24 Nov Adopt A Craftivist and make 2017 waaaay better than 2016!
Dear Craftivists, supporters and friends,
Next year is a proper turning point. It could be the final year for the Craftivist Collective. It is make or break time. Over the last seven years 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’. Craftivism is part of that light, and it is getting in.
Our reach is growing every day. My new book ‘How To Be A Craftivist: the art of gentle protest’ will be out October 2017. It is 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.
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 any 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 beyond the end of this year. Workshops, teaching, events, projects, and support for all those beautiful Craftivists across the world annoyingly needs money. I get some income from product sales which is ace (!) and have some exciting projects lined up next year but 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 160 people to give £10 a month from January to December 2017. That would provide me a Living Wage for the year so I can give my all into all of the work including creating two brand new craftivism kit (one for kids, one for adults!), vlogs on how to do gentle protest, training people up in our positive campaigning and make time to see how we can secure a future for Craftivist Collective.
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, Unicef 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, and in April they announced a dramatic increase in their wages for thousands of workers. Nearly 5000 people have bought The Little Book of Craftivism worldwide and we have over 500 preorders for the new book out October 2017. 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 a living wage I can work sustainably, be fully focused on our mission, build on the success of our campaigns and grow 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 for 12 months 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 this is in your head, heart and hands. Just think what we could achieve together in 2017. x
All my love, respect and gratitude
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 160 people will have to pledge at least £10 a month for 12 months. People can pledge more if they would like to.
Do I have to pledge support for the 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 full 12 months.
Can I pay in one lump some? Yes but it would have to be by 31st January 2017 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 not to say it may not be possible in the near future. I am looking into registering as a charity.
Where will the money go?
Your financial gift towards a Living Wage should cover all of my basic living costs for 12 months which will include rent, travel, food and other essentials. I will produce a report at the end of 2017 to show how this important year has gone 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.