Like most spiritual communities, IMCC is financially supported by its members. This overview of our finances was prepared by the board of directors to provide some background on IMCC's finances in general, and on how individuals can financially contribute to IMCC.
IMCC Income and Expenditures
IMCC currently has a budget of around $60,000 per year. The majority of our income comes from dana/donations and our expenditures fall into two broad categories: teacher dana and institutional maintenance.
Teacher Dana is the compensation provided to teachers which allows them to continue transmitting the Dharma. We have a budgeted allocation for our regular teachers (set by the Board) for their weekly talks and their work on the guiding teacher's council.
Institutional Maintenance: Roughly $34,000 per year is needed to fund the infrastructure required to maintain IMCC as an institution. This includes rental of space for our weekly gathering, our web system, various financial tools such as PayPal, Square and Quickbooks, printing and publicity, teacher training and scholarships, and the salaries for three part-time staff: an operations manager, a professional accountant and bookkeeper, and a retreat manager.
Community Donations: During the Covid pandemic in 2020, IMCC leadership decided to support some of our local service providers who supported our community during this unprecedented time. Sangha input was requested and $1500 gifts were made to the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank, the Haven day shelter, Shelter for Help in Emergency, Sin Barreras, and the International Rescue Committee.
Racial Affinity (RA) Group Training: In 2020, IMCC contracted with Ruth King to provide 4 consultations with RA Group Leaders.
IMCC 2020 Budget Summary
Ways to give
We are a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt approved by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service and unrestricted contributions are always tax deductible. We cannot provide tax advice but if you have questions about the deductibility of specific contributions you can find extensive resources on the web relevant to contributions to religious institutions, and as noted earlier, from the perspective of the IRS (and/or your accountant or tax planner), we are a "church."
Weekly donations (in-person)
Cash and checks are gladly accepted in the small "dana basket" available near the entrance of our meeting room each week. We keep track of the contributions made by check and at the end of the year or shortly thereafter you will receive a letter suitable for tax records which gives the total of your contributions for the tax year (if you choose, we can also keep track of cash donations if you identify these).
If you would prefer simply to have contributions electronically transferred—typically on a monthly, quarterly or annual basis—from your bank or some other financial account, we now have the ability to do this through PayPal: contact our operations manager, Judy Harmon (firstname.lastname@example.org) to set this up. A number of people are also doing this from their accounts by having checks sent to us on a regular basis: please have these made out to "IMCC" or "Insight Meditation Community of Charlottesville" and sent to IMCC, PO Box 182, Charlottesville, VA 22902.
We have an annual fundraising drive, typically in October, and quite a few people use this, rather than weekly dana contributions, as their primary method of financially supporting IMCC. Details of the fundraising drive—which for reasons noted in the introduction, still remains rather unobtrusive by the standards of not-for-profit pledge drives—will be announced by email, on the web site, and on Tuesday nights.
Other forms of donation
As with all 501(3)(c) organizations, we are delighted to receive transfers of stock, and would also be honored if you choose to include IMCC in your estate planning. If you need assistance in coordinating any of these, please contact the treasurer, William Anderson (email@example.com).
Some final notes
1. IMCC is committed to complete transparency and responsibility in managing its finances, and in particular all disbursements require the approval of the president or treasurer before checks are written separately by our professional bookkeeper, insuring a complete audit trail. If at any point you have concerns about IMCC finances that cannot be resolved to your satisfaction in discussions with the president or treasurer, please raise these with the Ethics and Reconciliation Council (http://imeditation.org/Ethics) whose purview includes insuring the financial affairs are conducted in an ethical manner.
2. The membership of IMCC is composed of individuals with widely varying financial circumstances, and our intention is that finances should not impede anyone's ability to participate in our programs. Almost all of our events with fees for fixed costs also have associated scholarship programs; these are usually indicated in the announcement of the program but if this is unclear, please use the contacts for the event to find out what possibilities are available. In keeping with our tradition of lay support, our scholarships typically do not cover 100% of expenses but should reduce the costs to an affordable amount. As noted earlier, dana for teachers is entirely voluntary and the amount is determined by the individual.