Yes, every year I post about where I am planning on donating money and encourage you to donate as well. Here’s my post from last year, where I talk about what the financial impact to social movements would be if people gave away just 1% of their income.
Today, I would like to reference, again, this quote from activist and media scholar Sut Jhally , which while it talks about independent media, can obviously be applied to broader social movements as well:
“Independent media have been severely under-funded relative to how much individuals give to the corporate media. If you have cable, and I include myself in this when I think about where I spend my money, my media money, if you have cable or satellite TV or a connection to the internet, you are directly funding corporate media. People think nothing of spending $100 or more a month on cable and the internet. And yet independent media has to beg to get a few scraps. I just did the math on this. It’s sometimes really good to fantasize—fantasy is always a prerequisite for social change—Let’s presume you could get a million people on the Left to take media issues seriously. That’s actually, given that MoveOn has three and a half million members and a lot of other sites have membership in the millions, that is not an unreasonable thing. Let’s say you could get a million people to rethink their media consumption and their media expenditures. Let’s say you could get a million people to spend $100 a month on independent media. If you don’t have a calculator, I’ll do the math for you. That is 1.2 billion dollars. If we act together and if we make the media something that is central to how we think about politics, think of what that would make possible, and how we would aid progressive forces in this country. Why don’t we do that? Because media issues are still seen as secondary.”
We need to start taking the issue of funding seriously. Now.
So, here’s who I will be giving money to this year:
- Riseup – I gave money to them last year and will again this year. This small collective that provides free, secure email, list, and hosting services to the radical community. Just the email accounts alone they provide allow the global justice community to survive, and they are keeping us out of the Google empire. Go directly to their donate page here.
- The Sun Magazine – I love this magazine. Here’s a link to the post I wrote earlier this year gushing about them. One of the last ad-free monthly publications out there, The Sun has truly quality content and I look forward to every issue. I am resisting the shift of reading material to the web, and part of that is supporting print publications instead of just reading them online. I will be renewing my subscription and giving subs as gifts. Here’s a link to where you can subscribe.
- The Electronic Frontier Foundation - They’re amazing! They consistently stand up for privacy rights, and things that you really care about. Just the other day I read an SF Chronicle article about them suing various government agencies, asking the agencies (Like the CIA and FBI) to disclose how they are gathering info on people based on social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook. They have countless other cases that they’ve initiated to protect your rights. Their donate page is here.
My criteria? Simple – I’m super excited about the work that these groups do and know that they don’t have secret funding sources. If my income grows, my donations will grow, and I prefer to give more to a couple different organizations than a little to a lot of organizations.
Finally, (another) shout out to one of the most amazing websites out there – Enough. This collection of posts is tagged “Giving Money Away” and has some excellent discussion of this very same topic.
I would LOVE to hear who you are giving money to this year!