November 9th Project: Funding the Resistance
Anna Duning is a graduate student at the University of California Berkeley getting a master’s degree in public policy.
This post is one in a series featuring the thoughts and opinions of Giving Circle Fund’s members and partners.
It’s hard to believe that it’s been almost a year since November 8th, 2016. Like so many others, I was blindsided by the results of the election that night and deeply upset by the idea that my country would elect to it highest office a person with no record of public service or even public concern, and someone who stood squarely against everything I value.
On November 9th, however, it became clear that the shock of the previous evening was also destined to incite action rather than just panic. People were planning protests, rallies and boycotts; creating new tools to contact elected representatives; and convening new community groups. The question “What now?” was being answered as people around the country began mobilizing to exercise their rights to act.
Inspired by this wave of resistance in the days following the election, a few friends and I got together and brainstormed ways that we could sustain this momentum for ourselves and our immediate community. Out of that meeting we created the November 9th Project — a circle on Giving Circles Fund. Our circle allows individuals to come together to fund a different progressive organization every month.
Now in its seventh month of giving, the November 9th Project giving circle connects over 180 members who each donate at least $10 a month to the fund. As one member said early on, “It’s like a Netflix subscription, but for the Resistance.” Each cycle, we send our pooled donations to an organization or nonprofit on the front lines defending our democratic institutions in a time of tremendous uncertainty.
In January, we chose to send our funds to the American Civil Liberties Union, whose impressive track record of protecting civil liberties makes their work and prowess particularly timely. Among other issues, the ACLU has challenged the President’s travel ban on Muslim-majority countries since he first announced it just weeks after the inauguration. Our giving circle has further supported the Southern Poverty Law Center and Lambda Legal, other organizations working to defend the civil rights of minorities.
Not every organization we’ve helped fund is fighting major legal battles. In March, we donated to ProPublica, whose journalists investigate and report on important untold stories, such as the batch of lobbyists the Trump administration has quietly installed in positions of leadership across the federal government. In response to the President’s decision to abandon the Paris Climate Accords, we chose to support Cool Effect, a small nonprofit that funds innovative global projects tackling climate change.
In all, we have donated over $25,000 to seven different organizations around the country. As the President, often with the help Congress, continues to try and undermine the principles of equal protection under the Constitution or advance policies detrimental to so many, we are proud to support the organizations doing the daily work of ensuring justice for all.
Want to join or start a circle and have questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.