Several of the leading social justice organizations have come together to create scalable political and fundraising canvass programs that will lead to financial sustainability and greater political power. The venue, The Face to Face Fundraising Round Table, is a collaborative working group to surface strengths, coordinate tests, and learn among partners.
The Face to Face Fundraising Round Table
The Round Table includes the Working Families Organization, National People’s Action, Center for Popular Democracy, and the Fair Immigration Reform Movement. The collaboration is facilitated by Membership Drive, sponsored by the Center for Community Change, and supported by the Analyst Institute.
Highlights have included:
• Financing to Go Big: Guillermo Quinteros from Solidago Foundation discussed emerging low-interest loan opportunities for progressive organizations that can run proven, profitable, and scalable face-to-face fundraising programs.
• Growth through New Markets and Channels: Working Family Organization (WFO) grew their canvass operation over 66% in 2014 by expanding their fundraising efforts into two new states. The organization plans to continue to grow in 2015 through testing street fundraising models and increasing their monthly donors.
National People’s Action Campaign (NPAC) tested a street canvass model when they launched their first ever in-house fundraising canvass this year. Plans to grow in 2015 include the expansion of the in-house team, as well as work with their affiliates to launch canvass operations in two new states.
• New Canvass Models in Low Income Communities: The Center for Popular Democracy presented a case study on groundbreaking work by New York Communities for Change (NYCC), which runs a canvass in low-income communities that performs as well as many fundraising canvasses in middle-class neighborhoods. In seven months it has generated $87,253 in membership dues, which includes 910 monthly sustainers, and increased turnout to local meetings by over 378%.
As organizations work to grow their base and their budgets, models like NYCC’s that work well in the communities most impacted by social injustices may be the next frontier for fundraising and political canvasses. The Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE) in Los Angeles are already testing NYCC’s model. We’ll see what happens in 2015.
For more information about the Round Table, contact Ashley Bloom at Membership Drive: abloom (at) membershipdrive.com.