Because we have always approached our work as theater, it has always been easy to adapt to various situations. We recognize and value the interconnectedness of progressive issues. We try to expose how militarism and imperialism influence our everyday lives, and when we participate in an event highlighting a particular issue, we try to show the way this issue connects with our other issues. Our food is often an excellent bridge or connector.
Our literature reflects the wide scope of our concerns. We promote and
support many events in our community by carrying their flyers on our tables,
and we strive to be as visible as possible. This means searching for good
locations to set up a table. Sometimes the ideal situation is in a park
or plaza, and other times it is important to set up outside a bank, a corporate
office, government building, or military installation. How often to set
up is equally important. The more we are outside in the public eye, the
more our message gets out, and we encourage groups to be as regular as
possible to establish a reputation. The Food Not Bombs table is often a
landmark for activists and street folks looking to connect with the movement
in a new city.
Food Not Bombs has a long-standing tradition of being very relaxed about fund-raising. We prefer receiving money in small amounts rather
than large and difficult-to-manage donations of money from people who
might be quite distant from us, either geographically or politically. We
feel it is better to have a wide base of support from the community with
whom we have direct contact than to rely on a few foundations or wealthy
people who might manipulate or pressure us into catering to their special
interests. While this kind of grass-roots fund-raising is more difficult
and time-consuming, it allows us to remain on the cutting edge of the political
issues of our time, and also requires constant contact with our supporters.
People often ask if we are a nonprofit, tax-exempt corporation. Generally,
we are not interested in the bureaucracy needed to maintain such an organization.
Sometimes you might use an to assist in arranging a particular donation
of money that specifically needs to be given to a nonprofit, tax-exempt
group, and this is fine. It usually is not too difficult to find a tax-exempt
organization willing to do this for you. Specifically, however, do not
seek permission from any government agency to engage in the work you do.
Once a group becomes a tax-exempt organization, the IRS has the right to
oversee all aspects of its operation and limit much of what it can do.
Rather than trying to hide from them, we prefer to ignore them.
One way to raise funds is the setting up of literature tables with buttons, stickers, books, and T-shirts at high-volume pedestrian traffic areas or at political events. Being regularly out in the public eye, exercising your right to free speech, and collecting donations, has a tremendous effect. For some groups, receiving donations for buttons and bumper stickers is a major sourceof income, so when people ask how much, use the phrase "one dollar, or more if you can, less if you can't."