24 Nov Adopt A Craftivist
Dear Craftivists, supporters and friends,
I need your help. Since launching the (now award-winning) Craftivist Collective in 2009 we’ve proved that activism can be as beautiful, kind and fair as the world we want to see and that our gentle approach to craftivism works.
With the way things are right now, I’d say it’s more important than ever to be an activist, and it’s also more important than ever to have a healing, gentle, and inclusive form of activism. The US election and the UK’s EU referendum have shown what happens when we don’t listen, love, and engage with each other as equals. Shouting, heckling, and hating are not the only forms of political engagement. Leonard Cohen said ‘there is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in’. Our gentle protest approach to craftivism is part of that light, and it is getting in.
Our reach is growing every day and more people are asking for our help to be part of the change they wish to see in the world. Our kits, tools and books are a rallying call for those who have been put off by the bullying and name-calling of political debate. I want to make sure those people and others have hope that there is another way and feel supported.
But there is a big obstacle lying ahead that could derail the Craftivist Collective’s momentum. As you know, no matter how many news articles, website hits, or Twitter followers we get, that doesn’t pay our wages (unless you’re Kim Kardashian!). I have said no to paid offers that do not fit my principles and our work’s ethos. To me that is morally right but it’s also financially difficult. As things stand we won’t survive without financial support. Workshops, teaching, events, projects, and support for all those beautiful Craftivists across the world annoyingly needs money. I get some income from product sales, consultancy and events which is ace (!) however I can only give them my all with you and your … hard earned cash.
So here’s the ask *drum roll…* I need at least 190 people to give £10 a month each year. That would provide me a London Living Wage to continue this work.
It’s been a bloody brilliant journey so far. Many of you were part of the messages and changes that we brought into the world. Since creating the Craftivist Collective I have delivered over 300 talks and workshops to over 12,000 people. We have helped art institutions bring activism to their audiences in a gentle way. I have worked with and guided charities such as Save the Children, Mind (the mental heath charity) and The Climate Coalition to provide slow, quiet and deeply engaging forms of activism to add to more traditional forms of activism and reach new audiences. We put the Living Wage at the top of Marks and Spencer’s agenda leading to a dramatic increase in their wages for over 50,ooo of their workers. We are on our second print-run of The Little Book of Craftivism worldwide and we have over 800 preorders for the new book out October 2017 How To Be A Craftivist: the art of gentle protest. Many universities across the world now include our work in their curriculums. I’ve gone from receiving hostility and ridicule for my approach to activism to, with you in my corner, gaining worldwide credibility, praise and over 22,000 followers on social media keen to learn more, be inspired and empowered to be better global citizens in our world.
And with your help we get to continue our gentle protest work that teaches, inspires, engages and empowers. On the real Living Wage I can work sustainably, be fully focused on our mission, build on the success of our campaigns and grow online pharmacy drugs them. I can create more free online content to help people learn the art of gentle protest, continue to offer advice to people wanting to do a kind and positive form of protest and, crucially, create a clear and strong strategy to help the Craftivist Collective go from strength to strength and continue to be a force for good in our messy world.
Thank you for being part of this journey so far. £10 per month will unleash a full-time, fully-focused, all-action craftivist out into the world, armed with a pair of scissors to shape the future, thread to weave our values through all of our activism, and the knowledge that she can actually focus on this for one whole year. The future of the Craftivist Collective (and me!) is in your head, heart and hands. Just think what we could achieve together in the near future… x
All my love, respect and gratitude as always
Adopt a Craftivist here:
OR to The Cooperative Bank. Account Number: 07 4009 59. Sort Code 08 93 00
Ps Here is your adoptee chatting about ‘The Art of Gentle Protest’ (here is my TEDxWomen talk I did Oct 2016):
How much is it?
To raise a minimum of the London Living Wage per month means at least 190 people will have to pledge at least £10 a month. People can pledge more if they would like to.
Do I have to pledge support for a full 12 months?
To enable me to plan ahead and work on more long term ideas for the Craftivist Collective, I am asking people to commit to their financial gift for the next 12 months at least.
Can I pay in one lump some? Yes but it would have to be by 31st January 2018 at the latest.
Isn’t there another way of getting funding?
Being pretty niche in what we do and focusing on transformation rather than transactions means we do not tick many funding boxes. I could apply for funding that fits the funders objectives but that would dilute or compromise our work.
Why not get a part time job?
In this line of work I would have to say no to most opportunities that are on offer to deliver creative activism events, projects or teaching since they are all sporadic and could be any day, evening or weekend. It would be incredibly difficult to find a part time job with such flexible hours and have the energy to do both.
Is this a thing, you know paying for an activist? Throughout history and still now, individual campaigners and campaign organisations often rely on supporter donations to give them the time and flexibility to focus on creating what they judge to be the impactful work- Pankhurst, Biko, Gandhi were just at one end of a long line of passionate, generous, canny people who saw a cause they felt needed to be fought for and they backed it. Now I’m not promising I will be able to deliver change quite on that scale, but I will promise you that I will fight for change through those most radical of things – creativity, beauty, organisation, love, and truckload of hard graft.
Can I GiftAid my payments?
The Craftivist Collective is a social enterprise as opposed to a registered charity so GiftAid is not possible. This is because the UK Lobbying Act of 2014 (often called the ‘gagging law’) has limited how much campaigning charities can do and it’s important we are not censored.
Where will the money go?
Your financial gift towards a Living Wage should cover all of my basic living costs which will include rent, travel, food and other essentials. I will produce an annual report to show how your support has helped and where my time and your money has been spent.
Why not use patreon.com?
It’s an American website that takes a percentage of the donation.
Can my company sponsor you?
Yes and I can send you an invoice if that helps. However as a sponsor you will not have control over content or have your name visible unless all supporters are listed as well.