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Donations to Civil Rights Orgs, Subscriptions for Newspapers, Are Going Through the Roof

Wikimedia Commons/Mark Schierbecker

With the shocking election of Donald Trump last Tuesday, many civil liberties groups like Planned Parenthood that rely partially or fully on government funding plunged into an uncertain future. For example, Trump and his running mate Mike Pence have relentlessly attacked Planned Parenthood, and have even threatened to defund it

The mass protests that broke out in the streets of nearly every major city across the country in the past week indicated that a fierce fight may be waged between Washington and discontented progressive forces nationwide. That battle could also play out on a different level — financially.  

Read more: Anti-Trump Protests Grow Across US, Canada, and London

The past week has seen an incredible surge in individual donations to organizations like Planned Parenthood, the American Civil Liberties Union, and the Sierra Club. 

Planned Parenthood has reported more than 80,000 donations since last Tuesday, totaling over $2 million. For the ACLU, numbers are even more impressive — with around 120,000 donations totaling more than $7.2 million. The Anti-Defamation League received a 50-fold increase in donations, 70% of which came from first time donors. The Sierra Club quadrupled its monthly donation record in the three days following the election. And the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) received an influx of 500 volunteer applications. 

Singer Katy Perry set the tone for Planned Parenthood donations, with a $10,000 pledge of her own. Comedian Amy Schumer re-posted a viral Instagram image showing how to donate to Planned Parenthood in VP-elect Mike Pence’s name.  

Done and done @ppact

A photo posted by @amyschumer on

Just like the Canadian immigration site crashed on election night, the ACLU donation site crashed the day after. 

Recognizing this donation surge, a group of anonymous techies created RageDonate — a site that matches receiving organizations to Trump quotes. For example, under Trump’s quote, "I think Islam hates us," site visitors are suggested to donate $10 to CAIR-Arizona. When Trump says, "I just start kissing them... I don’t even wait... Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything," visitors are suggested to donate to Project Callisto — a non-profit that works to prevent sexual assault. 

Numerous news organizations from Slate to New York Magazine have published articles that show how people can channel their anger and frustration into action. 

Read more: Reports of Racism Are Bubbling Up Across the US. Here's What You Can Do.

But it’s not just advocacy and civil rights groups that have seen a spike in interest and engagement. Newspapers themselves have benefited indirectly from Trump’s election, as well. The New York Times reported that subscriptions are coming in at six times the normal rate. 

Bhaskar Sunkara, the founder of the unapologetically socialist Jacobin magazine, tweeted that in the first day after Trump’s election, 500 new subscribers signed on. 

After John Oliver released his powerful segment on Last Week Tonight, in which he urged Americans to donate to civil rights organizations (National Resources Defense Council, International Refugee Assistance Project) and investigative media outlets, ProPublica saw an unprecedented rise in donations.  

“We are now 12 hours after the broadcast, and still running at multiple donations per minute,” ProPublica’s president Richard Tofel said

Bloomberg reported that newspaper stocks have skyrocketed since Trump’s election, indicative of a potential “Trump bump” for traditional media outlets. 

Other advocacy groups that could see a bump in donations include: the Southern Poverty Law Center, NARAL Pro-Choice America, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), and the Trevor Project, which provides suicide prevention services for LGBT youth.