It is No Secret

Guest blog  by Robert Meeropol, Rosenberg Fund for Children Founder & son of Ethel & Julius Rosenberg

It is no secret that Trump’s election spurred more people to donate to progressive organizations like the RFC during the first nine months of this year. And, as expected, we needed every extra penny because requests for our aid have surged. But it isn’t as well known that the RFC and other groups have seen a reduction of support in the last couple of months. I think this reflects a combination of donor fatigue and a focus on giving to local progressive candidates even in this off-year election.

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Uncertainty Ahead

2017 was a painful, exhausting year. Wide-spread resistance beat back some of the more egregious assaults on human and civil rights—challenging the Muslim ban, stopping attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, and showing up in massive demonstrations across the country and around the world. But we all know that the Trump administration has done enormous damage to the environment, undermined civil and human rights, and exacerbated an already unsustainable distribution of wealth at the expense of those struggling to make ends meet.

"Strange Fruit" and the Magic of Out-of-the-Blue Donations

As someone for whom fundraising is an important part of my job, one of the best and most mysterious occurrences is the seemingly out-of-the-blue donation. I always wish I could ask the donor what motivated them to contribute at this particular time or amount. Especially when there is no obvious trigger.

The RFC received one of these donations recently from a new donor, Jonathan. He wasn’t in our database or on our email list and we haven’t mailed any recent appeals, so I had no way of knowing what inspired his gift. I emailed him a thank you and figured that would be the end of the story. Instead, I received the following lovely email from him:

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