Tomorrow is Giving Tuesday, philanthropy’s one-day initiative that began as the “global generosity movement” in which thousands of nonprofits across the country campaign online for donations. As a national movement-support organization working to secure power for people of color, we at Liberation in a Generation understand the importance of fundraising.
However, we also believe that part of our role in building a Liberation Economy is engaging with philanthropy in new and different ways — and it’s also about knowing when to get out of the way. That’s why we’re opting out tomorrow and instead lifting up local organizations of color on Twitter.
To say it straight, US philanthropy is rooted in white supremacy, and Giving Tuesday is no exception. Here’s why we won’t be participating:
- It demands a lot of output for what is too often a low return on investment of time, creativity, and money received. That’s extractive. And it’s symptomatic of the cycles of oppression at play in the broader economy, which disproportionately harm people of color.
- It reinforces the competitive nature of the nonprofit industrial complex. Giving Tuesday marks another way that nonprofit organizations are forced to compete against each other — for funding, yes, but also for positioning and validation — rather than focus on our people, our work, and the movement.
- It fuels corporate concentration. The organizations that usually do the best already have brand recognition — and with it, money to spend in Big Tech’s pay-to-play market. This forces smaller groups, especially those of color, to participate in an unequal system that is designed for them to lose out.
For these reasons and more, we’re planning to stay quiet during tomorrow’s annual e-event and will instead promote our partners. Follow our Twitter feed and give what you can to the people and groups who need our support. These are the same folks who are giving everything they have to build a better world, and this is one way we can show solidarity. At the end of the day, investing in each other is our future.
Take care, stay safe, and stay grateful,
The squad at LibGen