TRU’s primary source of funding is membership dues. Members pay dues on a sliding scale of $20, $10, $5, or $1 per month. Paying dues is part of what makes TRU a true union: we all make a financial sacrifice and pool our resources to make this joint endeavor possible. This is what keeps us independent and accountable to transit riders, instead of beholden to big funders.

TRU is not eligible for most grants because we are a registered 501(c)(4) non-profit, not a 501(c)(3). We made this decision because it gives us the freedom to take political actions such as endorsing candidates for elected office. We do selectively apply for grants as our volunteer capacity allows.

TRU accepts and very much appreciates donations, large and small, from people and organizations that support our work. Want to help us out? You can do that here. We’d like to express our gratitude to the following donors who have contributed $500 or more to the Transit Riders Union:*


  • Resist Foundation
  • MLK County Labor Council
  • Teamsters Local 117
  • UFCW 21
  • UAW Local 4121
  • SEIU WA State Council
  • SEIU Healthcare 1199NW
  • SEIU Local 6
  • SEIU 775


  • ATU Local 587
  • Harry Truman Fund
  • Anonymous TRU member
  • Anonymous supporter

*Average contribution from listed donors is less than $1,500