Supporting Tara Mandala
Tara Mandala is a tax-exempt charitable corporation. Through the generosity of our global Sangha, Tara Mandala has grown since its birth in 1993 into a vibrant international community of practitioners and a beacon of the empowered feminine in our world.
Each year, donations support the vital work of Tara Mandala to bring insights and awareness of Buddhist practice and the sacred feminine to a growing and global community. With approximately 50% of the Tara Mandala Operating Budget and 100% of the Capital Budget funded through donations, we rely on the generosity of our Sangha to bring Lama Tsultrim’s vision to life.
There are a number of ways for individuals to support Tara Mandala and its mission. These charitable gifts help us provide access to retreats, offer sustainable wages to our permanent staff, maintain the temple, retreat cabins, and other facilities, develop new programs, offer scholarships, expand online offerings, among other projects — all of which support Tara Mandala’s role as a leading light for Buddhism and the empowered feminine in the world.
The Annual Fund is the primary source of funding for all of Tara Mandala’s activities, including Operations, Capital improvements, special projects, that allow Tara Mandala to operate as a year-round retreat center, a repository for wisdom literature, a center for translation, a beacon for the feminine in Buddhism, and a refuge for deep practice and transformation.
Each year, the Tara Mandala Board of Trustees designates a list of Annual Fund projects that are priorities given Tara Mandala’s strategic plan informed by Lama Tsultrim’s vision of a western retreat center dedicated to deep retreat and transformation.
Sustaining Sangha is the financial life-blood of our organization, providing reliable income for Tara Mandala’s operations. Similar to other Buddhist retreat centers, revenue from Tara Mandala’s retreat fees does not fully cover the organization’s operating expenses. Continued philanthropic gifts to Tara Mandala support all that is unique about Tara Mandala.
Become a Sustaining Sangha member by giving to Tara Mandala on a monthly basis.
To help make Tara Mandala’s teaching accessible to a wider audience, we are pleased to offer two scholarship funds that offer partial and full scholarships for retreats, online programs and annual fees for our long-term practice programs (Magyu, Gateway, Mandala Training). The Evada Fund distributes awards based on financial need and the Diversity, Inclusion & Equity Fund awards scholarships to people of color and/or those who are underrepresented due to their gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, social class, and ethnicity and those in need of financial support.
Many employers sponsor annual giving programs and will match any charitable contributions or volunteer hours made by their employees. Ask your employer if they participate. If your company is eligible, request a matching gift form from your employer, and send it completed and signed with your gift. We will do the rest. Some companies match gifts made by retirees and/or spouses.
Tara Mandala Endowment: The David Petit Sustainability Fund
We launched the David Petit Sustainability Fund on our 20th anniversary year to honor David’s commitment and recognize his legacy. Annual returns from this endowment supplement earned and donation income providing greater stability to our operations and capital improvement needs each year. With an inspirational goal of $10 million or more, our initial goal is to grow the endowment to $5 million. As of 2018, we have received pledges totaling $3 million.
Giving to the endowment will help ensure that the great benefit of Tara Mandala, its activities, and the teachings transmitted by Lama Tsultrim Allione and her teachers will be available to people around the world for many years to come.
Planned Giving: Join the Legacy Circle
If Tara Mandala has impacted your life in a significant way and been a sanctuary for deep practice, retreat and insightful teachings, you might consider how it will continue to thrive beyond our lifetime. What can we do now to help Tara Mandala thrive in the future and benefit generations to come?
The Legacy Circle is an opportunity to practice generosity beyond this lifetime and to help ensure Tara Mandala’s presence in the lives of future generations.
Donating Appreciated Securities
Appreciated securities are any mutual funds, stocks, or bonds which have increased in value since you purchased them. When you sell appreciated securities, you owe capital gains tax. If you donate them to Tara Mandala, you can take their full current value as a tax deduction, and pay no capital gains tax. Tara Mandala can hold them or sell them for the full current value without paying tax.
Everyday Ways to Give
Create one today
Creating your own Facebook fundraiser is a simple and fun way to contribute to Tara Mandala. The festive season is a perfect time to launch a fundraiser! It’s an opportunity to be creative and strengthen community, and offer your gifts in service to the Dharma.
To create a Facebook Fundraiser, click here ».
For how to create a Facebook Fundraiser, click here ».
You can donate to Tara Mandala with every purchase when you shop on Amazon.com through Amazon Smile! If you set up Tara Mandala as your beneficiary charitable organization, Tara Mandala will receive 0.5% of all eligible AmazonSmile purchases.
Ongoing Campaigns & Sponsorships
Temple Ceiling Mandala Project
The three-story, 12,000 sq. ft. Tara Temple was built between 2007 and 2009 using the skills of traditional Bhutanese wood carvers and Tibetan artists. The artist for the entire temple is Lama Gyurme Rabgye, who worked with David Petit and Lama Tsultrim Allione to create one of the most exquisite representations of Vajrayana Buddhist cosmology in the world. His work is featured throughout the inside and outside of the temple on each of the four entrance facades.
In 2017, Lama Tsultrim and Tara Mandala commissioned Lama Gyurme to paint twenty-nine individual mandalas that will cover the ceiling of the shrine room (Nirmanakaya). The choice of these particular mandalas was made with Tulku Sang-ngag Rinpoche’s guidance. These mandalas help fulfill Lama Tsultrim’s vision of the temple being truly a ‘liberation through seeing’ experience. Each mandala is unique with exquisite detail and profound significance.
Tara Thangka Campaign
A one-of-a-kind thangka masterfully painted by an artist in Nepal was given to Tara Mandala to support the building and adornment of the Tara Temple. Over the last 14 years, the Tara Thangka Campaign has raised $723,000 for Tara Mandala. Now is your chance to sponsor a Tara and be part of this amazing beautiful Thangka. These sponsorships provide much needed support running Tara Mandala, and its many capital projects. Currently there are over 200 Taras left to be sponsored! We will retire the Tara Thangka campaign next year, our 25th Anniversary! You can sponsor a Tara for $1000, and help us achieve Lama’s Tsultrim’s goal to raise $1 million! Your Tara can be dedicated to a loved one, yourself or all sentient beings.
Prayer Requests & Sponsorships
Each day at Tara Mandala we engage in dharma practice and prayers as a community. Prayer requests are read aloud and honored at the daily community practice session. We meditate and send blessings to anyone who has requested prayers. You can join us in the interdependent connection by making your prayer request on behalf of yourself, a loved one, or world situation.
Offering butterlamps dates back to the historical Buddha Shakyamuni and is also deeply ingrained in the Tibetan tradition. These offerings of light can be made for any virtuous reason, including starting a new venture, to celebrate a birthday or special occasion, to offer prayers for a loved one or world situation, to make an offering to a temple or statue, or to increase the positive energy of any action. The dedications of butterlamps will be read at the weekly practice of Tsog (ritual feast) at Tara Mandala Retreat Center.
Zhitro, Practice for the Deceased
Zhitro is a Tibetan Buddhist practice done for those who have passed away. It is traditionally done the forty-nine days after someone’s passings. The practice is a powerful method of supporting deceased loved ones in their journey. In the practice, blessings are sent to the deceased as purification and assistance in the process of passing on and the merit generated can aid in a fortunate rebirth. The blessings and purification integral to the Zhitro practice can be of immeasurable benefit to the deceased.
The Practice of Zhitro is done daily at Tara Mandala Retreat Center. We offer the opportunity to sponsor Zhitro Practice in honor of a loved one who has passed away.
Tsog is a ritual feast that is performed as part of a meditation practice or puja. Tsog is an important Tibetan Buddhist (Vajrayana) practice of offering and purification that is traditionally practiced on the 10th and 25th days of the Tibetan month. The Sanskrit word for tsog practice is ganachakra, which in Tibetan is tsog kyi khorlo. The word tsog means ‘an accumulation’ or ‘a gathering’, ‘an assembly or group’, and the word khorlo literally means ‘wheel.’ So the literal translation is something like ‘wheel of accumulation.’
“Practices on the path to Buddhahood are methods for gathering the accumulations of merit and wisdom and for purifying our obscurations. These two processes of accumulation and purification go hand in hand; as we accumulate more merit and wisdom, our obscurations automatically diminish”
– Rigpa Wiki
Both of these aims are achieved in the practice of tsog which makes it one of the most important activities for a Vajrayana practitioner.
At Tara Mandala, we gather as a community to offer tsog four times a month. The community alternates between Green Tara, Tsogyel Karmo (White Dakini), and Namkhai Norbu Chöd and Parchangma Chöd tsog practices. It is possible to become a sponsor of a tsog with an offering of $25, $100, $500, $1000 or more. You can offer in honor of a beloved, the deceased, a special occasion, long life aspirations, a world cause, for the auspicious beginning to new endeavor or celebrating a significant completion, or you can also simply offer to sponsor a tsog. Your name will be announced along with your dedication during the tsog practice.
Tara Flower Sponsorships
Make a connection with the 21 Taras by donating beautiful fresh flowers in our temple. We invite you to cultivate merit through offerings rich with the sensual qualities of texture, color, fragrance, and softness that flowers invoke.
Flower sponsorships can be made in someone’s name, accompanied with a prayer request dedicated to a loved one, for a special event, or anything that resonates strongly in your heart. Your offering will weave positive aspirations imbued with the blessings of Tara, and radiate outward in the world.
Monastic Support Fund
Tara Mandala International Buddhist Retreat Center offers support to monastics who are engaged in pursuing the Nyingtig and Machig Labdrön lineages. This fund will support monastics with their monthly recurring costs of living and other small one-time purchases required for living.