Ken Douglas, Socialist Party national treasurer
The final quarter of fighting fund collection in 2014 surpassed all expectations. We raised a magnificent £34,745 – 138% of the national target – in the three months up to Christmas. Members worked hard to ensure the Socialist Party has the resources it needs.
It was also thanks to all members and supporters who donated hard-earned cash to the Socialism 2014 appeal. In Wales over £3,000 was raised for the Andrew Price memorial appeal, a fitting testament to his life-long dedication as a socialist and the high regard he was held in.
Branches worked tirelessly to raise finance on weekly campaign stalls, getting a good response to our call for a £10-an-hour minimum wage and ending zero-hour contracts. The North West held daily stalls around the region in a “collectathon” week, raising over £500. Liverpool alone hit nearly 400% of its target with at least twice-weekly stalls, car-boot sales and donations from supporters.
Members also came up with imaginative fund-raising ideas. Andrew Walton ran the Leicester marathon, selling over 40 copies of the Socialist and raising fighting fund as he went. Dave Gorton in Chesterfield raised over £100 with a calendar marking revolutions in history (still available). And members in East London raised over £300 with their latest recipe book, Steak and Revolution.
Over £10,000 was collected around Christmas as branches held fund-raising parties and raffles, and dug out loose-change jars. As a result we also smashed the annual target – raising £112,847, the best performance for three years.
The fighting fund is vital to enable us to produce campaigning materials and participate in demonstrations and protests. For example, the 18 October TUC demo cost us over £5,000 in placards, posters, banners, gazebos and leaflets.
The Socialist Party has launched an election appeal for £50,000 (see page 3) in addition to the £25,000 target for the first three months of this year. Branches will have to plan carefully to ensure that fighting fund is maintained and 2015 is an even better year.