charity


Hinman

The Hinman Foundation’s mission is to preserve the culture and heritage of Buddhism through community development and cultural preservation projects that reflect the spirit of the Buddha’s teachings. The foundation provides grants to various Buddhist communities to improve the quality of life, strengthen sustainable initiative, and enhance access to Buddhist teachings and spaces of practice. Currently, the Hinman Foundation has projects in Bhutan, Burma (Myanmar), India, Mongolia, Nepal, Tibet and the United States.

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Bhutan

Since 2009, the Hinman Foundation has provided several grants to support the restoration of the historic Buddhist temple in Shangkar, Bhutan. The Hinman Foundation also supports the Bhutan Nuns Foundation which was established to provide Bhutanese women with improved living conditions and access to education to promost socio-economic development.

hinman bhutan

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Burma

The Hinman Foundation launched an online campaign to help raise funds for one of their partners in Burma to help buy a rice milling machine for a Buddhist monastic school to help the school feed itself and generate income for ongoing school costs. Since 2011, the Hinman Foundation has made grants directly to monasteries and nunneries to help support education and community development and alleviate poverty.

hinman burma

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India

The Hinman Foundation has supported the Padmasambhava Buddhist Center since 2004 in its construction of a stupa, a place of worship that contains Buddhist relics, in Shravasti, India. The stupid is a representation of the Buddha and a permanent offering bringing merit to the world, “The Miracle Stupa is intended to last a thousand years, radiating the energy of love and compassion to all beings.” The Hinman Foundation also helped build the Orygen Samye Chokhor Ling Nunnery in Sarnath, India. The nunnery is a manifestation f the Venerable Khenpo’s commitment to providing equal access to education for both women and men.

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Mongolia

In 2007, the Hinman Foundation made a grant to the Foundation for the Perservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT), a non-profit organization established in 1999 to help the resurgence of Tibetan Buddhism in Mongolia. The FPMT provides integrated education to help students achieve the highest potential for the benefit of others, inspired by an attitude of universal responsibility. In an effort to share information about traditional Mongolian artists, the Hinman Foundation supported a grant to enable the curation of a photo exhibit, Mongol Visions: Winged Horses and Shamanic Skies – Contemporary Masters from the Land of Chinggis Khaan, held at Tibet House in New York in 2011.

hinman mongolia

 

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Nepal 

he Hinman Foundation helped support the creation and publication of unique historical documentation of the Tibetan refugee situation in Nepal. Caught in Nepal: Tibetan Refugees Photographing Tibetan Refugees is a photography book that documents the daily lives of Tibetan refugees in Nepal. It is both a historical document and cultural commentary. The photographs were taken exclusively by the refugees.

The project began in 2009 as a collaboration between the Foundation and the author and activist Mikel Dunham, when ten inexpensive digital cameras were given to refugees in Nepal. None of the recipients had ever owned cameras and only three exhibited any knowledge or experience with photographic equipment. They were empowered to use these cameras to capture the reality of their lives in Nepal. This includes lack of legal status, denial of the right to own property or business, inability to register births or marriages, and inadequate education.

hinman nepal

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Tibet

The Foundation began working with the Samye Monastery in 2006. The Monastery serves as a place of practice and education. The architectural design of this space has strong roots and symbolism in the practice of Buddhism, and its preservation has a symbolic as well as practical value for Vajrayana Buddhism. The project included replacing molded, rotten, and broken pillars that provided structural support to both the core of the monastery and the inner chapels. The chapels are used for both meditation and as a sacred place for pilgrims to make offerings, making this reconstruction a critical priority for the community.

hinman tibet

 

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The United States

The Hinman Foundation is committed to supporting the manifestation and sharing of traditional Buddhist culture in the United States. It seeks to support initiatives to provide space for meditative practice, cultural exchange and engagement, and meaningful dialogue about Buddhist principles.

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If you are interested in learning even more about the Hinman Foundation you can visit http://www.hinmanfoundation.org

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Hurricane Sandy has been one of the largest storms that has hit the Northern East Coast in years. While many were prepared for the storm, many people were not prepared for what the storm would leave. Sandy was at first classified as a tropical storm when it made its way up the East Coast from the Caribbean. However, when reaching the northern East Coast, Sandy because a dangerous storm that spanned almost 1,000 miles. In some states where the weather was colder, Sandy created even larger snowstorms and covered areas with up to 2 feet of snow. In other areas such as New York and New Jersey, rains flooded the area, taking out power lines, trees, and even filling the New York Subway system. In the DMV area, major transportation was shut down and schools cancelled. This hurricane that landed in late October also had its effects on the Presidential election that was to come on November 6. Many campaigns were cancelled as areas were put under evacuation and warning and President Obama took a short hiatus to deal with the storm.

It has been a little over two weeks since the storm, and where has this left the country?

Today many organizations have created relief efforts for those affected by Sandy. The Hurricane Sandy Relief Foundation (HSRF) is a non 501(c)3 Non Profit that was founded on October 30, 2012 by victims for the victims. The HSRF are people of the communities hit by the hurricane who saw that they themselves and their neighbors needed help. Thus, they provided resources to local shelters in the area and volunteered to clean up debris and rebuild their own communities. Another organization called Hope for New York was founded with the mission “to provide volunteer and financial resources to organizations serving the poor and marginalized of New York City. Today, they have created a relief effort for those in New York City by helping to channel volunteers who want to donate their time and give them opportunities within the local areas to help clean up, donate, etc. The American Red Cross is currently created a fund to gain financial donation to provide shelter, food, emotional support, and other assistance to victims of the storm. Along with the organizations listed above, there have been many more that are currently assisting in efforts for Hurricane Sandy relief and it is a wonderful thing to see people reaching out and helping others in need.

“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.”

-Anne Frank

(Sacramento Business Journal) Following last week’s news that 275,000 nonprofits lost their tax-exempt status because they failed to file the necessary paperwork, the IRS announced that it will assist nonprofits in once again gaining 501(c)(3) status.  In 2006, the IRS issued a regulation mandating that nonprofits had to file annual reports each year—and those organizations which failed to do so would lose their tax exempt status.

While many of those 275,000 organizations are now defunct, some smaller nonprofits who had not taken notice of the 2006 regulations will now need to re-apply for tax-exempt status.  Nonprofits wishing to enter the IRS’s program must fill out an application and pay a fee of between $100 and $850, depending on the amount of the organization’s annual gross receipts.  Applications for tax-exempt status will be followed by an IRS determination letter, and re-granting the organization’s status may be applied retroactively.

The list of organizations that lost tax-exempt status is available on www.IRS.gov.

(Chronicle of Philanthropy) Despite having lost his job as a senior fundraiser for NPR, Ron Schiller is cautioning nonprofits not to shy away from discussing controversial topics with potential donors, including religion and politics.  Schiller was fired from NPR after he claimed that most members of the Tea Party were “racist” to someone who he thought could be a big donor to NPR.  Unbeknownst to Schiller, the person he was speaking with so candidly was recording the conversation using a hidden camera.  James O’Keefe, who is also responsible for similar targeted publicity campaigns against ACORN and Planned Parenthood, later went public with the video.

Speaking in Tampa this week, Schiller urged other fundraisers that donors want to connect with someone real, with real opinions on important issues—not generic “institution speak.”  Schiller urged nonprofit staff to be honest and authentic, despite the fact that such candor may create awkward situations.  Despite the public fallout after his meeting with O’Keefe, Schiller remains optimistic and asserts that he wouldn’t want to change his behavior with donors based on this incident.

Schiller has since gotten a job at a Boston company that recruits staff for nonprofit fundraising.

(Wall Street Journal) It’s no secret that California suffers from chronic budget problems.  The most recent item on the budget chopping block is state parks.  On May 13, the legislature voted to cut $22 million from the parks budget, potentially causing eighteen state park closures in the San Francisco Bay Area alone.

A representative from Marin County, one of the areas affected by the cuts, has introduced legislation allowing nonprofits to form partnerships to help fund and run state parks in danger of closure.  One such organization, Friends of Santa Cruz, has already raised $60,000 in 2010 to save the jobs of lifeguards at three state beaches.  Angel Island Immigration Station has raised $11 million to restore buildings that detained Chinese immigrants in the early 1900s—buildings that hold a strong cultural and historical significance for Bay Area communities.  Etched into stone walls during their often long detainment on Angel Island, immigrants’ writings in Chinese characters are still visible today.  The structures on Angel Island form a uniquely important aspect of Californian history, and it would be a shame to lose them because lawmakers in Sacramento can’t find a better way to balance the budget.

Even with the hurried, determined fundraising of these nonprofits, many worry that their actions won’t be enough to save California’s state parks.  Many nonprofits simply do not have sufficient volunteer manpower to run a state park, and all organizations are working to raise funds against a deadline of July 1, when the budget cuts go into effect.

(The Guardian)  A Canadian NGO, Engineers Without Borders, has done what many would fear most: publish its failures.  EWB has recently launched Admittingfailure.com and already has pledges from other NGOs who plan to likewise publish their mistakes.  The goal of the site is to encourage NGOs to learn from one another and to inform the public–the main source of funding–where its money is going.

(Seattle Times)  Ken Jennings, a record-holding champion on the game show “Jeopardy!”, is competing again, this time for charity.  He will be up against Jeopardy champion Brad Rutter and “Watson,” an IBM computer.  Both Mr. Jennings and Mr. Rutter have pledged half their winnings to a charity, and IBM will donate 100% of its winnings to charity.  Mr. Jennings chose to donate his charity money to VillageReach, a Seattle-based social enterprise that distributes medical care in Africa, because he sees “the great effort VillageReach is making to improve the lives of those in the developing world who are in critical need of health care.”  Mr. Jennings will play his two opponents on February 14, 15, and 16.

(The Washington Post)  Bill Gates has dedicated his $17 million learning center at United Way Worldwide headquarters, located in Northern Virginia.  The learning center is named after his mother, who, Mr. Gates said, first sparked his interest in philanthropic work.  Mary Gates, Mr. Gates’s mother, supported United Way for many years and served on its board.  She died in 1994.  The new learning center features video conferencing facilities and other web-casting technologies so that United Way employees and volunteers can communicate with each other and make progress on an international level.

(IRS)  Don’t forget!  Charities and nonprofits who have not filed for 3 consecutive years must file their tax returns by October 15, 2010.  Useful information for tax-exempt organizations regarding filing and this IRS regulation can be found on the IRS website or linked here.

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