Saturday, December 16, 2006

Greenback Dollars

Lisa left a comment to my previous post re: Greens and Money. It seems that one anthem of the party may come from the old Hoyt Axton song, Greenback Dollar. We don't seem to have enough of them. We seem to despise those who do, and who use the power of those greenbacks to influence opinon.

There are two thoughts that come time mind, each in a way that points to doing things differently. There is an image of the Green Party as being a bunch of older, have it made urbanites who are playing politics. Like most, that image is partly true. The one thing that is definitely not true is the "have it made" part. I would say that there are many Greens who would participate more if it were not for the fact that they have to earn a living. At the same time, there are those who have participated in the work of the party even though it meant that they set aside doing what should have been done to make sure that they and their family well cared for. Being Green is a family decision.

Another thought is that we do not have the proper focus within the organization. We have a finance committee that appears to function primarily as a "budget" committee. I make that differentiation without knowing anything that goes on in the finance committee, only on the fact that the only interaction I have had with the committee was to participate in the preparation of budgets for various working groups (GROW and GIWG).

If we are serious about being a party, we need to find better methods of fund raising than just having 2 donate links on the GPCA home page. The lack of anything other than that is one more evidence that we are not yet ready for prime time (you do need money for getting into prime time).

So, it is in that vein that I am soliticing ideas for fund raising activities that can be conducted by GPCA or any of it's locals. Just add them here as comments. I will make sure that the GPCA Finance Committee gets a chance to see them. No promises that anyone will do anything, but you never know unless you tell us.

Suggestion #1: Subscription drive for Green Focus. We need to turn this into a revenue stream and paid subscription help.


Patrick Meighan said...

Suggestion #2: Set up and/or seriously utilize GP-allied non-profits that can solicit tax-deductable contributions and grant money to be used for grassroots organizing, base-building, issue-oriented GOTV... basically everything except for direct and specific candidate advocacy.

Suggestion #3: Become a dues-paying organization, perhaps with a sliding-scale, with the goal of attaining pledges/dues from 100% of California's active Greens.

Suggestion #4: Hire a full-time GPCA fundraiser, at a competitive salary, with the promise of keeping a certain commission on the funds he/she raises.

Patrick Meighan
Los Angeles, CA

Wes said...

Good suggestions. I have considered doing something with your # 2 myself. In particular, I am thinking of utilizing GPCA connections to start a non-profit that focuses on the issues surrounding water, urban growth and sustainability.

I have heard of discussions regading #4. From these non-direct sources, it seems that there is not a consensus that this is the right way to go, even though some efforts on this have had success in the past.