WHY DO WE HAVE AN ANNUAL GIVING PLAN CAMPAIGN?
The Center for Spiritual Living, Santa Rosa—A Science of Mind Community—is a dynamic, powerful, viable, living community. Part of being a powerful community requires sound financial planning. To accomplish this, we are providing an annual Giving Intention Card for our members so that we can plan our annual spending with care and precision. We believe that this high level of stewardship is not only of benefit to the Center's governance, but that it also expands the individual’s consciousness of abundance.
Regular Structured Conscious Giving - The Spirit of our Giving
Regular, structured, conscious giving is a spiritual practice that is free from superstition and expectation. Its purpose is to expand awareness of the abundant nature of Spirit, and to financially support the source of our spiritual nourishment.
• Conscious (Free from superstition or expectation)
HOW DOES IT WORK?
You and each member and friend of the Center will receive a Giving Intention Card. You will be asked to make, prayerfully and thoughtfully, a commitment to contributing a specific dollar amount. You may give as an individual or as a family. You may contribute on a weekly or monthly basis, but we ask that you let us know what the commitment is. You may return the completed card to the Center by mail or in the offering on any Sunday during the giving plan campaign.
DOES THE MONEY COMMITTED ON THE GIVING INTENTION CARDS PAY FOR ALL THE EXPENSES IN OUR ANNUAL SPENDING PLAN?
The answer is no. Generally speaking, the commitments will likely yield about 60% to 70% of the annual budget. The balance of the money needed to operate the Center comes from programs, classes, bookstore revenue, and other special gifts. Making a commitment to a specific amount allows the leadership of the Center to forecast the income, which enables us to make better financial decisions and to be better stewards.
IF MY CIRCUMSTANCES CHANGE DURING THE YEAR, CAN I CHANGE MY COMMITMENT?
Yes. No one will be calling you about the status of your giving plan. Once a quarter, you will receive a summary of your giving. You may increase or decrease the amount at any time.This program is not designed to be a bill you owe, but rather a gift you give that transforms your life.
WHAT IF I CHOOSE TO NOT DECLARE MY GIVING INTENTION?
Many of our guests and regular visitors choose to not complete an Annual Giving Intention Card. Some do give in a committed, regular, structured, way at a dollar amount of their choice. This contribution is accepted gratefully. Members are expected to submit an Annual Giving Intention Card. The amount is not as important as the commitment to financial stewardship.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN COMPLETING AN ANNUAL GIVING INTENTION CARD, TITHING, AND REGULAR-STRUCTURED-CONSCIOUS GIVING?
Your Annual Giving Intention Card represents the estimated amount of contributions you will be making to the Center in the next calendar year. In some cases it is a guess; in others it is carefully calculated. No actual giving accompanies the card; it is, instead, an indication of what the Center can expect from you in the future.
Regular-Structured-Conscious Giving is the act of contributing financially in a consistent (regular) rhythm. In other words, something like weekly, monthly, or quarterly. This kind of gift is given in the spirit of freedom from attachment, and with the intention of developing a lifelong habit of regular contribution as part of a spiritual practice. For maximum effectiveness, the giving is organized (structured) rather than random or haphazard. The giver has put thought into the amount (either a percentage or a fixed amount) and is making the contribution with a sense of holiness and intention. The giver is aware (conscious) of his/her relationship to the Center and the role that this giving plays, and takes time to identify the gift to facilitate the record keeping and planning functions of the Center. The advantage of this approach is that you start exactly where you are, giving an amount or percentage that is suitable to you, allowing yourself the flexibility to adjust your contribution upwards as the practice steadily increases your confidence in your place in the flow of all good.
Tithing is a classical practice of contributing ten percent of personal revenue. The teachings and spiritual theories about tithing are as varied as can be, but the principle of giving remains much the same as described in Regular-Structured-Conscious Giving above. Tithing uses 10% as the framework for its structured giving. Why 10%? We don’t know exactly why, but “tithe” means tenth and somewhere, somehow, someone discovered the beneficial practice of giving away at the rate of 10%, in a non-superstitious, free-spirited way. Some say tithing is a symbol of giving back to God. (A symbol because God as Creator and Creation doesn’t need anything back.) Instead the giver gives as a confirmation of his/her place in the flow of all good.