Owning Our Movement: Turning “Junk” into Action

April 17, 2009 at 6:02 pm Leave a comment

Now more than ever grassroots fundraising is critical to keeping our organizations and campaigns strong. It’s also a great opportunity for us to both literally and figuratively “own” our movement. Ellie Johnston, SEN Steering Committee member, and other incredible activists in Asheville did just that and raised over $1,000 to support our work.

Students at UNC Asheville clean house and raise money to support climate action

Students at UNC Asheville clean house and raise money to support climate action

Check out what Ellie had to say about their event:

So as people who want to work towards a just and sustainable future we often face a dilemma in how to get the money to accomplish our goals. Grassroots fundraising should compliment the grassroots organizing that we are doing, right? But how do you sustain and support an organization with grassroots fundraising?

The students at UNC Asheville have renewed an age old method of raising funds–the yard sale. Selling your stuff is a great way to get some dough. If your a college student though, who just wants to support an organization and doesn’t own a bunch of stuff that you can give up, what do you do? Sell other peoples stuff.

At UNCA we had planned to have a yardsale as part of our Greenfest week for months, but 10 days out we still hadn’t gotten any donations in response to the flyers we had put up. So, we took a more proactive approach to getting stuff to sell. We realized that people who have yard sales have stuff they want to get rid of and by the end of the yard sale they still are left with stuff they want to get rid of. So we offered to pick up people’s yard sale leftovers in order to get it out of their hands and more importantly away from the landfill. A day and a half spent picking up yard sale leftovers around town resulted in a ton of really great items that we could then sell at our own yard sale the following week.

Early on we had decided on two things about this yard sale. First this was going to be a yardsale for the Southern Energy Network who has supported our organization on a lot things throughout the year and is going through a financial pinch like the rest of the world. And second, that we weren’t going to dictate to anyone what they would pay for items.

On the day of the yard sale we had it all setup out on UNC Asheville’s Quad and waited for people to come. People came trickling on to the Quad in hopes of seeing the huge yard sale that we had advertised. At the register people would come up with their rollerblades, coffee makers, and flannel shirts while we explained that the proceeds from this yard sale were going to the Southern Energy Network and asked them to make an offer on what they were buying. No offer was ever turned down and many were really quite generous. In all we got just over $1000 from selling people’s leftovers, not bad eh?

People everywhere love a good deal. Now that the weather has warmed the bargain hunters are on the prowl and would love to support your favorite organization (especially when they find that Mt. Rushmore tea cup to complete their collection).

A huge thanks to Ellie and team! Also to Reagan Richmond and students in Tennessee for the $250 they raised for SEN through an art opening and raffle.

Feel inspired, support SEN and our work to promote a youth-led movement for a clean, just and sustainable energy future!


Entry filed under: events, fundraising, northcarolina, southeast, southern energy network.

Raleigh Rally leaves Jim Rogers that much more of a hypocrite FL YOUTH DEMAND TO BE HEARD! “Give us the Green Fee!!”

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