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A just world that honors the sacred connection of all.
To educate and empower people for new models of Interfaith service and spiritual care to heal and transform our world.
Enroll More Students
Provide a stable and sustainable infrastructure
ChI does not currently have an endowment and is reliant on ongoing donations to operate. Our current budget and financial model relies on donors to contribute a minimum of 1/3 of our revenue, with student tuitions and fees making up nearly 2/3 of our total income. One third of donations currently come from donors who respond to our year end appeal, give through ongoing monthly contributions, or at an event. Two thirds of our donations come from a small handful of donors who have stepped forward as visionaries and invest in and significantly propel ChI’s ability to achieve its mission.
In 2016, our budget for donations is $173,000 and our goal is $225,000. We are looking for donations to exceed our goal this year.
Where we are grateful for donations at every level, in order for ChI to grow, develop and enhance our ability to exceed our objectives and meet our mission, and most importantly to become sustainable well into the future, we seek donors that are moved to join the ranks of these visionaries with annual gifts of $25,000 or more to serve as partners with us and invest in our future. We are seeking non restricted gifts; however, donors can also directly underwrite and support the following initiatives as they feel called to do so. All donations (one time or recurring) are appreciated.
At this point, 17 years into its history, The Chaplaincy Institute is hoping to significantly expand the programs it offers in fulfillment of our mission. A number of ChI’s core faculty members have visions of offering expanded courses in specialized areas of spiritual care, spiritual psychology, arts for awakening, social justice, eco-chaplaincy, interfaith contemplative practices, and other areas related to chaplaincy, community ministry and spiritual growth and personal development. ChI also would like to explore online and virtual programming, making our seminary programs more comprehensive and accessible. All of these programs have development budgets that would need funding in order for them to come to be.
The single largest reason students don’t come to ChI is because they cannot financially afford to. Because we are not an accredited institution, are students aren't eligible for financial aid, student loans or government grants in order to finance their studies at ChI. In the past, we have been able to attract several new students because generous donors have funded scholarships that allowed for a reduction in 1/3 of the tuition fees. These funds have been distributed and our scholarship fund is depleted. We need additional support to allow ChI to offer discounts to enroll more students. We also have a vision for creating an innovative new financial aid program using donor funds to provide loans to students to fund their studies over time. ChI’s current student body is primarily financially able Caucasians. We believe we could attract a more racially and economically diverse student body with a greater ability to discount tuitions and offer payment plans that are affordable to all.
Enhanced Marketing, Communications, and Outreach
Currently our website serves as our primary (and almost entire) marketing vehicle and strategy. We have an extremely limited budget for marketing and communications. We find ourselves in a reactive vs. proactive position due to lack of funds to tell our story and reach those who would be interested in our programs. This makes it nearly impossible to meet our annual, much less longer terms objectives to enroll more students and meet our mission. We launched a new website in 2012, but it is already outdated. There is a need to tweak the design and flow of information, add enhance content, add visuals (graphics, photography, video), and make sure that we are optimizing our ability to be found online and engage constituents. We currently have a grant from google up to $100k per year to fund online advertising when searching key words on google. We are currently only utilizing half of it. With more ad campaigns and better management of what is working and what isn’t, and making web content changes to drive greater traffic, we can improve our performance and have many more student prospects finding us online. We currently have a Facebook page, have a presence on Linked In, post our photos to Flickr, our videos to You Tube, occasionally tweet on Twitter, and have the capacity to blog, but there is no plan or strategy to do so and no resources to develop and manage our messages or to engage our community to help. We would benefit from the funding to develop and implement a social media plan and campaign to raise awareness and initiate dialogue about ChI, interfaith, chaplaincy, spiritual care and service, and so forth. We have visions of creating and publishing an Interfaith blog so that ChI becomes the “go to” organization for interfaith dialogue and online spiritual care and support. Finally, ChI currently does not have completed profiles on our target audiences, nor do we have a written and professionally developed plan to reach them. We need to develop and implement a strategic, multi-year plan to effectively reach each target audiences in order to reach out enrollment goals.
ChI currently relies upon a very small paid staff (the equivalent of 4.7 FTEs) to operate our seminary and community. All staff are part time and are currently doing their best to fulfill their roles within very limited time schedules. Only the very top priority work is getting done. Due to our limited financial resources, staff as well as faculty pay is not competitive in the marketplace. This greatly affects our ability to attract, retain and equitably compensate our most precious human resources. Currently, our pay scales are about 65% of market. Additionally, we are not able to provide health insurance or retirement benefits. All staff and faculty have other jobs in addition to their work at ChI in order to be able to financially afford to work at ChI and their efforts are spread between multiple priorities.
With additional funding, we would be able to attract and retain high level credentialed and/or high profile faculty which would enhance our programs, and we could compensate staff at equitable levels in the marketplace, and increase schedules to allow for greater levels of work to be accomplished. Most importantly we would be in alignment with our values.
ChI currently rents space from religious organizations in Berkeley to hold classes and rents an office space 3 blocks from where classes are held in N. Berkeley. It is ChI’s vision to have a place of its own where the office and classroom space is under one roof, where it has its own identity and a more permanent nature to its home, and where there is flexibility and growth potential in the size of space and the number of rooms that are available as class sizes and number of classes grows well into the future. In addition, having its own classroom would enable ChI to offer a wider variety of courses and workshops.
In addition to a permanent classroom and office space, ChI would like to establish its own worship, ceremony and event space. This would give students, faculty & staff a place to celebrate, participate in rituals, meditate, host retreats, meet & relax. Other ideas for the new space include a reception area, a small resource library, and perhaps a small retail shop for Interfaith-related books & gift items.
As you can see, ChI has the potential to contribute much to the Bay Area and to the greater Interfaith Community and fulfill our greater mission to educate and empower people for new models of Interfaith service and spiritual care. We are looking for long-term partnerships with donors who wish to support initiatives that are much needed and will heal and transform the world. Bless you.