understanding of the landscape of social justice organizing to make decisions about giving and investing, instead of continuing the often overwhelming patterns of arbitrary decision-making. We train participants on how to be responsible and effective donors who have giving plans, are transparent about their decision-making, and who commit to organizations for the long haul.
The foundation of all good fundraising and donor organizing is commitment to and planning for the long-term. Like any other type of organizing, one-time opportunities to give are often great gateways and inroads into growth and further giving, but are most effective when they are paired with thoughtful follow-up and ongoing organizing of people as their whole selves and not just checkbooks.
It is the policy at RG retreats to have some designated spaces for having open conversations about fundraising; otherwise, we ask that participants do not solicit funds from each other.
The following are spaces in which participants can opt-in to solicitation and follow-up after the retreat. The goal of all of these spaces is to educate and inform. To that end, the only space in which it is appropriate to make a fundraising or investing pitch and collect pledges during the retreat is a solicitation Open Space. All pitches should be in the context of a longer-term organizing strategy; transactions should happen in follow-up conversations after. See more below:
- Workshop follow-up: Sign-in sheets will be passed around at all workshops. If you are open to being followed-up with by the presenters and the organizations they represent, which may include their fundraising appeals, please check the appropriate box. This way, as participants learn and have their interest piqued by what they’re learning, transparent follow-up can happen in which money can authentically be part of the conversation.
- Consultant Cafe: We encourage all parties to proactively share information on investing and funding with the goal of participants learning their options. The goal of Consultant Cafe is not to fundraise or be fundraised, or “sign on the dotted line” to move investments, but to educate and learn. More specific follow up conversations can happen after Making Money Make Change if you share your contact information with the Consultant on the follow-up form. For example, if a participant expresses interest to a consultant in sustainable farming, the consultant could share that there are some great loan funds to check out in that area, and direct them to examples, further resources, or share their contact information to follow up afterwards.
- Open Space: Retreat attendees may organize an Open Space that addresses a need for funding or investing, and make a fundraising pitch in this space. To do so, the participant must write “solicitation space” next to their Open Space. All pitches should be part of a longer-term organizing strategy based on the organization’s role in the social justice landscape and how participants can be meaningfully involved as donors for the long haul. It is the Open Space organizer’s responsibility to follow up on pledges, and actual transactions should happen after Making Money Make Change. Because Open Space can be very free-form, please talk to Jessie Spector, RG’s Executive Director, before organizing this type of space so we can help ensure the best possible outcome and application of the guiding principles of this solicitation policy. Please also reference the example for how to host a solicitation open space in the “Do’s an Don’ts” section below.
- Consensual 1:1 conversations: As with any topic, if someone you are talking to demonstrates interest in learning more, or you want more information about a funding opportunity, ask if you can share more, or have more information. The goal is to educate and inform; any specific pitches or amounts should be in scheduled follow-up conversations.
All organizing and fundraising happens best when it is based in real and authentic relationships. We ask that you lead with that concept in all your interactions at RG – everyone here is a person to know and be in community with.
As with all policies and protocol, this is ultimately about creating a supportive space for young people with wealth to learn and move toward action. Issues of wealth, privilege, fundraising, and solicitation impact participants in varied ways. To support our goals for RG and for Making Money Make Change, we ask that all people at Making Money Make Change adhere to this policy. We are grateful for your support and for learning and evolving with us.
DOs and DON’Ts (Examples)
Here are some tips on how to effectively navigate solicitation at RG national retreats:
- Ask for consent
- Example: “Your excitement and questions about how to better support organizing in rural communities is making me think about a coalition I know of in X rural area. Would you like me to tell you more about that coalition and send you a link to their website after the conference?”
- Use Open Space to talk about collective funding opportunities and the benefits (personal, community, financially) of them.
- Example: “My Open Space is to talk to others who are passionate about supporting student organizing. I’d love to put our heads together on what efforts we know are happening in that field, and what coordinated funding of that could look like. I know X organization is a leader in this field and has a strong social justice analysis. They are looking for $Y to start a capacity-building and training program, and for 10 major donors to give to them for at least 3 years. What other organizations are out there who are values-aligned? How much can we pledge to support them? Let’s start a conversation and those people interested in taking next steps together will make sure we have each other’s contact info to schedule a phone call after the retreat.”
- Share openly and honestly about your understanding of the landscape of social justice organizing.
- Example: “It’s awesome that you care so much about education. There are a few organizations I know of using grassroots organizing models to actually increase the power of families of color. I can make an introduction if you’d like.”
- Ask questions! Ask for advice on how to create and evaluate a giving plan that is bold and holistic.
- Example: “Because of my personal connections in the Jewish community, most of the organizations I give to are Jewish-led. Will you share your thoughts on how to diversify my giving while still supporting this community that is so important to me and doing crucial work?”
- Share openly and honestly about best practices for donors, and how participants can model excellent donor behavior and communicate well with organizations as donors. We’re here to learn how to be accountable to each other!
- Example: “One of the best things I’ve seen donors do is proactively initiate conversations with an organization about their giving, rather than waiting for a solicitation letter (or, a letter and then a phone call and then an email to track the donor down). This helps the organization financially plan, and focus their time on the work rather than chasing after donors.”
- Solicit people directly for funds in any space besides a solicitation Open Space.
- Suggest organizations to look into for giving or investing in, besides the spaces explained above.
- Come to the retreat with a concrete fundraising goal or ask, or expectation to get funding commitments for an organization or project you’re fundraising for.
- Lead with things like “my (or my friend’s, or my favorite, etc) organization is having a financial crisis and we really need support, can I count on you to make a contribution?” without the conversation being based in the organization’s role in the social justice landscape and how participants can be meaningfully involved as donors not just at crisis times, but for the long haul.
- Be bashful about saying no if asked to have a solicitation conversation.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Iimay Ho, RG’s Executive Director firstname.lastname@example.org