In 2008, NWDA had income of $34,992 and expenses of $32,067, resulting in a positive contribution to reserves of $1,926. The budget called for a contribution of $655, so we exceeded that expectation by $1,271.
Nearly half the revenue came from gifts. Membership dues accounted for 40%.
Volunteers accomplish most of the Association’s work. In 2008, the Board volunteered 1788 hours of their time. This represents nearly one full-time employee. The staff volunteered 580 hours. There is only one paid position, the Executive Director, who is paid for 10 hours per week. It takes the equivalent of one and one-half paid full-time positions to do the work. The Association, therefore, is quite a ways from long-term financial sustainability.
The Board’s term begins in June. Nominations begin at the Annual Meeting on the 2nd Saturday of February and conclude one month later. The election is held from March 15 to April 15. The first meeting of the new Board takes place in June. Because the Board is dispersed throughout the region, the meeting is designed to allow all the Board members to attend in person. This last year, as in years past, the June meeting was held at Bodhi House in Olympia. Other meetings are conducted by teleconference, except for the annual strategic planning meeting, also held at Bodhi House in October.
The current Board Members are: Julie Welch (President), Clark Hansen (Vice President), Bill Hirsch (Secretary), Richard O’Connor (Treasurer), Susan Andree (Shi Yung Hsi), Dh. Avichala, Caterina De Re, Amy Groncznack, R.L. Miles, Gene Polhamus, and Nick Vail.
In keeping with the intention to be an association open to all groups and individuals dedicated to Buddhist teaching and practice, the Board represents a range of traditions and approaches to the Dharma and provides a direct experience of Mahasangha for which the Association stands.
The 2008 Annual Meeting was held at Prospect Congregational Church in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle. As usual, it reflected the great diversity of traditions, practice, and geographical locale which forms the membership of the Association. It was an excellent opportunity for Dharma practitioners to encounter one another and to help inform the work of the Association.
The 2008 Teachers Meeting was held at the Blue Heron Zen Center on its usual date of the first Saturday in October. This year’s meeting was highlighted by the launch of TeacherSpace, an online forum, linked to our website, that allows teachers to converse about matters of special interest and import to them.
The Association was instrumental in producing the Prison Dharma Conference in conjunction with Plum Mountain Refuge that took place in November at Camp Bishop near Shelton, Washington.
In addition, the Association co-sponsored the 5th Annual Vashon Island Buddhist Seminar and the 24-hour chant at Great Vow Monastery.
2008 saw the completion of a year’s cycle of producing the news electronically, thus reducing the expenditure represented by the print news in both labor and production costs, as well as lowering our carbon footprint. We added an easy-to-use method for turning the eNews into a printable pdf file.
In 2008, the Association Board and Staff continued the ongoing work of upgrading the technological resources we use. The website continues to evolve to become a more effective tool for the networking that is at the heart of our mission. In addition, we have greatly increased our ability to communicate with our membership through regular email correspondence, as well as providing a safe, secure environment for financial transactions on our website.
With a very meager budget, the Association continues to grow and offer greater benefits to its membership as well as to the larger community. The challenge for the future is to develop a business model that will sustain this valuable work.