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Strengthening Our Organizations for the Long Haul

By: RoadMap consultants Rebecca O. Johnson, James (Kim) Gilliam, and Alfreda Barringer with advice and counsel from Emily Goldfarb, Rona Fernandez and Holly Fincke.  This project was supported by the French American Charitable Trust.


The last couple years have been hard on many community-­‐based organizations. Funding has been tight. Many of the foundations we have come to depend upon have cut back funding or dropped us all together. Some of us have little or no experience in raising money from our main constituencies, the community(ies) we seek to serve.
But there is a long and proud history of important advocacy and organizing efforts being funded from within – from among the members, clients, allies and communities needing the change being sought. Grassroots and donor fundraising was central to the success of the civil rights, environmental justice, feminist and gay organizing movements. Fundraising we can control must become central if we are to guarantee the success of today’s organizing and advocacy efforts.  We hope you will find these tools useful in building your understanding of and the necessity for reclaiming these important skills and strategies.