As of early 2013, we have raised $2.8 million from over 550 donors. The graph above illustrates the depth of support from all levels of donors.
Every year, the American Institute of Philanthropy issues its Ratings Guide, which identifies non-profit organizations that send the highest proportion of their funds to the programs they support. “Most highly efficient charities,” they report, “are able to spend 75% or more on programs.” In the ten years since we launched our long-retreat project at Ser Chö Ösel Ling, KCC has tried to be as efficient with donor dollars as possible. Of all the dollars raised, 81% have gone directly to acquisition, design, and construction of land and facilities. Maintenance of the facility accounted for 8%, and staff (6%) and fundraising (5%) fill out the balance. We have done our best to protect donations, honoring donors’ expectation that their gifts would go directly to building retreat facilities.
In addition to cash gifts, hundreds of volunteers have donated precious hours helping design, build, and maintain the facilities and forest environment at Ser Chö Ösel Ling. Over the past two years, an astounding total of nearly 8,000 hours have been offered. About half of these came from resident volunteers, individuals who work at the land in return for room, board, and a modest stipend. Volunteers include people with professional expertise in construction, forestry, and architecture. John Dancey, who lived at the land from 2004-2010 and served as our on-site Construction Manager, has decades of experience as a professional contractor.