The Precious Jewel Appeal
Dear West London Sangha Member,
We hope you are well and keeping safe. Difficult and potentially isolating times like these show more than ever how lucky we are to have Sangha, a context of fellowship, meaningful communication and shared purpose. Sangha, though, as we all know only comes of our joint efforts, and at the core of our own particular sangha is the West London Buddhist Centre, which through its classes and courses, even if only by Zoom at present, not only offers the balm of the Dharma but brings people together in a growing circle of friendship. Many regular attendees have told us the Centre is a lifeline for them in the midst of the Covid crisis and newcomers have spoken of life-changing experiences.
Unfortunately however, unless we take action soon, we may not enjoy such support much longer.
The Centre’s Challenge
The West London Buddhist Centre is losing money. The shortfall between its income and outgoings is over £3,000 per month.
Even pre-Covid, the Centre’s income was not enough to cover its personnel costs, the running of classes and events and the bills of a complex building. The pandemic and lockdown have meant a loss of all income from in-person courses, classes and events as well as bodywork, therapy and mindfulness teaching. The WLBC now relies primarily on standing orders and one-off donations in response to Zoom events.
We have made savings, including staff cuts. The government’s furlough scheme helped and the sangha has responded open-handedly, particularly after our last appeal in April 2020, including with some very generous individual donations. Online retreats and courses have been popular, attracting interest from well beyond the local sangha, and with Covid-safe measures therapy sessions and mindfulness courses are slowly being reintroduced between lockdowns. But income still falls short of outgoings and at the time of writing we are projected to make a loss of £43,000 in 2020, which the charity could not sustain.
The Centre’s future would be very uncertain, let’s help change that.
What You Can Do
More must be done. So, as well as further cost-cutting, we are initiating a fundraising drive to raise £50,000 by 16th March 2021, the anniversary of the Centre’s launching online events. The fundraising team is researching income streams but we are once again asking the Sangha to come together and help.
- If you do not already donate by standing order, please consider doing so. The Centre is grateful for the 62 regular donations it already receives, but the more standing orders, the more secure our long-term future will be. If you already give in this way, please consider increasing the amount.
- Watch out for a series of fundraising events – begun on Hallowe’en with Dharmavadana’s ‘Sutrathon’ which has already raised close to £2000.
- And of course any one-off donation is very welcome.
- For the longer term, do you think you might consider including the WLBC in your will? Please see more information read our WLBC Dana and Will-making presentation.
The Centre faces unsustainable losses if we do not act. We are launching the Precious Jewel Appeal to raise £50,000 by mid-March 2021.
Please give what you can.
Dharmavadana, Prajnanita, Sahananda, Susanna and Rebeka
WLBC Fundraising Team