WMC Financial Report 2003
by Joseph Byrne
The year 2003 was a Thay-Comes-to-Washington year, which means there was a lot of money flowing in and out of the coffers of the Washington Mindfulness Community. As in past years in which Thay visited, the WMC was in charge of ticket sales and general logistics for Thay’s public lecture on September 14.
Looking at the financial statement below, you’ll think that the WMC did quite well indeed, with $45,692 in the bank at year’s end. It should be immediately noted that $33,460 of that amount has since been sent to the Unified Buddhist Church (which administers the financial aspects of Plum Village). This amounted to 90% of the proceeds from Thay’s Public Lecture, after costs had been subtracted. By agreement, the WMC kept 10% of the proceeds, which amounted to $3,718. The WMC did even better selling books, t-shirts and postcards on September 14, bringing in $4,817.
Given the large influx of money, the WMC was easily able to make its usual bi-annual donation of $750 to the Washington Buddhist Vihara (amounting to $1,500), the WMC’s gracious host. In fact, the WMC Board has decided to up this amount to $2,000 total each year starting in 2004. The WMC was also able to make a few other donations, including $150 to the Committee for Mindful Politics (who organized Thay’s retreat with Congress—see article on the preceding page), and $300 to the Being Together Initiative, which works towards reconciliation between Israeli Jews and Palestinians.
As in 2002, the WMC acted as financial conduit for a couple good causes. The WMC collected $3,190 for the previously mentioned Being Together Initiative. We also raised funds for fixing up the downstairs bathroom at the Vihara, which, thanks to Joe Toole’s enlightened leadership, has been completed. Next on the to-do list: a heater for the downstairs!
You’ll notice that, unlike in past years, there is nothing in the financial report that refers to newsletter printing and postage, even though two community newsletters went out in 2003. That’s because of the incredible generosity of Mary Hillebrand, co-editor of the newsletter. She donated the costs for both newsletters, which amounted to $753 for printing ($230 for summer issue, $523 for fall issue) and $65 for postage. Thanks Mary!