Six thousand dollars a month to advocate for sanctions against Russia

May 18, 2022

The material was published in the Teksty (Texts)

Ukrainian NGO Anti-Corruption Action Center (AntAC) is raising funds for the #BlockPutinWallets project – international advocacy of sanctions against Russia, says Antonina Vovkotrub, Head of the Analytical Department of this NGO. This project is one of the many projects implemented by the AntAC.

For part of the projects, just like most NGOs, the AntAC applies for grants. However, there are also those funded through fundraising. For example, ‘Serpom po Reitynhu’ (Like a Stab in the Ranking) involved fundraising for communications campaigns to spread the word about MPs and parties. For example, if a party did not vote for an important draft law, the AntAC tried to get the word out to the voters, which required funds for advertising on social media.

Fundraising for international advocacy for sanctions against Russia is currently underway on Patreon.

The organization has been registered on this platform since October 2021. Active fundraising began sometime in November. Currently, the AntAC has more than 450 patrons who donate more than $6,000 per month. Most subscribers there are Ukrainians, but a significant amount of contributions comes from foreign patrons.

How to successfully partner with Patreon? According to Antonina, you should use social media to attract subscribers, and offer any possible options for donations – from the minimum (in AntAC, it is one dollar) to the maximum. To determine the size of the minimum donation for a patron, you can use data on arbitrary amounts of donations on Liqpay, if the organization has experience with this platform.

Currently, the advantage of using Patreon, according to Antonina, is that the platform does not charge any fees from Ukrainian citizens and organizations.

She advises new organizations against using too many platforms, instead they should choose the most convenient one. But there can also be unpleasant situations with Patreon, as was the case with the “Come Back Alive” page, which the platform removed because it does not allow “using the funds to support violence or purchase military equipment”. Therefore, along with opportunities there are always risks to consider.

An alternative platform should also be offered to those who refuse to donate through Patreon to avoid wasting funds on service fees. At the AntAC, for example, this is LiqPay.

This material was prepared as part of the Project Ukraine Civil Society Sectoral Support Activity implemented by the Initiative Center to Support Social Action “Ednannia” in partnership with the Ukrainian Center for Independent Political Research (UCIPR) and Centre for Democracy and Rule of Law (CEDEM).