This document was last updated on 8/21 and is no longer being actively maintained, but is being left up as a resource for those interested in the organizing in Ferguson that emerged in August 2014 in response to the shooting of Michael Brown. If you are moved to donate, please double check on the groups before using the links below.
Giving Options in Response to Ferguson
Last Updated - 8/21/14 at 2:18 pm EDT (chronology of edits below)
***Please feel free to use/share/quote this information, with attribution to Bolder Giving***
Donors and others have been asking us here at Bolder Giving how they can help, and especially donate, in support of the organizing being done in response to Ferguson and to support the Brown family and Ferguson residents. As protests continue, our support from around the country is still needed! It’s a changing landscape (which we’re updating regularly) - here’s what we know right now.
Direct Service/Family Support
If you’re looking to support immediate human needs, there are ONLY TWO CONFIRMED ways to support Michael Brown’s family (confirmed with the family’s representatives). You can give online or donations can be mailed to Fifth Third Bank (all other online campaigns are unauthorized or scams). There are also two campaigns to raise money for programs helping feed those in need (St. Stephen’s Food Pantry and the Ferguson food bank) to help those facing hunger amidst the continued unrest and to help kids who may not get fed because they’re out of school and missing the school breakfast/lunch programs.
Local Organizing Efforts
If you want to support organizing in the area, Organization for Black Struggle is based in Ferguson and they're raising money now for another organizer as they're overwhelmed responding to everything. Additionally, after a police raid on one of the primary gathering places of the OBS #HandsUpDontShoot campaign, there is an effort underway now to raise funds for medical and other supplies. MORE (Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment) is supporting protesters and organizers who have been jailed and has established a legal defense fund, and there is a newly formed league of young organizers being coordinated by Young Activists United St. Louis. There’s also a campaign to fund independent journalistic coverage of what is happening on the ground in Ferguson and CREDO is raising funds to keep up the progressive livestream they’ve launched with WeActRadio.
More on these in the links/notes below which I've been copying and pasting from various sources. If you have other resources, please send them to me at the email below and we’ll keep updating this resource. And if you find it useful and make a gift, let us know that too!
If you want to donate online to support Michael’s family after the loss of their son, you can donate online to Michael Brown’s Memorial Fund at http://www.gofundme.com/justiceformikebrown. I have confirmed this as the official donation portal with the family’s representatives. These funds will assist his family with costs that they will acquire as they seek justice on Michael’s behalf. All funds will be given to the Michael Brown family.
If you would prefer to support the family with a donation via check, the Brown family has established a Michael Brown Jr. Memorial Fund at Fifth Third Bank. I called and confirmed this with the bank and reconfirmed with the family’s representatives. You can make a donation at any branch (https://www.53.com/site) or you can mail a donation with “Michael Brown Jr. Memorial Fund” in the memo line and send it to:
Fifth Third Bank
8013 West Florissant Ave.
Jennings, MO 63136
You can call the branch at 314-685-3200 with any questions.
Continued protests and police confrontations are having a ripple effects, including leaving many people hungry. There are two campaigns running now that we know of - a general call for support for the food pantry at St. Stephen’s Episcopal church and a crowdfunding campaign started by a out-of-state teacher to feed kids missing the free & reduce breakfast/lunch programs at school.
1) Food pantry at St. Stephen’s Episcopal church
According to the St. Mark's Evangelical Lutheran Church in Ferguson, the food pantry at St. Stephen’s in Ferguson is running short on supplies because of the unrest. (Thanks to Daily Kos for this update) From St. Stephen’s:
The Food Pantry at St Stephen’s is focused on to the food needs of Ferguson in this difficult time. We are grateful for the generous response of so many. We continue to receive contributions as we increase the distribution of food. Today we fed kids who were not in school because of delay of the opening of school, the residents of Canfield Green and Oakmont Townhomes, many people who came by the church and the people who are served by a neighboring pantry. Over a quarter of the food donated so far was distributed in this one day.
You can donate to the food pantry at St. Stephen’s Episcopal church in Ferguson at http://saint-stephens.info/collaboration/our-community-the-vine/food-pantry. If you have questions please contact Father Steve episcopalians at gmail.com @314.753.7911.
2) Ferguson Food Bank Fundraising Drive
Copied from the Fundly site: “As the world watches the events unfolding in Ferguson, many people have thought ‘how can I help?’. As a public school teacher, my first thought is always about the children involved in any tragic situation like this. When I found out school had been canceled for several days as a result of the civil unrest, I immediately became worried for the students in households with food instability. Many children in the US eat their only meals of the day, breakfast and lunch, at school. With school out, kids are undoubtedly going hungry. ALL OF THIS MONEY WILL GO TO FEED KIDS IN FERGUSON. A dollar or a hundred dollars, it doesn't matter. You will be helping to put food in the mouth of a child who needs it. Regardless of your opinion on the civil unrest in Ferguson, there is no need for innocent children to go hungry because of it.”
You can donate at https://fundly.com/feed-the-students-of-ferguson?ft_src=twtshare
OBS is on the ground in Ferguson, MO. They are calling for help in raising the money necessary to hire an organizer dedicated to tackling all the recent developments. From OBS:
“We are raising money for an OBS organizer to deal with the Ferguson cop killing. We are stretched to the limit. From almost the moment that Michael Brown was viciously killed by a Ferguson cop, OBS has been inundated with requests for information, media interviews, etc. We've been doing police violence work for nearly 35 years and some of us who were in predecessor organizations, it's over 40 years of experience that we bring to the table. We are putting out a call to help us raise money for a dedicated organizer and to help with bail fees. We invite people to donate, especially those outside of St. Louis who are looking for ways to help. Direct people to our website where a PayPal account has been set up separate from our regular donations.
What OBS has done around this case:
The progressive community is looking to OBS for leadership and we've been in conversations with people to start laying the groundwork with Ferguson residents to address the issues in their city. We can support them, but we cannot do it for them.”
You can donate directly at http://obs-onthemove.org/support-obs/
From the #HandsUpDontShoot website “Young black and brown people are self-organizing daily in Ferguson in a fight for justice for Michael Brown. Local organizations and leaders have been going out nightly to provide crowd control, medical support, document violent actions of the police against protestors, coordinating national support coming into Ferguson, and building relationships with the young people that are out leading the fight every day. Donations will be used support purchase of medical supplies, local meeting space, communication support, and other infrastructure resources.”
MORE has been expanding their support of people who have been arrested and jailed, both active protesters and bystanders. From MORE’s Facebook page - “Upwards of 40 people have been arrested at rallies and events in Ferguson over the past several days. Many of the arrestees were on the sidewalk and trying to leave when they were arrested. There is a jail support team that is trying to get in touch with people who have been arrested in order to connect them to lawyers, relay messages from them to their families, and advocate for them. “
About the Legal Defense Fund in particular - “Please donate to the legal defense fund to help release those arrested in Ferguson protests standing for Justice for Mike Brown! Since the killing of Mike Brown, dozens of people have been arrested by the Ferguson police for participating in protests. This legal defense fund has been set up to support all people currently in jail. … One small way that we can fight the PIC is to assert the right of every individual, regardless of the crime, to proper legal representation and due process. No matter where you are, this is an immediate and tangible way that you can stand for justice for Mike Brown and support the members of the Ferguson community. We cannot afford to wait until this happens again. Help us take collective action now.”
YSTL is helping to coordinate a newly formed “Justice League” of young people organizing in Ferguson, any donations very appreciated! More generally, from their website:
“YSTL is a bridge organization that provides leadership training and opportunities for social engagement and empowerment. We connect people on campuses, in their workplaces, and in their home communities to the social justice community in St. Louis. We seek to empower youth to become the next generation of activists in the social justice movement and stand with young people and students to fight for social change.
We are currently involved in solidarity work with various organizations in the St. Louis area including Peace Economy Project, Missouri Immigrant and Refugee Advocates, and others. We currently have a chapter at the University of Missouri-St. Louis where we are building relationships with new student organizations such as Minority Student Nurses, Associated Black Collegians, and the Student Government Association. Through these relationships and recruitment at other campuses and workplaces we hope to build a stronger coalition of students and young workers to strengthen the youth movement.”
Find more info at:
From the Beacon Reader - “We need sustainable coverage of what’s happening in Ferguson, Missouri. Back this project, and every $500 is one more day reporters can provide ongoing coverage from the scene.”
CREDO partnered with WeACT radio to livestream from Ferguson, and as of 8/19 Colors of Change is taking over from CREDO to sustain the livestream. From Colors of Change - “We're streaming live from Ferguson, MO to provide access to reports from organizers on the ground about #JusticeForMikeBrown. Please contribute today to help us keep the livestream running. ColorOfChange.org is powered by YOU—your energy and dollars. We take no money from lobbyists or large corporations that don’t share our values, and our tiny staff ensures your contributions go a long way.”
Donate to support the livestream at https://secure.actblue.com/contribute/page/coclivestream
On Friday (8/15) they had over 40,000 unique viewers at http://act.credoaction.com/sign/ferguson. They’ve started archiving clips to push out to media at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8U7rY2tZ6PuJr3kfHMMn7A.
8/21 - Amplifying the Organizing: In solidarity with Ferguson, ways you can support the fight
Options for volunteering and giving to support work in Fergson
8/20 - “7 Things You Can Do to Help the Movement in Ferguson Wherever You Are”
Thoughtful blog in The Nation which includes resources gathered in this Google Doc http://www.thenation.com/blog/181313/how-help-ferguson#
8/20 added, continuously updated - Pinterest board covering what is happening in Ferguson
created by Jenifer Fernandez Ancona of the Women Donors Network to gather and track some of the best articles, news sources and Twitter feeds on Ferguson
8/17 - 5 WAYS YOU CAN HELP FERGUSON, ITS PROTESTERS, AND MIKE BROWN'S FAMILY
Includes both petition links, links to the Brown Family & FeedFurguson efforts referenced above, and links to some national efforts focusing on Ferguson
8/17 - “Stand (or Sit or Recline) on the Side of Love: Honoring the Life of Michael Brown, Witnessing His Murder” http://irrevspeckay.wordpress.com/2014/08/17/how-to-stand-or-sit-or-recline-on-the-side-of-love-honoring-the-life-of-michael-brown-witnessing-his-murder
8/17 - “12 things white people can do now because of Ferguson”
8/15 - “Unarmed and Black: Philanthropy’s Challenge to Address an Old, Sad Story”
Blog post about long-term investment possibilities for philanthropy from Susan Taylor Batten, President & CEO, Association of Black Foundation Executives
8/14 - “I feel so useless sitting here. What can I do to help Ferguson??”