TBRC’s collaboration with Khyentse Foundation is a critical part of the health of our organization. Not only does KF provide key financial support, they also supported us in governance and strategic planning.
It’s important for people to know that Khyentse Foundation not only gives generously of funds, but of people. KF Executive Director Cangioli Che (also a board member of TBRC) and strategist Ivy Ang were absolutely critical to the development of strategic plans and metrics that we could report against. It was the beginning of our reporting the huge numbers that are a part of our organizational focus – we know how to do stuff at scale.
KF initiated the first organizational planning in 2007 when the first major grant was discussed. I was awed when I heard Rinpoche’s vision—that he wanted to restore one of the great libraries of Tibet at Dzongsar, and how he met Gene and realized that supporting Gene would advance his vision. Rinpoche’s collaboration and trust in Gene was unique. I think it paid off. We can now offer the full breadth of the tradition to the community at —and at the same time a much broader corpus of important collections to the world. Rinpoche really saw Gene and TBRC as protecting the texts from an uncertain future, and in my experience his view of how technology can benefit is unique and far reaching.
There was a point in 2007 when Gene wanted to move TBRC to China. Those plans were disrupted by the 2008 uprising, and it was KF that held course and supported us through a tactical change. We never missed a beat. And it was the steadfast support of KF after Gene’s death that made all the difference in the world. We would not be where we are today without that financial and organizational support. We now have realized a long-term preservation plan for the entire Tibetan literary heritage. Amazing.
One of the things that I am most impressed with in how Rinpoche works with others is how he offers his own thoughts in the process. It’s unlike any lama I have worked with. It’s a real collaboration. He will literally brainstorm with you! I think that’s why he is able to execute these projects so well. There is alignment on a very high level, and at the same time he empowers people. For me with TBRC, which is a very complex organization, he really embraces the essential purpose, and so all that we have to do is organize and execute. The real take-home is never lost from view. As a grantee, we are given the flexibility to organize ourselves and at the same time point ourselves at the larger goal. We have the room to do what we need to do to meet the vision. It’s an important part of the benefit of working with KF. The fact that we cataloged 350,000 items with KF support is part of what I am—that level of detail, which has taken years to execute, advances the vision of making the tradition available in a comprehensive way —and Rinpoche sees that.
—Jeff Wallman, September, 2015