Fundraising and Accountability

By Marisol Fornoni


“Already surrounded by this mad city the caterpillar goes to work on the cocoon which institutionalizes him”

Mortal Man – Kendrick Lamar


As the resource coordinator for Lost Lyrics, it is my role to acquire new resources and partnerships to make sure our organization can further expand its mission. This includes getting money to keep Lost Lyrics’ current programs running and roll out future ones.

Over the years, fundraising has changed significantly. As community organizing has become more institutionalized through the expected incorporation of non-profits and charitable organizations, the majority of initiatives have become accountable to funders instead of the communities they work in. It is important to ask ourselves if a reliance on this type of funding has impacted or derailed social justice movements.

Fundraising today is a full-time profession, with different branches, strategies and professional associations.  Social media, non-profit technology and branding are now all expected to be part of an organization’s strategic plans. While I am a complete product of these changes, my goal over the next couple of months is explore alternatives to current fundraising practices.

For groups that are making demands outside of the current system and have more radical visions of social change these grassroots fundraising strategies are particularly useful.  By learning more about how noninstitutionalized revolutionary movements and groups engage in fundraising practices I hope to answer the following questions:


  1. How do we engage in fundraising practices that involve the community and become more accountable to the communities we work with?


  1. How do we create cycles of mutual support in fundraising with the communities we work with?



Recommended Reading:

The Revolution Will Not Be Funded: Beyond the Non-Profit Industrial Complex Paperback – Mar 1 2009 by INCITE! Women of Color Against Violence (Editor)



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