Funding the Campaign
As the central campaign to win marriage nationwide, Freedom to Marry served as a crucial funding engine encouraging generous donors to step forward, helping strategically channel donations to where they were most needed, and supporting the work of key partner organizations. In this section, read about how Freedom to Marry raised the funds needed to fuel its work, invested in critical state campaigns, and leveraged the willingness of large and small donors to contribute, directly and online.
When Evan Wolfson started Freedom to Marry in 2001, he set the bold vision of building the campaign that would win marriage for same-sex couples nationwide. In order to fulfill that vision, we knew that we would need to raise the funds to fuel the movement. From 2001-2015, Freedom to Marry raised and invested close to $60M for its successful campaign. Approximately 80% of the funding was secured for 501c3 (tax-deductible public education) purposes including and 20% for 501c4 (political/lobbying) purposes.Read More
When Freedom to Marry was founded in 2001, we set out to win marriage nationwide by serving in three key roles for the movement: 1. Act as a catalyst to drive and influence the national debate on the freedom to marry 2. Enhance and support enlistment of local and national non-gay allies and non-gay public support 3. Assist local and state freedom to marry efforts through a national resource center that offers strategic planning, coordination, sophisticated message development, community organizing trainings and materials. But we also recognized that moving the country to build a majority for marriage and winning a critical mass of states with marriage in order to set the stage for the US Supreme Court to bring national resolution was an effort that would require the participation and collaboration of many individuals and groups large and small across the country. As a result, we also declared that we would serve in a fourth important, yet often not considered, role for the movement: “Provide funding as a regrantor to local, state, and national freedom to marry efforts, while stimulating additional parallel funding at the local level”Read More
Beginning in 2010, Freedom to Marry placed a bigger emphasis on strengthening its digital presence including building a robust email program. With that enhanced digital program came a more intentional focus on generating donations online – given that Freedom to Marry was now becoming the actual central campaign and would need to raise not just more money, but “c4” political money as well as the “c3” tax-deductible public education money it had previously confined itself to. Between January 2010 and August 2015, we raised more than $3 million in online donations from more than 18,000 supporters.Read More