Thank you all for your generous response to our recent fundraising appeal. We have enough now to get through the rest of this month and the first part of June. We'll keep you posted. Love, John and Carla.
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Because of our limited financial resources, we don't travel much outside of Southern California anymore, but we always want to meet with people face to face whenever we can. When we do travel outside of Ojai, we need local people who are willing to foot the bills, and organize and publicize the events.
We charge no fees and require no donations or anything of that sort to meet with people. All our events are completely free of charge to attend. Any spontaneous donations we do receive at events we accept as support for our work.
For meetings within a 100 mile radius of Ojai, all that's needed is to provide a place to meet and publicize the event. We will pay for the gas and incidentals. This range includes Santa Paula, Santa Barbara, Ventura, Oxnard, and a number of other cities.
The way we organize our trips is that the local hosting person/group covers travel expenses, meals and accommodations for John and Carla, the rent of a meeting room, and also takes care of publicizing the event through placement of posters in strategic places, local newspapers, local email list, etc.
In determining the expenses for food and lodging, we use the federal per diem rates for lodging and M&IE (stands for 'meals and incidentals'). To this we add the federal mileage rate for business travel by car.
For a trip that takes no more than one day on the road, we use the rates that apply to your area. For instance: when we travel from Ojai, California, to Carefree, Arizona, that is a 6-8 hour trip, and therefore we use the rates that apply to Carefree, Arizona. For longer trips, we use the rates that apply to the states we have to travel through.
We always drive our van, and we carry all the equipment we need. We do not fly anywhere. For trips longer than two days, we might decide to take the train, if it is available.
You can find all the information there to calculate just what would be needed in travel expenses, and of course, we will be happy to do all this calculation for you, but to give you an idea of the costs involved, here are the average per diem rates as of January 2012:
Here is an example of the expenses the local host would have to cover for a trip to San Francisco for one public meeting, using the actual rates for California as of January 2012:
It is best for us to get the expenses paid before the trip, since we have very little cash on hand at any time.
All expenses incurred by you in order to organize this event are considered charitable gifts and are tax-deductible according to IRS regulations.
Our events are always free of charge. Although donations are not required, we welcome spontaneous contributions.
Donations are received and managed by us. All donations received during the events go to the RiverGanga Foundation to support our work and are tax-deductible for the donors.
We announce the event in our email newsletter, on our website and several other websites, such as Craig's List, My Space, Eventful, etc.
We contact people on our mailing list who live in your area, and ask them if they are willing to work with you in organizing and publicizing these meetings.
We send you PDF files with a poster, a flyer, as well as all the content for publicity, such as copy for a newspaper listing, an image-ready file for a newspaper ad, etc.
We drive our van and we bring all the equipment we need, including sound system, a set of director's chairs, etc.
We do as much work as we possibly can online in order to use the money we are given as effectively and economically as possible.
Online meetings are not only financially affordable, they are actually quite wonderful. They allow us to meet with people all over the world at the same time. They require very little effort, and they are absolutely free of charge to anyone with an internet connection.
It would certainly be possible to arrange an online meeting with any group of people who would be interested in meeting with John this way.
Thank you so much for considering all this. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us by emailing email@example.com.
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All of our meetings and events are always free of charge. All are welcome, with no regard for religious and spiritual beliefs and practices or any other thing.
Our organization is self-supported and we rely on free will donations to continue our work.
You can help provide financial support for our work by making a donation.
RiverGanga Foundation is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit, public charitable organization. Donations are tax-deductible for US residents as charitable contributions.