Even though the Wilmette Institute is headquartered at the United States Bahá’í National Center, it operates without direct support from the National Bahá’í Fund. Consequently, it is dependent on tuition payments, generous donations, and volunteer assistance from its students and friends.
I. FUND RAISING
Once a year, the Wilmette Institute Board sends a letter to an interested group of friends informing them of the Institute’s progress, outlining its upcoming plans, and stating its financial and other needs. The letter is also placed at the Institute’s website and made available to the public. The generous contributions received are placed in the following four funds based on the donors’ specified intensions:
- Scholarship Fund. This fund provides partial or full scholarships to students with expressed financial needs.
- Orlando Nuñez Memorial Fund. Orlando Nuñez was a student of the Spiritual Foundations for a Global Civilization program during its first residential session in 1996. He died in an automobile accident in November 1996. To commemorate his devotion to teaching the Faith, the Executive Board established a fund in his name, which gives scholarship to students with expressed financial needs.
- Development Fund. This fund is used for creating new courses, expanding the Institute’s facilities, and meeting other administrative and programmatic needs.
- General Fund. The use of this money is unrestricted.
Donations that arrive un-earmarked are placed in the General Fund. Eventually, a Wilmette Institute endowment will be established to provide long-term support of the institute and its services. Further, the Wilmette Institute is aware that some local Spiritual Assemblies have established scholarship funds to assist students wishing to take the Institute’s courses.
Since the Wilmette Institute is an agency of the National Spiritual Assembly, which is a non-profit organization, contributions to the Institute could be tax deductible. Checks should be made out to “Baha’i Services Fund: Wilmette Institute” and mailed to the Wilmette Institute at 1233 Central St., Evanston, IL 60201. Contributions can also be made to the National Bahá’í Fund and earmarked for the Institute. If you would like to be on our annual mailing list to receive our progress and fund raising report, please write us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Since the Institute operates on a shoestring budget, volunteers can and have made major contributions to its progress. We are in constant need of assistance in all sorts of tasks, big and small. Here is a list of some of our current needs:
- Optical scanning of documents for posting to our website and conversion of them to pdfs
- Publicity (see III below)
- Locating images of various sorts in the public domain to enhance our website and other links and publications
- Assisting in developing course material, resources, and assessment tools
Volunteers often take our courses at a reduced fee or for free. If you think you can help, please write us at email@example.com.
III. INVITING OTHERS TO PARTICIPATE IN THE WILMETTE INSTITUTE EXPERIENCE
A very important way to support the Institute is to inform others about its programs and courses. Here are some ideas:
- Share information about the Institute at Feast
- Share information about the Institute at Unit Convention
- Share information about the Institute at your cluster’s reflection meeting
- Share information about the Institute at an institute class or after a devotional meeting
- Organize a local study group to take a Wilmette Institute course together
- Inform people who might be interested in taking Wilmette Institute courses, especially communities of interest, new believers, youth, and young adults.
- Request to be on the “eNewsletter” email list, which will provide you with updates about new courses.
- Ask your local newsletter editor to publish notices about Wilmette Institute courses.
- Meet with your local Spiritual Assembly, area teaching committee, or local institute coordinators to inform them of the Wilmette Institute and consult about ways its courses can assist the development of the Faith locally.
- Volunteer to run a Wilmette Institute information display at a large Bahá’í conference or summer school
The Institute is considering the establishment of a “Friends of Wilmette Institute.” If you can help in any of the ways above, please write us at firstname.lastname@example.org.