Sponsorship and Volunteer Appreciation Dinner
DNKL held it's first Sponsorship and Volunteer Dinner on October 29, 2016. Almost 40 students and friends traveled to DNKL from NY, NJ and CT to join Geshe Dhargey and Khensur Rinpoche for traditional Tibetan Momo's prepared by Ngawang and Passang.
For those of you who weren't able to join us for this Dinner, we want to share a summary of this past year's efforts and successes that was read to everyone who was there. We want you to know how very much we appreciate each of you in our community and hope this letter helps to express our gratitude for all you do.
Last January when we looked at DNKL’s Profit & Loss Report we saw that even with efforts to keep expenses to a realistic minimum, on average, our expenses had been about $2,000.00 per month more than the donations received. This had been the case for the past few years. Thankfully, there are several donors who have been extremely generous in helping us make ends meet— yet it is not our intention to rely so heavily on just a few individuals.
No one likes to have to ask for money, but we recognize that if DNKL is going to continue to function as a place where we all can learn, and receive the tremendous benefit our teachers provide, then the costs associated with operating the center and nurturing its growth are an unavoidable reality.
In the past, when big things have come up like the need for a new roof, water system, next phase of the temple expansion, or the wish to raise funds for Nepal after its devastating earthquake, we have reached out to our extended community to ask for help. The response to these appeals has always been heartfelt and generous.
Reviewing DNKL’s financial picture in January, it was clear that we need a strong level of regular monthly donations in order to bridge the gap between expenses and revenue. Along with the discomfort of needing to ask for help, we considered “What tangible gift of gratitude might we be able to offer in return?” This was the thought that gave birth to inviting the DNKL community to participate in a sponsorship program that, at the end of the year, would give to those who participated either a framed and autographed photograph of Rinpoche and Geshe Dhargey, a Tongka, or a Buddha statue. While not everyone is able to commit to $300 or more per month, we know that one of our strengths is the vibrant DNKL community that supports DNKL in many ways including professional services provided free of charge and volunteer help for building and property maintenance and special events, and of course, through class participation as we all benefit through one another’s learning. So this gathering today is in celebration of everyone’s participation.
The beautiful surprise that came in response to our letter outlining the sponsorship program wasn’t that the actual sponsorships were few, but that the number of people who increased their monthly donation amounts and the many new donors who began giving regular amounts on a monthly basis was quite significant. While the individual amounts ranged from $10 per month to $250 per month, the net result was a monthly increase that reached our $2,000 per month need.
Years ago, someone told me that I should never feel uncomfortable if the amount of cash I was able to slip into the donation box was a small amount. Instead I should imagine any amount I gave as multiplying exponentially into millions or more and to rejoice in that giving. I was reminded of this advice and rejoiced in the generosity that our community offers as I watched donations in all amounts begin to come in response to that letter.