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Liveblogging Women’s Media Equity Summit: Resources needed

jpozners Icon Posted by Jennifer L Pozner

July 16th, 2009

Small groups broke out and brainstormed for an hour to answer the question:

What resources would strengthen your community’s capacity to sustain yourselves as media makers?

The following bullet point list represents the summation/report-back from the small groups about what resources we need to effectively sustain our work.

(As always, please note that I have done my best to document as fully as possible the comments from everyone speaking in the group, but I’m sure I’ve missed some. Apologies in advance for anything left out or misquoted.)

Distribution: how to we get messages out there if distribution outlets drying up

Neighborhood screenings in basements – wouldn’t it be great if there was a website that coordinated local screenings, but nationally – anywhere where our media can be played

Event production, couple of hundreds for putting on an event (for the space, for the printing of materials, etc.) – microlending for such events? Kiva or other?

Infrastructure systems to transmit knowledge

Relationship with money – in regards to donors, who to ask, getting access to donors, cultivating donors. Career mobility – if someone’s a program coordinator, they want to be an ED, how do they transition? Making sure that their needs are met personally in addition to sustaining the work itself.

Housing network/co-op in exchange for work.

Building capacity of field/comm. Directors

Developing a truly community-led fund

One group mentioned that their group was feeling checked out of the larger conversation in the room, because they were looking for the resources of accountability, transparency in this room and in this communities. Because of that, the group had a great conversation about resource generation ideas, but they do not feel comfortable sharing those ideas from the small group with the larger group in a report back.

Strategies and resources for preventing burnout/fragmentation

Cross promotion of work, projects

Process facilitator as well as a house and place where we can comfortably engage in processes

Skills-trainings – bartering cross-organization – self-defined (tech, web, production, content generation, journalism, etc.): both give and get

Skills bank, paid per training. Local or national. Sliding scale.

Collective fundraising – one month dedicated to one org, another to another org, etc.
Since we’re often competing for funds/attention, how can we work together as allies

Creating a foundation that targets what we want to fund in our media work. Using this process to identify what is media, what is women, what do we want to fund in the work we do? How can I support you in what you do?

Meaningful fiscal sponsor for smaller entities

Not even having this converation in the context of capitalism.

Urgency, and taking the importance of gender justice and all women’s lives to another level.

Skills and expertise sharing: thinking bigger. We’re used to thinking smaller, house parties, grassroots fundraising. But let’s go big: stimulus money, grassroots technology centers. How do you operate at that level, at a plane where you can operate a community technology center? Accessing government money, and then training to be able to effectively put that to use. People talking about WPA, like funding cultural workers historically, today we need funding of media makers as cultural workers. Tax

Donor education about media – how we can make our services available to funders as training (we as media makers can train donors/funders on video, tech, etc.). Doing fee for service can be a good way to develop our relationships with donors, while helping them.

Bridging intergenerational divides with donors who are often older and not familiar w/new media technologies, and organizers/media makers who often communicate through means that donors aren’t paying attention to…

Building relationships with philanthropic advisors – they can be bridge between our own media makers/media activist groups and donors who we can often not have access to other ways.

PRX model for distribution, peer review, specials/productions
CPB, Corp for Public Broadcasting, etc.

Economic sustainability for media makers of color, low income, etc.

Highlight each other’s work, but also issues, in each other’s newsletters, etc.

Retreat for media makers’ residency

Rewarding funders for giving to grassroots organizing and low-budget groups, and for general operating support

30 hour work week!

Health care, dental and vision for part time (and full time) workers

If larger structure of lack of humane health system, then funding that would be funding the health justice activists to impact the policy makers and linking/sinking to media makers around the health issues

Funding together with our politics, not separate

Share interns and volunteers

Residency programs in general: relationships between organizations

A pro-life organization did a teleconference event that did a 90 minute pitch for close to 2,000 people at the same time on the phone – they has a “reveal” of a hot new project, and a surprise guest of a conservative Senator, they also had a matching grant of $50K, and within three days they raised $150K based on one phone call. The last 20 minutes of the phone call was spent walking call members through the steps of taking out their credit cards and donating online. The call members were constituency/the heart of the real community.

Grassroots Fundraising Training Institute has trainings for how to make sure that the people who feel supported by the work, that the community also supports the work.

Cultivating respect and attention of mainstream audiences

How to hold women’s orgs out front, how to hold them accountable for supporting media makers and funding the work that we’re doing

An umbrella organization for those of us who don’t want to do fiscal sponsorship and 501c3

Money to sustain groups enduring racist fear/smear campaigns.

Legal, fiscal and accounting support

Incubator programs that take small groups just starting up

Foundation-funded community giving circles

Long-term monthly or multi-year gifts, rather than one-time grants

Programs that prioritize volunteers from communities, in those communities

Money for local policy advocates

Students access to academic resources

Funder-sponsored evaluations

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