Sacred Paths Center holds fundraiser on Monday to beef up depleted operating reserves. Seeks to clear up non-profit status amid heated questioning from energy healing community member.
Monday, August 30, 5-9pm at Sacred Paths Center, 777 Raymond Ave, St. Paul, MN 55114
Sacred Paths Center, the only non-profit community center of its kind in the country, is hosting a No Need To Panic fundraiser this Monday. The center hopes to raise $5000 so they can replace operating reserves that were eaten away during the slow time of summer. The SPC says this allows them to keep room rentals affordable and offer free space to important community events. It also goes to things like site maintenance and launching new projects.
Organizers of the fundraiser said last year’s event was so successful, they are doing it again. A silent auction, a live auction, and a drawing for an emerald and matrix Goddess statue valued at $2000 are just some of the ways that event attendees can help support the center. The Bowl Buy is also back. Hungry bidders can purchase a bowl and eat their fill of homemade chili, soups, and pasta.
As news of the fundraiser circulated through the local community, questions also arose. The questions, made on Facebook and on the Twin Cities Pagans Yahoo! group, focused on the center advertising itself as a 501(c)3 and if donations made at last year’s event were tax deductible. At times, the questions and the responses, became heated.
“I cannot find ANY official documentation that Sacred Paths Center IS truly a 501(c)3… yet they advertise that they are… So… my question… if Sacred Paths Center IS a 501(c)3… what name is it under?” – Twin Cities Healers & Energy Workers
To clear up this confusion, PNC Minnesota spoke with Paul Magee, Chairman for the Sacred Paths Center. When asked why the SPC had previously stated on its website that it was a 501(c)3 when it hadn’t yet filed for that legal status Magee said, “It was oversight in ever stating that we were a 501c3. We had thought we would be filing quickly, and then began to realize that the process had changed and was now more complicated then when we first began. We used it at first so people would realize how we were different, then never went back and corrected the website as more time went by without it. We should have changed everything at that point to simply say “non-profit” but we didn’t.”
Since February 2009, the SPC has been recognized as a non-profit in the state of Minnesota and a recognized business with the IRS. This combination, business and non-profit all in one building, is what made filing for a 501(c)3 status more complicated.
Magee said that he appreciated questions about the center and they are committed to openness, “We would in fact prefer that people ask us these sorts of questions directly, instead of conjecturing on their own without accurate information. Transparency has always been our goal. We realize that some people doubt our sincerity on this or feel we have not given straight answers when asked, but we always answer questions honestly, even if the answer is “I don’t know yet, but I’ll find out.”
That policy of transparency includes discussing what has changed from last year, when the center underwent a cash flow crisis and needed to do some emergency fund raising, to how the center manages its money now. “Last year we had not yet gotten on top of how important fund-raising is to a non-profit.And we began slipping backwards on finances, when we should have been fund-raising all along, So, when we finally did get to it, it had become an emergency in order to catch up with several bills.”
Magee said the board has learned many valuable lessons in the past year. “We have a better idea of our overall cash flow now. We can better anticipate our slim months and plan for them. We have gotten more members, just over 100 now. And the number of room rentals are steadily rising. We knew from the start that the only way to make this viable was to have multiple revenue streams. At this point, the storefront is still carrying the vast majority of the financial burden of the Center. The other revenue streams, room rentals, membership and the healing center, are still lagging behind, and make up only about 25% of our income.”
The center spends an estimated $3000 for rent, utilities, taxes, phone and internet while their income is averages $3500 a month. This doesn’t leave much room for errors or extras.
But it is enough to help the SPC service the Pagan community in very special ways. The community center offers area Pagans a place of their own, created and decorated by Pagans as a permanent place where they can gather. Rituals, potlucks, classes, and Pagan-friendly arts and entertainment can all be experienced there. There is even an Ancestor memorial, where the community can publicly memorialize their beloved dead.
The center is also a place where the community can use as a drop off point for those in need. They, along with Magus and Eye of Horus, collect goods and ritual supplies to send to Pagan troops stationed overseas. It was also the place, yesterday and today, where people dropped off donations of clothing and food gift cards for a women and her children who were escaping a violent domestic situation.
“It is certainly part of what we want to be doing. We have had the honor of hosting several “emergency” healing sessions for members of the community. A couple of our members are looking into what needs to happen to create a community foodshelf here. We want to greatly expand the types of community services we offer. It may someday include a free clinic, scholarships, emergency relief funds, and more. The sky is the limit on the possibilities here,” said Magee.
The sky is the limit because, “There are only a handful of other cities in the world that could support an organization like ours. We are very grateful to be working with such a group of devoted people.”