conference: nonprofits and social action

colist at colist at
Mon Sep 1 08:39:25 CDT 2003

From: "John E. Glass" <jeglass at>



Incite!  Women of Color Against Violence presents  

The Revolution Will Not Be Funded: Beyond the Non-Profit 
Industrial Complex  

April 30-May 1, 2004 University of California-Santa Barbara  

Social justice organizations within the U.S. largely operate the 
501(c)3 non-profit model.  This conference will address the impact 
of the non-profit industrial complex on social justice movements, 
including anti-violence organizing.  Activists often have difficulty 
conceiving of developing organizing structures outside this model.  
Yet we know that social justice movements in other countries often 
reject this model as counterproductive toward creating real social 

This conference will explore the following issues. *       What is the 
history of how the non-profit model developed, and what reasons 
did it develop?  How did it impact the direction of social justice 

*       How has funding from foundations impacted the course of 
social justice movements?  

*       How does 501(c)3 status impact social justice organizations' 
relationship to the state?   How does non-profit status allow the 
state to co-opt our movements?  

*       Are there ways the non-profit model can be used subversively 
to support more radical visions for social change?  

*       What are the alternatives for building viable social justice 
movements?  How do we fund the movement outside the non-profit 

*       What models for organizing outside the NGO/non-profit 
model exist outside the U.S. that may help us?  

This conference will bring together activists to both assess the 
impact of non-profit industrial complex on social justice 
movements, and consider alternative possibilities for social justice 

Social justice organizations across the country are critically re-
thinking their investment in the 501c3 system.  Particularly with 
funding cuts from foundations as result of the current economic 
crisis, as well as increased surveillance on social justice groups 
through "homeland security," social justice organizations are 
assessing if there are other possibilities for funding social change 
that do not so heavily rely upon state structures.  This conference 
will provide a space for us to address these issues and envision 
new possibilities and models for future organizing.  

If you are interested in receiving a conference registration form, 
call 734-231-1845 or email  incite_national at You can 
also write to Andrea Smith, Program in American Culture, 3700 
Haven Hall, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor MI 48109.  

Conference brochures/registration forms with full list of speakers 
and schedule will be sent out on October 15.

More information about the Colist mailing list