13 October 2010
Dear Member of Shambhala,
Last November we sent a letter informing you that we desperately needed your help to avoid going into debt by the end of the year. We would like to take a moment to share the result of that and to ask for your help once again. Thanks to your generous response to last year's appeal, we were able to end the year with a positive outcome and without having to take out any loans. That was fantastic! Also, in our letter to you last year, we laid out a path to more financial stability based on reviewing and revising financial procedures, implementing software to streamline our processes, and hiring a half-time Finance Director. We thought we should share with you the good news that we met our goals and three quarters of the way through this year, we have spent 75% of what we had budgeted. Despite some sizable unexpected expenses this year, we have managed to maintain a nearly balanced budget by making savings in other areas. (For more details, please see the last page of this letter.)
This positive result is fragile, however. On the income side, our budget for 2010 planned for 20.000 in fundraising revenue in addition to Shambhala Day fundraising. As of now we have only raised a little over 5.000 euros. Last year, as you may recall, we had three fundraising events and raised over 48.000 additional euros. This year, however, we have only relied on Shambhala Day fundraising so far, which means we need another 15.000 to end the year with a balanced budget. We have spent a lot this year to pay down our debts and have otherwise not spent extravagantly. It is now clear that relying on dues and Shambhala Day fundraising simply does not provide enough revenue to do everything that we are expected to do.
We in Shambhala Europe have worked hard this year to bring you more publicity materials (provide now for free), provided support throughout Europe for implementing the Way of Shambhala, supported Warrior Assembly (which three of us staffed) and a successful second Scorpion Seal Assembly, and have visited many of your centres to advise on administrative structures, education planning, resolving conflicts, and answering questions about Shambhala at your open evenings.
If you can support us today with a gift of 25 euros or more (meaning 250 is okay, too!) you can help us once again end the year on a positive note and keep the momentum going toward creating a stable ground from which we can support you in manifesting the Sakyong’s vision to help the world.
All of us here in Cologne consider it a pleasure to be serving you and this community. We hold you in our mind and heart, and we thank you in advance for your support!
With the very best wishes,
Chris, Sabine, Saskia, Tessa, Christine, Ulrike, Andreas, and Bernard
___________________How to Make Your Donation__________________
From countries other than Germany and The Netherlands:
Shambhala Vajradhatu GmbH, Kartaeuserwall 20, 50678 Koeln, Germany
Koelner Bank, Im Ferkulum 4, 50678 Koeln
IBAN: DE 37160087535586071
Required Note: Donation
From The Netherlands:
Shambhala Centrum Amsterdam
Account No.: 212 498 037
Required Note: Donatie
Shambhala Vajradhatu GmbH, Kartäuserwall 20, 50678 Köln, Germany
Kölner Bank, Im Ferkulum 4, 50678 Köln
Account No.: 535 586 071 (this is our new account for donations); BLZ 371 600 87
Required Note: Spende
Via PayPal: firstname.lastname@example.org Please add a note that this is a year-end donation.
Here’s what we’ve done in the last year to improve our financial health:
1) This spring we hired both Ulrike Ulmker as our Finance Director (though we still cannot afford to pay her a half-time salary) and Andreas Weitkamp (paid a part-time salary) as our Controller. Andreas and Ulrike have worked diligently to learn their jobs, understand our systems, and implement new ones that connect better with those of our tax consultant.
2) We have implemented the same bookkeeping software that our tax consultant uses so we can streamline our monthly and quarterly reporting and avoid late fees and fines from the German Finance Office.
3) We have made over 13.500 euros in debt repayments, including bringing down our debt to Shambhala International from 9.153 euros at the end of 2009 to 1.000 at the end of this month, as well as paying off other debts entirely. Our total open debts have now been reduced from 22.231 to 8.766. As a result, our liquidity (the amount of cash we would have left if we had to sell everything and pay all our debts) has doubled. This is a sign of a healthy organization.
And here are some unexpected expenses that arose:
1) 6.000 euro payment of unpaid back taxes for 2008
2) 3.000 euro back payments to our mortgage bank (who forgot for 18 months to take the proper amount of money out of our bank account)
3) 300 per month increase in dues payments to Shambhala International