Radical Money Pool
Time & Location
About the Event
The final invitation we have lined so far up is the Radical Money Pool, which is the first kind of resource convergence we are going to Prototype. The Radical Money Pool is a process that we hope will allow us to rethink how we raise money in movements and build our budgets. This fundraiser is a fundamental part of this process. To achieve its vision, the WildSeed society needs to fund itself differently.
Its vision is too radical to be housed in a non-profit with its legal restrictions and board requirements. It is also moving too emergently for grants to be viable options. It wants to have the base building and democratic basis that membership organizations have with the focus and prefigurative capabilities that the affinity group model offers. It also can’t be held only to a few wealthy donors nor does it want to reproduce the capitalist organization framework where donors are “consumers” with very little say in how the organization is run. At the same time, we need money regularly and irregularly, the kind of needs that are usually served by conventional crowdsources with all the problems of accountability and transparency that come with that mode. This is all not to mention that we want to receive and give money in a way that aligns with the world we want.
Then there is the question of how to fund something that only exist when we enact it through ritual?
So we want to prototype a new ritual where all the money we raise is placed in one pot. We will then invite all of supporters and representatives from each aspect of the Society to an event (online until the Pandemic ends). At this event participants will be introduced to the principles of money sharing that underlie the process (principles that will be collaboratively created at an earlier meeting). Then representatives from each aspect of the Society take turns talking about their project and resource needs. They will present different buckets for funding with general language about what would be possible at different levels of funding.
The 80% of the total pot would then be divided evenly among the participants. For instance if 20,000 is raised and 100 supporters or “residents of this iteration of the WildSeed Society” would be given 200 virtual dollars. This allows for everyone to give as they are able, but for everyone to have the same say in how money is given. This changes the relationship to programming and fundraising. This would allow for projects to be run by people who don’t know or have access to wealthy donors to still get substantial funding and projects led by people with wealthy connections to still be accountable to everyday people. Similar, it brings together a lot of the benefits of large memberships with the autonomy of affinity groups.
After the 80% is distributed the representatives of the Society would then be able to do a second round of redistributing any money given to them to another project. This helps build connections between groups and asks projects to be honest about how much money they both need and can actually handle. So often in movement spaces, prominent groups are over funded while their more grassroots or radical partners struggle. This process would be a strong step to eliminate that reality. During this process, numerous asks for more funds will be made so that the pot can always increase.
After this second round, each representative would talk about the work that makes their work possible. A second set of buckets would be created for each person, organization and movement that supports the work. Residents who are witnessing this process would also be able to offer people and organizations who they think help make this work possible. Once a complete bucket list is created the last 20% of the pool would be distributed to residents and representatives. This third round would look much like the first one will everyone give to different buckets.
We hope that this process will fundamentally change the way we fundraise and budget within movements. It allows for collective fundraising, commoning and deep vulnerability about what it really takes for our work to thrive. We believe it will empower folks without much access to resource to know that they can be stewards of thousands of dollars. It also invites people with access to wealth to heal their relationships to it and see the beauty, and most importantly healing, that is possible through radical generosity. We also believe that this process will tie residents of different iterations of the WildSeed Society to vision of WildSeed and each other.
We hope, through our initial fundraiser, that the more money we raise will entice more autonomous projects and anchor organizations to consider joining the WildSeed Society. Then, the more organizations join to more money we will be able to fundraise. Thus a positive feedback loop of abundance and collaboration can be established and this feedback loop can be the growth strategy for each iteration of the Society.