During our check-in round at a recent staff meeting, I mentioned that one aspect of my position overseeing the Institute’s finances that brings me joy is processing the donations that we receive. The self-interested element of that joy is certainly real—I value my job and my colleagues’ jobs, all of which require money—however the donations represent more than simply operating revenue. I feel that every contribution is an inbound connection made by someone who cares about the work we do, and who intentionally is promoting the proliferation of nonviolence throughout the world.
The recurring, scheduled monthly donations signal that someone has the confidence in us to “set it and forget it” thereby providing the Institute with sustaining income, enabling us to better anticipate cash flows. Regardless of the dollar amount allocated, this is a significant supporting function. It also means that the Institute is a line item on the donor’s budget, having been selected from the near infinite pool of other potential recipients. The one-off handwritten checks we receive are wonderful reminders of the fact that we are on the minds of community members and that our efforts are worthy of their time and attention. Institutional support that we receive in the form of grants tells the story of our recognized competence in the community and of the hope that we engender among those committed to constructively building a more peaceful global society.
I am in a position to see the direct relationship between funds received and programs launched, and initiatives supported. I am constantly reminded that the Gandhi Institute exists to serve the community and that our responsibility is to represent our stakeholders by effectively advancing our mission statement.
I feel deep gratitude for each of our financial supporters. You provide an essential ingredient that undergirds all aspects of our work. I am humbled and honored to receive your trust.