Overall Goal: Have a center that can offer Dharma in the US Capital area for many years to come, offering a wide range of programs to meet the needs of new students and of serious Dharma students. Eventually have more members, a larger volunteer base, a resident lama as well and also a larger space for the center.
"I'm going to mention briefly why the Dharma center is so important. We can see more and more how much of an emergency it is to have such a center, because this is where we can learn the whole path to liberation, the unmistaken path to happiness, the unmistaken cause of happiness. Not only that, the unmistaken cause for the path to liberation; and not only that, the unmistaken cause for the path to great liberation, full enlightenment, how to be free from suffering; to understand the cause of suffering and how to get rid of that. This is never explained or taught in schools, colleges and universities. These things are missing in the education facilities in the world. The most important teaching is missing, the most practical thing — the education of a good heart, compassion." — Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche
Phase One: Grow the Center, Build Volunteer Base, Fundraise
• Gabe Mata and Ven. Dondrub become registered teachers with FPMT so that the center can offer Discovering Buddhism program again while also offering other programs we currently offer.
• Identify volunteers to more actively engage in tasks of building membership, communicating regularly with members, coordinating and communicating regularly with volunteers, coordinating advertising and marketing of the center and its events, and fundraising. Have people doing these tasks join the management committee.
• Have the center’s Assistant Director help to oversee the Management Committee and increase its active engagement with the goals of this long-term development plan.
• Gradually increase the number of people actively participating in the center’s membership program to over 75 people.
• Continue regularly inviting visiting teachers to the center for a range of programs.
• Continue offering courses for beginners, mindfulness classes, and Basic Program classes.
• Participate regularly in interfaith events.
• Find volunteers to regularly lead community building events such as movie nights, book groups, art events, etc.
• Identify 1 - 2 more course facilitators for the future.
• Build a solid team of reliable volunteers — to include both those on the management committee and some not on the committee.
• Have 2 - 3 annual fundraising events that become a regular part of the how the center functions.
• Completely pay off the mortgage while sustaining a balance for emergencies in the center’s checking account.
• Fundraise between $200,000 to simply invite a resident Geshe or $600,000 to buy a larger place with residential space and invite a resident Geshe who would live there.
• Add an item to our annual fundraising goals for sending at least one center volunteer (e.g., Director, SPC, Assistant Director, Board Member or Management Committee Member) annually to an FPMT regional or international event (e.g., Regional Meeting, CPMT Meeting, or training).
• Have Lorne Ladner eventually transition out of Center Director role into a less central, supporting role which could include continuing to teach as needed; identify and train a new Center Director. (This step would begin by, as Phase Two approached, identifying appropriate candidates for that position and submitting their names to FPMT and Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche for input.)
Once all (or most) of the above goals have been met and the center’s Board of Directors has acknowledged that progress, move to Phase Two.
Phase Two: Inviting and Hosting a Resident Geshe
• Work with FPMT to invite a resident Geshe.
• Arrange for health insurance, visas, language classes, stipend, travel expenses, contacts with local Tibetans, and support system (e.g., volunteers for rides to classes, rides to other events, regular social contacts, grocery shopping, some cooking, tech support, residential support) for resident Geshe.
• Purchase needed items such as bed, bedding, kitchen supplies, dresser, book shelves, computer, cell phone, etc., for resident Geshe.
• Choose appropriate housing (at an apartment near current center or a residential center if prepared to purchase one) for the resident Geshe.
• Develop a program of classes, pujas, and community building events that involve the resident teacher and also involve local volunteer teachers and facilitators so as to offer a wide range of classes and events for new students, intermediate level students and those interested in advanced topics. If the new resident teacher needs a translator then the center would have raise funds to cover his or her travel, visas, health insurance, stipend, and living expenses unless a local translator is available.
Donate to the center
Participate in the membership program
Donate to the mortgage fund