OB fundraising

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OB fundraising

OK, I will open a real sticky topic with the minimum of words. OB is rapidly depleting its funds- so rapidly that we have to fret every time we approve a small budget request.  We obsess about money "leaking out"--- what about trying to get some inflow going?
Is it time to have a real discusssion about ways OB could raise funds? So that OB will be able to do more good things?

What To Do With the Money

I think the best thing to do would be to use the remainder of the funds to hire a really good organizer who would then be responsible, along with everything else, for raising their own salary. I'll see if I can find a sample job description.

Hiring An Organizer

I've heard that Occupy Chicago hired an organizer???? Below a sample organizer job description from an lbgt group:

Strategic budgeting

A variation of this theme recently reappeared on the community forum, namely "what to do with the money". I'm concerned that "what to do with the money?" (or more specifically, "how to spend the money?") shouldn't be the first question that we ask.

Note that how we spend money is completely separate from the question of what kind of fiscal management structures we adopt; they are totally different issues. I'm going to talk about the former. (Others are, of course, welcome to talk about the latter).

Speaking for myself, if we spend money, I'd like to see us do it with particular goals in mind. Short term (tactical) goals are fine, but I'm more interested in seeing Occupy Boston develop long-term (strategic) goals and directions.

Someone used the example of budgeting $50/week for flyers. That's a small, and very reasonable expense. Are we printing flyers to publicize an action? Okay -- what action, and why are we supporting it? Are we flyering for outreach? That's fine too -- if we bring more people into the movement, what will they do, and how will we keep them engaged?

I'd like to see us adopt a mission statement. Or a couple of concrete goals. Or a couple of demands. In other words, I'd like to see us pick a direction, and then come out and say what that direction is.

Finally, in addition to budgeting money, I'd also like us to think harder about how we budget time. People's time and energy is just as important a resource as money.

budgeting, goals-strategic and tactical

Yes, all issues here are as priotiies,  should come before we even consider fundraising. Otherwise, what are we fundraisng for? Goal setting, direction, some kind of budget-- they are not the usual OB way, but --- are we that "conservative"? Afraid of the new? The old Way is working perfectly??


I agree wholeheartedly with Steve's comment. We need to have a mission if we wish to be successful in allocating resources to achieve the mission. Otherwise we're a random collection of various goals and will fritter away our donated wealth with no clear purpose. This is a larger issue than simply budgeting. Budgeting is one place where it becomes apparent that we lack a focus and strategy.
Setting a goals and strategies is easier said than done.
Our strengths are in our numbers and having truth on our side. We are the 99%, and we are righteous. They are the 1% and they are exploiting and dominating the rest. We have some money, and we have our time, and our ingenuity. We have so much potential, yet for this potential to become real, we need to come into our group mind.
I have been using a metaphor of bee swarming. When a hive of honeybees swarms, half the hive leaves and flies to a nearby tree branch. They sit there for 3 or 4 days and scouts go out looking for a new hive location. They come back and report to the group and other go check out the candidate sites. They may look at 20 sites, but in the end, one emerges as the goal and they all set out together. If they were to split up and go to 20 different sites, then they would all die, because they need their numbers. They need several thousand bees in the hive to make it. A hive of 300 bees won't make it. We're similar. We need a certain critical mass to be successful -- for many reasons:
* perception of the public.   If you see 1,000 people in the street, you think "hey, that's a movement!"  If you see 25 people in the street, you think "Hey, that's a small group of Boston's wing nuts blocking traffic again!"
* cross-pollination and energy. The richness of Dewey Square (despite all it's problems) was the fervent exhange of ideas and energy. We the people came together and cross pollinated our dreams and our knowledge. We reached a critical mass for a moment in history and energized each other, like a fire that finally reached the point where it burns on its own, and you don't need to blow on it to keep it alive.
* resources.   If we have more people focused on a unified goal, then we have more people to get it done, and more resources and ingenuity too.
The danger of unity is that we become to homogenous and voices of diversity get lost, or a dominant ethic of liberalism overtakes the radicalism because we are pre-programmed to feel that liberal ideals are more "wholesome" than radical ones because that message has been repeated over and over by the dominant paradigm because it diffuses dissent and resistance.
Budgeting is an aspect where the need for unity and strategy emerges, and we can use it to open up the larger question of focus and how we can be more effective by working together.

Yes, to yes

Following up on Sage and Steve's comments about deciding on a collective mission and/or direction:
We need more social events when we can talk these things over together, face to face. GA's don't get enough people. We need face time.

goals, budgeting, unity

Yes to Sage and Steve.  AS Sage says-- when folks see 15 folks banging pots about something,  they don't say "They must be one part of a very diverse movement.."  they say, "Buncha wing-nutzs". That is what was a pleasant surprise about OB birthday-- it snowballed into a decent size rally, then a march, and another {dis}-respectable sized rally.
On threat of loss of diversity, that could come just as easily from an OB that shrinks down to it's core of Enthusiasts... much as we love 'em.
Let's do it again-- with a focus outward from OB, onto something of deep concern to the 99%.  Like debt, or ... Losing Your Job.....


Multi-organization Community Gatherings have been great.  Also the book swap, although not well publicized was a good draw.  People like food, drink, swaps, and meeting new people as well as the same hard working occupyers seen often.And I'll add in dance, nothing gets the mind working like creativity, flow, dance ... let's make puppets! Maybe replace Tue GA 2x/mo with sign & puppet making. (ask Aria, she believes the workshop is available to us for that on TUE).
And I'm not a gun ho as others about a focus ... I don't think it is our job to tell them how to take action ... I see us as a community sharing information, inspiration and our passions ... my greatest hope is to empower myself and others to take action ... #Occupy Everywhere ... being able to join an action is great and more so if that individual learns to take action when ever, where ever their rights are challenged. To my mind, Occupy doesn't need anything singular beyond our vision of horizontal democracy, transparency and direct action.  It is up to each to choose where-how-when-what they occupy. And that being said, all roads do lead to Wall Street.

http://wiki.occupyboston.org/wiki/Solidarity/FSU occupyboston/FSU on youtube and @OccupyBostonFSU on twitter also, obr.fm at 7pm, WED.
FSU teaching-learning everywhere EDUCATION is a weapon of Mass CONSTRUCTION

.. and music ..

.. and i'll add in music .. something is amazing about group singing .. 
I've been meaning to go to GAs for a long time now ..  but they are so sporadic and always fall on a day when i have another important commitment.  It's just luck of the draw for me, and i am also allergic to meetings and the structure they enforce. That is why Dewey was so beautiful for people like me, because it was organic and "come when you can".  I have a rich life, so much going on, and it's hard to get downtown often.
Perhaps the upcoming 24x7 vigil at Government Center (starting this coming Tuesday the 23rd) will provide a focal point in time and space for this richness to emerge again. I have a LOT of work to do but i may be able to finish an OccuPod vehicle to bring there.


To me a large part of the problem is the loss of the media working group-no more regular emails, updates about actions, reminders about upcoming events,etc.  While there are efforts to keep people informed, it seems very small scale and exclusive-not everyone is on facebook page, not everyone tweets.  There seems to be a certain amount of vibrancy and immediacy that was lost-I see reference to a regular e-newsletter and I think that would be a great idea to -that way people can opt in and subscribe, and you have a vehicle for informing a broad base about events/activities, issues....



Ahhh, there are a lot of good comments here, adding up to a worthwhile conversation... But, the original question was,  "OB fundraising, or not"??
Being "intenttional " with OB money will help, but-- if we had more incoming $, we could relax about it a bit...