Preparing for the Trump Administration

Dear Kim,

How bad are things going to get under President Trump and what can we do to prepare?

~Sick at Heart

Dear Heart,

First I have to say I am not a psychic. I have no idea how bad things are going to get. For some people, things are already bad. We have not been living in an idyllic universe. Much of what will happen was already underway—racism, sexism, fracking, drone strikes, environmental destruction, concentration of wealth, deepening poverty—name your issue and you can easily see that oppression is not starting from scratch with this new administration.

To prepare, I would suggest forming your own opinions about all kinds of questions that affect fundraising. Learn the arguments for and against and be willing to engage in deep conversation with your donors, your board members, other staff, and whomever you can.

Many organizations have discovered that their donors are stepping up in a much bigger way than ever and wanting to connect in a way they haven’t in years. Those of us whose activism is fundraising need to use this time to raise big questions with our donors: What is the role of taxes? What should be privately funded and what should be publicly funded? Should there be a cap on the charitable deduction? Should the estate tax be higher? Should Donor Advised Funds be subject to a 5% payout? And so on.      

And we must ask ourselves if we really believe that ‘the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice’ or do we not? This election is a setback; it is not the apocalypse.

~Kim Klein