Managing a nonprofit crisis – restoratively and with justice.

St. Croix Valley Restorative Justice Program is a small independent non-profit, 501c3.  Our SCVRJP Annual Report 2011, SCVRJP served 1,820 individuals in 139 different sessions, about 11 times a month we are in a Circle, Conference, training or presentation, that means about 2 times a week.  For 2012 we are trending ahead of last year, averaging 13 sessions a month, with less staff.

Our session revenue only covers half of our monthly expenses.  Each month the other half comes from grants and donations.  SCVRJP has just a few major grants and one fundraising event a year.  We are facing a financial crisis, our operating funds will be depleted, exhausted, finished in October.  We are hopeful a major grant will be there in October.  Hopeful.  Hope doesn’t pay rent and salaries.

The board and I are working closely, we are reviewing plans, making strategies.  We are approaching partners for funds, maximizing our ask for fundraising, re-evaluating our occupancy expenses.  I’ve always been a strong presence for SCVRJP, I’m the leader and this crisis is requiring me to dig deeply into myself.  When things are easy, living in our values is easy.  When times our tough, when we are backed against the wall, that is when living with and from our values becomes the truth of who we are.

I am choosing to live my values of Restorative Justice, through this financial storm.  No storm lasts forever.  I am going to trust what will be on the other side of October.  I am in the beginning of this, my plan is to approach this seeking accountability and healing (key elements of Restorative Justice).  I am admitting and have, that we operated a few years back, for a few years with a budget of -$20,000.  That is certainly not sustainable.  I am not going to blame, my energy is to precious right now, to look back.  I need to engage myself and those around me with looking to the future.

Being a Restorative Justice practitioner has taught me to let go of outcomes.  I know that “trusting the process”, and operating within Restorative Justice approach brings good things.  That awareness of flexibility, is with me now during this financial crisis.  I also know balance from being a Restorative Justice practitioner.  The balance is to keep my zen approach, but also write every grant possible.  To stay calm and to listen, will help me with creating creative options.

SCVRJP has become part of the fabric of the community.  I trust our community will not let us disappear.  Restorative Justice is about the community, so if our community does not help us sustain, then that is the desire of the community.  I can’t imagine doing anything different with my life at this point.  I will be practicing Restorative Justice in some form or another.

I need to ask, can you support SCVRJP?  All donations are needed, share what you are able.  Your donation will be used to help promote Restorative Justice.  We are accepting pledges for October, and our website donation page.

Thank you!