June 2011: Preparing for the Long Haul – Financial Stability

If this recent war vote shows us anything- it’s that we need to be in this for the long haul. When the US invaded Afghanistan over a decade ago we didn’t necessarily know that years later we’d still be fighting for a withdrawal. Social change takes time, persistence and on-going organizing to gain the wins we need to build the communities and the world we want. What plan is your group making to ensure your local organizing force grows even more functional over time? This month’s KTA is a simple activity to ensure that our groups have one of the resources needed to keep our groups strong & functioning- money.

In order to maintain the daily goings-on of our local human dignity groups and ROP, we need to have some dollars in the bank: for mailings, for signature ads, or for a stipend for a trainer. Maintaining a sustainable human dignity group includes having the funds to organize. A bank account, even a small one, can create critical reserves.

ROP is known for running on a “lean and mean” budget. We do that by using very little resources (dress warm in the winter if you’re stopping by), owning our own house, having volunteers do administrative tasks, and keeping program and field costs low. While the organization has grown, our spending has actually decreased in proportion. Just as the economy has shifted, so has the funding world. Outside funds are harder and more competitive to come by (plus, the more we are “owned” by our members, the more freedom we have in shaping our direction). ROP is turning to local human dignity groups to start a new summer tradition that will provide income for both ROP and your local group through a summer fundraiser.

This summer plan a fundraiser for your human dignity group and ROP. (ROP can help you organize the event). We ask that you allocate a percentage of the funds raised to ROP. The fundraiser can be a summer BBQ with a fundraising pitch, a direct mail letter, or passing the hat at the end of a movie night. Consider which style most fits your group, your supporters, and your schedule. Then call ROP and let’s create a plan to make sure you have a fun event for supporters and a successful way to bring money to your group and to ROP.

1. Gather your human dignity leadership for a conversation on sustainability. Discuss what you can do this summer and if your group would be interested in supporting & partnering with ROP to help sustain your local group and ROP for the long haul!

2. Set a specific fundraising goal: $250, $500 or $1,000 dollars?

3. Brainstorm what fundraising method works best for your group.

  • Direct Mail letter
  • Summer event like a BBQ, movie night, or formal dinner night (have a chef friend host & sell tickets!)
  • Fundraising plan for existing events (consider adding a fundraising pitch at the end of your next group event)

4. Decide what support ROP can provide and contact us! Options include:

  • ROP keynote speaker at your event (ROP can come to town, lead a clinic for your human dignity group leadership in the afternoon, and speak at your evening fundraiser event)
  • Support in sending out a direct mail letter
  • Tips on how to give a good fundraising pitch at the end of the event (we’ll walk you through the 1-2-3s over the phone on how to best move people to give their time AND their money)

5. Make a “to-do” list, divide up the tasks, and get started!

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