Daily Archives: December 28, 2011

Running a Restorative Justice Nonprofit – fuel of worry or full of faith?

A New Year – a time where we update our referral forms, prepare new schedules, touch up evaluation forms, start a new budget.  For the last two years St. Croix Valley Restorative Justice has been down sizing in space and staff while sessions have been added.  What we earn in fees barely covers the expense of operation.  Funding from grants has declined.  We are living the way many are “do more with less”.

From a fortune cookie:

Energy is equal to desire and purpose.

I have a lot of energy and passion for Restorative Justice, my desire for a successful mission and purposeful outcomes is at 110% most days.  My energy doesn’t cover payroll, rent or operating costs.  Just as SCVRJP has limited financial resources.  I have limited energy.  How I engage the energy of others is crucial right now.  From board members, session volunteers, friends and supportors of SCVRJP, this new year, will require us to lean on faith and abandon worry.

Worry doesn’t get much done.  Faith, will help us remember to be thankful for what we have.  Faith will help us make wise choices about our energy and resources.  Faith will draw others in, and worry may very well scare them off.

Restorative Justice asks a lot of people.  Acknowledging the wrong, or sharing how you were impacted takes courage.  The journey to healing, to repairing to growing is not always easy.  Restorative Justice takes faith in humanity.  Restorative Justice takes faith in the good of others.  You still do the work, you still prepare, you challenge your wounds with values.  You nuture life (yours and others) with acknowledging that we all make mistakes we can all be better.  No one can stop you from wanting more from your life.  No one can stop you from making changes that make things better for you and for those around you.

Oh ugh, I am going to have to practice what I blog!  I learned that a good blog includes an ah-ha moment.  Well this is mine, and hopefully yours.  Running a Restorative Justice non-profit takes faith.  The same type of faith needed for Restorative Justice!

  • Faith in others – I trust good people will support the program, with time, talents or cash!
  • Faith in the future – I trust SCVRJP will be around another 11 years and many more!
  • Faith in yourself – I trust I can manage my resources wisely (including reducing my worry)

I plan to do some research on successful Restorative Justice programs – independent nonprofits, programs within institutions and to examine, what common themes are involved in successful programs.  In partnership with my coursework – (PhD in nonprofit administration) I hope to provide a model or structure that brings success to nonprofits providing Restorative Justice.

What do you think?  What agency comes to mind, when I ask you about a successful Restorative Justice Program?


Filed under non-profit management, Restorative Justice, SCVRJP