Sunday, February 3, 2008

Drala Jong Appeal - An Appeal Director writes...

Namgyal Dorje writes (he's the big one in the spectacles - I think!):

"Hello there - my name is Namgyal Dorje and I am the Appeal Director for the Drala Jong retreat centre appeal. I wanted to say thank you for posting the link to the appeal, and also to say that you're most welcome to 'cock a British snook' regarding elements of the appeal itself. This is our second major appeal, and like the first we found ourselves musing over how best to engage with potential donors. Specifically, with our first appeal - asking for sponsors to enable Tibetan children to attend a traditional school in Pemako, North India - some potential donors asked us in a round about way 'what do we get in exchange for our donations?'"

" When we were dealing with providing education to kids who otherwise would have no schooling at all and would either join the military (the boys) or stay at home to look after the family (the girls) it was quite a thing to hear that some potential donors wouldn't contribute unless e.g. they got photos of the individual child they were sponsoring, or even letters from the child saying how they were getting along. In that case £100 would buy that child the chance of a far brighter future than they'd otherwise have (a year in school). It was hard to think about what we wouldn't do to try to help."

"So, when it came to the Drala Jong appeal we thought 'what are donors going to want in exchange'. You know what, I think we got it wrong initially with this element of the Drala Jong appeal - so, thanks to comments such as yours, we've had a re-think, and changed the format of the appeal. We still offer donors a chance to come and meet our organisation, be it on a formal or informal occasion, since they quite rightly need to be assured that we're doing as we promised with their contributions. However we're now leaving the 'cash for honors' (not that it was intended thus) to the politicians. It seems that's more their strong suit than it is ours. To keep you up to date, our appeal has just passed the £50k mark thanks to the work of our hard pressed unpaid volunteers, and hopefully members of the Buddhist Hospice Trust will be able to attend the opening of the first vajrayana centre of it's kind outside of the Himalayan region in a year or two's time."

"Best regards, Namgyal Dorje - "

So, an excellent response to our snook-cocking of last year, and another invitation to Trust supporters to look at this cause with a view to "no-strings-attached" generosity, a quality worthy of my own efforts at developing for sure. Thanks, Namgyal Dorje! Love the jammies!

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