In 2011, the Mission Statement was revised to: “The mission of the Northwest Dharma Association is to support Buddhist teachings, practice, and community in the Pacific Northwest.”
The former Mission Statement read: “The mission of the Northwest Dharma Association is to support Buddhist teachings and community. We foster a network of friendship and support among Buddhist groups and individual Buddhists from all traditions. We promote communication among Buddhists and with the larger community. We sponsor activities of interest and benefit to Northwest Buddhists.”
NWDA fulfills its mission through providing:
Our website lists our member groups throughout the region. We currently have 111 member groups; the Group Directory has information about each of the groups’ traditions and practices, as well as practice schedules and other information. The Calendar of Events lists special classes, retreats, workshops, teachings, etc. The Community Bulletin Board posts notices from members about items of interest to the regional Buddhist community, and the Sourcebook provides information about goods and services of interest to our users.
In 2011, as it has done for over 20 years, NWDA provided the regional Buddhist community a centralized source of information about events of significance throughout the region through the Northwest Dharma News. The News is published online four times a year.
Collaboration Across Traditions
NWDA represents the variety and richness of the region by having member groups from a wide range of traditions and lineages. This allows a unique opportunity to collaborate on our common values. One expression of this is the composition of the board, which is made up of practitioners from different traditions and different geographical settings. The other very significant way this collaboration manifests is in the events that NWDA initiates and sponsors.
Every year, NWDA holds two key events: the Annual Gathering and the Teachers Meeting. The former is in the spring, and the latter is on the first Saturday of October.
The 2011 Annual Gathering was held on February 26 in Portland at the Portland Insight Meditation Center. The theme was “Dharma, Conflict and Peace.” You can read about it.
The 8th annual Teachers Meeting in 2011 was held at the Sakya Monastery in Seattle. Some 27 teachers from many traditions and areas gathered to trade experience and ideas about what being a dharma teacher means. You can read about it.
Planning for a 2012 Prison Dharma Conference was also initiated this year.
Three staff positions were filled in 2011. All three are contracted positions. After serving for several years as the executive director, first in a paid position and later as a volunteer, Timothy O’Brien was hired as the administrator/office manager. This followed the retirement of David Forsythe, who had served in that capacity as a volunteer for over a decade. Jeff Kerr, a former board member, was hired in the newly-created position of outreach coordinator to assist the board in expanding the capacity of the organization to fulfill its mission. Steve Wilhelm, a former board president, was hired as the editor of the Northwest Dharma News replacing outgoing editor Julie Welch, also a former board president, who had served as volunteer editor.
There are 12 positions on the board: six elected and six appointed. Terms are three years each, so each year, four new members join the board.
Board member terms begin in June each year. New board members elected or appointed to serve starting in June 2011 were Sith Chaisurote, Joe Pearl, Kozen Sampson (Thich Minh Tinh), Elizabeth Sikes, and, as alternate, Jason Wirth. They joined continuing board members Ven. Thubten Chonyi, Bill Hirsch, Jeff Kerr, Jacqueline Mandell, Koro Kaisan Miles, Dick O’Connor, and Tim Tapping. Jeff left the board when he was engaged as outreach coordinator.
As has been the practice in the recent past, the board met together as a body in June in Olympia to take office, and again in October for the annual strategic planning meeting. All other board meetings are by phone conference.
At the October meeting, a new structure of task forces was inaugurated. You can learn more about it by going here.
NWDA welcomed 16 new Member Groups this year, bringing the total number of member sanghas to 111. The Member Groups who became part of NWDA in 2011 are:
Drukpa Mila Center – Salem, OR
Rigpa – Seattle, WA
Dharma Drum Mountain Buddhist Association – Bellevue, WA
Dharmata – Portland
Tsinta Mani Choling – Spokane, WA
Benefaction Zen Community of Newport, OR
Co Lam Temple – Seattle, WA
Creston Zen Centre – Creston, BC
Foundation for Active Compassion – Portland, OR
Friends of Cloud Mountain – Castle Rock, WA
JBLM Buddhist Service – Tacoma, WA
Jnanasukha – Olympia, WA
Mount Adams Zen Buddhist Temple – Trout Lake, WA
Orgyen Khamdroling Northwest – Bellevue, WA
Salem Zen Center – Salem, OR
Spokane Concentration Meditation Group – Spokane, WA
To find out more about these groups and our other members, go to the Group Directory
As the accompanying chart indicates, NWDA received $19,607 in revenue in 2011, approximately $9,000 less than in 2010. Expenses totaled $12,824, about $6,500 less than in 2010.
Revenue declined due to individual memberships not being renewed, as well as a loss in online advertising revenue. One area of revenue that has increased is the amount of donations from donors who give regularly through our recurring donation system, as well as major donors; those who give $100 or more per year. The contribution of the member group dues that sustain the organization increased from 23 percent to 36 percent in 2011.
The 2012 budget, as approved by the board, projects revenue of $23,100 and expenses of $21,930.