A full message listing the schedule of events and recommendations for observing Shambhala Day is being sent to all Shambhala Centres and Groups.
This year’s Shambhala Day film is Making the Impossible Possible. It will feature the the Sakyong’s Shambhala Day command and his “Basic Goodness” campaign, glimpses of the mandala-wide Kalapa Governance Gatherings, a compassion-in-action documentary filmed in Chile, and news of two feature films, one released in 2011 and the other about to appear in 2012 — and the Sakyong’s new book, Running with the Mind of Meditation.
ONE YEAR, ONE DAY
This year we are going to do something we never have done before: raise our entire international budget in one single campaign, climaxing on Shambhala Day.
We also want to make it far more possible for everyone to make a contribution. So we are going to send everyone a personalized individual request, based on the gifts each person has given previously. We are going to make a special effort to include people who may have felt excluded by the way we did things before.
We are doing this with the aspiration that everyone will feel part of a collective community effort to reach our goal.
To understand how fund-raising fits with the Sakyong’s vision for the relevance of Shambhala in these troubled times, please see President Reoch’s latest filmed message speaking about what our gifts mean. (If you were a donor in the second half of last year, you will have seen some of the material this short film already…)
January 2012 Vision your gift 720
OUR INTERNATIONAL BUDGET
Our international budget amounts to approximately 10% of the total funds raised and donated throughout the entire world-wide mandala of Shambhala. Last year that total was $19.1 million.
The provisional international budget for 2012 is $2 million. That supports the work of the Sakyong and Sakyong Wangmo, the small team that works and travels with them, our Executive Director, the Offices of Practice and Education, Communications, Finance (all the technology that makes it possible for you to be reading this blog, the Shambhala Times and use the Shambhala Network), as well as our new Director of Centre and Group Support and a new Executive Officer for the Dorje Kasung.
These are the people who work tirelessly to serve our more than 200 centres and groups around the world, and we also look to them to help us meet the growing challenges of our dynamic community and reach out to the world as fully as we want to!
We’ll be sending you an outline of our provisional 2012 budget in the coming weeks.
Previously, we have raised the funds for these international services on three separate occasions. Last year we fund-raised on Shambhala Day, during the Shambhala Lineage Festival and in a year-end appeal. These repeated appeals, combined with all the other appeals from other parts of the mandala, create a great deal of irritation, confusion and internal competition. This year, we are taking steps to change all that. We will make an announcement about that on Shambhala Day!
A COMMUNITY EFFORT
How are we going to reach our target of $2 million?
First of all, just under $1 million will come in during the course of the year from recurring donations, centre contributions, program revenue and so on. That will amount to an estimated $920,000.
So that leaves us with an additional $1,080,000 to raise in our Shambhala Day campaign.
WHAT WILL MAKE IT HAPPEN?
We will reach out to you in early February with a personalized invitation to make a Shambhala Day gift of a specific amount that we believe you may be able to meet based on your previous giving. Your circumstances may have changed so you will need to make your own decision, as always.
If you are able to offer only a very small amount as a heart-offering that too will bring us that much closer to our goal. Some may be inspired to go beyond that amount to boost this unified appeal.
The important thing this Shambhala Day is to really make this a community-wide effort with everyone offering some level of support.
WHY ARE WE TRYING TO DO THIS ALL AT ONCE?
One of the most widespread causes of frustration in our mandala is the relentless internal competition for funds. This is an issue that has frustrated donors and undermined everyone’s fund-raising efforts for years.
In the final weeks of last year, there were multiple requests — all from good causes within our community — arriving almost daily on email and through our letter boxes.
We are determined to make all this far more cohesive so that our energy goes into a large cooperative effort to accomplish Shambhala Vision.
Rolling three separate asks (like we had last year for the international budget) into one single campaign climaxing on Shambhala Day is part of this.
In addition we are about to roll out the pilot project for a “Unified Giving Model”. This would be a more comprehensive method of donating to Shambhala, so that the volume of separate requests and donations starts to go down. The modelling we have done so far suggests this would be what many people want and that it will be far more effective as the competitive scramble we have now. We will announce the launch of the pilot project on Shambhala Day.
WHAT MAKES US THINK THIS KIND OF GIVING IS POSSIBLE?
By the end of 2008, the world had entered the economic crisis that broke with the news of Lehman Bros going bankrupt in New York. The Sakyong sent a message to the Shambhala community in which he asked all of us to “rise to the occasion”.
“This not a time to close down or hold on,” he said, “but to offer from the natural well-spring of generosity. Be generous with those you love, but also with those you are tempted to blame or dislike. Be generous, too, within our mandala, which needs your support more than ever to proclaim the glory of Shambhala.”
Our community did just that.
In 2008, people gave just over $650,000 to support the work of the Sakyong
and Sakyong Wangmo and the core services of the mandala. This came in both
regular recurring donations and one-time gifts.
Three years later, despite the worsening economic conditions globally, the
level of generosity in Shambhala continued to rise. People’s gifts to the
centre of the mandala (both recurring and one-time donations) totalled just
under a million dollars — a phenomenal increase of more than 60% in these
To see a short film that shows how our collective giving has increased, especially in these dark times, please click here to see a lovely message recorded by Lodro Rinzler, our development coordinator. (His book, The Buddha Walks Into a Bar…, was just published this last week and is already doing well!)
IF I WANT GO GIVE NOW TO GET THE BALL ROLLING, WHAT DO I DO?
Please click here
If you feel inspired, please share your inspiration with others. Maybe there are people at your local centre who have never thought about contributing in this way. Maybe there is a way you could invite them to join you in giving. There are at least another 5,000 people in Shambhala who have yet to contribute directly to the international budget. Just think what we could do if they joined in this campaign!