Announcing a Matching Gift!
When pouring tea skillfully, the stream flows steadily. Pouring in drips or glugs creates uncertainty. (And sometimes a mess!) Like the stream of tea, the stream of expenses at Portland Friends of the Dhamma generally flows steadily. Unfortunately, the incoming funds have not been flowing like steady tea.
Much of our funding arrives at the end of the year, like glugs of tea, some years more than others. Also, the stream of incoming funds is less than the outgoing expenses. (Figure 1) This mismatch between income and expenses creates uncertainty.
Our Expenses Are Rising But Income Is Not
Our expenses have been steadily rising as projected. Several years ago, after the building purchase, and by mutual agreement, the Board began paying 50% of our mortgage, and 50% of Spiritual Director’s salary and benefits. The Board committed to raising that percentage over time. Now we pay 80% of these core expenses. We have a vision of moving toward 100%, in order to be ready to refinance the mortgage as planned in 2023 and pay the Spiritual Director a full salary and benefits (Figure 2).
The incoming funds need to grow to keep up. Given this gap between income and expenses, the Board has put about $9,000 of programming and administrative expenses on hold this year to decrease that gap and hopes community support will resolve the rest of the gap (Figure 3).
While the uncertainty in income and the gap between income and expenses has spurred the Board to put the brakes on the budget, the Board does not have the sense that the community wants to curtail programming and activities. Yet, if we cannot correct the mismatch, we will not be able to fulfill the vision of having a building, a Spiritual Director, and all the programs we enjoy.
Our Fundraising Priority
We strongly believe that the best fiscal policy is to work toward having our stable core expenses, like mortgage, salary, and benefits, be supported by stable funding. Our most stable funding sources are our Rental Income and our Monthly Giving. Rental Income is fixed for now, so we believe that the solution to the mismatch and gap is to prioritize Monthly Giving.
As of the end of April 2019, our core expenses (mortgage, salary, and benefits) are $6,800 a month. (Total expenses are about $9,000 a month.) Rental Income amounts to about $2,000 and Monthly Giving to about $2,800 (Figure 4). We hope that monthly giving can increase by $2,000 a month via a shift from dana box and annual gifts to monthly giving.
Our Vision Statement* points to our having a building where training can occur and community can form. Having these things requires financial stability, a steady stream of tea. Monthly Giving can be part of that steady stream helping support our vision.
We are happy to announce that a generous donor shares the vision and has given a matching gift of $5,000. If we reach $1,000 in new or increased Monthly Giving toward our $2,000 goal, we will receive this $5,000. Whether you give $10 a month or $400 a month you will be joining others giving at that level. It might take 10 people giving $200 a month, or 30 people giving $75 a month, or maybe 100 people giving $20 more a month. If the support arrives from the community, this vision, programming, and training can continue. If the support does not arrive, the vision and budget can be adjusted to what the community can support.
If you would like to know more about dana support for Portland Friends of the Dhamma, please visit pdxdhamma.org/donate. If you have questions or would like to talk with someone about becoming more engaged, please contact Gregory Satir, Development Committee Chair at firstname.lastname@example.org or (503) 233-6498.
From the PFoD Board and Development Committee ~ Thank you for considering Portland Friends of the Dhamma in your charitable giving. Anumodana!
* Vision Statement: We envision a City Refuge, where we as laypeople can set aside our worldly burdens within a community that nurtures virtue, contentment and calm, so wisdom can arise. We aim to provide support for personal explorations into the Buddha’s teachings, guidance in training our minds, and direct contact with the lineage of Ajahn Chah monastics. Finally, we envision a community of mutual support and companionship as we strive to apply these teaching in our daily lives, and walk the eightfold path.