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Thanks to its “amazing” Buddhist volunteer fundraisers, in 2015 Triratna’s Karuna Trust had the best fundraising year in its 35-year history.
Karuna’s head of fundraising, Steven Murdoch, writes: “In a year when the UK charity sector was widely criticised for some dubious fundraising practices, Karuna had its most successful fundraising season ever. This means we are on course to send over £1M to our project partners working with persecuted dalit and tribal communities in India and Nepal.”
He attributes this success to the Triratna people who fundraise for Karuna as part of their Buddhist practice. “It shouldn’t work: we don’t use professional fundraisers; we don’t teach techniques. Yet all six of our 2015 residential doorknocking appeals - and our telephone appeal - exceeded their targets.
We usually have about five fundraisers on an appeal. The effectiveness of their fundraising depends on them developing strong spiritual community so they live together for several weeks, going out doorknocking each evening. We’ve had some amazing people!
I think Karuna has been successful because our volunteers don’t sell or do guilt-trips. When the public meet fundraisers who are meditating daily, developing integration and positive emotion, they feel met rather than sold to.
New supporter John in Edinburgh said of our fundraiser, Michael: ‘My wife and I support several charities. We’ve recently become fed up with how bigger charities behave. Michael was clearly not like that, so Susan and I decided to support Karuna. I think it was his sensitivity and genuineness. I suspected he was Buddhist so I asked and I was right!’
Apart from raising money, our appeals clearly have a profound effect on our fundraisers. Here’s what Caroline had to say after her 6-week appeal in London: ‘The growth I have experienced and the friendship and connections I have formed have been life-changing. I’d recommend it to anyone who’s serious about their practice and wants to strengthen and deepen it.’”
Find out more about Karuna appeals as a spiritual practice.
Email appeals [at] karuna.org or
call +44 (0) 20 7700 3434 and ask for Steven.
Women’s residential appeal dates 2016
Spring - Saturday 12th March to Sunday 2th April - London
Summer - Saturday 11th June to Sunday 24th July - Brighton
Autumn - Saturday 10th September to Sunday 23rd October - Venue not confirmed.
Men’s 6 month urban retreat appeal 2016
Saturday 7th May - Sunday 9th October - London
Telephone appeal 2016 (women and men)
Monday 2nd May - Friday 10th June London