Getting money for feminist activism

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Getting money for feminist activism

General problems

  • How do you raise enough money to do research and also to have autonomy. Cannot depend solely on independent donations. Unable to provide free time.
  • Sometimes you meet resistance within the feminist group for receiving money/funding from corporations, but this is not realistic. Nothing wrong with monetizing some services and accepting funding from corporations and turning around the money for good.
  • Cannot ask people to work for free → not sustainable.
  • How do you follow-up with possible funders?
  • Funders tend to give money to older foundations because they are more stable. There is discrimination against smaller, younger groups.
  • Difficult to ask for help and not to feel too entitled.
  • Women are hesitant to voice their ideas.
  • Women feel uncomfortable asking for money and feel like corporations expect women to work for free.

Goal is $0 - $30,000 → crowd funding might be the best way.

  • But the helpline is not an intuitive process for donators.
  • Need a famous person or political allies to help expand your reach and demographic.
  • Twitter = power for activists to get media attention and get followers. Need press and people to re-tweet your comments/ideas.
  • Depending on where you are in the world, crowd funding will be difficult (not a cultural phenomenon) example: Pakistan → might need to look outside the country for support.
  • If you need an ally (esp. journalists), build up a positive relationship and then ask for favors and then return favors for that ally. Two-way relationship.
  • Crowd funding does not work well for subsequent years

Asking for over a million → now in the venture capitalist world

Women/Feminists can be capitalistic. example: women and video games → clear market there.


  • If looking for sustainable situation → patreon; helps if you are well known.
  • Can also look for donors to fund you. Helps when you are established for a few years.
  • Can meet people through boards → accept people who are connected and are willing to advocate for some of these projects. Use your NETWORK!
  • Might need to tailor your idea to attract donors → treat it like a startup; it’s all about marketing.
  • When competing with other groups for funding → cover yourself with conflict of interest agreements. Good to find allies in the same community, but are not competing for the same money.
  • Need people who knows everyone → term used by Brianna: cartilage. You want to be asked to be introduced socially and then ask for a favor as a friend. Personal connections make all the difference.

Two main types of investors:

Angel investors: step in during the short term, give money in the very beginning Venture Capitalists → will have to compromise feminist principles. Need to have a business model that benefits them (Example: Clearing house idea for revenge porn, along the lines of NCMEC. Will benefit tech companies like Facebook and Google who will face legal consequences if they do not address these issues.