2016 The Year of Sustainability

Written by: Tim Tapping

The board of the Northwest Dharma Association has designated 2016 as The Year of Sustainability.

2016 will mark the 27th year since the official recognition of NWDA as a charity. These years have been a heroic effort, depending on the generosity and good intentions of a great many supporters, volunteers and donors.

Now it is time to plan for the future. So, the board plans to develop a long-term strategic plan in 2016. We invite your participation.

The Northwest Dharma Association, as you may know, is unique. If you’ve poked around the web to find regional organizations comparable to NWDA in North America, or around the world, you probably won’t.

What makes NWDA unique is the ecumenical nature of the membership to include any legitimate Buddhist group, the sophistication of the online Northwest Dharma News, and the comprehensive nature of the website resources.

The board already has adopted a goal of establishing a strong administrative and financial foundation for NW Dharma Association. We hope this helps the next generation of regional Buddhist leaders to inherit the organization without having to create a new structure.

This thinking about the future was the motivation behind the founding of the Mahasangha Mala, the group of sponsors who pledge a certain amount per month. These sponsors’ predictable generosity creates a more predictable cash flow for planning purposes.

Our sources of funding are dues and donations from member groups, recurring gifts from Mahasangha Mala members and folks giving through their workplaces, and one-time, often major, gifts from donors.

To learn more about the Mahasangha Mala and how you can join, visit the Spring 2015 issue of the News. You can see a list of donors on our “about” page here.

We have refined our administration year by year to more carefully use donors’ funds. For instance, we no longer have an office to maintain nor a phone to answer. We still do use postal mail, for those folks who haven’t fully adapted to the digital world.

As we look to the future, we need your help.

For one thing, to do this work effectively we need more board members, a wider team. If you have a little time and some dedication, this is a great way to build dharma community, and to connect with some of the region’s Buddhist leaders.

Serving on the board is fun and inspiring. Our work together truly is mahasangha.

If you have suggestions of people you think might be willing and able to serve on the board, and prefer for us contact them, please let us know. And if you want to join the board, please contact us at info@nwdharma.org.

And, of course, we need more members of the Mahasangha Mala. This is a pledge as low as $9 per month.

Our current budget is about $16,000 per year. If we had 10 more Mahasangha Mala members, we could better afford to cover expenses for the volunteer folks who are helping build the Northwest Dharma Association network for the future.

We will be reaching out to our stakeholders in the coming months. Please let us know, anytime you would like to become part of the process.

Let’s look forward, to the next part of the regional Buddhist community’s journey!

Tim Tapping

President of the Board

About the Author: Tim Tapping
Tim Tapping practices with Sakya Monastery of Tibetan Buddhism in Seattle, and is president of Northwest Dharma Association. He works as a software engineer at Expedia travel in Bellevue, Washington, and leads a meditation group there. He lives in Sammamish, Washington, with his wife and daughter. His son is a chef in Long Beach, Washington.