*UPDATE: Thank you! We raised over $3000 in a week, so we're thrilled. Thank you for your support!*
As many of you will know, this spring Angie Thurston and I shared How We Gather - a report on how secular communities are fulfilling the functions of traditionally religious groups. People seemed to like it - it even got covered in the New York Times!
By far the best bit has been getting to know the leaders of the amazing communities we wrote about. This week alone has seen us connected to another 4 new communities.
We're planning something rather audacious, because we see a really clear need from them for support. So - we're bringing them together in November! We've noticed that:
- Leadership is lonely, so we're connecting them to others doing this innovative work.
- Building an organization is tough, so we'll share best practices and stories of learning and success.
- Creating transformative community requires real courage and risk, so we're bringing in some top experts to share their strategies.
Nearly 40 people have signed up to come. Some come from well-resourced communities, but others need our help to come to Boston.
So - I'm emailing you to ask: can you contribute to our scholarship travel fund?
I really believe in the work of these organizations. They are bringing meaning, creativity, accountability, health, social change and so much more into our lives. As for the future? I think they could become a real force to be reckoned with.
But this won't happen by itself. Many start-up communities have to shut down because they fail to build a sustainable financial model, or they aren't able to address an unexpected challenge. We want to help more survive and thrive.
If you're able to contribute to our $2500 travel scholarship, I'd be so very grateful. We want to especially support leaders working with folks on the margins of society, for whom a plane ticket or a long bus ride presents real financial obstacles.
Thank you for supporting me in this work. To many folks it doesn't make much sense, ("You mean CrossFit and a grief potluck community are coming to the same event?!") but I hope it makes sense to you!
I can't wait to share what we learn and how this grows. Thank you for all your support!