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[ Prime ] The Revolution Will Not Be Funded: Beyond the Non-Profit Industrial ComplexAuthor Incite! Women of Color Against Violence –

ATrillion Industry, The US Nonprofit Sector Is The World S Seventh Largest Economy From Art Museums And University Hospitals To Think Tanks And Church Charities, OverMillion Organizations Of Staggering Diversity Share The Tax ExemptCDesignation, If Little Else Many Social Justice Organizations Have Joined This World, Often Blunting Political Goals To Satisfy Government And Foundation Mandates But Even As Funding Shrinks And Government Surveillance Rises, Many Activists Often Find It Difficult To Imagine Movement Building Outside The Nonprofit Model The Revolution Will Not Be Funded Gathers Original Essays By Radical Activists From Around The Globe Who Are Critically Rethinking The Long Term Consequences Of This Investment Together With Educators And Nonprofit Staff They Finally Name The Nonprofit Industrial Complex And Ask Hard Questions How Did Politics Shape The Birth Of The Nonprofit Model How DoesCStatus Allow The State To Co Opt Political Movements Activists Or Careerists How Do We Fund The Movement Outside This Complex Urgent And Visionary, The Revolution Will Not Be Funded Is An Unbeholden Expos Of The Nonprofit Industrial Complex And Its Quietly Devastating Role In Managing Dissent

10 thoughts on “The Revolution Will Not Be Funded: Beyond the Non-Profit Industrial Complex

  1. says:

    First of all, I am a hard bitten, cynical development professional who, for the past ten years has worked to raise money from foundations and individuals in support of hospices and, now, orgazations assisting people with developmental disabilities Just about everything about this book is dead on accurate Funding for poor people is a rich people s game Funding for the oppressed is the game of the oppressor Some of them do it with a conscience Some of them do it to see their name in lights Some commission studies to see that it s done right , however wrong the final study may be They want accountability for the money they give, since they don t want anybody pissing away their dollars And, yes They are in charge These women are exactly right Foundations tame revolutionaries Foundations keep the lowly from getting too uppity Sometimes they do it full well knowing what they re doing like the Pew Foundation , and sometimes I can give them the benefit of the doubt and think they do it without realizing they do it I m not quite as willing as many of the authors of this book to think that there s some sort of well thought out Marshall Plan of how to fund the masses so they won t run roughshod over capitalism that generalizes to all foundations But the effect is the same.I have attempted to raise funds for organizations that fit the radical change profile Foundations don t bite for all the reasons listed in this book Angel investors come along once in awhile who are willing to sink a a few thousand into radical organizations, but, for the most part, we are on our own.And YES The tax savings for the wealthy are sickening I don t mind so much if that once taxable income goes to pay for hospice care for homeless people who would otherwise die on the street But then again, that donation, had it been added to the tax base, could have been used to keep that person off the street in the first place There are certain categories of nonprofit that deserve their own ring of hell For example, taxable income going to a political thinktank makes me sick, no matter what the slant of the thinktank is That people like Bill Gates, for example, get to decide for the rest of us how to tackle world agricultural issues makes me ill Bill throws Gates Foundation grant money at organizations that will spread the GMO gospel of the Bill s friends at Monsanto, of course The women who write this book point this sort of thing out You are not standing with the oppressed if you are standing slightly taller than them, dangling cash just out of their reach, handing it off to other people of your class and persuasion in an attempt to solve the problems of the poor The money game is really base and disturbing when it comes to philanthropy I work with it every day It is disgusting, dirty and underhanded In the meantime, the people with the money sincerely think they are doing good with their gain however ill gotten it may be, and a great deal of it is VERY ill gotten This is an incredibly insightful book I just wish it had practical, useable solutions.

  2. says:

    Wow I love books that completely change my way of looking at the world This is the kind of book that you can t help bringing up in conversations for months after it s over.This is great for anyone who is working for social change, and is still trying to figure out the best way to do that Basically, this anthology discusses the ways in which the non profit industry may actually be limiting our capacity to create real revolutionary change in the U.S and abroad Although non profits are mostly left leaning, progressive organizations, the huge popularity of the non profit model has changed the way we think about social change Instead of revolution or mass social change, we are now trained to think about career instead of passion, servicing our clients instead of building leadership, and pleasing our funders instead of working for our communities Of course as individuals we may deviate from these trends, but as a whole, the non profit industry has shifted the focus of the political Left in the U.S Additionally, this book discusses some crucial issues around race and non profit work It argues that the non profit industry has replicated the exclusion of people of color from the center of activism by privileging those organizations that already have enough power and influence usually white centered organizations to win funding and lobbying battles It also talks about NGOs as the international version of non profits, creating similarly wasteful and short sighted programs abroad.This book will make you think.

  3. says:

    At times I start getting really, really burnt out on radical leftist complaining This is one of those times, probably because I ve read too much of it recently for school.I don t know So far this book reminds me of that great cartoon from years ago of the artist who s painted a picture of a guy in glasses and a suit and underneath it the letters FUCKING ASSHO only apparently the artist has just run out of paint, because he s turning to the guy standing next to him the exact same suit and glasses guy he s just painted and saying, Give me a grant so I can finish my art So far this book is like, So capitalists set up these foundations, and then when they give us money for our 501 c 3 , its mission of overthrowing capitalism is compromised, because the capitalists don t want us to overthrow capitalism Uh, no shit, Sherlock.Actually this book does speak to a lot of the frustration and rage that I feel at my service agency right now, and hits very close to home in certain ways It also seems a bit sophisticated and constructive than I just made it sound I m going to keep reading this, but I do find something specifically exhausting about most writing with this radical leftist orientation It s reminds me of listening to someone scream at you in a shrill voice for hours, giving you a huge headache and you just want to be like, Please calm down Your don t have to yell You re sitting three feet away from me, and I already agree with most of what you re saying anyway.

  4. says:

    I found this book really validating to read Having worked in social services for the last couple of years I was really starting to feel like their was something wrong with the way things were being done, and I was constantly frustrated with the lack of accountability that the agency I work for has for its constituents.Before having read this book I was planning on going to graduate school and getting an MSW even though I knew I didn t want to be a social service or state social worker I still thought that I could study social work and make a living doing it, but after having read this book I realize now that in no way can I expect to make a living in social work or community organizing without compromising my ethics and the overall goal that I was working toward In short social service does not, and in fact is often counter to, social change Now I m exploring other career options, while still planning to be apart of my community on a volunteer basis I am re embracing the idea that the personal is political I think it was Paulo Freire who said that Social change is going to take a lot of people and not everyone can be a professional about it.This book is a must read for anyone committed to social change or considering a career in social work.

  5. says:

    How do we know if we are being co opted into contributing to a ruling class agenda and just providing social service, or if we are truly helping people get together We cannot know ourselves We cannot know just from some people telling us that we are doing a good job or even telling us that we are making a difference We cannot know by whether we feel good about what we do Popularity, status, good feeling, positive feedback our institutions and communities provide these to many people engaged in inmmoral, unethical, dangerous, exploitative, abusive, and illegal activities As a member of the buffer zone Non profit workers , whether by job function or economic position, the key question we must confront is this To whom are we accountable Incite Women of Color Against Violence pulls off another creative, harshly critical, and brilliantly articulated anthology The book asks activists How can we challenge patriarchy, white supremacy, environmental injustice, US hegemony and imperialism when US progressive social movements are dependent on non profits The non profit system pays activists to temper their revolt to keep it palatable for funders and turns grassroots social movements into professionalized client service providers It has effectively undermined revolt in this country Non profit is by definition a tax status awarded by the US government And foundation funds are capital earned by the wealthy and shielded from redistribution by their foundation status This book examines the history of how social movements in the 60s and 70s became the professional non profits of today It examines critically the problems of patriarchy and white supremacy that made those mass based social movements unsustainable And finally, it speaks to the successes of horizontal, anti capitalist, movements in Latin America and South Africa of networked, consensus driven autonomous areas Localization and decentralization helps people claim domestic space as political these movements take care of participants immediate needs so they don t need to search for funding to pay staff.I m pretty fuckin inspired The best essays were The introduction history of foundations and who controls the money, to who s advantage Social Service or Social Change Critical look at the de politicization of social justice movements as they increasingly took on serving people s basic needs as the Reagan admin reduced people s ablity to meet these themselves Pursuing a Radical Anti Violence Agenda Inside Outside a Non Profit Structure A good case study from the anti violence movement Are the Cops in Our Heads and Heats Much needed lessons of successful mass based organizing from Latin AmericaThe major flaw of this work is the lack of practical applications for US activists currently wrapped up in the non profit system The only option offered seemed to be drop the funding, quit your non profit job, and volunteer instead This isn t always feasible as one of the articles actually states, one of the main reasons non profits are so popular is that they allow staff to earn an income while still contributing to the movement, even if the contribution is compromised by the non profit structure But while dropping a job to create a niche of childcare collectives and urban permaculture enclaves is appealing and important, in the US, it is not nearly enough It s essential that we take critiques like this a step farther, and figure out how to provide ourselves with personal needs even as we aggressively take on the increasingly urgent tasks of stopping globalization, imperialism, and environmental destruction.

  6. says:

    I am just going to point everyone to

  7. says:

    This book is great It is a collection of essays and some of them are fabulous My favorite was an essay by Paul Kivel called Social Service or Social Change which you can read online here is also a really exciting essay by Alisa Bierra of Seattle s own Communities Against Rape and Abuse CARA called Pursuing a Radical Antiviolence Agenda Inside Outside a Non Profit Structure that advocates a peer based, grassroots, horizontal style of community building, as opposed to a conservative, hierarchical model Here s a great quote from that We do not believe that there are healed survivors that are allowed to work in antiviolence organizations and unhealed survivors that must be clients within those organizations We understand the process or surviving as just that a process Therefore, we understand ourselves as building communities of struggle with survivors that connect with CARA through our programs, events, and campaigns When survivors access CARA for support, we see them less as clients and as potential comrades in a struggle for social justice CARA works to actualize a vision in which we understand ourselves as equally vulnerable to being abused, as equally valuable to the survivors we work with, and, potentially, as equal participants in a movement for justice and a world free from violence and oppression.

  8. says:

    This is a pretty wonderful collection of essays, put together by INCITE Women of Color Against Violence, covering the rise of the Non Profit Industrial Complex and it s vampiric and co opting effects on radical movements for social change Some of the essays are compelling than others, but I particularly found the historical background of the NPIC undercutting and distorting radical movements of the last 25 years revelatory Plus the case studies of groups that went for the 501 c 3 tax status and got the foundation grants, only to have it delegitimize and undermine their organizing, were extremely worth reading Why does that happen, you ask Why does foundation funding have to liberalize and professionalize our organizations Can t we sneak around the funders requirements and strings There are a wide variety of empirical as well as theoretical reasons put forth in this volume to explain why an organization dependent on grants for its existence will become co opted into serving the interests of capitalism and government, not their grassroots constituencies, so I ll leave it to you to read the book to learn .What s the alternative Grassroots fundraising Membership dues, selling t shirts and baked goods, collecting for services like trainings, and good old fashioned donation drives To be free to craft our own radical agenda we need to be self sustained Read it

  9. says:

    one of my absolute favorites i reference it often pretty much everything Incite does is magic.

  10. says:

    I really wish that I had read this 4 5 years ago much, much earlier in my nonprofit career It s given me a lot to ponder in regards to my questions about what happened to the social justice movements of the 1960s and 1970s, and the current state of mass movements in the United States It is critical that social justice organizations abandon any notion that foundations are not established for a donor s private gainUnlike the government, which is accountable to the public through various channels slow as they might be and unrealistic as they may seem , most private foundations are governed by a handful of very wealthy people who are affiliated with the foundation by family or business ties p 64 What has been called grassroots fundraising training still does not challenge the fundamental problem of capitalist exploitationCritical to the success of the white Left s agenda to protect white wealth is the strategic use of people of color as endorsers of these tacticsPeople of color organizations who adopt these tactics are diverted from the work of organizing around global reparations and the just transfer of resources to people of color around the world p 85 86 But it remained a significant challenge to balance the organizing work, foundation fundraising, and the work of building a non profit This balance required us to move back and forth between two worlds and between two areas of work demanding two very different sets of skills It was always clear which of the two drained us and seemed distant from the very purpose for which we had all come into organizing leaving us to question if the most effective and strategic grassroots organizing can take place in a 501 c 3 model p 94 Through funding and non profitization, the movement was called in to sleep with the enemy, the US state, the central organizer of violence against women in the worldThrough policy, ideology, and the NPIC, the state began to break into pieces the radical social justice agenda of the movement against violence against women First, by prohibiting non profits from engaging in politics, it separated interpersonal violence against women from state based, economic, and institutional violence against women This individualization of violence excluded the experiences of women of color surviving the multiple forms of state violence Then the state splintered anti sexual assault work from the movement to end domestic violence, while certain state based forms of sexual assault were kept out of the discourse of violence against women for example, militarized and prison sexual assaults, militarized border rapes, and sterilization and other population control practices Academic research, under attack by academic capitalism and the extension of privatization to academia, has become increasingly dependent on federal and foundation funding This funding develops a problematic allegiance to the state and foundation capital and steers the production of knowledge toward those ends p 117 118 In effect, the imposition of US models of intervention in violence against women dismisses the context of globalization and imperialism, falsely casting the United States as interested in the safety and well being of women in the Global South Further, this imposition frames US antiviolence models as superior to all others, jeopardizing the practices, traditions, and epistemologies of indigenous women and communities in the Global South p 123 125 The ruling class co opts leaders from our communities by providing them with jobs in non profits and government agencies, hence realigning their interests i.e., maintaining their jobs with maintaining the systemThe existence of these jobs serves to convince people that tremendous inequalities of wealth are natural and inevitable Institutionalizing soup kitchens leads people to expect that inevitably there will be people without enough to eat establishing permanent homeless shelters leads people to think that it is normal for there not to be enough affordable housing p 139 140 Whether we are domestic violence workers or other types of workers in the non profit industrial complex, even with the best of intentions, it is easy to be co opted by a ruling class agenda The buffer zone strategy of the ruling class works smoothly, so smoothly that many of us don t notice that we are encouraged to feel good about helping a small number of individuals get ahead, while large numbers of people remain exploited, abused, and disenfranchised It works so smoothly that we often don t notice that we have shifted from helping people get together to helping ourselves and our families get ahead Some of us have stopped imagining that we can end domestic violence and have, instead, built ourselves niches in the edifice of social services for battered women or for batterers The only way to avoid settling into patterns that perpetuate ruling class dominance is through accountability to grassroots community struggles led by people at the bottom of the pyramid p 144 What has happened to the great civil rights and Black power movements of the 1960s and 1970s Where are the mass movements of today within this country The short answer they got funded While it may be overly simplistic to say so, it is important to recognize how limited social justice groups and organizations have become as they ve been incorporated into the non profit model p 186 I have known some widely respected organizers in Latin America who were part of land occupations and settlements involving thousands of people Clearly, activists in the United States could learn so much from these movement builders, particularly those that are now in this country Instead, their work and efforts have been marginalized because many are not fluent in English or formally educated nor are they executive directors with professionalized organizer skills Meanwhile, the non profit industrial complex has cultivated an elite class of non profit managers skilled at fundraising and formally educated, but often not deeply connected to the communities they are working with, even as people of color Many of these managers directors know a lot less about political history, analysis, and movement building that some autodidacta self taught organic political organizers intellectuals who don t stand a chance at getting a non profit job p 206.