From US Social Forum Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search

<< Return to Online Appeals committee page

USSF Online Appeals Conference Call
Introductions (5 mins)
Sha, Joseph, Charles, Sylvia, Karlos, Makani
Review Responsibilities of this group (10 mins)
  • A team who can carry thru this work consistently with NPC
  • Writing, editing, scheduling of letters/communication
  • Deciding tone of appeals and collaborating with other WGs so we're not overlapping.
Concern: work seems to be not getting done holistically and is in smaller parts--how can we share that better over email or otherwise?

OC will be meeting soon to share these kinds of reports and make sure that cross-conversation is going on. It's supposed to meet in a couple of weeks and we hope that will be one place

Planning First Appeal (40 mins)
  • Message for first appeal (10 mins)
  • Might have to be multi-approach, including sending to individuals and to institutions. Who will be receiving this message? Perhaps Res Mob WG.
--RM WG has huge list, they've already sent out consulta. NPC has 40+ org'ns that can fwd.
--How target other people? Target groups? Different language for diff groups, i.e., different ask depending on who can give cash or other things.
--Overall idea that USSF is an investment. Tailor language to convey same message.
  • Can software track what someone gave last time? Probably not if it's a public page may be a security issue. Joseph on ICT can check.
  • Draft 2 appeals so far: individuals and organizations/institutions.
    • For org'ns: send out tailored emails that ties in a specific group's work or history. These org'ns can add their own language before sending out to their lists. The kind of tailoring we need to do is almost standard, yet simple.
  • We should check with RM WG since they're drafting such for grants and other funders.
  • Perhaps we can work more specifically on language for individuals, website, flyers.
  • Sha: we have a start on the language for both, "Why you should fund a grassroots..."
  • See Karlos' pasted in info below from Comm-Media WG

For this group call we need help specifically with individual and grassroots fundraising.

Timeline for first appeal (10 mins)
  • realistic to get something out by 12/15?
  • we may need more time for the narrative plan
  • possible to do something short of our ideal plan to allow people to give who have year end monies?
  • we could do announcements thru consulta (ending 12/14 or 15), plus registration starts up in Jan.
  • also announce what's been accomplished thru USSF so far--track record, good stuff that's happened; goal of bigger/better gathering in Detroit
Pitch (2 mins)
  • Most language so far has been about us--we need more language away from self-congratulating language and how this is about you, about the people we want to bring in.
  • What are we asking people for? Participate, donate, action asks
  • We can drive engagement as though most people are going and ask them compete over the content--get them involved of process for deciding. You want to be connected to us because it gives you the power to do amazing things. Offering vs. asking for something important.
Distribution of appeals (3 mins)
Donations processing (5 mins)
  • website has way to collect pledges, in addition to tracking their own organization's pledges.
  • individual contribution page option can better track this vs. collection page. Joseph can explore this.
Assign responsables/point people (10 mins)
  • Write first draft of letter to individuals? Charles & Karlos
  • Charles will also draft proposal for longer narrative
  • Write/revise draft on website? Joseph & Sylvia
  • we'll post both on a wiki--Sylvia will set up wiki page
  • Collect feedback & revise final letter
  • Approach ___ to sign on to letter
-- "big names," celebrities?
  • Coming up with a strategy for how to approach other organizations to write tailored appeals
  • Create contribution pages to track donations in from other orgs' lists
  • Online donations easier and we can work later to figure out Detroit mail/walk in donations and pledges.
  • Setting up contribution pages for local/regional groups to post their contributions, e.g. Northwest before Seattle WTO anniv people's summit--Joseph? He'll do during ICT work session on Sun 11/22
  • Modify donation page so language is more you + verb-oriented?
  • Video postcards from Detroit for online fundraising appeal?
-- talk with Reggie McGhee to incorporate this into a future email further down the arc/story lines
  • How to contribute beyond credit cards, where to send checks, who they should be made out to:
  • Until 12/31, Project South/USSF
Next meeting (5 mins)
--Joseph and Sha can set up email group
--Fri, 12/4, 7pm EST--be sure by then to get RM WG org/institution draft for our review

  • Some Language from Comms Plan by audience and goal (Karlos)

A global movement is rising. The USSF is your chance to be part of it! The US Social Forum is open to all who want to help develop peoples’ solutions to the global economic and ecological crisis. It’s not a conference, it’s a creative and strategic process to help build a powerful movement to transform our world. Are you angry? Frustrated? Tired? Become part of the movement to develop alternatives to the system that keeps us undereducated,overworked or out of work, and underpaid. Come to Detroit, meet other like-minded people, and help create a 21stcentury blueprint for change that will transform this country and change history. Because another US is necessary, and another world is possible!

EXPAND WHO “WE” ARE - social justice and left groups

We call on those who fight for justice to converge and act, to reflect on the potential of our position and to strategize to leverage the power of our connections. Although we have built organizations that push forward an integrated, multi-issue, multi-racial strategy, we have yet to build our movement on a scale relative to our sisters and brothers in the Global South. The time is now. We are building off successes of the first social forum in Atlanta in 2007. Two years later, Obama’s election and the global economic crisis provide openings to define a new way forward. The right is already on the attack, crying racism and red-baiting to undermine shifts toward increased government spending for social services. Now is the time for the left to neutralize right-wing attacks, and to build greater unity and leadership towards change in the people’s interest. The US Social Forum in Detroit will be a key point of convergence to build this power.


Since the first US Social Forum in Atlanta, 4 new alliances have developed whose work is unique, impactful, and good for everyone in America. These networks are dedicated to some of the most critical issues of our time - democratizing the media, economic justice in our rapidly developing cities, equal rights for our most vulnerable workers, and community governance. The Median Action Grassroots Network (MAG-Net), the Right to the CIty Network (R2C), the National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA) and the South by Southwest Network -- these are all examples of how the USSF helps connect people at the grassroots to build concrete regional, national and international change for the 21st century. Key victories include (need specific examples here for this message and stories built around this message to be valid).


Detroit is ground zero for the US economic crisis. Detroit has shown that the neoliberal economy has not just failed the Global South, it has failed here at home as well. Thousands of living wage jobs have been permanently lost in theautomotive industry and related sectors. Detroit has the highest unemployment rate of any major city in the country - this is not just a temporary slump - some think that it will take until 2025 for Michigan to recover from this collapse. Detroit’s example is a clear message that another US is necessary and that we must start building it today. What is happening in Detroit and in Michigan is happening all across the country, and all across the world. But Detroit is not only a place of economic collapse it’s also a city of fierce resistance - a center of a growing movement for alternatives to the current destructive economy. By hosting the USSF, Detroit is highlighting itself as a “Solution City” where alternative economic models, urban gardening, adaptive reuse, new educational models, and visions for a truly sustainable green transportation industry can be born. Local grassroots groups are putting some of these solutions in place through the forum process - by organizing to bring hundreds of bicycles to detroit, potentially purchasing a building for community groups, planting dozens of urban community gardens, and much more.


Though this is just the second US Social Forum, you have made leaps and bounds since Atlanta 2007. Atlanta catalyzed a renaissance of civil society in the United States. Detroit is channeling this energy toward solutions to some of the most critical issues of our time. These are post-partisan solutions - solutions that aren’t good for just republicans or democrats, they’re good for the 95% of Americans who produce the majority of the nation’s wealth, but who do not earn the majority of the nation’s wealth. On the global economic crisis: On the climate crisis: [insert developments here] On health care: On immigration: On media and democracy: On war and militarization: On Labor organizing: On solidarity and strategizing for the 21st century:


[Challenging the Right and Neoliberal thinking is key to a media approach. The message/challenge will change given the issue. Here it is key to reaching out to and having connection to left thinking “experts,” “think tanks,” and those we can advance as “grass roots experts” to advance alternative solutions]

The US Social Forum is helping the country move toward a new stage of democracy - a democracy of the people, by the people and for the people - not of the rich, by the rich and for the rich alone. The US Social Forum is helping to bridge divides created by the right-wing - institutional divides that discriminate on the basis of race, class, gender and sexuality. In doing so the US Social Forum is helping to build a movement for the 95% of people in this country who produce the majority of the nation’s wealth, but who do not earn the majority of the nation’s wealth. This is a popular movement that will work with government when possible but will not wait for them to seek workable solutions that meet society’s needs today and for the future, and to help them protect human rights for everyone, especially the most marginalized among us. We especially look for solutions that emphasize grassroots organizations working together and popular democratic input into community-wide solutions.