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From: The Socialist issue 906, 21 June 2016: Exit the bosses' EU

Search site for keywords: Finance - Socialist Party - Socialist - The Socialist - Fighting Fund

Socialist Party fundraising: punching above our weight

Money plants cash trees finance funding (Creative Commons), photo (Creative Commons)

Money plants cash trees finance funding (Creative Commons), photo (Creative Commons)   (Click to enlarge)

Caroline Vincent

The Socialist Party is funded differently to capitalist political parties - we don't receive our money from big business. Rather, it comes from members' and supporters' donations.

For this reason, it is vital that we develop effective finance organisers in every party branch. With this in mind, around 50 members from across England and Wales attended the Socialist Party national finance meeting on 11 June.

Deputy general secretary Hannah Sell provided a political backdrop to the tasks we face, opening the meeting with a discussion on the political situation in Britain.

The EU referendum has been dominated in the mass media by right-wing arguments on either side, but Hannah pointed out that a significant layer of workers agree with our socialist reasons for exit - when they hear them.

Many people are seeking a political alternative to the establishment parties - providing an opportunity for building the Socialist Party. But without money, we would achieve nothing! We need to make sure that the Socialist, Socialism Today and our other publications are read as widely as possible. Posters, placards, leaflets are also essential for us to get our ideas out there.

The Tories' cuts have affected our own members; some have lost their job or had pay or benefits cut. We have responded to these challenges over the past 12 months by aiming to increase membership subs, fighting fund and sales of the Socialist and Socialism Today.

This has paid off with significant improvements to our income. For example, in the first three months of 2016 an impressive 36,281 was raised in fighting fund - a record for the first quarter. The meeting discussed innovative ways in which branches had fundraised - from fun runs to badge sales - as well as how we can increase income from the subs and sales of the Socialist.

We are a small party relative to the tasks at hand, but as national treasurer Ken Douglas commented, "our influence is out of all proportion to our size". A serious approach to finance will allow us to continue to punch above our weight.

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