Most of you are aware of our commitment to financial transparency.
Some of you also know that we are beginning to live into our evolving understanding of a new theory called Fierce Vulnerability. Among other things, this means that we are also transparent about the things that are hard to talk about.
With those two things in mind, we want to share some news about our current finances. It’s not all bad news, so hang in there with us.
It looks like this year, we will come in about $20,000 under budget. This means that when the calendar switches over to 2019, our savings will have dwindled and we will be close to a zero balance.
This feels vulnerable to write and to share so publicly. But we want to be clear that this is not a panicked, end-of-the-world “we need to save East Point NOW!” type of email. Believe it or not, we are actually pretty confident with where we are today.
Part of how we ended up here is that one of our major funders shifted the timeline of their giving, so instead of receiving a significant gift at the end of this year, we anticipate that gift coming in early next year.
And part of it is that we have been so busy this year expanding our programs and spending significant time re-imaging our infrastructure and creating organizational systems and practices that is aligned with our values that we have not had much time to ask people for money.
We have been having a lot of intentional conversations about our relationship with money, and how much of our time we want to invest in raising it. While we are still in the midst of this complex conversation, we are leaning towards putting the vast majority of our time into the work, and having faith that our community will come together to sustain that work.
Part of our understanding of the Gift Economy is that we rely much more on faith than in fundraising strategies.
So we are putting this out there: we need to raise $20 – $25,000 by the end of this year. It’s a big ask. But this is another experiment in faith; faith in our community, faith in our work, faith in the generosity of people.
Here’s a little bit of what we’ve been up to this year.
- Through trainings, lectures and presentations, we reached over 1,200 people, including community leaders, incarcerated people, high school students and more!!!
- Organized workshops in 10 different states!!!
- Sponsored programs in four prisons, four colleges, two high-schools and eight faith based communities!!!
- Co-sponsored a week-long, national gathering of nonviolent action trainers!!!
- Launched a new training curriculum, Fierce Vulnerability, for which we had 50 people on a waitlist!!!
- Launched a new, four-month self-transformation program in the San Bruno County Jails called Peace from Within!!!
- Entered into a process of completely reimagining our organizational structure!!!
- Officially received our 501c3 nonprofit status (more on that in the coming months)!!!
In the first months of 2019, we plan to launch a new website, begin a long-term restorative justice program in Soledad Prison in partnership with the Ahimsa Collective, launch a decentralized network of Direct Action teams and so much more!
Please give as generously as you can by clicking here to help make sure that all of these programs happen!!! As an organization that relies almost entirely on our community for support, and as an organization that is committed to staying small (in 5 years, we have never spent more than $90,000 in a year!!!), every dollar truly counts.
Thank you so much for all you do to support building a new culture!!!
Kazu and Chris