There are two things that Pirate Parties constantly lack – time and money. The first of these would require a fundamental change in the laws of society or physics and neither is very easy to bring about. However we can do something about raising funds even when we could always use more no matter how much we have.
It is also up to you to check what rules, if any, your party might have – Pirate Parties avoid taking donations from businesses preferring to keep their hands clean from any hint of corruption. Also there will be laws in your country that regulate the funding of political parties for example many do not allow funding from overseas. The Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance has a tool to help you find out. Be careful though as sometimes small donations are permitted even though there is a general ban. This is the case in the UK.
Web based fundraising
Buttons are ubiquitous and ignored as much as banner advertising so you might need to be inventive with texts and graphics. Raising funds for specific goals, such as a campaign funding program, might get more success than a generic “please donate” message.
- flattr – micro donations easy to use and can provide a steady income
- Paypal – Due to Paypal’s behaviour over Wikileaks,The Pirate Bay and other causes many Pirates refuse to use Paypal
- Bitcoin – Controversial in some quarters and due to recent volatility avoided by some. Also there will unlikely to be any tax benefits. However it is a safer alternative for those who may face problems for giving or accepting donations.
- Payza – in 197 countries and is not Paypal.
Fundraising in the Real World
A collection jar can be a feature of every regular meeting, especially for small regional groups that meet in bars and restaurants.
Buy a drink for the Party so to speak.
Provide free services for your community like crypto-parties or classes in scepticism, politics ,how to decode punditry etc with the possibility for participants to donate.
Collect superfluous bric-a-brac and sell at a flea market or car boot sale.
In addition to annual membership fees encourage members to make regular donations by bank transfer with a standing order for a small amount each month that would not be much missed. On a higher level of commitment members could be encouraged to donate a small percentage of their annual income to the Pirate cause. What percentage to donate could depend on how much is earned. To get an idea of how such a scheme could work, take a look at the philosopher Peter Singer’s site The Life You Can Save.
Featured image: CC BY-SA by 401(K) 2013