AVC, Gotham Gal, and Feld Thoughts Communities Rally $100,000+ For The ACLU

Reposted from Feld.com

Sunday morning Fred Wilson put up the following blog post: A $20,000 Match Offer On ACLU Donations Today. Joanne Wilson put up a similar post titled A $20,000 Match Offer On ACLU Donations Today on her blog.

It came after a flurry of emails that started with one from me at 7:41am.

“Inspired by Chris Sacca, Amy and I are considering doing an ACLU grant with a 100% match”

Joanne, Fred, Amy, and I were all distressed by Trump’s executive order on immigration, which Fred wrote about in Make America Hate Again and I wrote in Unsettled and Disgusted. We had seen the ACLU already jump into action so we collectively decided to do something about it by supporting it.

Fred’s partner Albert Wenger and his wife Susan Danzinger had already started a match for $15,000 so we (Fred, Joanne, me, and Amy) agreed that when they maxed out they’d hand the ball to us to match for another $20,000.

Jet lag then ate my soul and I went to sleep for a few hours. When I woke up, Amy said “we did something good while you were asleep.” I had well over 100 tweets with ACLU receipts, Fred had started a spreadsheet of all the matching gifts, and we had blown through our $20,000 match. By the end of the day, we were over $90,000 of matches with more coming in so we stopped counting and, with our $20,000, were easily over $100,000 to the ACLU in one day, which started with Fred’s blog post.

By the end of the day it had picked up enough speed to become a TechCrunch article: Some tech executives are matching ACLU donations amid immigration ban protests.

We know more executive orders on immigration are expected. Bloomberg is hinting Trump’s Next Move on Immigration to Hit Closer to Home for Tech. Regardless of how this plays out, I’m hopeful that Congress will step up and do their job at this point, rather than just let executive orders slide by, create chaos, and get litigated in court. Remember – Congress makes the laws and the President is supposed to execute the instructions of Congress.

In the mean time, thanks to everyone who contributed to the ACLU match yesterday. We helped the ACLU raise $24 million since Saturday morning. For perspective, the ACLU typically raises a total of $4 million in a year. Amy and I have been long time ACLU supporters and I expect they will have an outsized and important role in our democracy in the next four years.


Comments (Archived):

  1. Rob Underwood

    Incredible work by Amy, Joanne, Brad, Fred, Chris Sacca, and many others such as Sia. Wonderful to see the community rally like this. We must keep this energy up. Thank you for the leadership here.

  2. William Mougayar

    Wow, the goodness of America is on total display. Very impressive. The US hasn’t seen such mass protests since the Vietnam war days.

    1. LE

      The US hasn’t seen such mass protests since the Vietnam war days.Not a historian but those protests were driven more by personal self interest I think (kids not wanting to get drafted was a large part of the noise) which is a bit different than what is happening here at least with the last protest(s). Also keep in mind that that is one protest or three (in many places) would be interesting to see the effort put in going forward when people are fighting for ideals rather than what impacts them personally.http://www.history.com/topi…The equivalent sentiment and self interest here would be the tech industry and big business. In both cases there is a threat to both the workforce and the fact that products are sold globally by many companies and it’s not in the self interest of those companies to have people all over the world hating americans, either because their employees will be targets and/or their goods won’t be well received in those markets and they won’t be able to do business. Example is Lloyd Blankfein of Goldman Sachs.

    2. Twain Twain

      We learn something new every day. I didn’t know this and now I do.* https://uploads.disquscdn.c…My Ameri-philia happened through literature as a child. School gave us classic English Literature (The Famous Five, Dickens, Austen, Shakespeare and so on) and Chinese (The Water Margin, Dreams from the Red Chamber, Confucius, the Analects, etc). I discovered Hemingway, SE Hinton, Steinbeck, Paul Auster, Conrad, Faulkner, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Updike, Miller and more in my own time.It struck me as a child that there was this idea of “an American dream” that was imperfect yet compelling because it’s about pioneers and immigrants and work ethic and some really powerful and meaningful truths about human existence.

  3. andyswan

    Good to see the ACLU getting more funding to fight for individual freedoms.Even better to see so many of my liberal friends beginning to advocate for limited federal government powers!We really do have the best and brightest here don’t we folks!?

    1. Rob Underwood

      The reversal of political polarity – where the left is now advocating for federalism – is certainly amazing to watch.

      1. JamesHRH

        No kidding. Democrats like Joe Biden must be at sea.

    2. Joe Cardillo

      No kidding, who would have thought states’ rights would be such a hot button issue in 2017…as a resident of a Western state that leans libertarian at times, it’s good to see people advocating for core American values like free speech, freedom of expression, and the right to make choices for ones’ own heart/mind/body.

    3. Kirsten Lambertsen

      We’re not `beginning` to advocate. We’ve always just wanted our federal government to focus its powers on different things. Can’t sneak that one past me, Swantastic 😉

    4. Mark Essel

      I’m debating donating.On one hand, I’d love to be able to hire the sharpest folks for our startup no matter what their national origin or religion is.My hold up: do we need an independent group to fight for these rights? Shouldn’t that already be our elected officials jobs following the Constitution and its amendments?What’s your serious take Andy? Have you ever donated to the ACLU? I enjoy your perspective on this type of topic since our Trump <3ing JLM has been quieter

  4. Ryan Frew

    A few years ago, I came across a statement which claimed a company’s mission and values are just pretty words up on the wall until it becomes hard to live by those things, and the company sticks to them anyways. I might’ve read that here, actually. For some reason, it clicked, and I ensured that I found a company to work for that truly had a mission and real values, because that’s who I want to learn from and contribute my energy towards. Today’s post is why I come to AVC every morning. Your contributions to the ACLU don’t help me better understand the venture capital world, but they illustrate your own personal mission and values and prove to me that you’re the kind of person I want to keep learning from. Awesome. *I realize this comment is barely coherent – I’m way too excited about this after not being excited about much for a couple of days…[/monologue]

  5. Vendita Auto

    Huge respect to you and the USA

  6. Nick Hencher


  7. Stephen Bradley

    Right ON!!!

  8. jason wright

    All well and good.When will I see the tech elite challenge the H1B 14 days to get out of the country rule? In some respects it’s worse than not allowing immigrants entry at all.

  9. Eric Friedman

    Great to see this working, and great to see the results. I was looking for the “what do they raise in a year” stat so thanks for posting.

    1. Dennis Mykytyn

      Not sure what the $4 million cited represents. Seemed low so I looked at the ACLU Form 990. Contribution and grant revenue was $42 million in 2015, $50 million the previous year. Still a huge increase for them. https://www.aclu.org/finances

      1. Dennis Mykytyn

        And the ACLU annual report, which combines the ACLU and their foundation, shows income of $115 million from grants and contributions for 2015.

  10. Swatick Majumdar

    Way to go. Let this be a lesson for our elected officials who may be asleep at the wheel. Never underestimate the power of a common man.

    1. JamesHRH

      You get that almost 1100 elected federal & state Democrats have lost their seats since 2009, right?Government is listening.

  11. JamesHRH

    Interesting. Not an ounce of dissent or questioning. AVC has turned into a source of America’s ills – its an echo chamber.What I found most distressing, over the weekend:- massive lack of discipline in tempering one’s emotions (both sides, but mostly one side)- massive lack of understanding (both sides)- mass murder in Canada (America’s ills leaking out)People need to grow up.Do what you believe is right.Funding the ACLU is a fine idea.But don’t kid yourself – you are becoming part of the problem.

    1. CatoSF

      I questioned the rationality of the response to the immigration EO yesterday.https://disqus.com/home/dis…Cognitive dissonance within our electorate has likely not reached these levels since honest Abe was elected POTUS with just 40% of the popular vote in 1860. http://blog.dilbert.com/pos

      1. Donna Brewington White

        That post is really interesting given that it was written over a year ago.I think we are still in for huge surprises.

        1. JamesHRH

          Scott Adam’s blog is frequently very good.

    2. Donna Brewington White

      Well, James, are you feeling like a lone voice these days?This is definitely a time to be alert, that is for certain.

      1. JamesHRH

        It’s pretty sad.I am not pro-Trump, he is a pretty damaged person.I do respect his accomplishments – he’s done some amazing things, while having a questionable public profile.I am impressed at the capable people he has chosen for his Cabinet.I am a bit worried about Bannon & Flynn.I am willing to be convinced that Obama was not a great President.I am amazed at how Republican the state & federal governments have become.I am shocked at how liberal people are acting like 8 year olds.Last night, I asked some people at a work dinner ‘Who is the last AmericanPresident to shrink the size of government?’We couldn’t come up with one.As a socially liberal economically conservative person, it was the question.Doubt I will come by AVC much. Fred has lost interest and it’s an echo chamber. You don’t learn in an echo chamber.Maybe it will come around after a while.

        1. Donna Brewington White

          I still have a deep appreciation for this community and Fred’s role in creating it. It has been one of the few places that I can hear differing views from people that I trust and respect. Time will tell if we still have this. I do miss some voices no longer or seldom here so I seek them out elsewhere. But it’s not always the same.

  12. Kirsten Lambertsen

    Well done :-)My “RESIST” patches arrived in the mail today. They’re truly punk, hand printed on fabric scraps. CrustPunk is out of them now, but I’m sure other outlets sell something similar that you can buy to sew on your jacket and sweatshirts. There’s probably something on Etsy ;-)https://uploads.disquscdn.c…

    1. Twain Twain

      Sorry, Kirsten. Just for LOLs … https://uploads.disquscdn.c…In her ‘Trumplethinskin’ piece, Kara Swisher wrote: “It’s Trump who is the disrupter and tech the disrupted.”* http://www.recode.net/2016/…Time for Silicon Valley to do what they’re known for and disrupt him right back, before his policies damage the wealth creation Silicon Valley companies do, science+technology+innovation and its values.

      1. Kirsten Lambertsen

        Thanks for sharing that! So good. Read the first half before 9:30pm, and the second half after 9:30pm 1/30/17.I guess We The People are going to have to do the disrupting. But it looks like we might just be up for the challenge 🙂

  13. Richard Gray

    My first ever post on AVC. https://uploads.disquscdn.c…This is a big number for the UK and growing around 30k per hour right now.

    1. Twain Twain

      Tony Blair to George W. Bush in a memo dated March 26, 2003, published by the Chilcot Inquiry in July 2016 — after 1+ million people marched in London against the start of the Iraq War: https://uploads.disquscdn.c…What’s the likelihood of the Queen withdrawing her invitation based on a 1+ million petition?

      1. Richard Gray

        and look where that analysis got him. Disowned and irrelevant in his own country.

        1. Twain Twain

          Can you name any Democrat/Labour/ChristianDemocrat/Socialist global leader who can hold Trump to account or influence/inform his policies?Can you name anyone in Congress / Republican party who also has that gravitas to go up against Trump?The responsibility will indeed rest on the shoulders and the stand of ordinary American citizens.

          1. JamesHRH

            Twain….are you aware that Democrats have lost just under 1100 elected officials ( state & federal ) since Obama inauguration? That two states have both a Democrat Govenor & Demcrat controlled State Legislature?These ordinary Americans you speak of….are they like Jerry Falwell’s Silent Moral Majority?

          2. Twain Twain

            Hence my comment asking for the name of any elected left-leaning global leader who can hold him to account or influence / inform his policies.Look, the political pendulum swings between the left and the right.I learnt as a child to focus on the clock-face and the mechanics behind that. In high school, unlike my friends, I didn’t study or engage in politics. Yet they asked me to be Chair of the Debating Society.There are people with serious “dogs in the fight” for the Democrats and for the Republicans, and for the ideals of democracy and democratic values as well as for national interests-first and protectionism.Some of the comments I post are to challenge people to think differently about their position or when I happen across something that confirms/challenges the prevailing view.I think you’re doing the same, but in a different way.

          3. JamesHRH

            Jeff Sessions is the Godfather. I think he saw in Trump – a vessel for his vision of a smaller, less intrusive federal government. Trump calls it smart, which is a far better label. Case in point – FDA EO on streamline today.I think liberals are being a bit hysterical. Trump is personally hard to take, Bannon is a brilliant campaign strategist ( but those cats never impact actual governing – Axelrod, Rove, etc. ).

          4. Twain Twain

            I do get your point that the ordinary American citizen — ok, of Democratic affiliation — is going to find it challenging to get a sympathetic ear and action when their State Legislature is Republican.I get that.Nevertheless, there are channels for citizens to exercise that their democratic views and values are different from their President.The US is not yet like North Korea, Zimbabwe or Cuba.

    2. Kirsten Lambertsen

      Was on the phone with a British colleague this morning who gave me the news about this. So good.My understanding is that this petition means, because it reached 1 million signatures, that the question *must* be raised and debated in Parliament. Do I have that correct? The U.S. needs a facility like this!