The Commons | July/August 2019 Newsletter

This issue includes content from Jeremy Lent, Sarah Goettsch, and more! Click here to view the issue and read on.


“In the traditional sense of the commons, the basic practice of life together is the practice of dialogue . . . talking through the things that are most essential.” —Sharon Daloz Parks

New Gathering Space is Almost Within Reach

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!

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. Thank you.

To learn more or pledge your support, email Holly.

August 14, 2019

Construction Updates