The Resist Fundraising Philosophy

RESIST had another amazing year!

Thanks to the very generous support of our donors in 2013 we raised close to $977,000, which is a record for us!

At an event last year in Seattle, Washington, a donor asked, “what would you do if you raised more money?” It turns out our actions speak louder than anything we could have said. We raised about $70,000 more than we were expecting which means we gave an additional $70,000 in grants.

That translates into 20 additional activist-led organizations doing some of the most radical organizing work happening in the country. It so happens that we funded a larger percent of the groups that applied for grants. Between 2003 and 2012 we funded about 46 percent; in 2013 we were able to fund 56.5 percent of the groups that applied for grants!

What is most exciting is that one-third of the groups we supported last year were groups we had funded for the first time. In the end, this simply means that there is more organizing and activism happening across the country, more groups are coming to us for support, and because of our dedicated donors, we are able to support them – which we love!

We had over 4,800 donors last year. The breakdown in terms of their giving level has not changed much since last year. We are proud of the fact that donors contributing $100 or less continue to make up 85 percent of our donor base. This model has allowed us to be sustainable through many hard economic times. However, this is an investment. It costs a lot less to have a couple hundred donors who can make large contributions, than thousands of donors giving hundred dollars or less. But then the smallest economic shift, like a real or feared drop in the market, can have a devastating impact on an organization’s budget. Unfortunately, we have seen this happen to a few of our funding colleagues.

It also allows us to be truly independent. Because there are no strings attached to any of the donations we receive, we can support the most courageous groups out there taking on power and money. This is why we are dedicated to bringing in new donors at all levels.

A few years ago, we launched a major donor campaign to grow our budget in order to be able to fund more groups and to increase our maximum grant size from $3,000 to $4,000. Since the campaign’s inception in 2010, it has grown by 70 percent. We are grateful to the progressive individuals and institutions that have allowed RESIST to grow while being faithful to our radical politics!

We know it doesn’t stop with us simply having a good year. There is only one reason we do what we do, and that is to support the most critical groups across the country. The equation is simple: the more we are able to raise, the more groups on the frontlines of social change we are able to support, which means the closer we get to the real goal: peace and justice.

Ravi Khanna is the director of development at RESIST. If you have any questions or are looking for ways to get more involved with RESIST, feel free to write him at ravi@resistinc.org or call 617-623-5110.

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