Personal Democracy Plus Our premium content network. LEARN MORE You are not logged in. LOG IN NOW >

One-Click Funding?

BY Nancy Scola | Wednesday, March 10 2010

One further note on cold hard cash money from last night's session in Manhattan that had to do with the future of the left's grassroots in the Obama era.

A question from the crowd asked just how grassroots groups can get funding these days. Demos' Ben Barber made the point that social movements depend on social capital more than capital capital. Still, money's nice. The Nation's Katrina vanden Heuvel namechecked ActBlue as a model that has worked on the electoral side of Democratic politics (to the tune of $122 million since 2004 and counting). KVH suggested that a similar model might work for grassroots/non-profit groups. You might also see a distributed, small-dollar model work for progressive media outlets -- in a few clicks, for example, you might drop five bucks for the Nation, Talking Points Memo, what have you. (It would, in theory, also work on the right side of the spectrum, though there's no ActBlue equivalent in conservative circles.)

It's worth keeping in mind that, as ActBlue reps will tell you, the point of ActBlue isn't to be the PayPal of progressive politics. It's to, to borrow a phrase from them, normalize the act of small-dollar online giving. It becomes something you do online -- you tweet, check Facebook, email some folks, and make a small donation to the politicians/groups/publications you support.

Reps from ActBlue, though, will also tell you that they're going to be consumed by the election through November, so don't necessarily expect something like that to come out of their shop anytime soon.

News Briefs

RSS Feed today >

First POST: Resets

Apple's new iOS8 promises greater user privacy; Occupy Wall Street three years later; how tech may tilt the Scotland independence vote; and much, much more. GO

wednesday >

First POST: Connecting the Dots

Take Back the Tech grades Facebook, Twitter, et al, on transparency; MayDay PAC founder Lawrence Lessig talks about getting matched funds; and much, much more. GO

tuesday >

First POST: Splits

USA Freedom Act divides Internet activists; Julian Assange's Reddit "Ask Me Anything"; New York's pro-net-neutrality protest; and much, much more GO

monday >

After Election Loss, Teachout and Wu Keep Up Net Neutrality and Anti-Comcast Merger Campaign

The Teachout/Wu campaign may have lost, but their pro net-neutrality campaign continued Monday as both former candidates participated in a rallly in New York City marking the final day to comment on the Federal Communications Commission's Internet proposals and kept up their pressure on Governor Andrew Cuomo. GO

friday >

NYC Politicians and Advocacy Groups Say Airbnb Misrepresents Sharing Economy

A coalition of New York election officials and affordable housing groups have launched an advocacy effort targeting Airbnb called "Share Better" that includes an ad campaign, a web platform, and social media outreach. GO

First POST: Data Dumps

The Internet Slowdown's impact on the FCC; Uber drivers try to go on strike; four kinds of civic tech; and much, much more. GO

More