Resourcing the Present While We Build the Future

Mar 28, 2024

It has been a wild couple of months! There has been a flurry of exciting developments just in these past few weeks. We have rolled out our draft outline of our plan to go the world a fire to a liberated future we are calling the WildSeed Ecology Studio! We also launched our Virtual Village this month. We are so excited to finally have a path towards membership in our growing organization! Our team is also just coming out of our winter virtual retreat and we feel more aligned and clear about our path forward than ever before. 


Unfortunately, while the WildSeed Society has been busy dreaming and planning for a better future we have been struggling to adequately resource our present. We all know that radical work is rarely funded. In fact, the more radical the work the less mainstream funding sources seem to take notice or even understand it.


 This is even more true given the fact that we have refused any funding that isn’t general operating support. This is to ensure that community needs drive our programming and not fundability. With the pandemic, our ability to host in person trainings and events have forced us to be more reliant on grant funding than we had planned on. [You can read a more in depth summary of our finances and philosophy around organizational money here.]


This stance and our position outside mainstream funding boxes resulted in chronic funding shortages over the past year and half. In September we had to skip payroll for two of our staff members, Aaron Goggans and Sandra Kim. They both worked full time for the last four months of the year in exchange for an IOU with the promise of a small bonus once we have the funds to repay them. They have been working full time at half pay since January. While this has been a sacrifice it was one made in alignment with the WildSeed Way and with our unanimous consensus. We decided to keep the salaries of our lowest paid staff and staff with children as high as possible. 


Additionally, our needs based compensation process has always sought to pay people enough to increase their economic stability. This meant that both Sandra and Aaron were in a financially secure enough position to willing make a temporary sacrifice. We all believe in the vision and potential of WildSeed and the community we are building enough to know it was a worthwhile investment in our future. 


Unfortunately, the few grants and contracts that we have been able to secure have been delayed causing us further cash flow challenges. As a result we were unable to run payroll for the month of March, with the exception of money set aside for Erika Totten who is currently on sabbatical. Though we had some forewarning that allowed us to prepare, there is only so much prep you can do from a loss of income. 


We do expect to receive funding in the coming weeks that will carry us into the fall. We are also actively applying for grants and planning on re-launched our online courses. Still, we all know that late payments, overdraft fees and lack of ability to plan out expenses comes with grave financial and wellness costs. Therefore we are asking our community for support. We all know that money is tight for many of us and not everyone has the capacity to give. 


Yet if you do have the capacity, please donate!. 

We hope to use the funds to cover payroll gaps, speed up back pay, as well as reimburse staff for extra expenses and debt accrued due to furloughs. If we raise enough, we will distribute it to our staff to build up their savings that have been depleted over the past two years as a result of these funding challenges. 

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