The Exogeny Center, fundraising and the Exogeny Kitchen Cookbook

12 Jan

It’s a sad fact that fundraising is necessary for any organization that intends to do anything beyond the talking phase, but it is nonetheless, a serious fact.  It’s also a fact that fundraisers require raising funds in order to produce the fundraiser itself.  That old saying about money doesn’t grow on trees is true, and when an organization is still in the “start up” phase, it’s an uphill battle.

The Exogeny Network was the brain child of Greg and I several years ago.  In a sense, it’s the outreach and educational facet of the Exogeny Center.  While Exogeny Network has been involved in the shoestring production of podcasts and web based information, the Exogeny Center hasn’t had a chance to get up and running yet.

Yet.

It’s such a small word, but it is such a huge word.  Yet.  It means that it is going to happen, even if it hasn’t happened yet.

Another big question often follows as people begin to realize that they don’t know the answer.

What IS the Exogeny Center?

The Exogeny Center is a place where a multi-faceted approach is taken to preserve traditional skills, crafts, crops, livestock, and foodways of the past.  It’s not just nostalgia either.  Lost arts are occurring each and every day, while our country is struggling through a recession unlike any of the past, with more people below the poverty line than ever.  We are also seeing an increasing number of crops, garden produce, domestic livestock, and other genetic treasures drifting into the sea of oblivion where they could be lost forever.  At the Exogeny Center, preservation would be the goal, working in conjunction with universities and colleges, as well as government agencies, to ensure that these remain alive and well in viable numbers to ensure genetic diversity for future generations of farmers, breeders, geneticists, and botanists.

Rural areas are also always struggling to find jobs, and those over 50 are always the ones that struggle the hardest, along with unskilled young adults.  These are also goal demographics for future employees at the Exogeny Center, as those over 50 are the most likely to have the traditional skills that are being lost, while the youth are the future of our country, and need trained in skills that will carry them forward through life.  With an apprenticeship program as well as a program to hire skilled artisans and craftsmen/women, the future would look much brighter to both demographic group, as they work together in a supportive environment and earn a reasonable wage.

With all of this going on, it’s a natural that the Exogeny Center would present a very unique educational opportunity, where students of all ages could come on field trips, and others could come and work an internship, learning while working in a real-world environment and applying the skills they had previously learned in a classroom.  Some of these students may well go on in life, working at the Exogeny Center themselves, a third world country, or a modern agri-business setting.

While the Exogeny Center would be a fully functional working farm with a fully functional shop producing a wide variety of products, it’s only natural to continue building on that model to ensure that the Center was to remain self sustaining and not dependent on continual fundraising activities for its day to day operational expenses.  Marketing the products of the farm and shop would definitely go a long ways towards accomplishing this, but because of the educational nature of the environment, it can serve a double purpose.

Once upon a time, most “city people” had “country cousins.”  There they would go for visits over the holidays, in the summer, or at various other times of the year.  They could re-connect with nature, find some inner peace, learn about how the farm worked, do a bit of fishing, and just plain enjoy themselves at a slower pace than what was found in the city.  Activities such as bon fires, hay rides, sleigh rides, seeing a cow being milked, gathering eggs, feeding calves, or petting the baby lambs were all part of that “country experience”, along with eating “country food” and sampling fruits and vegetables fresh from the gardens.

The Exogeny Center would offer a modern replica of that experience, while offering guests the opportunity to stay either in a “micro-house” designed for low impact sustainable housing or in a modern RV park/campground.  A country store would offer both the “fruits” of the Exogeny Center as well as products that were in keeping with the general philosophy and goals of the Center too.  Regular tours would make access to the country life both accessible and safe for visitors.

Obviously, such a grand concept would have to be accomplished in phases.  It can’t happen overnight, even if we had millions of dollars at our disposal.  (We don’t.)  These small baby steps will allow each facet to be put into place, always with the goal of being self sustaining, to minimize our dependency on grants and donations.  Even so, it has become quite obvious to us that it is not going to happen without some initial fundraising.

Our first “big fundraiser” is to be the Exogeny Kitchen Cookbook.  This cookbook is to feature recipes from the people who have been backing the Exogeny Center from the beginning, both guests and fans from our radio programs, and people who are interested in the entire project.  That means we need YOU to send us a recipe…or two..or three.  All of your favorite recipes!

To submit your recipe, copy and paste it (or just type it) into an email with the subject “Recipes”.  Include your name and city/state.  We will NOT use your city and state, but we would like to know where you come from.  Please send a separate email with each recipe you are submitting.  Also include any special tidbit of information about the recipe, such as whether it was handed down in your family, obtained from someone special, etc.  We also will not spam you with anything, nor are we going to sell or otherwise divulge your email address to anyone.  Send your email to giascott@exogenynetwork.com  (copy and paste the email address into the address line.)

Now even if you don’t cook, you can help too.  Before we send our completed recipe book off to the printer to be printed and bound, we have to pay them for their work.  That’s how we’re going to have a “professionally printed and bound” book rather than a cookbook that looks home made.  That means writing them a check for about $1800, before we even have the book printed.  That means raising an average of $360 per month, in addition to the other money we already have to raise each and every month to  pay the monthly expenses for Exogeny Network.  That’s why we need your help, so please consider donating.

At this time, we’re anticipating the sale price of the book to be $12-13 for the first copy, plus shipping and handling.  For each additional copy to the same address, it would be $10 each.  We are anticipating (if everything goes on schedule) for the books to be printed and ready to ship on October 1st, making them an ideal Christmas gift.  When we are ready to take pre-orders for the books, we will make an announcement, which will allow people to reserve their copy or copies, ensuring that they get one of these books.  In a sense, it’s a limited edition–we’re only printing so many copies!

This is a serious fundraiser, and at the same time, we want everyone to have a cookbook that they enjoy to keep, use, and give to others.  We want recipes from everyone, of all kinds, and from as many cultures and ethnic groups as possible too.  Besides…what better way to share your favorite comfort foods, potluck casserole, Sunday dinner, birthday cake, or holiday cookie recipes?  It’s also in the name of a good cause.

The money from this fundraiser is earmarked to file the necessary paperwork to get official 501(c)3 status for the Exogeny Center as a stand alone entity.  Anything left after that is accomplished will be used towards operational expenses and the next fundraiser…whatever that will be, when we’re ready for that first big step–acquiring the first piece of land for the very first gardens and shop for the Exogeny Center.

Where will that be?  We don’t know yet–we’re a long ways from searching for real estate at this point!

So, head on over to Exogeny Network’s website.  There, you’ll find a “Chip In” widget that makes it very easy to access PayPal and make a donation, with no worries about your credit card.  Help make a difference for a lot of people.  Help protect genetic diversity for future generations.  Help ensure that the handcrafting skills of yesterday survive into tomorrow.

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