If we ain't got no money, we ain't got no show. While it's true that the website essentially costs nothing to run, Boston Indy Media is growing and could grow faster with more infrastructure and production capabilities. The video group has recently been heard clamoring for an editing station, the radio group would like equipment for recording, and the print group wants cold hard cash to print a newspaper and reach more people. All of these things will in turn bring us a wider audience and better access when reporting. The question is, how do we score all this equipment?
The collective has run successful fundraisers in the past, most recently a speaking event at the First Congregational Church in Cambridge. We hosted investigative journalist Greg Palast at the tail end of his popularity for exposing the Florida vote scrubbing debacle. It was a boon for us, bringing in over two thousand dollars and bringing our name in front of a lot of faces. Also recently, at the DNC 2004, the print group raised over $2000 selling advertising for the one shot newspaper called the Boston Independent. The same group also wrote a successful emergency grant for $750 to the Haymarket People's Fund and printed 4,000 flyers explaining how to publish stories with Indy Media. This produced a surge in web traffic (along with the DNC fallout) that lasted until the holidays in December.
Currently, donations from our own members are solicited at most general meetings (and sometimes at the smaller working groups). Now that we have somewhere close to twenty members, five dollars a piece would easily cover our monthly expenses which are low (phone bill, nominal rent). No one should feel obligated to donate, however--some of us can, some of us can't, and we're all aware that we live in an inequal society. All contributions, labor, money, and just your mere presence at the occasional event or meeting are highly valued by all.
New ideas are plentiful but action seems to be sluggish. This is one area that Indy Media could really use some help from incoming volunteers. A great deal of prior knowledge of Indy Media is generally not required and the positive effects to the collective could be enormous. There's nothing like helping to raise a big wad of money if you want to gain the gratitude of the greater collective (no strings attached of course!).
Among the ideas that have been floating around are:
- More speaking events
- Benefit shows, concerts
- Benefit movie screeenings, Indy Media produced or otherwise
- Selling posters, T-shirts, stickers, or other stuff
- Writing grants for specific projects
- Selling ads in the paper (when it begins publishing again)
- Solicting donations online
- Finding rich people and leeching on their wallets
- Donations recieved while tabling (this only works if you beg)
- [insert your ideas here]
Of course, just about any idea you can think of will probably be accepted as long as it doesn't involve totally selling out or using all the collective's volunteer resources for questionable returns. Feel free to bring up out your idea(s) at the next meeting--it will probably be well recieved.
- 13 Jan 2005