Sep 23

How COVID-19 Has Impacted Tara Mandala

Dear Tara Mandala Community,

We hope this message finds you and your loved ones in good health. At Tara Mandala we have been living mostly in isolation even within the community, so the land and wild animals have had time to recover from human impact, and a red colt was born to the wild horses who wander freely on the land. Since the Protector of Machig’s lineage rides a red horse this is a good sign for us. It means so much to us that we can be in community with you as we navigate these unprecedented times.

We hope you have felt supported by the online offerings of free teachings and practices we have offered this year including the four day free Voices of Wisdom In Times of Crisis Online Symposium. As well as our online virtual retreats.

The hidden potential of having to be online has been our ability to reach more people in far away places who could not have come in person to Tara Mandala. Now we have a beautiful web of practitioners all over the world. Welcome to all the new practitioners and thank you to our committed Sangha Members.

Like many communities and non-profit organizations, Tara Mandala has been directly impacted financially by COVID-19. So I’m writing to you on behalf of our sangha to share the realities of what we’re facing and to ask for your support.

For 26 years we have been hosting transformative onsite in-person Dharma teachings, solitary retreats, and during the last five years we’ve developed our online learning presence. Our sangha members’ support over these years has been a huge blessing – Thank You! And yet 2020 has been exceptionally challenging for our beautiful center.

COVID-19’s Financial Impact:

In a normal operating year, up to 75% of our operating income is contributed revenue through support from individuals like you. Earned income comprises about 25% of our income. This year to date, some of the setbacks we’ve encountered include:

  • Significantly reduced income from programs, despite an increase in online activity
  • Refunds for 2020 onsite retreat totaling about $150,000 so far this year
  • Inability to conduct onsite fundraising – which is a key component of our annual income

Despite our revenue losses, this year still requires that we make significant improvements and repairs this fall to maintain this precious land. This included repairing and improving the water purification process and increasing and upgrading the septic system significantly, these two projects are estimated at $200,000. These are not projects we would just like to complete, these are projects that are required by the county.

To meet our needs in this time, we’ve made efforts to reduce operating costs by over 40% and increase revenue as much as we can, which included the following measures:

  • Reducing on-site staff from the normal 20+ to about 12 people
  • Postponing all major projects except for essential water/septic repairs
  • Exploring new virtual and online offerings to reach more practitioners and support our members

How You Can Help

Please consider a gift of $350 or more that will help cover our COVID-19 operational shortfall. We need to raise $200,000 by the end of 2020. Your generous donation today would help address the financial hardship we are facing.

Anyone giving $350 or more will be gifted with a special three layer French Tibetan Mandala masks approved as effective by the French government. Lama was gifted with some of these masks, loved them and we’ve decided to order them for Tara Mandala.

There are several ways that you can give:

  • Make a one-time $350 or more donation to our Annual Fund
  • Give $30 a month and contribute over the next year as a Sustaining Sangha Member, which comes with various benefits, and discounts.
  • Increase your current Sustaining Sangha membership by $350 per year.

Over the coming weeks, we’ll be creating a series of communications to keep you informed and to ask for your ideas, input and participation as we solve the challenge of reconciling the financial deficit brought on by COVID-19.

We sincerely appreciate your support, commitment and devotion to Tara Mandala and Lama Tsultrim’s vision. We are blessed to be able to steward this beautiful land and to serve you, our devoted sangha during this challenging time. Please let me know if you have questions or other ideas to help sustain Tara Mandala.

With deep appreciation,

Joanne Brion
Executive Director
Tara Mandala

Header and Land photos (Bodhi Stroupe)

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