What We Do and How It’s Paid For

Written by: The board and staff of Northwest Dharma Association.

The Northwest Dharma Association board, here shown at a day-long meeting, draws from many dharma groups from around the Northwest.

If you’re reading this, then you know about one of the main things we do: produce a unique online newsmagazine. Northwest Dharma News is the only publication of its kind, reporting on people and activities related to dharma life throughout the Pacific Northwest. We are the only region in the country (perhaps in the world) with this kind of resource.

No doubt, you’ve used the Calendar of Events and the Groups Directory to learn about the variety of sanghas, temples, and Buddhist organizations in the region, offering teachings, retreats, and other events to provide opportunities for people to deepen their dharma practice.

Most of what we accomplish is due to slightly-paid staff and volunteers. The most important volunteers are our board members. Our current board is composed of 11 people, six of whom are ordained. They represent practitioners from the Japanese and Vietnamese Zen Traditions, several Tibetan lineages, Theravada and Insight Meditation traditions, and from non-sectarian Western Buddhist backgrounds.

This is one of the most important and remarkable aspects of Northwest Dharma Association. Its leadership is truly ecumenical.

The Northwest Dharma Association sponsors and co-sponsors numerous events throughout the region. We connect people and sanghas with shared vision and goals, so that what they may not be able to accomplish alone, they can accomplish together.

How is all of this paid for? Our budget is very small. We meet it with the dues paid by our Member Groups. Sanghas pay $50-$150/year depending on their size. The vast majority of our Member Groups are paying $50/year. This is the same amount they have paid for the last 10 years. This represents about 40 percent of our budget.

We have a small handful of generous major donors who contribute about 10 percent of our budget.

The next most important source of revenue is the amount contributed by our recurring donors. These are people who have pledged a regular monthly or quarterly amount, either through our website donation system or through their workplace giving campaigns. Right now, they represent about 15 percent of our annual budget. These are the regular sponsors of NWDA.

The rest of our budget we try and make up as we go along.

The board is hoping to increase the number of sponsors with a program of seeking people willing to pledge at the level of $9 per month, or $108 per year. You will be hearing more about this program, the Mahasangha Mala, in the coming weeks and months. But, please don’t wait. If you can pledge at this level, please do so by visiting our online donation page here.

So, please show your support for our work. Thank you.

From the board and staff of Northwest Dharma Association.

About the Author: The board and staff of Northwest Dharma Association.