May 29, 2014
Progress, pitfalls, and more progress!
Last year we had an amazing response to our Free Bodhi campaign. Until last year I was up to my eyeballs in administrative tasks, like publicity, financial planning, and even buying office supplies. The Free Bodhi campaign was to raise funds so that we could take on Mark Tillotson as my business manager, and to free me up to teach and to write.
That’s worked out wonderfully! We reached our target, and now I spend my time writing and teaching. This has allowed Wildmind to run massive events as part of our Year of Going Deeper, like our Sit Breathe Love meditation challenge and our 100 Days of Lovingkindness, which both have had over 1,500 participants. Those events have been free, and we’ve asked for donations from participants to help cover the cost of running the office in order to make them possible.
Onward and upward!
Did you think there was a “but” coming? You’re right! The catch has been that, although many of the participants in our events have given very generously, the donations have come from a small minority. Plus, people who would have signed up for our online course, The Power of Mindfulness, have (naturally enough) been diverted to the free events, meaning that the donations have pretty much just covered the lost income from those courses. (Increasingly, though, I’ve been uncomfortable with those paid classes, and we’d like to move all of our activities to being on a donations basis. )
This has created a real financial crisis, and is putting us under a lot of strain. Our costs have increased because we have more staffing costs, and our income hasn’t gone up much. It looks like we’ll make it into early June, but whether we’ll be able to keep running our activities (the free meditation events, the blog, etc) beyond that is in doubt. Unless we can get more people to support us.
What’s been particularly helpful is regular monthly donations. At the moment about 115 people are supporting Wildmind with monthly donations ranging from $3 to $80. If we double the number of supporters, Wildmind should have a secure future.
So we’re encouraging you to make a monthly donation to Wildmind. The most common amounts that people donate are $3, $5, $10, $15, and $20. You can use the menu below to set up a donation via Paypal. (Prefer not to use Paypal?)
To help show our appreciation, we’re setting up a rewards program. Anyone who donates $15 a month or more will receive two things:
- Copies of all our new electronic products (MP3s, audiobooks, and ebooks) starting with the most recent at the time of signing-up (currently that’s our audiobook, the Power of Mindfulness)
- Access to our Lifemember program, which gives access to the materials from nine online meditation courses.
All current donors who give $15 or more each month will be sent login details for the Lifemember program over the next month.
At the moment I often find myself carrying around an unreasonable amount of anxiety. Wildmind’s future has been insecure, and neither myself nor Mark (there’s only the two of us working here full-time) have health insurance, meaning that a simple accident or illness could be financially catastrophic (and no, even Obamacare is not affordable for us at the moment).
So your help would be much appreciated. It would allow us to focus on what we’re good at, which is making teachings on meditation more widely available.
PS One time donations are fine as well.
If you prefer not to use Paypal, you can go to this page in our store, enter the amount you’d like to donate monthly into the text box, and then proceed to checkout. With your permission, we can turn this into a monthly recurring charge to your card.