Why Support The Bail Project? For James, It Was a Firsthand Experience - The Bail Project Skip to main content

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A family like Sandra’s. Read her story below.


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Someone like Michael. Read his story below.


Donate to pay someone’s bail today.

Someone like Ashley. Read her story below.


Donate to bring someone home today.

Someone like Sherry. Read her story below.


There are many reasons why people decide to donate monthly to The Bail Project. For James, a Bail Project Freedom Funder since 2021, the reason was personal. 

For most of my early life, I had only a cursory understanding of the criminal justice system. Then one day in 2020, shortly after graduating from college, I was arrested for drug possession. I spent that night in jail. At my arraignment the following morning, a judge set my bail at $10,000. I couldn’t afford that alone, but I was fortunate enough to have a family with the means to pay my bail and the willingness to do so. But even though my parents were able to pay my bail, it was still a significant financial burden to them.

I was struck by the injustice of the system I suddenly found myself in. As a young adult, newly graduated from college, the judge could have gathered that I didn’t have enough money to bail myself out. Had my parents not been able to do this for me, I would have remained in jail pretrial for at least one year – that’s how long it took for my case to resolve. 

It was around this time that protests over the murder of George Floyd were bringing bail funds into the public eye, and I was told about the Bail Project by some politically active friends. Because of my experience, I could relate to The Bail Project’s mission and knew that this was how I wanted to make a difference

I knew I wanted to donate as much as I could to prevent others who find themselves in a similar situation to my own. Now with the means to help someone else, I set up a monthly recurring donation of $300. When I received a bonus at work, I made an additional large donation.

I particularly appreciate the circulating nature of The Bail Project’s funds, where the money paid back by the courts goes on to pay for other people’s bail in the future. I know that every gift I make will continue to make an impact.


I am proud of the small part I play in fixing what I believe to be one of the most broken systems in our country.


Every day, thousands of Freedom Funders, just like James, are using their generosity to significantly impact the cash bail system. Whether it’s a monthly gift of $10 or $300, monthly donations sustain The Bail Project’s mission and ensure our work together can have lasting change. As partners in this work, you allow our bail disruptors to provide relief and freedom nationwide to people in pretrial detention. 

Over time, even the smallest monthly gift makes a big difference. Many of our monthly donors appreciate the long-term impact giving each month can have. Plus, you have the flexibility to change your monthly gift at any time.

We hope you’ll join James and our passionate community of Freedom Funder with a monthly gift of any amount. Freedom Funders make it possible for The Bail Project to secure freedom for thousands of Americans experiencing poverty yearly. You can help combat mass incarceration and transform the pretrial system in the United States. 

Have questions about our Freedom Funders monthly donor community, or are you interested in other ways to support The Bail Project? Find out more on our Freedom Funders webpage.

Thank you for reading this article and engaging with our work. Supporters like you are the backbone of our organization and how we are able to continue working towards our mission of creating a fairer system while paying bail for those in need for free. If you found value in this article, please consider donating to help sustain our work today.

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Development Manager

Meghan Hamilton

As the Development Manager, Meghan Hamilton oversees The Bail Project's individual giving program, donor communications and engagement, and fundraising campaigns. Before joining The Bail Project, she was the Individual Giving Specialist at Rewire News Group. She has spent over ten years in nonprofit development and communications for organizations including the American Humanist Association, Fresh Start Project DC, and volunteering her skills to her local homeless shelter and abortion fund. She was also a regular contributing author to 'The Humanist' from 2012-2018. She received her B.A. in history from the University of Maryland and is a Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE).