Nonprofits: the italics are for you!
Today, I tallied them up: in just the past 5 days, I’ve received 18 emails asking me to
- Oppose Jeff Sessions for Attorney General–probably the 20th and 21st requests I’ve received, at least half of which I’ve honored because opposing this nomination is so important to me as an anti-racist activist, a protestor, and a citizen (NAACP and MoveOn). (I’ve hyperlinked in case you see something you haven’t taken action on yet!)
- Save PBS (Avaaz)
- Oppose the Muslim Ban (MPower Change, and Avaaz)
- Oppose Neil Gorsuch for Supreme Court (Ultraviolet)
- Oppose Andy Pudzer for Labor Secretary (Corporate Accountability International and SEIU; Food Chain Workers Alliance, AFL-CIO, United Farm Workers)
as well as
- Donate (6 emails, two from the same organization, all of whom shall remain nameless). I believe in asking for and giving money. But right now it’s like the Christmas season never ended, plus a whole lotta trauma. Combining action alerts + fundraising in the same email might be a smart strategy. I also got an email today from MoveOn telling me specifically what they were going to do with more money right now–rather than assuming urgency and emotional turmoil would do the trick.
- Revel in progress! Nonprofits who do things differently really get my attention just now. Miracle of miracles, Jewish Voice for Peace (which I just joined because they are Jews, like me by birth, who love and support Muslims, as I do too, sent me a totally inspiring list of early progress just since the election without a request for money. They’ve done a good job welcoming me as a member at this traumatic time without overwhelming me even though they send a lot of emails because they keep it emotionally real and treat me like I pay attention and am smart.
I’m also in receipt of a fabulous response by fundraising’s fairy godmother Kim Klein to a question from a small local arts organization about how to keep donations coming in the door at this time of national turmoil.
Basically, in Times of Attempted Time and Money Takeover…
You know from my “getting organized” posts that we need to set aside time. Yes, s–t happens, but if we want something other than s–t in our lives we need to set aside time for it.
In a world in which we schedule everything, nothing unscheduled ever gets done.
So, I mean schedule (especially now): time to meditate, time with loved ones, time for reading and writing and art and art-making, time for self-care, and time for what you really enjoy with apologies or accounting to anyone. Each of these is as important as time for work and political action. “Bread AND roses.”*
Time is our true wealth.
Four Sanity Strategies
- Set aside time for action: I responded to all of the above 9 action requests to call my senators, email them as second-best, or on occasion, sign a petition (petitions aren’t cutting it anymore, it seems). My senator’s staffer said he recognized my name, we’ve talked so often. (And I hope because I always talk to him like he’s a real person.)
- Streamline: Put your senators on speed dial. (Your representative too, for that matter!) AND if you have three things to tell a legislator, keep a list, then call once about all three. It’s allowed: they work for you! It builds your sense of power and accomplishment and is easier for you than making three phone calls, which also means you’re more likely to take action on more things!
- Refuse pressure to give: Set a budget for giving, and keep it. I have not given any money during the past 5 days because I keep a budget and I have used it up until I make more money to put in it.
- Set aside time for inaction: give yourself breaks from the news, including Facebook and other social media. Consider using your breaks consciously and intentionally to counterbalance news with equal time to restore self. Make sure you are keeping up with your day-to-day responsibilities that may not be as dramatic as the news; earn income, ground yourself in your work of service. This, too, builds the Beloved Community. Finally, set aside times to support others. This gives us strength.
Last week, I mentioned a Beloved Community Accountability Group. Many people over the next four years may need a space to check in, get support, gain strength, recover from grief, and take action.
Try out the BeLOVEd Community Support Group in a telephone session this Sunday, February 5th at 8pm Eastern, 5pm Pacific.
It’s a conference call, no Internet needed. The call-in number is 641-715-3276. The access code is 187944# .
I’m taking suggestions of ways RAISING CLARITY can support right now. Write in with suggestions; join us on this Sunday’s call; join the Beloved Community Group if you like. Find out more about how it works here.
*Judy Collins’ is my favorite version of the song by this title.