We launched the Whidbey Institute 2020 capacity-building initiative in 2017, with the goal of raising $4.5 million in four years. Together, we’re evolving our Heartland facilities to better serve leaders and learners of all ages and backgrounds; to permanently protect 106 acres of public-access forests and wetlands; and to develop a Legacy Forest Youth Campus that honors the passion and potential of youth.
In the first year of this initiative, in partnership with 399 individual donors plus in-kind donors and volunteers, we:
- protected 106 acres through a comprehensive conservation easement with the Whidbey Camano Land Trust
- raised $1.5 million in gifts and pledges
- built new Cabin Village lodging, adding 16 beds to provide a home for 800 more program participants each year
In the coming years, we will:
- care for those we serve: through Cabin Village Commons, a beautiful meeting space for up to 30 people; through an ADA cottage, providing home for up to four program participants per session; and through additional cabins, bringing total Heartland lodging to 50 beds.
- care for those who care for us: through a modest new caretaker home and a safe, dry four-season workspace situated near the entrance to our 106 acres.
- care for our human future: through a Legacy Forest Youth Campus that provides a beautiful, comfortable, and inspiring environment for youth leadership to emerge.
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Coming Soon: Cabin Village Commons
A substantial gift from M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust plus a $200,000 matching gift from a community member brings us close to our fundraising goal!
April 2020: COVID-19 and the “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” Order have impacted the timing but not the importance of our WI2020 Capacity-Building Initiative. Next steps include completion of the Caretaker Cabin, still on track and scheduled for Autumn this year. A small but dedicated crew has continued construction, with strict attention to public health and social distancing recommendations.
Completion of the Cabin will provide a safe, warm home for current and future caretakers and will create space for the future construction of ADA-accessible lodging in our heartland.
In light of our need to direct 2020 fundraising to operational support, the Cabin Village Commons design is being adjusted in order to ensure that we can cover the full cost of construction—including design, construction, furnishings, and technology—with funds and pledges already received. The redesigned building will still meet all of our objectives, providing a warm and welcoming space for programmatic gathering and social connection, a kitchen, and bathrooms. With this prudent approach, we hope to host work in a beautiful, green-built Commons as early as 2021.
August 2019: We are so excited to announce that we’ve received $479,000 from our community (that’s YOU!) and $287,000 from the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust to build the Cabin Village Commons, a fully-accessible gathering place to be sited between Cabin Village and the Westgarden. The Trust’s mission is to enrich the quality of life in the Pacific Northwest by providing grants to organizations that seek to strengthen the region’s educational, social, cultural, and spiritual base in creative and sustainable ways, and we’re honored by their support of this project.
We need $1,020,000 total to build the new gathering space, which will significantly grow our programmatic capacity. A generous community member, challenging us to take this bold next step in the WI2020 Initiative, made an amazing and generous pledge of $200,000 to match every new gift or pledge given after June 7. With all new gifts being matched, this means we’re just $127,000 away from building the Cabin Village Commons!
In 2017, we made a commitment to strengthen the reach and resiliency of our organization through Whidbey Institute 2020. In the initiative’s first two years, we’ve completed the Cabin Village lodging, adding 16 more beds and serving 800 more participants each year. We’ve acquired the 30-acre Legacy Forest and established a comprehensive conservation easement to protect 106 sacred acres in perpetuity—for Earth, for the wild creatures, and for our human community. We’ve also begun planning the Legacy Forest Youth Campus: a full service home to hold the power, purpose, and potential of diverse young leaders.
With the support of you, our donor community, we’ve grown to serve more people and programs than ever before, providing the nurturing conditions that support individuals and communities in tackling the world’s greatest challenges. We are incredibly grateful to everyone who’s given to the Whidbey Institute 2020 Initiative thus far—it has truly been a community effort, and will stand as our collective legacy.
We’re so grateful to the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust, matching fund donor Nancy Nordhoff, and each and every donor who’s said yes to our next big step: the Cabin Village Commons.