Pledge to Support this Sangha in 2023

Dearest Sangha Sisters and Brothers:

It’s that time of year again, when your inbox may well be flooded with requests from various organizations you engage with asking for money. While you may have received many such requests, this is my first time making one – so I am faced with the question:

How do I ask this group of people, with whom I share a spiritual practice, to send in their hard-earned money?

For this, I return to our practice: Open, Honest, and Vulnerable. 

I will share with you that sustaining the level of activity and service that has defined Hollow Bones since COVID hit in 2020 will not be possible without a significant change in how we work together. Creating an online community, and supporting it through various free programs, timely communications, and staff-intensive events and online retreats, while also running more than 6 large-scale in-person events per year requires significant resources. We have remained committed to keeping our fees reasonable and offering extensive financial support to all who ask for it. 

To do this we have four paid staff members who work far beyond their compensation (typically with great joy), and we mobilize over 26 volunteers. Our Abbot and our board do not take salaries and taiso just suspended his $1,000 housing stipend to further improve our organization’s financial health. We do not have a physical location to maintain, and we continually endeavor to be excellent stewards of our resources, maximizing the value of what we do spend and minimizing costs wherever possible. And yet, we still have approximately $10,000/month in expenses. View this table for a more detailed look at our operating costs.

We appreciate support in any and all ways – from additional volunteers and post-event dana contributions to single donations of any value.

What we really need is recurring monthly donations to provide viable long-term support for our programs and teachings.

We currently have 27 regular donors contributing from $10-108/month, averaging $40 per person. If you have the means to make a recurring monthly donation, of any value, please do. Plus! Anyone who has an active recurring donation of $25 or more on January 1st, or makes a one-time donation of $108 during this drive, will get a SWEET limited edition mug as a token of appreciation.

With your donations, we will be able to continue offering in-person retreats and continue our work building an online community; updating our technology and use of social media, supporting realtime communications, and using the best online learning practices. I believe that the sky is the limit for Hollow Bones Zen – and that if we are to do this, we must do it on your behalf, not because I, the board, or the staff think it is best. 

My job is to serve you, and I can’t do that without you. Use your voice to tell me how we can support you in living this dharma, and consider giving however you can so that we can actually deliver what you need. Our capacity to offer these services is directly tied to the desires and energy of this group. 

Over the next 11 weeks, we will be asking for your feedback, seeking to understand who we are and what we need. We commit to taking it all in – including a clear picture of how much energy, specifically in the form of financial resources, we will have available to support our sangha in 2023.

I hope that our heartfelt desire to provide you with the best possible support in living a transformative life of embodied awakening comes through clearly. I am fully committed to each member of our sangha and will walk this path with you every step of the way. 

How far, and where, shall we wander together?

Eternally in,

Umi no Nami Dan Rotnem
Executive Director

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