2019 Budget Report and 3 Year Plan

How do we participate with the Spirit to subvert systems of oppression and death as we work for a just world? And how do we heal the wounds that imperialism has cut into our souls?

Our world is in crisis. Fascism and right wing nationalism are on the rise as we experience the environmental and social impacts of climate change.

The Giant Triplets of Evil named by Dr. King (militarism, racism, and economic exploitation) run rampant across the globe. 

Nevertheless, we believe the Spirit is birthing a new world in the shell of the old. As Thomas Merton once wrote to his discouraged friend Daniel Berrigan: “Do not be discouraged. The Holy Spirit is not asleep.”

We need prophetic voices now, more than ever. We need to nurture people and movements that will create imagination spaces…where, together, we can imagine the new world that the Spirit is birthing. Where peace and justice dwell.

That is why the Center for Prophetic Imagination exists. To cultivate prophetic witness. And we depend upon supporters and comrades to do this work.

Fleshed out, that means the following programmatic offerings:

▶ Our 2 Year Program in Prophetic Spirituality

▶ Our annual fall conference

▶ Regular retreats and workshops

▶ Continued engagement through social media and our weekly newsletter

▶ Online courses (like the Spirituality of Empire Course)

▶ Explorations in Liturgical Direct Action (currently focusing on Thrivent Financial)

Custom workshops and retreats, including our Contemplative Resistance Retreats (which draw upon our Infinity Process model)

We also do things that don’t fit under the category of programming. Like offering mentorship and spiritual direction. Or speaking at various churches and organizations. Or by participating in a variety of subversive plots and schemes we wouldn’t want to broadcast publicly (yet).

But to do these things (and to offer new things), we mostly rely upon donors. Each year, at least 67% of our budget has come from donors. For 2020, we anticipate at least 75% will come from donors.

Here’s a breakdown of our Income and Expenses. They’re projected out for the rest of 2019 based upon anticipated trends:

As you can see, there isn’t much wiggle room. And we’re going into next year without any anticipated grant funds. Based upon current trends, we’ll be behind by $5000 to $10000 by the end of 2020.

At the same time, we see opportunities to expand our offerings. In order to do that, we need to expand our capacity. We have opportunities like:

  • This year, Mark developed a model for spiritual transformation called the “infinity process” that links spiritual practice with political action. The response has been significant. We are getting interest from all around the country to come teach the infinity process. But in order to do so Mark will need to spend time developing curriculum and travelling around the county. To facilitate the process, Mark needs to offer a weekend retreat and follow up with a group, either in person or via Zoom, over 8-10 weekly meetings. Eventually, Mark plans to offer training retreats for others to become process facilitators. In order for Mark to spend more time leading retreats, teaching, and mentoring, we’d need to hire on staff to take on some of his administrative and development responsibilities.
  • Currently, we offer our Program in Prophetic Spirituality on a two year schedule. Though some choose to take our intensives one at a time, most participate by registering for the full 2-year cohort. Currently, folks can only join a full cohort every two years. However, we would like to begin to launch a new cohort for our Program in Prophetic Spirituality every year, so that while one cohort begins their second year, a new cohort begins their first year. In order to do that, we’d need to commit additional staffing hours to facilitate the program, as well as additional funding for programmatic expenses. The program isn’t self-sustaining since most program participants are low income.
  • We are also interested in creating prophetic “hubs” around the country. In a way, these would be like chapters, but without our “branding” and not under our direct control. Rather, they would be self-selected networks around the world where we can offer resources like the “infinity process,” Liturgical Direct Action training, workshops, retreats, and mentoring. These autonomous cohorts of radical practitioners would engage our resources and generate offerings of their own. This is beginning to happen informally already. But we want to increase our efforts and develop stronger networks with more focused sharing. In order to do that, we’d need dedicated staff to serve as our “organizing director.”
  • For the past three years, we’ve received office and meeting space for free. The space has been mostly adequate but a little cramped for our needs. However, that space will no longer be available to us in early 2020. We are looking for new space, hopefully at a local church with which we can enter into a mutually beneficial relationship at low cost to us.

In order to pursue each of these opportunities, we’d not only need to make up our projected shortfall but also double our income in the next three years through a combination of donations and programming. Here’s how we plan on doing that:

  • In 2020, we’d like to hire a .5 staff person to focus on fundraising and communications. This would not only free Mark up to play to his strengths as he focuses on our core programming, retreats, mentorship, and group facilitation. We’d like to raise $61,380 in 2020 (an additional $17680 beyond last year’s budget) towards that goal.
  • In 2021, with the help of our new development staff and growing programming, we’d like to raise our operating budget raise our operating budget to $90,000/year so that we can hire a .25 support staff person to help organize our Program in Prophetic Spirituality so that a new cohort can be welcomed each year. This budget would also allow us to secure an office space that can also cover our needs for classes, retreats, and meetings. At this point, we hope to to have 20% of income come through programming.
  • In 2022, our goal is to generate enough funding through programming that we can reach an annual budget of $110,000. This would allow us to move Mark to .75 staff. At this point, we hope to have roughly 30% of our income come through programming.

As you can see, our three year goal is to increase programmatic income from 8.2% to 30%. At the same time, we want to invite supporters to continue to invest in the mission of the Center for Prophetic Imagination. Initially, we are asking new and existing donors to help us raise an additional $20,000 in 2020 to help us create the capacity for growth.

If you believe in our work and mission, we invite you to support us. We’re a small organization, so every donation helps. Every gift is deeply appreciated.