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  • Writer's pictureEmergence Collective

EC’s 2021 profit sharing decisions

Emergence Collective practices open management. For us, this means every single person on our team - full-time staff, part-time staff, contractors, graduate students, and advisors - has access to our budget and knows what everyone else on the team gets paid.

As our organization grows, we continue to evolve the budgeting process to determine reasonable expenses and revenue projections for our team. How many projects do we need to bring in to be able to offer livable wages and good benefits - and not burn ourselves out? How can we scope projects appropriately so we don’t price out grassroots or small organizations?

This year, in addition to distributing bonuses and adding an additional week of PTO, our team collectively chose to designate a portion of our budget surplus to charitable donations. Each team member was excited for a chance to donate a share of their profit to a nonprofit cause they felt passionate about and you can see below a variety of organizations reflecting those passions. Here are the organizations our different team members selected, with a few words about why they chose each initiative:

MIRC fights tirelessly for the rights of immigrants in the SE Michigan community. They not only provide pro bono legal services to immigrants but also build community capacity through education on immigration law. I personally know many people MIRC has helped with their services and truly appreciate the work they do in the face of increasing anti-immigrant legislation.

Black women are disproportionately affected by aggressive breast cancer subtypes (such as triple-negative breast cancer), and I love how Touch BBCA is taking a collaborative approach to address disparities and advocate for black women to improve their health outcomes.

People of color are disproportionately incarcerated and negatively impacted by inequities in the justice system. It can be extremely difficult for formerly incarcerated people to rebuild their lives, including finding housing, securing income, and overcoming discrimination. This organization takes a multifaceted approach to addressing the effects of incarceration by providing housing, support, legal assistance, and advocacy for social change and personal transformation.

I am such a believer in the power of people when they come together. We the People Michigan does this so well. They’re all about deep canvassing and relational organizing. This means they have neighbors talking to neighbors about what really matters to them and then sharing the tools and resources to realize those visions.

I appreciate the Carolina Abortion Fund’s intersectional approach to reproductive justice. In addition to providing direct support to hundreds of people seeking abortion care across North and South Carolina each year, it organizes in solidarity with other community groups seeking progress on racial and economic justice. CAF is very close to my heart as I previously served as the organization’s board chair.

LGBTQI+ youth in our community deal with oppression, bullying, and homelessness at alarmingly high rates. 86% LGBTQI+ youth reported being assaulted or harassed at school (NAMI). The Ruth Ellis Center provides a safe place for LGBTQI+ youth to build community, receive trauma-informed services, and engage in positive youth development. Thank you Ruth Ellis Center for supporting these amazing and talented youth!

At risk, underprivileged and special needs students are all but forgotten when it comes to educational opportunities. As someone who grew up in an underprivileged and under-resourced educational system, I can think of the many opportunities that I never had the chance to pursue, and the potential that was unrealized. This is why I appreciate the work that MCD is doing for at-risk youth. They provide well-rounded holistic educational, social, and occupational programming and establish long-lasting relationships with at-risk youth.

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