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The Revolution Will Not Be Funded

Beyond the Non-Profit Industrial Complex

INCITE! Women of Color Against Violence

Pages: 256
ISBN: 978-0-89608-766-8
Release Date: 2007-03-01

Purchase for $23.00

Description of The Revolution Will Not Be Funded.

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A massive and largely unregulated industry, the US nonprofit sector is the world’s seventh largest economy. 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 and government surveillance rises, many activists often find it difficult to imagine movement-building outside the nonprofit model.

The Revolution Will Not Be Funded gathers original essays by radical activists from around the globe who are critically rethinking the long-term consequences of this investment. Together with educators and nonprofit staff they finally name the “non-profit industrial complex” and ask hard questions: How did politics shape the birth of the nonprofit model? How does 501(c)(3) status allow the state to co-opt political movements? Activists or careerists? How do we fund the movement outside this complex? Urgent and visionary, The Revolution Will Not Be Funded is an unbeholden exposé of the "nonprofit industrial complex" and its quietly devastating role in managing dissent.

Selected for a 2007 MYERS CENTER OUTSTANDING BOOK ADVANCING HUMAN RIGHTS AWARD! See the Myers Center for more info (click on "books," then "2007").

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  • Press Release

    For Immediate Release
    Contact: Jocelyn Burrell,

    Beyond the Non-Profit Industrial Complex
    Edited by INCITE! Women of Color Against Violence

    “Follow the money,” so the saying goes, and inevitably it will lead you to those who pull the strings. Certainly this is a proven tactic for monitoring the uses and abuses of power by big business and government officials. But in the non-profit sector—despite a net worth surpassing many national GNPs—money flows in and out essentially unchecked. Questions of influence and benefit? Rarely asked.

    The reality, however, is that both right- and left-leaning foundations exert tremendous influence on policy, public discourse, and our larger political context. And their benefits are legion.

    Since the Gilded Age, the foundation world has used this power both to protect their immediate financial interests and to shield them from public scrutiny, government regulation, and perhaps especially political opposition. With In These Times recently reporting that “foundation dollars provide 70 to 90 percent of funding support for most social movements,” one might well wonder how the agendas for those movements are being set.

    A major source of funding is from corporations, which benefit from the tax breaks and the good PR. They argue doing-good and turning a profit can go hand in hand. But a larger question looms, as is demonstrated in...

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