The Oakland Peace Center is gearing up for its very first fundraising campaign, and doing so with a little ambivalence.
The OPC’s primary purpose is to strengthen connections between existing organizations doing work to create a community of peace borne of justice. And since 2008, funding and grants for non-profits have grown much scarcer. We do not want to function in funding competition with the organizations we’re working to support. We also want to affirm how much people have given to help turn the dream of the Oakland Peace Center into a reality over the last five years, often without any compensation. Your involvement in the work happening with our partners and within our walls is the keystone of peace in our community.
At the same time, there are so many resources we dream of providing to in order to increase the capacity and the impact of our partners’ work, and the people who can do that work deserve (and need) to be compensated justly for that work. (After all, several of our partners actively seek to make sure all work in the Bay Area is compensated fairly so that workers can live without constant anxiety and so that workers can invest themselves in their friends and family and community.)
Most importantly, we have been inspired by OPC partner East Point Peace Academy’s core value around gift economics. Our goal is to provide support and connection and space for organizations creating access, opportunity and dignity as the means of creating peace. We’re not seeking payment for providing that service. We want to give people the opportunity to invest in that work because you want to be a part of creating a peace-filled Bay Area and because you want to participate in our vision. And we also believe in a worldview of abundance. Our generosity with one another creates more resources in the world, rather than using them up. We believe the resources we generate will allow us to invest more deeply in our partners.
So in mid-November, we’ll be posting a video about our work and encouraging you to donate generously as a way of creating peace.
It has been said, “where your treasure lies, there also lies your heart.” How much of your heart lies with creating peace in Oakland and the Bay Area?