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Smart Giving

Joan's Notes – Smart Giving Talk by Jessica Craven sponsored by a Swing Left group in San Gabriel Valley (

The purpose of this talk was to provide tips for where/how to give

Date of talk: February 6, 2024

Presenter was Jessica Craven, organizer, author of Chop Wood Carry Water newsletter which provides subscribers with daily political actions:

Key Points:

  • Safe to ignore/stop the avalanche of texts/emails we all receive from the established Dem political organizations:

  • Jessica does not give to DNC, DSCC, DLCC type group

  • She does give $10 donation monthly to Biden

  • Ineffective to donate to the top of the ballot, e.g. President, Senate. Money does not trickle down to local races

  • High profile races are bloated with donations and “excessive” donations do not translate to likelihood of success.


▪ Amy McGrath v. McConnell – she had $94 million dollars

▪ Jaime Harrison v. Lindsey Graham

This type of giving is emotional, sometimes called “hategiving”

•Smart donations are to grassroots, local groups who are doing the work of developing votes through relationships. Money given to these groups moves upward.

Varying foci of groups:

  • Focus on type of voter, e.g. Youth, POC, women (white)

  • Varying purposes, e.g. cultivating candidates and creating candidate pipeline, finding and registering likely Democrats

  • Electoral focus, e.g. state level/federal level

  • Mentioned Blue Tent as trustworthy source providing useful information about the type of grassroots initiatives she believes in.

  • Subscriber website. $9.00/month or $87 annually; if not subscriber limit on how much access you have

  • Jessica specifically mentioned the following groups as ones she recommends – you can find out more about these groups in Blue Tent:

  • Run for Something (helps develop/launch young candidate

Maxwell Frost was a RfS candidate


Here’s the action Joan took:

• Subscribed to Blue Tent

• Reviewed the groups mentioned by Jessica and looked at other; chose 4 for monthly giving; and several for “periodic”

• Chose Galvanize Action as one of the 4. This group focuses on reaching persuadable white women. White women are the largest voting bloc. The Dobbs decision has been instrumental in reaching some of them. This group is in the Blue Tent recommendations.

• Sharing this with all of you. The followup email from Swing Left asked us all to share with 3+ people to help amplify the message and giving!

From Donna Jaffee Chair, Swing Left San Gabriel Valley

In the meantime, I do have an "ask" of each of you. Because early money -- and this election -- are so critical, I'd like you to forward the link to at least 3 family members, friends, neighbors and colleagues, and ask them to consider giving. This is called tripling. That means that together, we have the ability to triple the number of people who read Jessica's summary and decide to give. And if each of the people you contact does the same, well, the financial impact we would have right now could be astounding!

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