Tibetans preserve their unique culture.
Teleconference Meeting on Funds Handling, Website Integration
and Future Reorganization of Gaden Relief
November 27, 2002
Zasep Rinpoche, Conrad Richter (Gaden Relief), Rob Standfield
(Gaden Choling), Sharon Gretzinger (Gaden for the West), Evan
Zaleschuk (Zadoh Committee), Bridget MacKenzie (Zuru Ling)
Zuru Ling will not issue tax receipts for Gaden Relief-related
donations. All foreign-aid donations will be put through Gaden
Relief's books and tax receipts will be issued by Gaden Relief
for these donations.
This principle of putting foreign-aid money through Gaden Relief's
books should be extended to other centres that may be issuing
tax receipts for foreign-aid donations. The tax receipt aspect
only applies to Rinpoche's Canadian-based organizations. There
was no discussion on how this guideline should be communicated
to the other centres. This was not brought up; does anyone have
any suggestions how this should be communicated to Rinpoche's
Canadian centres? Obviously, Rinpoche could speak to the presidents
of Tashi Choling, Potala, etc. but do we always have to put the
burden on Rinpoche for things such as these? Could Gaden for the
West do it? Should Conrad just do it? [Sharon, Rob and Bridget
suggested later that Conrad should write the letter and Sharon
will distribute it with a covering letter to the centres.]
Minor cash donations collected by each centre need not religiously
be put through Gaden Relief if no tax receipts are issued and
the money does not go through the centre's books. It may be better
to do so in the eyes of the government, but for these smaller
sums, discretion is given to each centre whether to send the money
to GRP or to give Rinpoche the money directly. What is a "smaller
sum"? It was not decided. How about $100 or less? That is,
cash donations for Zadoh or Gaden Relief for which the donors
do not expect a tax receipt is $100 or less, then that money could
be given to Rinpoche directly.
Although foreign donors from Australia and others have been giving
Rinpoche money for Zadoh and GR projects directly, it may be better
for Rinpoche and for the donors to put the money through Gaden
Relief. Rinpoche has been turning these donations over to Gaden
Relief anyway, and they have been recorded and in some cases receipted
with Canadian tax receipts. This policy will continue.
The Zadoh account, which was opened in 2000 but was not in Gaden
Relief's control until September 2001, will continue to be used
by the Vancouver Zadoh committee for donations it collects and
issues tax receipts for.
Major disbursements such as issuing cheques to Rinpoche to Tibet
will be formally approved by Gaden Choling's board as long as
Gaden Relief remains a branch of Gaden Choling. Evan has undertaken
to provide numbers and dates to Conrad. Conrad has to do a better
job of passing on the same to Rob!
All aid will continue to be supplied under the contract system
that Conrad has set up. That includes moneys disbursed from the
Evan has undertaken to make changes to the Jamseng website to
identify the connection to Gaden Relief. The donation page on
the Jamseng site was mentioned but not discussed fully: perhaps
it makes sense to put a special Jamseng donation page on the Gaden
Relief server -- one that continues the design elements of the
Jamseng site -- and have the Jamseng site link to that donation
page directly. Hosting the donation page on the Gaden Relief server
makes sense because the server can provide 128 bit SSL encryption
for secure sessions while donors are supplying sensitive personal
information. The rest of the Jamseng site can continue to reside
on the server where it is now.
Of the three logos in existence for Gaden Relief, the one of the
yak with a red cross will become the main identifying logo. There
are two others -- an "umbrella" design for used for the letterhead
and the little girl (according to Bridget, is actually a boy)
used on both the Gaden Relief and Jamseng websites -- will no
longer be used as logos.
To help connect the websites of Rinpoche's other organizations
such as the centres and Gaden for the West, the use of an image
suggested by Didi is to be explored. This image is [I am not clear
on this] of the form of a seal that was often used in Tibet, and
this one was associated with Rinpoche's lineage or family. Rinpoche
is to supply a copy of this image. Sharon to follow up and make
it available to Gaden Relief and the centres?
a) Rinpoche feels it is a good idea to separate the international
foreign aid projects from the international religious projects.
It was felt by all that a clearer separation of these two projects
could help to increase the comfort of GRP donors.
In order to the carry out the foreign aid activities for all of
Rinpoche's centres and organizations it is best if Gaden Relief
be constituted as a separate organization with its own charitable
status. Now it is a branch of Gaden Choling and uses GC's tax
status in order to issue tax receipts. GC has the responsibility
for reporting Gaden Relief's activities to the government, and
for making sure that Gaden Relief's activities are under its control
and are legal. The fact is, the GC president knows little about
foreign aid policies and procedures, GRP records are kept off
site with the account books at the program co-ordinators office
and there is no GRP representative attending board meetings. These
things considered, it would be pretty hard to convince even the
least observant auditor that GC actually administers GRP. It simply
doesn't. One audit under the current administration could mean
the termination of GRP.
Rob, Dawn and Conrad will explore options for separating Gaden
Relief from Gaden Choling, and will begin the process of setting
up the new organization and applying for charitable status. Two
options were identified: to apply for an interim charitable status
as a branch of Gaden Choling (which can be issued quickly) which
can later become a separate organization, or go for the separate
organization now. Rob suggested that instead of duplicating databases
and records and keeping them at two sites thereby increasing the
chances of administrative errors, why not just leave things as
they are and register GRP with separate divisional status. This
is easier for all parties, creates clearer paper trails and, I
feel, would be a step that would ensure the longevity GRP.
Rinpoche will call Nonita Yap today or tomorrow to discuss future
directions in the areas of public health and the environment and
possible CIDA funding for that. Rinpoche and Conrad are to meet
with Nonita in May of 2003 to solidify the connection and to discuss
plans for the 2003 expedition to Zadoh.
Dentist Christina Wong will not be able to join the 2003 expedition,
but another dentist, Ken Stones of Whiterock, B.C., is "95% certain"
of going. The understanding is that he will donate the cost of
the airfare. He is to talk to Candace and Robbie before he makes
a final decision to join.
No progress has been made on acquiring a copy of the book, "Where
There is No Doctor" in Tibetan. Email messages to Dharamsala have
gone unanswered. New attempts to contact Dharamsala by mail and
email will be made by Sharon (or Evan?) and Conrad. If anyone
from the sangha is going to Dharamsala they should be asked to
hunt down a copy. This book could be used by the doctors at Jamseng,
and it can be used as a source of material for fact sheets that
can be handed out to patients by the doctors.