I think that in a free-market economy, one of the greatest ways that a Buddhist can practice skillful means is being mindful, really mindful, with where we put our money. I just became a member of the Interdependence Project. This may be a strange thing to do, because I founded the organization. But it felt completely necessary. We are having a members meeting on May 4th, and I wanted to be able to attend. I am also a member of my local Shambala Center, as well as an employee there. The cost especially in American cities of nonprofit organizations operating and serving others is skyrocketing. We need support here, and it should start with me. So I decided to find $40 per month that I could take from my coffee budget (lots of other folks are find $20 per month). It may mean making more coffee at home, or even drinking less coffee (OMG!) but I definitely had the money to become a member. Mindfulness makes me feel good in this case.
IDP is growing both online and are in person community and we will need new website upgrades for awesome online offerings soon. It is also an aspiration of mine that we will be able to create a staff but paid staff position for somebody to work on our transformational activism program rather than just having volunteer energy in that area. If we get enough new members we will be able to budget just that as we move forward. Regardless, we need to increase our budget by $60,000 this year.
PS I also really don’t like the term nonprofit. Nonprofit organizations actually benefit everybody, rather than just a few. Therefore I like the term social profit organization, which is becoming more popular.