Frequently Asked Questions
The answer is simple: 71% ($10,650) goes directly to pay the printing bill for 100,000 copies of the booklet, 20% pays for producing and shipping the donor rewards, 5% pays the Kickstarter fee, and 4% pays credit card processing fees. That’s it. All other aspects of the broader To Change Everything project will be funded via other means, mostly by volunteer labor.Last updated:
Copies will be distributed through the overlapping distribution networks we have built up around the county over the past fifteen years. Anyone can become a distributor of To Change Everything; ordering information will be posted on our website as soon as we have TCE back from the printer. Copies will be available in bulk for the cost of shipping alone; distributors will spread them via local book stores and social centers, at community events and protests, on literature tables at college campuses and music festivals and speaking events, clandestinely in high school detention rooms and family reunions, and in a wide variety of other spaces. We have tested and honed this method of distribution through countless printings of our previous free publications; it has proven reliable and efficient.
We also anticipate that there will be future distribution opportunities we can’t predict from now, and we want to be ready for them. If we’d had these during Occupy, for example, we would have gone through tens of thousands of them. Next time we want to be ready.Last updated:
The internet has dramatically changed how people seek out and consume information. It’s hard to beat free and instant. This project will embrace that potential completely—there will be a video version of TCE as well as a complete web version, designed to be responsive in order to maximize the reading experience on any phone, tablet, or computer.
But print still has immense power. Many people have to encounter something in the physical world before they will seek out more information online; others report they have a more focused and engaging reading experience with print. Now that the internet has made it easy to put information effortlessly at almost everyone’s disposal, print projects can focus on hand-to-hand delivery and high-quality reading experience. Therefore, our emphasis is no longer on making the maximum number of disposable pamphlets as cheaply as possible, but producing a high-quality booklet that communicates how seriously we take these ideas: our projects have to show that we are truly invested in them if we want others to consider investing themselves too. That’s why the To Change Everything booklets will be printed on white book paper, not newsprint, with full-color printing throughout. They will deliver an honest-to-goodness physical sensation in moments when we engage with other human beings and the world around us—moments that have the potential to change everything.Last updated:
For practically our entire existence, we have avoided using traditional fundraising drives and platforms. In the beginning, taking our cue from the bank robbers who financed the anarchist press a hundred years ago, we utilized nonstandard methods to produce and distribute our materials for free.
Once the scale of our operations grew too large to depend on inconsistent sources, we shifted tactics. We didn’t want our agenda to be dictated by funders, as in the case of so many non-profit organizations; we believe that this inevitably causes groups to water down their politics in order to pander to the wealthy. [For more on this, consult the excellent The Revolution Will Not Be Funded: Beyond the Non-Profit Industrial Complex by INCITE! Women of Color against Violence.] Nor did we wish to tire the patience of our grassroots supporters with constant NPR-style pleas. For a decade and a half, we have mass-produced materials to keep the cost per item down, sold them at close to production costs, and used any returns to fund free projects like Fighting for Our Lives—indeed, we sunk tens of thousands of dollars of our own money into that project. None of this would have been possible if we weren’t willing to work for free, living, in most cases, significantly below the poverty line.
This approach will remain the basis of our efforts. However, much has changed in the economy in the years since we set out on this path. As the majority of people get poorer, it is becoming more difficult to fund projects through sales alone, even as interest increases in our projects. It seems we are entering a sort of new feudalism, in which a small part of the population has disproportionate resources and leverage even when it comes to determining what materials are mass-produced: the question of patronage is almost inescapable. Today, some of our supporters can barely afford the materials they depend on us for, while others would gladly pay significantly more than we charge. Utilizing a crowd-funding model only acknowledges this already present reality. We don’t share the optimism of those who believe that crowd-funding is somehow liberating or “democratic”—it’s just the best sales system for an era of dramatic income disparities.
At the same time, we remain staunchly committed to setting our agenda with complete integrity and autonomy, regardless of financial incentives. We will not water down our politics to attract wealthier funders; we will not change the ways we speak and organize. The upshot of this is that if you appreciate what we are doing, we depend on you to help us to keep at it, even if your means are paltry compared to those big NGO foundations that are currently rendering toothless all the political campaigns they talk about in their press releases. Really changing everything will take a lot more than tax write-offs and paid publicity work. If you want what we want, help us however you can.Last updated:
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