2014 was a productive year for IMSB. We enclosed the letter below in a recent mailing to our donors, sharing the highlights of our work in the past year.
Dear IMSB supporter,
With your support 2014 was an amazing and productive year for IMSB. Much of the work is quietly accomplished behind the scenes, so you may not have noticed what your donations have enabled us to accomplish.
Here are a few highlights from 2014 …
Your donations for IMSB’s general expenses and the annual appeal, along with gifts of time and talents, have enabled us to maintain our regular sitting groups and programs and also….
- Design and develop a new website for IMSB! Visit IMSB.org
- Improve our recording system to share our talks on DharmaSeed.org and develop quality recordings for online courses.
- Enhance our local publicity with online services such as MeetUp, and postings with local news outlets.
- Complete a three-year study of a 2000+ page text called the Samyutta Nikaya
- Offer a spring program for children and families
- Develop an intensive six-month program on Satipatthana practices
- Host amazing authors for special events including Rick Hanson the bestselling author and neuroscientist, Valerie Mason-John the author of Eight Step Recovery, and our own Janetti Marotta who authored 50 Mindfulness Steps to Self-Esteem.
- Provide basic benefits for our principle teacher such as health insurance
- Conduct focused day-long programs on special topics including Reflections on Death, Living Without Enemies, Meditation in Nature, and variety of mindfulness of the body practices
- Offer topical series on The Heart of Meditation; Introductions to Mindfulness; Mindfulness: Sacred or Secular; Transforming Reflections; Deep Happiness; Where the Rubber Meets the Road; Enhancing Mindfulness.
Your contributions to the Building Fund, along with generous volunteer efforts, have enabled us to accomplish important foundation laying projects that culminated in the expansion of our program with a new Thursday night group in Saratoga. This expansion is an interim solution to the scheduling crisis that we faced last year. It allows us to enhance our programing as we continue to raise the funds and gather the support and involvement that is needed to lease a dedicated facility of our own in the future.
To this end we ….
- Contacted over a hundred and fifty churches, private schools, and fellowship halls seeking a shared space arrangement. This search led us to the Westhope Presbyterian community with whom we are entering a trial relationship by offering Thursday evening courses. If the arrangement is suitable to both parties, we can negotiate a more extensive use of the facility in the future.
- Established site search criteria, met with the leaders of successful local meditation centers to identify best practices for a site search process, visited a number of available commercial properties (all of which turned out to be beyond our current financial means), and consulted with a realtor.
- Drafted our vision statements, clarified our message, developed text for the new website and informational brochures, created the first draft of a video, and selected tag lines.
- Surveyed our membership for their needs. We have brainstormed, discussed, and developed the vision for the growth of IMSB. We have articulated our case for a new facility in community meetings, fundraising letters, our quarterly e-newsletter, website page, and at community events.
- Established financial systems for receiving recurring donations, and gifts of securities.
Your gifts of teacher dana in 2014 have supported the livelihood of our principal teacher, Shaila Catherine, and enabled us to offer dana to an additional twenty-two guest teachers who shared their wisdom and brought diverse perspectives to IMSB this past year.
LOOKING AHEAD. GET INVOLVED!
Join us on a Thursday evening in Saratoga. Enjoy the expansion of our program to Saratoga, and consider the possibility of consolidating our programs here. In the coming months, there will be opportunities to participate in community meeting discussions, help out with site search, and support fundraising efforts for a dedicated facility.
Keep your eye out for suitable spaces that we might lease or purchase as a meditation center. Please contact our Building Development Committee at firstname.lastname@example.org with site leads.
We count on your continued financial support. This can be done by establishing recurring donations, practicing generosity by giving dana at events, and including IMSB in your estate plans. Your generosity is the vital support that will enable us to meet the increased expenses associated with growth. One of our main organizational goals this coming year is to increase our donor base by encouraging everyone at IMSB to chip in to support our work and the strength of this community.
We welcome your input, suggestions, and ideas. And we invite you to get (or stay) involved (contact: email@example.com). We need volunteers to coordinate events, maintain administrative tasks, plan social events, manage volunteers, and help with fundraising. We encourage established members to share in the leadership of IMSB by coordinating projects.
Shaila Catherine Doug Slakey
Principal Teacher President