Our Way With Money
To speak of money is an exercise in humility. We need money to survive, to eat, to feel secure and cared for, and yet, money carries the weight of many shadows – greed, consumerism, and commodification. Living in a culture where wealth often equates with power, where those with less are viewed as less than, and where shrewdness is valued over relationship, this comes as no surprise. Our society is obsessed with money, and so we, at the School of Lost Borders, walk as consciously as possible whenever we enter into this realm.
It is our responsibility and concern to handle money in a way that supports life rather than destroys and that can serve as a gift that circles around and back, again and again...
Since the inception of the School, over forty years ago, it has been our commitment to keep our programs accessible to anyone who feels a strong intention to participate. We recognize that inequities, due to systemic oppression, create disparities in access to our programs. Thus, our bottom line is to never turn away anyone from our programs.
We at Lost Borders are doing what we can to face inequity. This is an ongoing, evolving process. We have a sliding scale, scholarships, and payment plans to help make our programs as accessible as possible. And we ask that those of financial means or access to wealth pay more, inviting an inquiry into the realities of systemic wealth inequality as they consider what feels right to offer. We also encourage participants to seek support through crowdfunding and community engagement, not only because it can help generate the resources needed, but because it weaves a fabric of personal investment in one's experience and community. This also promotes a sense of reciprocity between the School, participants, and the communities that our participants serve.
Yet in order to remain a viable organization, we need money to support our guides and administration, as well as pay the multitude of expenses that go into running a wilderness-based non-profit. To us, the very practical things we need in order to support our work, such as insurance, permits, and propane, are considered sacred, as we cannot hold the ceremony without them.
We are not a charity organization. Nor are we a foundation. We are a small non-profit organization with a very modest budget. But, really, we are not that either. Rather, we are a group of ordinary people who just happen to have an insatiable passion – a calling, perhaps – for taking people out on the land as a means for bringing about community and personal transformation. We have witnessed again and again the life-changing power of the wilderness rites of passage ceremony, and for this reason, we are committed to making our programs accessible to all who feel called.