Dear Friends and Supporters of Khyentse Foundation,
Khyentse Foundation was founded by Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche in 2001 to establish a system of patronage to support the Buddha’s vision of wisdom and compassion. In November 2006, we celebrated our fifth anniversary. I hope that this annual report will give a small taste of what the Foundation has accomplished in those five years, under Rinpoche’s guidance.
Building the Five Projects
In the first five years, the Foundation concentrated on building the basic infrastructure to translate Rinpoche’s vision into action programs.
At the outset, Rinpoche identified five priority projects that form the basic structure of the KF support system. Much progress has been made over the years, and these five projects continue to serve as the framework to deliver our services. For details, see the [intlink id=”388″ type=”page”]Five Projects page[/intlink] of this site.
Building the Financial Resources
During the past five years, donors from around the world contributed and pledged over US$6 million to support the activities of Khyentse Foundation, with a record $1.8 million received in 2006. A portion of these funds was used to support the five projects, including the endowed chair of Buddhist studies at UC Berkeley. More importantly, the funds were used to build up the three endowments—for monastic education, scholarships, and publications—to ensure long-term on-going support for these priority areas. As of December 31, 2006, our total portfolio for these three endowments reached over $5 million.
Another major effort is to build the Foundation’s investment strength. In addition to the five-member investment committee appointed by Rinpoche, a panel of advisors was invited to provide professional recommendations. The highly qualified and well-informed investment team has adopted a prudent, flexible, and cooperative approach to managing the funds, which resulted in excellent returns. In 2006, the average total return of the KF portfolio was 18%, surpassing our expectation of a 5% return, and also surpassing average market indices.
In response to the growing complexity of the Foundation’s financial position, a budget committee was formed in 2006 to better analyze, plan, and manage the Foundation’s finances.
Building the Network of Supporters
The Foundation is now supported by a strong group of sponsors and volunteer team members. Some of our supporters contribute financially, and others contribute their time, energy, and professional skills. Many contribute in both arenas. And both types of contributions are instrumental in building the KF support system.
As of year end 2006, close to 1,000 donors and supporters from 30 countries support the Foundation. The most active countries are Taiwan, the USA, and Hong Kong, followed by Malaysia, the UK, Canada, Australia, Germany, and many others. We now have active representation in 14 countries around the world.
One encouraging trend is the success of our monthly donors matching funds program, with over 250 members in many countries. The program now provides the funds for more than 50% of the Foundation’s on-going project grants.
In spite of its significant growth during the past five years, the Foundation continues to be staffed by an all-volunteer team, and is able to maintain administration costs at 2% of revenue.
Supporting Those Who Are in Need
Under Rinpoche’s guidance, our support initially went to Tibetan Buddhism, but we are now going “beyond Tibetans” and “beyond monks and nuns.” Our approach is nonsectarian, rimé in the broadest sense of the word. For details, see [intlink id=”420″ type=”page”]Who We Help[/intlink].
The Foundation also takes the initiative in identifying and reaching out to people and projects that need funding and support. In coming years, we expect to establish more programs along the lines of the Scholarships for Cambodian Monks program.
Looking Forward to the Second Five Years
In a series of planning meetings in 2006, Rinpoche and the Board of Directors set ambitious goals for the Foundation’s next five years. Through the Foundation’s five projects, we aim to: 1. Support non-Tibetan and lay students in study and practice in all Buddhist traditions 2. Produce Buddhist teachers and scholars to influence the world 3. Make Buddhist texts readily available to all who wish to study 4. Promote the study of Buddhism in major universities around the world 5. Support Buddhist education for second-generation Buddhists, where such studies are not readily available
The Foundation has set high financial goals in order to have the necessary capital to realize these program goals. We hope to increase our total endowment to $9 million by 2011 (from $5 million in 2006), primarily to fund the scholarship, monastic education, and publication projects. Endowed chairs of Buddhist studies will be funded separately, and Buddhist education will be funded on a project and need basis. We have also identified communications, fundraising, and community involvement as three main challenges in the coming years.
The first five years were a good beginning, but many more challenges lie ahead in the next five. We still have a very long way to go, and it’s up to all of us to work together to make Khyentse Foundation truly a patron of Buddhism, following in the footsteps of King Ashoka.
May the work of Khyentse Foundation benefit all sentient beings.
Cangioli Che, Executive Director