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Building Financial Stability from the Ground Up

This fall, the Center for Popular Democracy (CPD) will launch an exciting new program to address one of the greatest challenges facing base-building, community organizations: revenue generation and financial stability that enables the scaling up of our work.

Since 2008, social justice organizations have experienced widespread financial instability as heavy reliance on institutional support has been confronted by a national economic crisis and a consequent reduction in foundation giving. At the same time, social justice organizations have failed to increase individual donor capacity although nationwide individual giving has actually risen by 2.7%.

In the face of these challenges, CPD’s Sustainability Initiative promotes broader based models of organizational funding by focusing in particular on small donor and membership dues revenue generation. CPD will work with national and state-based partner organizations to research and test canvass and small donor generation programs. We will help design and implement a range of new member and small donor recruitment programs with our partners. After evaluating the efficacy of different approaches, the initiative will work to document the most successful practices. The findings of our research will be synthesized and published.

The long-term aim of the Sustainability Initiative is to develop a set of resource materials and to offer technical assistance, so that base-building organizations across the field are able to develop and implement successful membership and small donor fundraising programs.