Donor Profile

Photo of Leah Pillsbury holding a sign that read "Change, Not Charity"Leah Pillsbury: Let Someone Else Decide

Donor since: 2007

Occupation: Fundraiser

Why she gives: “The involvement of activists in grantmaking decisions.”

Every Sunday at church when she was growing up, Leah’s parents gave her and her siblings an allowance. That same morning before leaving, they were required to take a portion and donate it to the church. “Philanthropy was part of my life for as long as I can remember,” she says. “It was both a civic and religious duty — that was clear from the beginning. But it was also more than that: a responsibility for anyone who had something to give.”

Leah developed a career in fundraising in part because she wanted to move more money to movements for change than she could personally give away. However, she’s not interested in the power that comes with being a donor: “My ability to donate doesn’t mean that I am the best person to determine where the money should go. I most appreciate Bread & Roses’ commitment to participatory grantmaking.”

“Bread & Roses is a perfect entry point for someone who’s interested in supporting social justice work but doesn’t know where to start,” says Leah. “You can trust the Community Grantmaking Committee to direct your donation to groups doing good work that you might not have on your radar.”

Leah also highlights the accessibility of Bread & Roses’ funding to new and controversial groups: “As a fundraiser, I know how difficult it can be to win grants. On top on that, there are so few sources interested in supporting the more radical work that so many Bread & Roses grantees engage in.”

This spring, Leah served on the planning committee for the 2014 Tribute to Change. “I joined the planning committee to further support and promote Bread & Roses,” she says.

Leah has been a Bread & Roses donor since 2007. “I want to inspire more people to give to Bread & Roses and feel as proud of their participation as donors in movements for change as they would as activists. We can all be activists, but we can also all be donors in some way,” she says.