Opponents of a Donald Trump presidency are fuelling a surge in donations to non-profit organisations and charities over fears that a Republican-controlled government will roll back progressive initiatives concerning the environment, immigrants, women and gay marriage rights.
The Sierra Club, a 125-year-old environmental group, and the American Civil Liberties Union have reported record donation rates, while dozens of other groups have also issued new marketing campaigns to capitalise on the momentum.
The Sierra Club has nearly quadrupled its monthly donation record in the days following the election, adding 4,000 monthly donors, worth about an estimated $2m over the course of their donations. Donations to ACLU, a legal advocacy group, also broke records, with $2.4m reportedly collected from 38,626 contributors by Thursday morning.
Web traffic temporarily crashed ACLU’s website as its “See you in court” campaign went viral, arguing several of Mr Trump’s proposed policies, including the removal of 11m undocumented immigrants, were unlawful and unconstitutional.
The jump in donations come as protesters have flooded city streets around the country, fighting back against what they worry will be a racist, sexist and homophobic administration. Thousands of protesters in a dozen cities have joined the demonstrations with more planned for the upcoming week.
Charitable organisations are likely to feel pressure to capitalise on the momentum, as experts have warned of steep cuts in federal support for non-profits and decreased incentives to give charitable donations under Mr Trump’s tax plan.
If implemented, his tax deduction proposals would decrease charitable giving in 2017 by between 4.5 per cent and 9 per cent, or by about $13.4bn to $26.1bn, according to the non-partisan Tax Policy Center.
Dozens of organisations have issued statements on the election and asked for support including the Anti-Defamation League, Center for Reproductive Rights, Council on American-Islamic Relations, Lambda Legal and the Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund.
Emily, a 28-year-old attorney in Seattle who asked to keep her last name private, said fears of what a Trump presidency could bring, had inspired her to increase her commitment to progressive advocacy groups. On Wednesday, she pledged monthly contributions to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, NARAL Pro-Choice America, the Sierra Club and ACLU.
The recent graduate of both the University of Pennsylvania Law School and Wharton School, said she was “afraid for this country” in ways she’d never been before, and was particularly worried about the restrictions of the Voting Rights Act.
“I’m concerned that with a Republican majority in both houses of Congress and conservative Supreme Court appointments that there aren’t going to be any checks on the power of the president any more,” she said. “Those checks may now have to come from outside organisations and they will need our support.”