Original post below (last two items in post above 2/10) first published March 9, 2009
Grassroots 101 – Policy on lists and fundraising
Lists should be kept local. Please do not sell or give away. They belong to the ones who work to collect them. Lists are the gold of the movement. If you are a real grassroots organizer, you will take care of the lists collected and keep them in trusted local hands and email about events and campaigns to them, but never, never, never send them to ‘a national effort for a good cause’. Once you have done that you will have forever diluted your local efforts because they quickly migrate without your permission and to efforts and causes that may not even be about what you think they are about.
It is helpful to post a policy about lists on your website to prevent being bothered by the question because it will arise.
Be aware that there are laws surrounding the collecting and dispersing of money in the political arena. If you are going to engage in fund-raising, then you must make yourself aware of the rules and properly file reports to protect yourself and those you are working with. If someone is fund-raising and wanting you to help them, it is always prudent to ask them how they are organized and who their treasurer is and for an accounting of how the money collected will be used up front before you help with anything or email on their behalf.
It is helpful to post a policy about fund-raising on your website also.