Abundance in the Gift Economy

East Point Peace Academy receives three-year, $300,000 grant!!!

Since the founding of East Point Peace Academy in the fall of 2013, we have always operated on a Gift Economy basis. That means, among many other things, we have had tens of thousands of people come through our doors and we have never, EVER charged a dime to anybody.

It means we have always relied on our community for support, and spend very little time "fundraising."

It means we have always put our work first, while putting all of our faith in the abundance of the universe, knowing that if our work is meant to be sustained, then our community will come together to sustain us. 

It means we have never taken state money or relied heavily on foundation funding. In fact, the only grants we have ever received have been cases where the funder reached out to us and offered us unrestricted support. It has always been through trust and relationship, not fancy grant-writing. 

It has also mean that we are - by design - a small organization with a small budget, never spending much more than $100-120,000 per year. It means that we believe in slow growth, and that bigger is not always better.

Seven years of this faith has resulted in an incredible opportunity for us. Over the last several months, we have been in dialogue with The Kataly Foundation, a new foundation supporting social change organizations. This also, was based on a trusting relationship with one of its key advisors. And, because of the relationship, we were just alerted that East Point Peace Academy will be receiving $100,000 a year for three-years. 

One reason why we have not been active in seeking foundation funding is because large funding like this often times comes with strings attached. In this case, all the funding is unrestricted.

Other times, funding comes with incredibly burdensome reporting processes that take us away from the actual work. With Kataly, there is very little reporting required.

And often times, funding comes only one-year at a time, with the grantee organization having to prove ourselves over and over again, each and every year. With Kataly, a three-year commitment with the possibility of increased funding in each year shows that, above all, there is trust.

We are so honored, humbled and grateful to the Kataly Foundation for its incredible support. Not just in the money amount, but in their commitment to work through trust and relationship, not contracts and reporting requirements. This is the true nature of the Gift Economy. 

It feels incredible that, in the midst of a global pandemic and economic insecurity, we find ourselves more financially "secure" than we've ever been. And, to be honest, I personally have had to adjust to that. When we first got the notification of this grant, it made me uncomfortable. We've always been a small, rag-tag group relying on faith to get through each month.

I realized at some point that I had grown attached to that image. But I also realized that this attachment was ego. I was attached to a self-image I had created about myself and about our organization. And once I was able to let go of that attachment, a space was opened up that is allowing myself and my colleagues at East Point to envision what our work could look like moving forward.

We are excited to continue to bring you updates as that vision develops. We are facing times of extreme hardships, but with that comes an incredible opportunity for transformation, and this "security" and abundance will allow us to focus solely on the work that we are called to do.

We want to thank not only the Kataly Foundation, but to everyone who has ever been in relationship with us over the years. It is because of the work that we have all done together that this was made possible. Thank you all, for showing us the truth of interdependence, of abundance, and of the power of faith.

In gratitude,

Kazu

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  • kazu haga
    published this page in Blog 2020-08-06 15:04:29 -0700