Guidelines for Giving

The COVID-19 Crisis has intensified many pre-existing inequalities in our communities. While many people are facing challenges because of this crisis, communities and individuals already experiencing oppression and exploitation due to capitalism, colonialism, and white supremacy are being hit the hardest. In this moment of uncertainty and fear, we are asking you to lean into a sense of community and cooperation. We must support one another and resist our society’s emphasis on individualism and scarcity. We have more than enough in our communities when we redistribute resources equitably!

The following guidelines for giving come from the Western Mass Showing Up for Racial Justice Reparations Campaign:  

We’re asking you to give boldly and courageously. We gratefully welcome contributions from everyone – some of us can contribute $5 at this moment and some can contribute $1,000+! Because this crisis is ongoing, we suggest contributing on a monthly basis or every time you receive a paycheck. 

To decide how much to contribute we suggest you take some time to think about how much money (if any) you bring in, and the resources you have access to. Think about your monthly budget (if you don’t have one, now might be a great time to write it down — the more information you have, the more clear you might feel how much room you have for reparations and community support!)

Below is a monthly payscale which is based on moving roughly 10% of monthly income to reparations and community support. If you’re not sure how much to sign up for, try an amount on the sliding scale and see how that works for you. Try 10% of your income, if possible. Check out the list of factors that might impact how much money you have access to. Trust your gut — this might feel a little scary!

Include money in your income that you regularly expect from job(s), gifts from family, interest on an account, and any other sources. If you have access to money from family, add that to your income.

Factors that may impact how much you can afford:

Pay less on the scale if you:

  • Receive public assistance
  • Support dependents (children, parents, anyone else relying on your money)
  • Don’t have savings
  • Are formerly incarcerated
  • Are a migrant with no status protection
  • Are an immigrant and your status is threatened
  • Do work that is unstable
  • Must make payments on debt that interfere with being able to access your basic needs
  • Are an elder with little support
  • Have less access to money because of domestic and or other abusive situations.

Pay more on the scale if you:

  • Have been able to continue meeting your basic needs in the face of this crisis
  • Are able to work from home during COVID-19 and are maintaining your usual payscale
  • Are able to access unemployment and other government benefits
  • Have health insurance and your housing is stable
  • Have few or no dependents
  • Have savings, investments, inherited money
  • Can ask people in your life for money
  • Own the home you live in and are accustomed to your basic needs being met
  • Choose to work less than you can and have higher earning power than you are currently tapping into

*Information on Sliding Scales was adapted from the Ride Free Fearless Money blog. The list of factors has been adapted from Little Red Bird Botanicals.

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