Organized People, Organized Money: Lora McDonald from MORE2

When we train leaders on POWER, we say it is “organized people, organized money.”  Yes, we put people first, because that is what our faith and values require of us. Our love of people is what draws us to Gamaliel and its affiliates. But that doesn’t mean money is an afterthought — the most successful Gamaliel affiliates, leaders and organizers are the ones who understand why money is a part of the same sentence as the people: organize people, organize money — it relates to everything we do.  These photos are from our 2019 annual fundraiser; we have continued to have live/ remote-curbside events in 2020 and 2021 and are raising more money than ever- we netted $101,000 in 2020.
At MORE2, that means everyone, staff and leaders, is responsible for raising money. We think about money as it relates to the issues (follow the money), which allies we can later sell ads to for our fundraiser, and how much it will cost to engage in a particular fight. It also means putting our money where our mission is, paying good living wages and benefits, and ensuring that our vendors match our mission and include businesses owned by immigrants & people of color.*  At our annual fundraiser, in November 2021, netted 85,000 and 90% of our expenses went to local businesses owned by people of color. Organized money is half the definition of power: are you spending half your time thinking about it, raising it, strategizing how to grow it?
*In 2019, we realized that our city venue had only white and corporate owned catering companies as options. We cut an issue around it, organized black owned catering companies, got a Councilperson to sponsor an ordinance, and now two of the companies we worked with are on the city’s preferred catering contract list, giving them exclusive access (with 5 other businesses) to over $8million a year in revenue.  Now, we have black owned vendors to select from at our annual event venue.
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