The Revolution Will Not Be Funded

Beyond the Non-Profit Industrial Complex

The Revolution Will Not Be Funded

Book Pages: 272 Illustrations: Published: February 2017

Activism, American Studies, Gender and Sexuality > Feminism and Women’s Studies

A trillion-dollar industry, the US non-profit sector is one of the world's largest economies. From art museums and university hospitals to think tanks and church charities, over 1.5 million organizations of staggering diversity share the tax-exempt 501(c)(3) designation, if little else. Many social justice organizations have joined this world, often blunting political goals to satisfy government and foundation mandates. But even as funding shrinks, many activists often find it difficult to imagine movement-building outside the non-profit model. The Revolution Will Not Be Funded gathers essays by radical activists, educators, and non-profit staff from around the globe who critically rethink the long-term consequences of what they call the "non-profit industrial complex." Drawing on their own experiences, the contributors track the history of non-profits and provide strategies to transform and work outside them. Urgent and visionary, The Revolution Will Not Be Funded presents a biting critique of the quietly devastating role the non-profit industrial complex plays in managing dissent.

Contributors. Christine E. Ahn, Robert L. Allen, Alisa Bierria, Nicole Burrowes, Communities Against Rape and Abuse (CARA), William Cordery, Morgan Cousins, Ruth Wilson Gilmore, Stephanie Guilloud, Adjoa Florência Jones de Almeida, Tiffany Lethabo King, Paul Kivel, Soniya Munshi, Ewuare Osayande, Amara H. Pérez, Project South: Institute for the Elimination of Poverty and Genocide, Dylan Rodríguez, Paula X. Rojas, Ana Clarissa Rojas Durazo, Sisters in Action for Power, Andrea Smith, Eric Tang, Madonna Thunder Hawk, Ije Ude, Craig Willse


"A stinging indictment of what the authors call the 'non-profit industrial complex.'" — Elisabeth Prügl, Signs

"Fiery" — Utne Reader

"Powerfully demonstrate[s] what we too often forget: our attempts at securing safety for ourselves and our communities are subject to much more powerful attempts by the state and society to make itself safe—including to make itself safe from us and our most radical, challenging, revolutionary, feminist ideas." — Ruthann Robson, Women's Studies Quarterly

"Although The Revolution Will Not Be Funded presents no easy answers for those of us struggling both to make a living and to create social change, it exhorts us to put the consideration of our movements' missions, and the way we fulfill them, before considerations of organizational and job security—and to regularly revisit within our organizations the question of whether the form and the content of our work are essentially compatible." — Christy Thornton, NACLA Report on the Americas

"A crucial intervention into mainstream ways of thinking about political organization and social change." — Ryne Clos, Spectrum Culture

"The Revolution Will Not Be Funded gives us valuable insight into what these activists call 'the non-profit industrial complex,' an unseen web of money and power that tries to undermine people's struggles for racial, class, economic, gender, and environmental justice. It deserves the closest study." — Mumia Abu-Jamal

"This collection presents a context for the questions that have been troubling us about non-profit structures. In years to come, we will mark it as the jump-start for our new thinking about ways to make collective social change." — Suzanne Pharr, author of In the Time of the Right: Reflections on Liberation

"The Revolution Will Not Be Funded is a must-read for all of us who are living in the U.S., the crossroads of empire and global capitalism. Seriously addressing the questions and critiques raised by this collection will help today's U.S.-based justice movements make sense of our responsibilities—and envision creative opportunities—to help map a transformative future for liberation." — Joo-Hyun Kang, member, CAAAV Organizing Asian Communities

"Are non-profit organizations sufficiently accountable and responsive to the larger aims of popular social movements, or is the 'non-profit industrial complex' thawing the potential for fundamental social change? The Revolution Will Not Be Funded provides a variety of critical perspectives that challenge the conventional foundation model and non-profit system approach to popular organizing in capitalist America. Sure to be a provocative book for activists working for social justice." — Daniel Faber, editor of Foundations for Social Change


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Price: $23.95

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Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

INCITE! is a national activist organization of radical feminists of color advancing a movement to end all forms of violence against women, gender non-conforming, and trans people of color through direct action, critical dialogue, and grassroots organizing.

Table of Contents Back to Top
Preface / Andrea Smith  ix
Foreword / Soniya Munshi and Craig Willse  xiii
Introduction: The Revolution Will Not Be Funded  1
Part I: The Rise of the Non-Profit Industrial Complex
The Political Logic of the Non-Profit Industrial Complex / Dylan Rodríguez  21
In the Shadow of the State / Ruth Wilson Gilmore  41
From Black Awakening in Capitalist America / Robert L. Allen  53
Democratizing American Philanthropy / Christine E. Ahn  63
Part II: Non-Profits and Global Organizing
The Filth on Philanthropy: Progressive Philanthropy's Agenda to Misdirect Social Justice Movements / Tiffany Lethabo King and Ewuare Osayande  79
Between Radical Theory and Community Praxis: Reflections on Organizing and the Non-Profit Industrial Complex / Amara H. Pérez, Sisters in Action for Power  91
Native Organizing Before the Non-Profit Industrial Complex / Madonna Thunder Hawk  101
Fundraising is Not a Dirty Word: Community-based Economic Strategies for the Long Haul / Stephanie Guilloud and William Cordery, Project South: Institute for the Elimination of Poverty and Genocide
"we were never meant to survive": Fighting Violence Against Women and the Fourth World War / Ana Clarissa Rojas Durazo  113
Social Service or Social Change? / Paul Kivel  129
Pursuing a Radical Anti-Violence Agenda Inside/Outside a Non-Profit Structure / Alisa Bierria, Communities Against Rape and Abuse (CARA)  151
The NGOization of the Palestine Liberation Movement: Interviews with Hatem Bazian, Noura Erekat, Atef Said, and Zeina Zaatari / Andrea Smith  165
Part III: Rethinking Non-Profits, Reimagining Resistance
Radical Social Change: Searching for a New Foundation / Adjoa Florência Joes de Almeida  185
Are the Cops in Our Heads and Hearts? / Paula X. Rojas  197
Non-Profits and the Autonomous Grassroots / Eric Tang  215
On Our Own Terms: Ten Years of Radical Community Building with Sista II Sista / Nicole Burrowes, Morgan Cousins, Paula X. Rojas, and Ije Ude  227
About the Contributors  235
Index  242
Sales/Territorial Rights: World

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Additional InformationBack to Top
Paper ISBN: 978-0-8223-6900-4 / Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8223-6380-4
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