From time to time we get a question at Marnita’s Table about how the money that is donated to the Table is spent. We are a service organization, so a great portion of the money we raise goes to the salary of the employees of Marnita’s Table to carry out the work of the Table. Over 75% of all dollars receive directly support programming. Less than 12% of budget is expended for administration or fundraising.
Because of the uniqueness of our model of Intentional Social Interaction, we maximize every dollar that we receive. For instance, because our annual event is undertaken in the model bringing people together across self-identity to find common ground, the event expenses could be considered programming expenses.
But what do we mean by programming? Clearly that would include the Tables we undertake both at the Mother Table and those we help help others give throughout the region. But what you may not know is that the Table regularly teaches and trains others how to ISI on their own. Between speaking, writing and mentoring, the Table also has a deep knowledge bank relative to bridging cultural divides and is rapidly turning it’s knowledge bank into a resource for the community. Monthly the Table advises 10-20 non-profit organizations as well as welcomes about 100 new people to the Table a month with 1/3 of them being under the age of 21.
A large component of the Table’s work is our Youth Advisory Board who come together every other Sunday to discuss issues of importance to youth.
Ultimately the Table is more than a place to connect and bridge cultural divides, it is also a think tank where we are constantly adding new peer-reviewed methods to our toolkit to bring people together to solve some of our most difficult and intractable problems.
Our budget of approximately $310,000 hasn’t increased in the past 3 years although every year we serve double the number of people that we’ve served in the previous year.