Ruminations from WWOOF Korea Secretariat: Opening the Sponsorship page…

2024-05-10 10:43

On the first day of May 2024, we released a donation page on our website…
A year after WWOOF Korea was certified as a designated donation organization. Or rather, 13 years after its designation as a non-profit corporation.

The official income of our organization comes solely from the membership fees paid by the WWOOFers and the annual fees by the hosts. Since it hardly makes up the salary for one alone, I covered the operation cost at my own expense now and then. Even so, I hesitated to receive donations for a long time. As I wrote on my blog long ago, asking for donations felt like soliciting personal help.

Because I acquired WWOOF Korea as a joint-stock company 25 years ago, I felt obliged to handle things alone. Even after its conversion into a non-profit corporation, I couldn't shake off that belief for a long time. Over the years, however, I gradually changed my mind. WWOOF Korea was no longer private - it had already become a proper association with a general assembly and board of directors, serving social and public welfare values. My task was to view it as a separate, independent entity and support its growth.

I felt confident in requesting donations at last. Last year, WWOOF Korea applied for a designated donation organization status and got approved as a public interest corporation. Moreover, aspiring to operate a more fruitful and transparent donation system, I attended a fundraising workshop. As the course progressed, I had more and more on my mind; other organizations focused on helping people with disabilities or low-income groups. I began to worry that our organization wasn't urgent or desperate enough.

But then, I realized that my mindset was underestimating the essential function and potential of WWOOF Korea. We help urbanites, exhausted in body and spirit, rethink the value of life by interacting with nature, rural areas, and farmers. We connect invaluable friendships, trust, and the virtue of sharing through a global network. Above all, we support numerous hosts leading their lives as nature-loving, climate-conscious, ecological farmers and heirloom protectors.

Just when it became difficult for me to attract more funds, the First Step Foundation, which had supported major projects of our organization for a long time, donated a large sum to WWOOF Korea following its disbandment last year. The board of directors decided to pay off my debt with a considerable portion of the fund. With half of my life devoted to WWOOF Korea, I donated about half of the received amount to become the first patron.

WWOOF Korea offers two modes of contribution: periodic and one-time donations. The funds will be used as operating expenses to bolster WWOOF activities and public campaigns related to rural culture in Korea. Since WWOOF Korea is a public interest corporation, we can issue contribution receipts - corporate sponsors will receive tax benefits. Moreover, we are preparing to offer extra benefits such as discounts for purchasing host farmers' agricultural products or participating in educational farm experiences for donors.

WWOOF Korea will arduously continue to serve as a bridge between urban and rural areas, humans and nature, Korea, and the world - I hope for much support and love.


                                                                                                                                                                    Written by Hyeran Kim, WWOOF Korea Representative

Total 0