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Smart Giving: Recommendations from Jessica Craven

Jessica Craven, author of the substack "Chop Wood, Carry Water", recently presented a webinar about smart giving.

Jessica's first recommendation was one we can all get on board with - she suggested that we simply block all those emails and texts trying to encourage us to donate through fear.

She also noted that some of the highest campaign finance totals came from candidates with no chance of winning their races, simply because their opponents were people we don't like. That money could have done so much good elsewhere!

Remember that your funds can do more for downballot candidates, so please spread it around and support our local city & town council candidates as well as school board candidates.

Before I get into the organizations Jessica recommends we all support, I will make a quick plug for us - LD3 Dems is a great option for a monthly recurring donation. We have the data for LD3 and know the right strategies for increasing turnout in our district. Please help - make sure you click the "Yes, make it monthly" button! Thank you, thank you, thank you!


I will paste in Jessica's recommendations below, but here's a link to her original document in case she makes changes or additions. The content below comes directly from Jessica and its inclusion on our site does not constitute our endorsement of her recommendations. Always do your own research.

Run for Something

1) Run For Something—donate here.  RFS recruits young progressives to run for office across the country for municipal, school board, election administrator, county supervisor, and statehouse seats. They offer candidates support, help with volunteer recruitment, and fund their races. Their candidates have a high win rate and their school board candidates absolutely destroyed Moms for Liberty everywhere in November. (Their school board win rate was 72%.) Here’s a list of their recent successes. It’ll blow your mind. Oh, and they elected 138 election clerks this year, including 34 wins against noted election deniers. Their candidates tend to go on to phenomenal things–so they’re also building a bench! SO IMPORTANT! When I say that this organization is saving the country I am not exaggerating. Read their 2024 strategic goal here.

Movement Voter Project

The States Project

Voter Registration Groups in Mecklenberg County, NC

Field Team Six

Sister District

Every State Blue


1) Sign up for updates with Focus For Democracy–they do deep, deep research dives on which orgs are most effective at turning out voters and then raise money for them. They’re having a meeting on Tuesday, February 13th at 5PM PT /8PM ET– Click here to register.

  • They will share their 2024 strategy and explain how their recommendations are timed for each stage of the presidential election cycle.  

  • They will be recommending organizations that have funding gaps and have proven records of delivering net Democratic votes.

2) Subscribe to Blue Tent. Blue Tent helps donors at all levels give effectively to elect Democrats and enact policies for a fairer America.

3) Join a group doing the vetting for you. These are EXCELLENT groups, most of them run by dedicated volunteers. Force Multiplier, Walk the Walk, Airlift, Flip the Vote.

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