“I look at fundraising as a means of not just supporting social change but in promoting it as well. How we raise money says a lot about our attitudes toward the cause we want to fund.”
Ingrid Tischer has been a Bay Area–based fundraiser and non–profit manager for 25 years. After relocating from DC where she worked as an editorial assistant and volunteered as a Washington Free Clinic HIV test counselor, she joined the staff of a women’s free clinic on Haight Street. This was where she learned fundraising on the job for 8 years amid deep — and sometimes painful — staff–led work on how to improve their reproductive health services for marginalized women. But it was the experience of confronting how race, class, gender, violence, and poverty issues affect health care that translated a lifetime of disability experience from the purely personal into the political. As a result, she brought disability and chronic illness to the fore as political and economic factors, new concepts for most of her colleagues. She moved on to Breast Cancer Action, Equal Rights Advocates, the Legal Aid Society — Employment Law Center, and the San Francisco LGBT Community Center. Her media advocacy experience involved working in coalition with the Labor Project for Working Families, MomsRising and The Impact Fund.
Since 2011, cross–disability advocacy and policy has been her ever–changing but exciting focus at DREDF. Because she grew up resisting the idea that disability = charity, the opportunity to be a social justice fundraiser with a disability is as much about upending stereotypes as it is about resource development. As a crip, she wants the members of her traditionally excluded and highly diverse community to be recognized as the contributors they are to a just society.
Her blog Tales From the Crip features disability cultural and political critique, and commentary. Her writing has also appeared in The Progressive, Ragged Edge, off our backs, and other outlets. She holds a Bachelors degree in Philosophy from The American University.