Empowering civic activism toward a culture of peace.

This area is designed to specifically discuss the "Financial Sustainability" section of the strategic plan. (Download link for entire plan is below).

We want to know specifically:

• What excites you about it?
• What concerns do you have?
• What could be made better?
• What are ways you want to implement it personally and with your local teams?

Section Contents:

All social change requires funding to sustain coordinated volunteer activism in the field. In order for us to accomplish everything listed in this document we must raise the financial resources to be sustainable and to fund new exciting projects as they develop. Our work to raise funds will also strengthen other aspects of our work in several ways. First, it will help educate the public about the growing field of peacebuilding and build and engage a growing constituency for peace. Second, it will grow our own volunteer network. Finally, it will deepen the national understanding of and commitment to support peacebuilding efforts in every sector of society.

To create a culture of financial sustainability we will:
Create Gift Programs: Build a major gift program that will recruit people to give $5,000 or more to these efforts.

Improving Stewardship: Improve donor stewardship (Our Peace Partner Program) we will create an annual calling program, create an acknowledgement program for all donor categories, and disseminate a quarterly accomplishments update. To support all of these improvements we will begin utilizing a new robust database that can meet our connection needs and track the donor cultivation process.

Hold Fundraising Events: For many years fundraising events of all sizes have been the bedrock of funding for our organization. As we move forward we want to ensure that this aspect of our fundraising plan continues to develop. As such, we will plan and encourage:

• Entry events: introduction to the organization, light ask (typically between 10-25 people)
• Smaller fundraising house parties (Goals- 20 total for 2009; 30 or more for 2010)
• Larger table captain events (i.e. over 100 in attendance)
• Other diverse efforts: Walks, auctions, and concerts etc.

Establish a Grant-Writing Program: Build a volunteer grants writing team to solicit funds for Educational Institute activities such as peacebuilding training, research, coalition participation and public education through media and events.

Train Fundraising Superstars:
Train volunteers in fundraising and speaking with videos, conference calls, written materials and support coaching.

Develop sustainability: Develop a sustainability plan for The Peace Alliance Educational Institute and a seed capital campaign to implement it.

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This area does not excite me too much. Right now, our country needs to overall a new and better economic system. Just as peace is dependent on individuals changing their own state of awareness and perception of things, we as individuals are all dealing with the stresses on our personal budgets and means of investing, worried about losing what we've got as a possibility in the present state of affairs. I am reminded of Marshall Rosenberg's song he wrote, "Where Does the Energy Come?" "...I see people on the streets not gettin' enough but how can I help them when makin' it myself is rough? Where the hell does the energy come to care for humanity? When it's more than I can cope with takin' care of me. With Divine Energy within us how tragic we breed such fear And let vi'lence and starvation kill millions of us each year."

That's a great message!
Ensuring financial sustainability is connected also with the critical issue of healthcare right now, seeing so many people who cannot afford health insurance to get the kind of medical attention they so desperately need. This is a real concern I have as to "how" we can make a difference without the proper funding to do it with. I personally believe people are starving spiritually. If we could somehow let people know who they really are deep within themselves, to know that each individual has the Divine Energy within them, that the God belief, whatever kind of God they may believe in, is there close at hand giving them this Divine Energy to find the solution individually to meet their needs in whatever way they can. The most important thing to know is to never worry or think negative because no matter what happens, there is always good to come out of it. It may not seem that way because of how bad it may feel. There is much good to come out of every person's case because we are all learning from everyone what NEEDS to be done to make it better. Everyone is contributing to the solution and we are all the solution working together in our peace-building efforts. Through peace, the power or Divine Energy is there providing the answers.
"First, it will help educate the public about the growing field of peacebuilding and build and engage a growing constituency for peace. Second, it will grow our own volunteer network. Finally, it will deepen the national understanding of and commitment to support peacebuilding efforts in every sector of society."

This is what excites me. To help educate the public about a growing field of peacebuilding and engage in the peace and grow in our own volunteer network, deepening our understanding and commitment to support peace efforts, has a lot to do with our own individual growth and state of awareness of what peace is and who we are. It is a spiritual practice, the more we get into it. It really is! And the more I apply it, the more I learn how I can inspire others through making that real connection with them. It is something that is always ongoing, never-ending in our learning, growing, and expanding of consciousness.

My concerns has to do with the amount of money it takes to hold those kinds of events for fundraising. In the past, doing these kinds of things I found to be not quite as effective as I had expected and became very disappointed. There were money problems with our local chapter which involved a certain lack of integrity and organization of the people given the responsibility in handling the money to implement such programs. Too much of the time, some of us had to "fork the bill" paying out of our own pocket for expenses.

To make this better, I would say we need people who have the money to donate to make some of these things possible. I like the ideas mentioned like grant programs. I would especially be interested in getting grant money that would help start public school programs that teach nonviolent communication principles to staff and students both. I would love to be involved in something like this myself.
I suggest utilizing the resources mentioned in the attached document which I collected from the Peace and Justice Studies Association ListServ.
Thanks for posting these resources, Brian. It looks like there are some very good ideas here.
DoPeace Admin
I would also like to see a funding campaign that is linked to the budget for both TPA and TPAEI - a month-by-month plan for raising funds to support the monthly budget, with a report on progress and contingency plans if the funding plan fails to keep up with the budget.
DoPeace Admin
Great suggestions! We have plan budget in the works right now. We'll have a budget tied to the plan in a few layers; looking at what point we can more realistically focus on certain areas as our budget grows. We will have a prioritization discussion along with it. It may not be this month-by-month right away as we have extremely limited resources and while planning the back-bone of good actions, actions also still needed to maintain impact and growth. So we'll temper the necessities of momentum with well structured detailed planning as best we can as we move into the activities. Really, the contingency is this moment, as we are at the bare bones plan right now in terms of what we can accomplish with a limited budget.
I like the multi-faceted approach and this sets up a great outline for training and empowering the field to participate in one or more ways that inspire them individually and collectively. My main concern is that I have yet to see financial statements from The Peace Alliance. I believe it's time to cross this bridge in order to make everyone's efforts more fruitful.


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