Fiscal Year 2023/2024 Impact Report Narrative

 

Over the past year our dedicated team has worked hard to respond to the needs and opportunities our global community presents and provide greater support, connection and inspiration in all the ways we can.

Our Growing Team and Expanding Community

In October 2023 our Weavers team welcomed Carmen Rumbaut, as Paula Hendrick decided to step down from the Weavers, yet remain on the Communications committee. Welcome Carmen!

We also welcomed 14 new volunteers to our extended team (in addition to working with about 15 temporary volunteers for the Gaian Gathering). We now have 31 wonderful, steady volunteers contributing their time, energy and creativity to our six standing committees.

Here are some of our wonderful volunteers participating in one of the gatherings we hold for team connection time.

As more and more people begin facilitating the Work That Reconnects and offering their services around the world, our vibrant community of Facilitator Members is growing. This past year we welcomed 35 new Facilitator Members. They can all be found in our Map & Directory.

We also welcomed 178 new Community Members over this past year. The newsletter is now reaching 16,500 subscribers and our social media posts are reaching 11,900 followers on Facebook and 6,800 followers on Instagram. 

Gratitude for the Generosity that Supports Our Work

The BESS Family Foundation has provided essential funding for our general operating expenses in a generous grant each year since 2021. As this fiscal year came to a close they expressed a commitment to sustain this level of support for the next three years. We are grateful for the ways in which this support provides a strong foundation of stability for our ongoing work. 

We also received a generous grant from the Obermayer Foundation to support the revision and upgrade of our Deep Times Journal website. The revision project is already well underway and will provide a more modern interface for readers to access this carefully curated collection of informative and beautiful contributions from our global community.

While the foundation grants make a big difference in our ability to fulfill our mission, we are delighted to see the way our community pitches in together to sustain our work. The revenue that comes in through membership contributions, donations given during our community fundraising campaigns and participation in our events creates an even stronger base of support as it is spread among the interconnected web of our global community. Contributions of all sizes have woven together to provide over 70% of our revenue during this past year. Thank you all for your ongoing support!

Website Completion and Launch

On October 27, 2023, after nearly two years of work on the project, we launched our newly updated and redesigned website. It features a visually fresh presentation and is much more accessible and inviting to our global community and people who are new to the Work That Reconnects.

It features a rich and easy-to-navigate MegaMenu and Homepage, including a welcome video, a New to WTR? page and an extensive Resource Library. The new website also describes how our global team collaborates to support the WTR Network in the pages on Organizational Design & Governance and Committees & Volunteers. It articulates our fiscal philosophies and practices on the page for Regenerative Finance & Impact Reports.

The new website includes more ways for members to engage and contribute within the “member only” areas. Facilitator Members can now submit blog posts, webinar proposals, resources and Regional Network listings for the map. Community Members can now submit Community of Practice listings for the map and connect with Facilitator Member mentors. 

Although we are happy to have a new website and are mostly pleased with its presentation, we experienced many difficulties with the company we hired to develop the site, costing the Network an excessive amount of money, time and energy and leaving us with several loose ends on the technical side of things. We are working with a new company now to resolve the lingering issues and get the site working optimally. 

The Gaian Gathering was a Great Success!

During the first five days of November 2024 we hosted our first Gaian Gathering, an epic online global summit that included 40 hours of content and engagement with more than 60 presenters. It attracted over 1,000 participants from around the world, including many people who were brand new to WTR and many long-time WTR facilitators. Joanna Macy participated live in almost every session. It was an incredibly rich experience of learning, growth and healing for our community.

The complete set of recordings is now available on our website, along with an inspirational trailer made from its content. This has given additional people the ability to register for access and make an optional donation during that process. Since we released the recordings in March, 177 people have registered for access, donating a total of $2,025. 

After experiencing the excitement and interest in this type of gathering, we intend to host similar events again in the future, perhaps on a biannual basis.  

Other Highlights from the last year

Member Support – The Facilitator Support committee now hosts 2 calls per month for Facilitator Members to connect and learn from each other and receive direct support for their WTR facilitation.

Volunteer Support and Team Building – As we’ve welcomed new volunteers to our growing team, we’ve improved our volunteer orientation to include education on collaborative work practices and consent decision making and hosted WTR spirals and council calls to foster connection within our whole team. 

Commitment to Undoing Oppression – The Social Justice committee engaged the global community in a survey and series of advisory sessions following the Gaian Gathering, welcomed three new members and is collaborating with the Webinar Program committee to offer specific events throughout the year. The Weavers participated in a pilot for a program being developed by the Anti-Oppression Resource Group with the intent to offer it to Facilitator Members for continuing education and facilitator development.

Improved Public Presence – The Communications committee has been creating a more cohesive public presence for the organization, including a brand book and guidelines for how to share our message on various platforms. Our Instagram and Facebook pages have improved significantly over the past year. We also have a brand new YouTube channel. 

 

Direction for the coming year

Operating as a Model for the Great Turning – We will continue to apply the teachings we received through the Collaborate to Coliberate program facilitated by the Nonprofit Democracy Network to improve our collaborative practices and capacities. We intend to hire consultants to support our team development in implementing tangible tools in the areas of decision making, collaborative leadership, peer review and accountability, conflict engagement and justice and equity. This will require dedicated funding of $10-30k. 

Updating the Deep Times Journal Website – We have received a grant specifically for this project and have begun working with a new web development company.

Partnering in the Great Turning – We are formalizing relationships with other organizations who are working in the Great Turning to provide mutual benefit to our communities and strengthen our collective efforts of caring for our world. Our first two official partners are the Capra Course and Gaia Education

Increased Support to our Global WTR Community – We will coordinate a campaign to support the development of in-person Communities of Practice that may result in a convening of Regional Gatherings. We are also interested in creating a gifting fund to support the development of WTR in areas of the world and among communities that are in need, and working to pair our Facilitator Members with partner organizations who are in need of WTR facilitation.

 

Fiscal Year 2023/2024 – Total Revenue $136,772

Fiscal Year 2023/2024 – Total Expenditures $212,219