Fund Education and Development

Online Town Halls

Please extend an invitation to your community to join us for a free brown bag webinar. Dr. Chris Gilbert, Director of Fund Development in the Office of the Treasurer and a representative of the finance office at the Baha'i National Center, will explore the spiritual nature of giving, what your contributions to the Funds of the Faith make possible, and how we can deepen our understanding of the true nature of sacrifice, generosity and living a coherent life. A short presentation will be offered, followed by even more time allotted for questions and answers from you. This event is open to the whole community. Please register for one of the sessions below.

Register for October 23, 12pm Central

Register for November 4, 11am Central

Register for November 11, 2pm Central


Message from the Office of the Treasurer

Please see the letter below for a message from the Office of the Treasurer: 

Dear Friends,

As we enter the final quarter of the current fiscal year, the National Bahá'í Fund is experiencing a considerable shortfall.  Regional and local fundraisers have always played a crucial role in the winning of the National Fund goal in years past. The Office of the Treasurer would be grateful to know how many communities are planning fundraisers for the National Bahá'í Fund in the coming months before Ridván 2019.  We would also like to offer any resources, such as print materials or videos, that would be of any assistance to your efforts. Please reply to this email directly and let us know if there are plans in your community to host a fundraiser for the National goal. 

The Office of the Treasurer has also created a new 3-hour workshop, The Elements of Spiritual Fundraising, which we would be overjoyed to present in those communities beginning their fundraising event planning for this year. This seminar is designed to assist the friends with both the spiritual and legal aspects of planning, organizing and implementing fundraising initiatives and events focused on contributing to the National Fund. As with all of the Fund Development and Planned Giving Workshops, the event is paid for by the Office of the Treasurer and requires sponsorship by a Local Spiritual Assembly.  The host community would also be responsible for invitations to the event, scheduling an appropriate space and the lunch or snacks where required by the timing of the event. 

If you are interested in scheduling a workshop, please contact the facilitator and Director of Fund Development, Chris Gilbert at 847-556-3459 or online at cgilbert@usbnc.org.

Whether you are scheduling the workshop or not, we look forward to hearing from you and thank you for your devoted efforts to ensure a steady flow of resources to the lifeblood of the Cause. 

Warmly,

Office of the Treasurer


Looking toward the next quarter goal

We have completed the first quarter of this fiscal year and of our goal of $9.5 million, we contributed to the National Fund as a national community $5.7 million, as of July 31, 2018. As of August 15, 2018 we are at $6.5 million. We are confident we can make great strides in the 2nd quarter of the year, looking toward a goal of $19 million to be reached by October 31, 2018. Our prayers and love for your success surround you!


National Treasurers' Forum- Includes Registration Link!

 

The Treasurer of the National Spiritual Assembly invites all Treasurers and their assistants from Local Spiritual Assemblies, Regional Bahá'í Councils, and Regional Training Institutes to the National Treasurers' Forum.  In addition to the Treasurers and their assistants, we encourage all members of the aforementioned Institutions to register and attend. It's time to gather nationally as stewards of the Funds, the lifeblood of the Cause, to talk about how to hasten the advent of Bahá’u’lláh's civilization and the crucial role the Funds play in building it. Let's learn from each other, reflect with each other, and pray together. We'll see you September 20-22, 2018 (plan to arrive Sept 19 for check-in beginning at 4:00pm) in Evanston, IL, in the shadow of the Mother Temple of the West. We are happy to provide the registration link here: 

http://bit.do/TreasForum2018

**Registrations are going fast and we encourage treasurers to sign up right away!**


National Treasurers' Forum - registration link provided!

 

 

The Treasurer of the National Spiritual Assembly invites all Treasurers and their assistants from Local Spiritual Assemblies, Regional Bahá'í Councils, and Regional Training Institutes to the National Treasurers' Forum.  In addition to the Treasurers and their assistants, we encourage all members of the aforementioned Institutions to register and attend. It's time to gather nationally as stewards of the Funds, the lifeblood of the Cause, to talk about how to hasten the advent of Bahá’u’lláh's civilization and the crucial role the Funds play in building it. Let's learn from each other, reflect with each other, and pray together. We'll see you September 20-22, 2018 (plan to arrive Sept 19 for check-in beginning at 4:00pm) in Evanston, IL, in the shadow of the Mother Temple of the West. We are happy to provide the registration link here: 

http://bit.do/TreasForum2018

**Registrations are going fast and we encourage treasurers to sign up right away!**


A Renewed Understanding of Sacrifice

As the new year brings freshness, new blooms, and cleansing rain, let us renew our understanding of sacrifice. We tend to think of sacrifice as pain, loss, destruction, or to deprive ourselves of something. In the context of the Bahá’í Fund, our sacrifices will cause blessings to bloom like spring flowers. The Universal House of Justice says, “Now is the time for the dearly-loved members of this community, renowned as the champion builders of Bahá’u’lláh’s rising World Order, to consecrate an increasing measure of the material resources with which they have been so richly blessed to the pressing needs of the Cause of God. In doing so, their sacrifices will attract an even greater measure of divine blessings, and will bring them abiding satisfaction.” Another way in which we perceive sacrifice is by quantity. But, the writings clarify this. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá said that “God does not ask from any soul except according to his ability…” We are reminded that no matter the amount, our sacrifice is valid. Let us look upon the new year with a fresh understanding of sacrifice, letting our spiritual growth bloom wild as a lush spring meadow. 


Sacrifice and The Fast

As we enter this glorious and sacred season of The Fast, we are reflecting upon the following quotation and how we can surrender our will to God, including with our sacrifices for the Funds of the Faith:

"O Shaykh, O thou who hast surrendered thy will to God! By self-surrender and perpetual union with God is meant that men should merge their will wholly in the Will of God, and regard their desires as utter nothingness beside His Purpose. Whatsoever the Creator commandeth His creatures to observe, the same must they diligently, and with the utmost joy and eagerness, arise and fulfil. They should in no wise allow their fancy to obscure their judgment, neither should they regard their own imaginings as the voice of the Eternal. In the Prayer of Fasting We have revealed: "Should Thy Will decree that out of Thy mouth these words proceed and be addressed unto them, 'Observe, for My Beauty's sake, the fast, O people, and set no limit to its duration,' I swear by the majesty of Thy glory, that every one of them will faithfully observe it, will abstain from whatsoever will violate Thy law, and will continue to do so until they yield up their souls unto Thee." In this consisteth the complete surrender of one's will to the Will of God. Meditate on this, that thou mayest drink in the waters of everlasting life which flow through the words of the Lord of all mankind, and mayest testify that the one true God hath ever been immeasurably exalted above His creatures. He, verily, is the Incomparable, the Ever-Abiding, the Omniscient, the All-Wise. The station of absolute self-surrender transcendeth, and will ever remain exalted above, every other station."

(Baha'u'llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, p. 336)


Universal Participation and Different Types of Funds

 

National FundThe National Spiritual Assembly is exceedingly grateful for the efforts of the local Assemblies and Treasurers to educate the friends about direct giving to the Bahá’í Funds, including International, Continental, National, Regional, and Local Funds. Below is an example:

“Our community-wide Feast went very well! We had a good turnout of over 80 people. We were prepared with 2x4 neon stickers preprinted with the various responsibilities of each fund and five posters on the walls around the room, one for each fund. The Treasurer introduced the Funds by going through a Powerpoint with some quotes on sacrificial giving, individual giving, and the importance of giving to the five permanent funds. 

He then introduced the activity. It was demonstrated with two examples, and the stickers were distributed by strips of 5 to groups of people around the room. It looked like almost all participated, and at the end, many took up the invitation to walk around and see what was posted under each category. There were reasonable suggestions from individuals that maybe some of the items could go under more than one fund. There was no attempt on the part of the Assembly to 'correct' any placements. Overall, it seemed to be a great activity for this group! Then came the wonderful question:  Would it be possible to get information in depth about each fund?”

National FundNational Fund

 


The National Fund supporting Race Unity

In February 2017, our National Spiritual Assembly sent us a message, which, among other issues, addresses racial prejudice. They said the following:

"The tensions, divisions, and injustices that currently beset America are symptoms of a longstanding illness. The nation is afflicted with a deep spiritual disorder, manifest in rampant materialism, widespread moral decay, and a deeply ingrained racial prejudice. As a result, millions of our fellow Americans, subject to systemic injustices in many facets of life, are prevented from making their full contributions to society and of partaking fully in its benefits. No one is immune to this disorder―we are all members of this society and to some degree suffer the effects of its maladies. That we live in a critical time can be seen in the way essential questions of identity, social vision, and global relations are being raised to a degree not seen in decades. Increasing numbers of our fellow-citizens are actively in search of solutions both moral and practical to answer them.

The resolution to these challenges lies in recognizing and embracing the truth at the heart of Baha’u’llah’s Revelation―the incontrovertible truth that humanity is one. Ignorance of this truth―which embodies the very spirit of the Age―is itself a form of oppression, for without it, it is impossible to build a truly just and peaceful world."

Further in this letter, the National Assembly talks of initiatives to address race underway:

"...through our Office of Public Affairs, we are advancing this institution’s involvement in the national discourse on race―drawing on insights from the various experiences of the friends and from our own previous efforts to offer a Baha'i perspective. A process is already underway leading to a national race unity conference under the sponsorship of this Assembly, details of which will be announced in due course."

We thought it timely to remind the believers that their contributions to the National Fund support important initiatives to help bring racial justice and unity to the citizens of this country. Please share this with the friends in your community and have a consultation on how our sacrifices for the Funds help to bring Baha'u'llah's vision into reality.