Why does the CYM need a Patreon?
The Connolly Youth Movement is an autonomous organisation of young people who came together and pooled their time and resources in order to struggle for political change and make a positive impact on their communities. The CYM does not have any wealthy financial backers to bankroll its activities and as a result it does not have any full-time organisers. The organisation finances its day to day activities on the principle of from each according to their ability, to each according to their need. Those with full-time jobs frequently help subsidise travel for student members or unemployed members, we do what we can for each other to ensure that we can all avail of the same learning opportunities and political activities without any internal imbalances. However, this organisational structure takes its toll and is inherently self-limiting. Dues can only cover the most basic operational fees and relying on members to dip into their own pockets for any unexpected extra costs is inherently unstable.
This prevents us from availing of many opportunities to spread our political message – for example, affording stalls at conferences and youth festivals, covering travel expenses for dedicated organisers and members from remote locations to take part in branch activities, accessing equipment for filming for social media projects. In some branches and areas, lack of access to a venue for meetings can require members to pay hefty fees to rent spaces to meet. As our organisation expands and the responsibilities and challenges inherent to our political work increase, the need for reliable and predictable income becomes more acute and more essential for logistical planning of our activities.
This is an issue that has been a source of discussion for years, and the Ard Chomhairle has decided to test out the idea of setting up a Patreon for the organisation. This is directed at supporters and allies who recognise the importance of the key work commitments of the CYM – political education and training, community food runs and support schemes, countercultural cultural venues and occupations, and Forward, the organisation’s publication which is publicly available free of charge. There are many reasons why people who passionately support our mission cannot directly participate in activism or become members. One way people in this position who are financially stable can make a massive impact is by committing a regular donation, however small, that we can then use to plan our activities.
Will I be recognised for my donation?
The CYM appreciates that everyone’s contribution to the struggle is unique and tailored to their own specific life circumstances and obligations. For those who agree to become regular donors, we hope to show our respect for support by providing a yearly social that will include a day of education, music, entertainment and/or screenings followed by a free dinner at one of the organisation’s venues. As well as this, we will provide regular updates to Patreon supporters tailored specifically at showing the positive impact their contribution is having on our capacity to support communities and build our organisation’s presence and profile. Finally, we want to create a shared space amongst our friends and members by hosting a discord where people can meet other comrades and discuss politics. We already partially do this through a Facebook group, Friends of the CYM, but plan to also set up a discord.
Who can become a Friend of the CYM?
Anyone can become a Friend of the CYM through the Patreon portal. The invitation is open to former members who have aged out but want to make sure that young people continue to have the chance to develop their political views in a comradely environment, to international comrades who concur with our political scribblings, or to anyone who feels a strong connection and sense of solidarity for the goal we’ve dedicated our lives to strive towards – winning political power for our class.
Transparency – What will happen to donations?
The donations to the account will be managed by the Ard Chomhairle’s treasurer, elected yearly at the CYM’s Ard Fheis. The treasurer can be contacted at [email protected] for inquiries about donations and finances. For international inquiries about the CYM or ideas for collaborations or other ways to stay up-to-date with our work, the international office can be contacted at [email protected].
– Fergal Twomey, International Officer, 31/05/20