In the week since the U.S. elections, numerous organizations whose agendas counter those proposed by President-elect Donald Trump have reported a dramatic surge in donations.
Within hours after Trump was declared the winner last Wednesday, the American Civil Liberties Union unleashed feisty fundraising appeals, including one warning that if Trump implemented certain campaign promises, "we'll see him in court.''
The result, according to the ACLU, has been the largest surge of support in its 94-year history, including roughly 120,000 donations totaling more than $7.2 million. The response was so immense that the organization's website crashed the day after the election.
The ACLU's executive director, Anthony Romero, said the infusion of new funds would help address several urgent priorities, including resisting possible mass deportation efforts, protecting the civil rights of transgender Americans, and preventing "stop-and-frisk'' police policies from being adopted nationwide.
Another organization that has greatly benefited from the Trump victory is Planned Parenthood. The women's rights organization has reported an unprecedented outpouring of support, with more than 128,000 people making donations. Almost 20,000 of those were made in the name of Vice President-elect Mike Pence, who as governor of Indiana pushed tough anti-abortion restrictions.
Trump has vowed to halt federal funding for Planned Parenthood because of its role as the largest abortion provider in the U.S. He has also promised to name anti-abortion-rights judges to the U.S. Supreme Court. But Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards promised to fight on. "We will never back down, and we will never stop providing the care our patients need," she said.
In response to Trump's proposed Muslim ban, which some surrogates now claim wasn't really a serious proposal, activists have turned their energies to aiding groups like the Council on American-Islamic Relations, The Atlantic magazine reported. According to Ibrahim Hooper, the group's communications director, CAIR had seen a spike in volunteer applications, receiving more than 500 of them, which Hooper characterized in a phone call as "simply unprecedented."
In response to Trump's proposed plan to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Agreement, the international treaty to fight climate change, the Sierra Club said it had registered 9,000 new monthly donors since the election.
"We don't feel helpless at all,'' said Debbie Sease, the environmental organization's national campaigns director.
Other organizations reporting major increases in support included the NAACP, the National Immigration Law Center and major LGBT rights organizations, including the Human Rights Campaign and Lambda Legal. Lambda Legal said it received support from more than 1,000 first-time donors in the four days following the election.
The call for donations even spread to television. During the season finale of Last Week Tonight, host John Oliver told viewers to support "actual journalism'' produced by organizations such as ProPublica, an independent, nonprofit news organization that produces investigative public interest journalism.
Richard Tofel, ProPublica's president and founding general manager, said donations skyrocketed after Oliver's show. "There are a lot of people who, in response to the election, feel that they need to take some sort of civic action,'' Tofel said. "One thing they can do is contribute to causes they think will advance their view of a healthy democracy.''