What would a feminist payment/funding site look like?

We’ve had several discussions here over the years about what a feminist social network would look like, most notably Social Networking Requirements and The Revolution Will Not Be Tweeted. In a similar vein, and in light of the recent problems with Gittip, I’d like to open discussion about what a feminist payment/funding site would look like — a feminist alternative to crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter, or to micropayment/ongoing support like Gittip or Patreon.

I’ll start:

  • The system helps bring the most marginalised and most in need to the forefront, rather than the most popular.
  • Policies that don’t automatically shut down accounts for “offensive” content when those accounts are, for example, documenting abuse or educating about sexuality.
  • It doesn’t require you to create a video to launch a campaign (pet peeve! but see Photography on the GF wiki for some ways in which photos/video can lead to harassment for marginalised people).

For further background/points of discussion, some resources around this are starting to form on the GF wiki. See for example:

Ideas, thoughts? What payment/fundraising needs do you have in regard to feminist/activist work?

6 thoughts on “What would a feminist payment/funding site look like?

  1. Nikki

    Let me say first that I’d really love to see a feminist/socially-aware crowdfunding platform – thanks for starting a discussion!

    I can think of a couple of things I’d prioritise if I had the economic savvy to build such a thing:

    – ACTIVELY AND SYSTEMATICALLY removing offensive content, and defining offensive content according to feminist & intersectional principles.

    – Supporting one-off payments and recurring ones! So far in my life I haven’t ever had the economic security to commit to giving away £X per month, but I have donated to lots of cool stuff! (And equally, I can see that giving away £2.50 per month might work a lot better for other people’s finances than giving away £30 one-off or whatever).

    I wonder what a “wish-list” feature would push to the front: with a sufficiently awesome user-base and strong enough anti-trolling support, I wonder if letting people press a button to say “I’d fund this if I could” would promote the causes there’s most need for. Maybe if you got the chance to make so many votes per month once you’ve made one donation – that’d shut out a lot of spam without letting the better-off people get more influence by default?

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  3. Aaron Wolf

    As co-founder of Snowdrift.coop, an ethically-focused not-yet-launched fundraising system, I extend a sincere and sympathetic invitation to people interested in helping us make the right decisions so we set off with the best foundation.

    Snowdrift.coop by design fails the first element of focusing on the most marginalized. Our goal is to focus on the most *ethical* and to promote the most popular *within* that subset of projects. We are proposing a thorough honor system (see snowdrift.coop/p/snowdrift/w/honor ) that we hope will keep discourse civil without permitting *any* sorts of condescension / hate-speech etc.

    We reject the myth of completely flat, meritocratic, structureless organizations. Instead, we’re working to draft the best cooperative governance that protects everyone and includes all stakeholders fairly.

    But we are *not* trying to be a fund-anything site. We’re focusing on community-related shareable projects. We don’t think it’ll work to try to be everything all at once, although there’s room to adapt later.

    So, we’re *not* the solution you want. But we’re *a* solution that can help in many ways. And we could adapt as we go, and everything we do will be a model and provide tools for others. So anyone interested in helping us make the right decisions now before we launch, please come be involved!

  4. yar

    Strong protection for anonymity is very important to me and was one of my favorite things about Gittip.

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  6. Moz in Oz

    Similar to Nikki, but for different reasons, I prefer to make chunky donations that are big enough to justify the effort I put into making sure I’m giving money to people I actually support. And also, that they won’t waste the money on begging me forever and ever for more. This does have the slightly paradoxical effect that sometimes I am a groups single largest donor by a significant margin (who would have thought that $250 once a year was “huge”?), but $5/week is something I’m reluctant to commit to. OTOH I’d be quite happy to donate a bigger chunk and see that parcelled out over a year if that’s what recipients want (technical details are for whoever is doing the work, IMO).

    One thing I would be interested in trying on a feminist or deep green site is to put a couple of hundred bucks into a “voting pool” that gets distributed based on voting or smaller donations. With that some ability to restrict generic donations by location or subject would be necessary (I’m not going to list my preferences, but there are a few controversy-attracting feminist-ish things that could make me refuse to use the site because I *will* *not* fund them).

    I currently use http://www.givenow.com.au because a lot of the people I donate to do. That seems to work well even though I’ve primarily used it as a payment gateway. It might be better to work through a site like that and add features, if you could.

    (I arrived via DUFC)

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