Fundraising for the future

As the Urantia community grows, assuming it will, there are many functions that need to be performed to provide for the needs of the community. Some needs are met with minimal overhead but there are many variable costs where we must wisely direct our resources. Considering The Urantia Book Fellowship is dependent upon donations from its members and supporters, there are limited funds to meet these needs.

The big question being asked is, How do we raise those funds? The Chairperson of the Finance Committee (Executive Committee representative of the General Council)is responsible, to my knowledge, for this function. I personally have little knowledge of how this process takes place beyond that.

So how do other organizations raise money? Simply put, they raise awareness about projects they see as being of high importance. We’ve all received a call from NPR asking us to support public radio, or had a nice young woman stop us on the street asking us to help some organization save the oceans. These groups use these methods to reach individuals who may feel as passionately about their cause as they do. Why hasn’t the Urantia community used these approaches? Not sure.

This conversation cannot be had without being honest about were we find ourselves demographically. The truth is there are very few young people involved in the greater Urantia community. We could surmise that this is only because we are a small group to start. I would argue, though, that in the late ’60s and ’70s many thousands of younger readers found the revelation and got involved. The Fellowship’s International Conference in 1996 (Flagstaff, Arizona) had over 1,000 attendees. IC’99 (Vancouver, B.C.) had nearly a thousand attendees.  So why have our number begun to shrink? Less than 500 hundred people attended IC’11. Many reasons presumably, including the economy and aging Boomers, but I believe the most important is that we have not been very successful, as a organization, in meeting the needs of the individuals and families that comprise our community. The leaders were focused on studying the book and not always on the spiritual progress of the individuals studying the book, and in turn people fell away or went somewhere else to have their needs for community met.

So are we screwed? No we are not. Though we might have missed some opportunities and made some mistakes, the angels of course have been working with us to foster the next generation of Jesusonians. The Youth & Young Adult Committee is the fruit of some of those efforts. We now have an active, funded, group of youthful talented students of the revelation dedicated to this community and its needs. And this brings us back to my big question: How do we fund raise to support this highly active and incredibly important work, and all the other important functions of a growing family of Kingdom believers? If The Fellowship does not have the funding to sustain the growth happening, is it time to kick start the engine and see if the community is ready and willing to help out?

To just put it out there I think the best thing we could do as a organization is to spend every dollar we have. Then we would be forced to enroll possible supporters in financially backing our work for this Revelation. Having a pile of money for a “rainy day” is a farce. True we must have finances to continue to provide the services we now have but just think about the things we are not doing. For one we are not training, and supporting, young leaders to be ambassadors of this revelation. We know this is important from the teachings. Melchizedek did it, Jesus did it, and we were going to do it through the original constitution, but in 2012–almost 60 years later–the $1500 requested to start this program next year was denied.

To solve these problems we must work together. The Fellowship and its committees have outgrown the available fundraising to support them. We must creatively readjust ourselves for the 21st century of growth that is happening now! I just received an email from the Urantia Foundation asking to help them raise $16o,000 for translations! Holy crap. That’s on top of the $160,000 in matching funds they already have. So they are raising 300,000 dollars to operate the Foundation and do translations. That’s amazing! Do we not have other dreams just as big to do the Father’s business? If Jesus came back tomorrow, would he be satisfied with us using roughly $20,000 to support young people finding the living truth while spending 15 times that to make the 16th or 17th translation? I sense an imbalanced vision regarding the real work of the kingdom. This is not to say one is right and the other is wrong. Just to recognize the difference in financial focus.

However we go about bringing these teachings to the world, we are called to do it with a high level of enthusiasm and faith. These teachings will some day rule this entire world. We are, at this very moment, part of the some-day history of planting the seed of divine truth into the dry dirt of troubled Urantia. We will never remember the career we had or the fear we felt. We will never remember the disappointment we encountered or the loss we experienced. What we will remember is the transformation we created. Because, as the revelation reveals, the only thing we take with us when we go is our relationships and our spiritual achievements. So facing the reality–that these teachings call us to challenge everything we know as real and enter upon the high seas of adversity by working tirelessly to bring the good news to all men–is the first step.

Do I know how we should fund raise for the future? Not entirely, but I do know there are lots of great ideas out there and many amazing tools we can utilize. Let’s give them a try. Let’s build awareness in our community and the world about what we’re up to. Let’s live dynamic, passionate lives that inspire those around us so much that they can’t resist finding out how we became this way.

You, who are reading this, are my family in this adventure. Together we must build this future. When we work together our efforts are greatly multiplied.

Below is an embedded copy of our Youth & Young Adult Committee’s 2013 Budget Outline. Many of these projects were not able to be fully funded and some not funded at all. If you are inspired to see one of these items more fully supported please contact our Chair Tony Finstad or The Urantia Book Fellowship. Thank you for making this work we do possible!

YaYA Budget 2013

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12 thoughts on “Fundraising for the future”

  1. Chelsea Castanares

    This revelation is going to take time and effort, a lot of it. Unfortunately, it will also need funding. The only true way to be able to spread this beautiful word is by reaching out and connecting with people. Jesus’ mission was to travel and meet people. It was how he became so effective in his teachings. He has shown us the way and so has the Urantia book. How long will we keep denying our destiny? The only way we can do this is by action! In order to reach out, the way we’ve been taught to, we need help….not denial!

  2. hoorah where did you ever learn to write with such brilliant fwervor.. all the best in your fundraising project. i know you can do it.. and will..
    You must look to a whole new way ,, your internet way, social media gone viral in your approach..
    when people know what the revelation is and promises they will respond in all ages as they did to Jesus.. you are correct .. the old timers did not spread the word they just studied,,which is okay but they missed the message you heard..
    let me know what I can do ..\Pat.
    ;put some music art and video behind your approach too.. esp to the youth.

    1. Thank you Patrick. When its a topic so close to your heart it comes out naturally I guess.

      I’m gearing up for the day we go viral. Its not fare off. We just have to be focused and creative. All the tools are available.

      As for art and video keep tuned. Coming out soon!

      Thanks for always be so supportive of our work Patrick.

  3. Possibly going out 2 By 2 Into the streets for 1 on 1 interaction with passers-by…with a sign and book (available) and a collection can…even a guitar/uk 🙂
    …just like in the old days!

  4. Teuvo,

    You say “For one we are not training, and supporting, young leaders to be ambassadors of this revelation. We know this is important from the teachings.” Wow, really? We are not supporting the Youth and Young Adults? Incredible.

    ‘Biting the hand that feeds you’ was my thought when I read this.


    1. Andrea,

      What I meant, as I referenced, is having a program to train leaders. Is there one I’m not aware of?

      Of course the Fellowship is supporting the Youth. I never said they where not. I was attempting to start a conversation about how to address our financial situation along with the reality that we do not have a program to “Train Leaders”.

      Andrea you of all people know my heart. Why do you take my words so personally? Why do you not quote me on the positive things I mention?

      Thank you

      1. Dear Teuvo,

        I do apologize for getting angered by your remarks. I do know your heart and do not question your intentions. But I do take issue when I can look back over just the past few months and see how we are (although it may seem slow) training teachers and leaders. Remember Santa Cruz? And now we prepare to send you and Allison out for some dynamic outreach. All of this thanks to the generous work of The Urantia Book Fellowship and the donors that make it possible.

        Study groups are also fertile soil for cultivating leaders. Study the book, let it grow your soul, and time will ripen you to become the leader you are meant to be.

        Andrea Barnes

  5. Last I checked the Urantia Book Fellowship is the only Urantia organization significantly financing the efforts of young UB readers and yes the YaYAs do share resources with other long-standing organizational efforts, all of which are worthy.

    Urantia Foundation has Trustees who are multi-millionaires and who contribute HUGE sums of money to the Foundation every year. We don’t have that anymore, but we have our own wits and the grassroots to contribute to us and our support base is steadily growing. The Fellowship is an organization that elects people democratically and changes things up every three years. Urantia Foundation has Trustees who are self-appointed for life. Their personnel changes very little. In some ways their structure is more stable than ours, a democratic process is messy compared to an oligarchy, but it has it’s stengths too, because it allows for young people to get actively involved and be elected to leadership roles and that’s surely a good thing.

    We need willing and enthusiastic contributors who believe in us and in the work we do. We need to put people to work full time for the revelation, that is what will kick this effort up to a whole new level. Volunteers are great, but at best they can only give part of their time to revelation work. If a person can’t volunteer an hour for the revelation I hope they will give a Urantian non-profit $20.00 to pay someone else for an hour’s worth of revelation work. If a person can work an hour of volunteer time, that’s awesome too. And always, just a kind word or gesture of support goes a long way to keep both volunteers and workers encouraged and willing to continue to devote their lives to the revelation.

  6. Paula thank you for your perspective.

    It is a fact that The Urantia Book Fellowship is the leader for supporting youth activities inside the Urantia community. My hope is that they are proud of this and continue to make it a priority. It’s just bound to snowball and grow and grow. If a young reader finds the book and joins an organization that doesn’t include any of his peers he will surely wonder why and I will suggest he will not stay involved that long. That is just the reality as I see it.

    I’m a fully committed servant of the Urantia Revelation and The Urantia Book Fellowship. The most important service I can do though as a active member of this body is to be honest about what I see happening.

    We are entering a new era. We must re-adjust our efforts to be as effective as possible. We must continue to be present to the reality of what we have in our hands.

    I write post like this because it is burning in my heart. This article comes from a true desire to see this community wake up into action and become present to who and what we are. Simple put very few of us are going the second mile.

    Thank you Paula for your commitment to this cause. Progress is being made whether we see it or not!

  7. We’ll get there, Brother. My generation of readers, all came to the book in our twenties. We were young and idealistic and full of enthusiasm and we had to ask permission to publish anything that used more than 300 words from the book. With the UB, that’s about two sentences 😉 Permission was not granted for countless worthy endeavors, more than you can imagine. Back then, it felt like a wearing a big wet blanket to be an enthusiastic evangel in the Urantia “movement.”

    I remember when it was considered (by the powers that be) to be in very poor taste to publically introduce the book. You can’t imagine how stifling it was to be an evangelist for the UB back in the 1980’s, with the threat of reader ridicule and even lawsuits hanging over one’s head. The freedoms young readers enjoy today, sharing the book to their heart’s content, were hard fought and won by some courageous and devoted people. Some valiant readers gave tremendous amounts of energy (in all forms) to free the teachings for future generations. We had to evolve through those times, it was hard, but nobody is to blame. It’s just always an uphill slog for us humans to overcome our own human nature.

    Each Urantian who is called to this work (and you certainly are, Teuvo) works within their own sphere of influence. All colors and creeds, all age, language, geographic and socio-economic groups need someone to reach out to them, because they ALL matter to God. I pray that young people don’t get discouraged with the movement, we’ve come a long way and made a lot of progress and there is still so much more to do. From my point of view, we are immeasurably proud of what you younger readers are doing, I hope young readers will also find some satisfaction in what past generations have accomplished.

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