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What happens to the money if we miss the $20,000 goal?

This question is a good one that we’ve heard a couple of times lately from some folks who are considering contributing to the Imagining Space campaign. There’s a brief answer in the FAQ section of the web site, but I thought it would be good to go into a little more detail.
The current phase of fundraising, with only about a week and a half to go (yikes!), is an attempt to raise $20,000 as a down payment on the historic Huss School, per the terms of our accepted offer with the current owner. Falling far short of that goal would mean we’d have to back off of our offer on that particular property. It would also communicate some important things to us about our fundraising capabilities and donor base that we couldn’t know without putting this vision out there to see what kind of support we can gather behind such a project.
Letting go of Huss School because we can’t meet the $20,000 goal does not mean letting go of the overarching vision for Imagining Space–that is, for a place in Three Rivers that can serve as a hub of service, study and community development. Failing to meet the goal for Huss would guide us to consider a more modest space or another arrangement that would allow us to honor the project vision without such an investment of capital. The money we’ve raised in the first phase of the Imagining Space campaign would be directed toward work in keeping with the campaign vision, just not at Huss School.
Admittedly, a more modest space sounds less scary to us sometimes than does a 22,000 square foot space. However, over the past weeks as we’ve looked into funding possibilities and talked with potential community partners, we’ve realized that even though Huss School would take a larger amount of capital to renovate, the programs such a big space would be able to contain will make it more broadly appealing for certain grant opportunities. What we’re coming to see, counter-intuitively, is that a larger space might be easier to fund.
Is that helpful? Hopefully so, but please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have additional questions (the contact form sends an e-mail directly to me and Rob).

Kirstin Vander Giessen-Reitsma

Kirstin is a member of the *culture is not optional core community and is the Head Caretaker at GilChrist Retreat Center.