Fundraising, SUSTAIN *cino

Introducing SUSTAIN *cino

Dear friends of *cino,
On Friday, February 19, the *culture is not optional board of directors met in Pennsylvania before attending the annual Jubilee Conference in Pittsburgh. We had great conversation at Beaver Falls Coffee & Tea about *cino’s identity and about fund raising.

The good news

Here’s the good news: our work is flourishing. It was fun to be at Jubilee and hear directly from so many people who are inspired by the road journal, who love writing for catapult, who read the daily asterisk quote every day, who want to come to Practicing Resurrection and who are excited to see what is sprouting in Three Rivers at Huss School. We also had many good conversations with college students and post-grads who are striving to discern Kingdom faithfulness in all things: career, family, place, church, relationships and more. We’re glad that the resources *cino already offers can provide some of what they need on their journeys.

The…other news

Here’s the…other news: we are on the edge financially. Last spring, we stepped out in faith to purchase the historic Huss School building in Three Rivers and it has stretched our organization to the extent that we have urgent needs for the building and other expenses. We board members are praying and trusting that God will provide–and we’re getting to work!

Introducing SUSTAIN *cino

SUSTAIN *cino will be our effort over the next few years to cultivate our resources through three phases–getting by, sprouting and thriving–and we need your help. We have outlined three budget goals that will allow the work of *cino–including the Imagining Space project at Huss School–to grow and flourish. We’ve broken down the goals into monthly target amounts:

  • $2,500 per month: June 12, 2010
  • $5,000 per month: End of 2010
  • $10,000 per month: End of 2011

What we are asking of you now is to consider making a monthly commitment to help us meet our $2,500 per month goal by June 12, our one-year ownership anniversary Huss School. If $10 per month is what you can afford, you will be part of our foundation of many–after all, 150 gifts of all sizes helped us raise $25,000 in 40 days to purchase Huss School! Just think: if each of those 150 households gave $10 per month, we’d be over halfway to our first goal! And if you can afford $20 or $30 per month, you’ll help cover the share of someone who benefits from *cino’s work, but is in a low or no income situation.
Our experience has been that the foundation of *cino’s support will consist of many people like you catching the vision and doing what they can to participate. We are praying and working for major gifts and grants, to be sure, but we also need you to walk with us through the both the thrilling and the difficult times.
Our commitment is to keep doing and growing the good work God has called us to do through *cino and to stay in regular communication with you. Will you match our commitment with one of your own?
Yours in gratitude and trust,
The *culture is not optional Board of Directors
Jeff Bouman
Grant Elgersma
Gail Heffner
Sylvia Keesmaat
Tim Raakman
Hank Suhr
Rob & Kirstin Vander Giessen-Reitsma
To set up a monthly donation or make a one-time contribution, please visit the *culture is not optional web site.

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Fundraising, Organization, SUSTAIN *cino

Possibilities and the necessary financial conversation

A good chunk of our board meeting on February 19 was spent discussing the financial needs of *culture is not optional. We’ve never been more excited about the work we’re doing and the possibilities that lie in front of us–especially the Imagining Space project. But to move forward, we really need to establish a much more stable financial foundation. Toward that end, we established three budget goals that we’ll be working toward over the next few years.

Getting by

$30,000 per year / $2,500 per month

  • Basic building expenses (mortgage, insurance, utilities)
  • Technology costs (server fees, domain registration, etc.)
  • Printing and mailing
  • Event fees (conference displays, etc.)


$60,000 per year / $5,000 per month

  • All of the above, plus …
  • A double mortgage payment (paying down principle faster)
  • Additional printing budget for books in the Road Map Series
  • Salary and benefits for director
  • Funding for professional accountant
  • Promotional budget


$120,000 per year / $10,000 per month

  • All of the above, plus …
  • Additional mortgage payments, paying off the mortgage in 3 years
  • Additional printing and mailing budget for expanded mailing list
  • Additional printing budget for books in the Road Map Series
  • Intern stipends
  • catapult magazine/road journal honoraria
  • Salary for part-time property manager
  • Additional promotional budget

These budget goals are primarily operational and only extend for the next few years. We’re hoping that we’ll be able to raise additional funding through grants and other sources to help fund the renovation of Huss School.

We’ve set the following timeline to try to meet these goals:

  • $2,500 per month: June 12, 2010
  • $5,000 per month: End of 2010
  • $10,000 per month: End of 2011

On the one hand, these goals seem ridiculously ambitious and unattainable. On the other hand, we feel like we’re simply following through on *cino’s vision. As we reflect on God’s faithfulness when *cino’s supporters contributed $25,000 in 40 days a little less than a year ago, an annual budget of $120,000 seems pretty realistic. And when we think of what we’d be able to accomplish with such a relatively small institutional budget, we get pretty excited …

We’ll be sending out more information soon about meeting our first goal!

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Building, Fundraising

A building for *cino?

Yep, that’s right. We’re looking to purchase a building in Three Rivers, Michigan, where we could do a number of things–including local community development (in partnership with existing organizations and groups already working in Three Rivers), an off-campus program for college students, seminars and workshops for church groups, and kinds of other things we’re just beginning to dream about.
In fact, we already have an accepted offer in on Huss School, an historic school building on four acres of land that would be an ideal location for all kinds of unique and service-oriented programming. The (initial) tricky part of the offer is that we have until May 27 to raise the $20,000 down payment. Should we be able to manage that, we’ll move forward with other challenges posed by the Huss building.
Regardless of whether the current offer is completed, we’re looking to move forward on finding a physical space for *cino to do its work. For more, take a look at our Imagining Space web site, where we offer a vision for what we hope to do with a building like Huss, introduce the property itself, tell the story of how we’ve gotten to this point in *cino’s development, and intend to keep folks updated on our efforts.
We’re hoping we’ll be able to complete the purchase of Huss and move forward, but we’ll need your support to do so. If you’ve enjoyed *cino’s work and are interested in this new opportunity for its incarnation, please consider donating for our campaign. We would very much appreciate your contribution!

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