Income Movement’s grassroots fundraising philosophy.
By Diane Pagen
“Money makes the world go round” wrote Fred Ebb for the famous musical. As activists for a Universal Basic Income, we know money matters very much. That’s why we believe in a basic income, so that people’s focus can be on living, on building community, on healing the planet, on creative solutions to our problems. People are suffering from poverty, homelessness, and malnutrition. There is no doubt that fighting for a consistent basic income is the most important fight of 2021.
For Giving Tuesday, Income Movement is kicking off our week-long Fall Fundraising effort. We are asking for your help to raise the money to do the work that will make Universal Basic Income a reality while advocating in the near-term to have Congress include emergency basic income in the next stimulus package. We want every person to be able to shift their focus from making ends meet to tackling our most critical problems, together.
We condense our fundraising campaigns to only twice a year, because our primary work is not fundraising; it’s organizing and growing our community to carry out actions that win a Universal Basic Income.
Our goal this week is to raise $40,000. Fund for Humanity is prepared to match the first $10,000 raised during this campaign. That means for every $10 donation made, $20 will go to fund Income Movement’s work. This is a great opportunity for the community to have a big impact when donating.
Income Movement’s role within the basic income movement is to support the engagement and growth of our grassroots community, broaden our coalitions with other organizations working towards economic justice, and coordinate with candidates and policy orgs to increase political impact. This takes money. This is why we are fundraising this week.
Our commitment: 95 percent of the year, Income Movement takes action. We organize and sponsor events, like the May 2020 COVID Car Parades and the 2020 Basic Income March that had events planned in 44 cities. We coordinate the writing of letters — 152,000 of them — to the people elected to represent us. We promote the work of like-minded organizations like The Justice Collaborative, and The Poor People’s Campaign. We build coalitions with basic income organizations like Humanity Forward, Mayors for a Guaranteed Income, and Economic Security Project to ensure the movement is coordinated and initiatives have high impact. We work together with grassroots activists to do important work together. We knock on the doors of elected leaders, ride bikes for UBI, create online forums for the community to talk to each other. We write, we march, we speak, and we amplify the voices that fight for a better future.
Income Movement’s commitment to UBI grassroots organizers is that they never pay out of pocket to fund the actions and events they are leading. In 2020, Income Movement spent more than $75,000 to design tools and assets in support of organizers of Basic Income Marches across the globe. We paid for signs, banners and supplies for local marches and events, car parades, art installations, and more. To keep our commitment in 2021, Income Movement is pushing hard during our week-long Fall Fundraising effort. Starting today through Dec 6th, we ask for you to give what you can.
As we grow our calendar of events, we want to continue to commit to zero out-of-pocket expenses for grassroots activists for basic income, who are everything to this movement.
Our philosophy: Just as a policy of recurring cash payments says, “you are valuable,” our fundraising philosophy highlights our belief that the people who make up the basic income community are valuable. We show our appreciation and value for you by devoting 351 days of the year to fighting for ongoing cash payments for the people, not fundraising and asking for money from the community. By focusing fundraising to two targeted weeks, it allows us to focus together for the rest of the year on the work needed to build momentum in our growing movement for economic justice. It allows us the space to do the difficult work of helping people re-imagine the role of work and income in our society.
Our request to you: In order to get back to the work, we need to hit our fundraising hard in a short period of time: one week only, starting today, Dec 1! This is our first time participating in Giving Tuesday, a day not-for-profits count on the greater community for donations as an invaluable source of support. We are continuing our fundraising until December 6th. We ask that everyone who wants basic income implemented to donate if they can, and to ask two close friends or family members to do the same.
What your donation will fund in 2021: Income Movement has a series of Initiatives and Campaigns we are targeting for 2021. Your donations will help us be successful in these efforts: organizing the Congressional Pressure Campaign focused on the newest members of the House and Senate and the First 100 Days of the Biden / Harris administration, funding #UBICancelsPoverty murals across the country and other creative endeavors (artists are hit hard during COVID — let’s support them!), launching the Basic Income Community Digital Hub to offer a public space for basic income resource sharing and conversations, organizing the 100 Mayors for Guaranteed Income campaign, funding the 2021 Basic Income March and Week of events, and hosting the quarterly and weekly State of The Movement meetings to keep the community fully up to date on progress and opportunities to take action.
We are very grateful to all of you for your work, your time, and your donations. We do not take these for granted. We are organizers in service to all of you committed to a recurring guaranteed income for everyone. Our promise is to use your donations to make great local and national events possible for every person who organizes one, while creating the strategy and the buzz that moves us closer to a Universal Basic Income for the U.S.
Diane Pagen is a UBI advocate, activist and a social worker in NYC. To learn more about her work go to www.dianepagen.com.