During these times that have left so many furloughed, unemployed, and facing extraordinary challenges in caring for family, friends, and ourselves, IRC’s leadership team is especially grateful for the generosity of our donors.
During this time, it has been especially moving to witness the continued dedication of our many volunteers who continue to care for the building and landscape, register and manager our online retreats, our bookkeeping and finance team, our local dharma leaders who offer small Zoom group gatherings, and the teachers who offer the retreats online.
IRC is currently receiving only about a third of the usual donations towards IRC operating expenses. This is understandable, given that retreatants and other donors are facing their own economic challenges and may think IRC has fewer expenses during the time when we’ve had to remain closed.
However, the bulk of IRC operating expenses for our facilities continue whether or not we have residential retreats. Though we see modest savings without the usual expenditures for retreat food and supplies, these comprise a small percentage of IRC expenses. The larger expenses continue, as we maintain our 22,000 square feet of facilities with its 30 bathrooms, and almost 4 acres of forest, orchard and gardens.
Thank you to the many IRC supporters who have donated towards our Renewable Energy Initiative. With $82,000 in donations, we are in the middle of replacing our generator, upgrading the electrical system and contracting for the installation of solar panels. To finish the whole project we still need about $50,000. Ideally we would do all the work during this shelter-in-place period. Installing these upgrades now paves the way for savings on power and protection against interruptions in services we had throughout last year’s fire season.
Meanwhile, we are conserving our financial resources, foregoing new projects, such as plantings and other items that can wait until we are back to running a full residential retreat schedule.
Since IMC and IRC were first founded, we have maintained a contingency fund, untouched, in case of need, and are happy to reassure our community that we are not on the edge of financial peril.
We will continue to meet each sangha member’s donations of money, materials and volunteer time with great care and appreciation for your generosity.
With much gratitude,
Gil Fronsdal, Ines Freedman, Diana Clark & Liz Powell
IRC Executive Committee