Money & the Movement


Grassroots Fundraising in Times of Economic Crisis

Date & Time: 
02/21/2009 - 10:00am - 6:00pm


FRIDAY 7:00pm - 9:30pm

SATURDAY 10:00am - 6:00pm


Join us Friday evening for our opening plenary and all day Saturday for a series of exciting discussions and hands-on workshops and skill shares...


Join us Friday evening for our opening plenary and all day Saturday for a series of exciting discussions and hands-on workshops and skill shares.

Did Barack Obama get elected because of his charismatic leadership? his inspirational speeches? the thousands of volunteers working around the clock on his campaign? ….Or was it because he raised close to a billion dollars?

Although grassroots organizations on the left obviously do not have the same means to raise money that the Democratic Party has, the reach of our work is often limited because we do not take fundraising, and money in general, seriously enough. To wage campaigns, to provide volunteers with food, to pay staff people, to rent offices, to build user-friendly websites, all of this takes money as well as other resources. In the past several years more and more organizations have been feeling the need to move away from sole reliance on foundation funding and towards a 'diverse' strategy of generating revenue.

The question of grassroots fundraising, and how to reach our projected budgets in 2009, takes on an additional dimension as we move into an economic recession and possibly a larger global depression. Many organizations will either not survive or will need to cut back on their expenses in a major way. At the same time, our work has never been more important. More people are questioning the underlying principles of neoliberalism, corporate globalization and capitalism itself. People will be open to our ideas but only if our ideas are able to reach them.

Please come to the Brecht Forum's first annual Grassroots Fundraising (mini) conference and share ideas and learn from others as we all navigate these unchartered waters together. Whether your part of a small local collective with no staff, or your part of an established left non-profit, this conference will build your fundraising skills, expand your imagination in terms of fundraising possibilities and allow you to meet other individuals and organizations who are struggling through the same things that you are.

Opening Night, Friday Feb 20th:
“Grassroots Fundraising in Times of Economic Crisis”

Arun Gupta (Indypendent), Hugh Hogan (North Star Fund), Lynn Lewis (Picture the Homeless), Wanda Salaman (Mothers on the Move), Bhairavi Desai (Taxi Workers Alliance), moderated by Manish Vaidya (Grassroots Institute for Fundraising Training)

Saturday, February 21st:

10:00am - 10:30am registration
(bring your own coffee)

10:30am - 12:30pm session [1]

A. Main space: Navigating the Non-Profit Industrial Complex

B. Library: How to raise $50,000 & Run A Major Donors Campaign

C. Goldberg: Radical spaces in NYC, keeping them alive!

12:30pm-1:15pm Lunch [Brown Bag]


1:30-3:30pm Session (2)

A. Main Space: Creative Fundraising Strategies; How to do serious fundraising while having fun! with: ALP, QEJ, FIERCE & SRLP

B. Library: Telling our Stories, Building our Movements: Left Media in Times of Economic Crisis"
with: Left Turn, NACLA, Allied Media Projects & The Indypendent

C. Goldberg: From Social Networking to CRM: Online Fundraising & Donor Development for Activists.


3:30pm - 5:30pm Session (3)

A. Main Space: Membership based fundraising models

B. Library: Turning Volunteers Into Fabulous Fundraisers
& Building Leadership Through Creative Fundraisers

C. Goldberg: Going into business? Alternative models for grassroots fundraising

***** Closing Feedback Circle ****
5:30pm – 6:00pm



Sha Grogan-Brown is the former Development Director of CISPES

Bhairavi Desai is Executive Director of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance

Lucia Leandro Gimeno is former Development Coordinator at The Audre Lorde Project

Margie Grace is a member of the 123 Community Space in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn

Arun Gupta is Development Director at the Indypendent

Hugh Hogan is Executive Director at the North Star Fund

Randy Jackson is former Development Director for the Miami Workers Center

Nadia Abou-Karr is a Track Coordinator with Allied Media Projects

Mallory Knodel is a member of May First/People Link Collective

Jeanette Lee is Program Coordinator with Allied Media Projects

Brooke Lehman is a member of the Bluestockings Books workers collective

Charles Lenchner is an internet organizer with Working Families Party &

Lynn Lewis is Executive Director at Picture the Homeless

Akinlabi E. A. Mackall is Director of Operations at S.E.E.D.S.

Tej Nagaraja is on the Left Turn magazine editorial collective

Emily Nepon is Grassroots Fundraising Coordinator at Sylvia Rivera Law Project

Yasmeen Perez is Leadership Development Director at FIERCE

Wanda Salaman is Executive Director at Mothers on the Move

Benjamin Shepard, PhD, is an assistant professor of human services at New York City College of Technology/CUNY

Dara Silverman is Executive Director at Jews for Racial & Economic Justice (JFREJ)

Christy Thornton is Director of the North American Congress on Latin America (NACLA)

Helena Tubis is Development Director at Jews for Racial and Economic Justice

Max Uhlenbeck is Development Coordinator at the Brecht Forum

Manish Vaidya is Program & Development Coordinator at the Grassroots Institute for Fundraising Training (GIFT)

Max Registration: 
Minimum Fee: 

Sliding scale: $20-$50
Free for Brecht Forum Subscribers

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