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December 2015 Fund-Raising Letter–Help Us Move Toward Accreditation!


WISR Needs Your Help!
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WISR Needs Your Help!

Dec. 1, 2015

Dear friends,

The Western Institute for Social Research (WISR) needs your help.  As you undoubtedly know, WISR has demonstrated a continuing commitment to the movement for innovative, multicultural education by preparing students to address community, national and global concerns.

For a good portion of our forty-year history, you have been standing with us as educational innovators with a social vision.  Today, the Western Institute for Social Research, which our friends affectionately call “WISeR” is at a crossroads, and we need your help.  We are 18 months into the midst of an anticipated four to five year journey toward national accreditation. In our efforts to achieve this goal, we are devoting large portions of our limited financial resources, and putting forth enormous energy, including the valuable time and expertise of our outstanding faculty, many of whom are volunteering their services.

For our first forty years, we practiced the highest level of quality learner-centered education in our action-oriented academic degree programs, and have maintained our long-standing licensure to grant degrees by the State of California. Now, to better support our students and to follow statewide and national policy changes that call for national accreditation, we are enhancing our educational programs and striving to build our regional, national, and global student body as we seek national accreditation. Although this is an expensive process, we know that we can do it, especially with your help, and hopefully with the help of people in your communities.

We ask for your support at this critical juncture, to further develop WISR, and, by extension, our communities. Please continue to stand with us as we continue to offer our students a very affordable education ($7,500/year—comparable to publicly-supported State universities), and as we persevere in working for needed changes in  our community and the world around us. Join us this season as we strengthen our programs and engage more students in WISR’s mission to contribute to learning for community improvements and social changes in California, in the U.S. and throughout the world. We greatly appreciate any contribution you make this month and in the coming year, as we work toward accreditation.

This is the time of giving, and we hope that you and your friends will show that you want WISR’s educational and community leadership to continue for another forty years. As a 501(c)3 educational non-profit, donations are generally tax-deductible. Contributions can be by check, by credit card over the phone (510-655-2830) or through PayPal–merchant ID:  mail@wisr.edu

Whether or not you are not able to make a donation at this time, there are a couple of other things that you can do to help us:

  1. If you would widen our circle of supporters by forwarding this letter requesting donations, and sharing your own brief comments about WISR’s unique multicultural and community-action accomplishments with people who are like you and who support multicultural and educational innovation, we would appreciate that, too. If more people learn about WISR, then we can enroll more students, grow our learning community and financial base, share our educational model, collaborate with more communities, and develop more community-action scholars who can make valuable contributions in their professional and community work.
  2. As another option, you could take about 30 minutes or so on three occasions in the next two months to reach out to community agencies or other groups, where there may be possible prospective students. Giving a brief presentation about WISR, and leaving some of our literature, would be an extremely valuable contribution to WISR’s future.  We can supply hard copy handouts, as well as electronic files for flyers, for those who are able to do this.

We also wish to acknowledge the members of our learning community who have contributed $40,000 in the past 18 months—almost half of what we estimate we will eventually need to get to the home stretch toward accreditation.  All donations, both large and modest, have been greatly appreciated and well used. The detailed report on these donations and their uses is attached to this e-mail.  We have also attached an itemization of our accomplishments in achieving some of the needed steps toward accreditation.  Finally, we have attached a good estimate of WISR’s sources of funding over the past 40 years—note that about $3 million of the approximately $9 million spent on WISR’s 40 years of operations—one-third—has come from the committed volunteer efforts of faculty and staff.  Note also, that only one percent has come from private donations, and about half of that has been raised in the past 18 months.  We hope you can help us to extend our base of financial support, by giving if you are able, and also by reaching out to others.

The latest information about WISR can be found on our website at:  www.wisr.edu

We invite you to join us for WISR’s annual conferences and regular community outreach events. We hope you will refer prospective students to us. And, once again, thank you for your ongoing support of the Western Institute for Social Research. Thanks for being part of our community, and thanks for supporting the communities that benefit from multicultural educational innovation.


John Bilorusky, PhD, President (johnb@wisr.edu )

Vera Labat, MPH, Chair, Board of Directors


October 26, 2015 Fund-Raising Report:



Update on WISR’s Steps Toward National Accreditation (November 2015):



WISR’s Sources of Funding Over the Years:



Copyright © *2015* *Western Institute for Social Research*, All rights reserved.Our mailing address is:*2930 Shattuck Ave., Suite 300, Berkeley, CA  94705*

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