Membership Drive 2024 – Mirriam

May 23, 2024

This week, long-time member Mirriam shares how she found KCC and her experience of building connections within KCC community.

Arriving in the Pacific Northwest in late 2001, I found myself disconnected from familial bonds, and lacking a sense of belonging. Needing a moral or spiritual anchor, I wanted to return to meditation and learn more about Tibetan Buddhism.

As an adolescent, I was introduced to Tibetan Buddhism by a Jungian therapist. I’d been drawn to the reputation of Tibetan Buddhists as the epitome of peacefulness, aligning with my values. I recall flipping through the Yellow Pages, stumbling upon KCC listed under “Churches, Tibetan.” Attending a Newcomer’s Night, I found the logic of Buddhism comforting to me. I’ve been a volunteer and sustaining member of KCC for most of the intervening 20-plus years.

The people of KCC are nice! Generous, kind, and thoughtful—mostly. KCC is my chosen Dharma family. We get along, we don’t get along, sometimes I say something that ticks you off, sometimes you say something that ticks me off. We practice, pray, work, have fun together, we mostly work it out, because we’re still Dharma family and we’re on the path together.

Buddhism—at least Mahayana Buddhism—requires me to stretch beyond myself, beyond my needs toward others and ultimately to have boundless compassion and generosity toward all beings. I have become a little less about “me” and a little more about “all of us.”

The Dharma path requires commitment, and in this Samsaric world, a place like KCC can only exist if people commit their time and money to ensure the Dharma is available to those who seek it.


Dharma of Dollars

KCC is committed to providing the teachings of the Dharma freely.  To do this, we must generate enough revenue to compensate our staff, maintain the Portland Center, SCOL Retreat Center and numerous online offerings.

Recently, a newer member said that KCC feels like an organization with a $1,000,000 budget. The truth is that the rich offerings of KCCs regular practices, programs, and retreats are accomplished by dedicated staff, committed volunteers and a small budget of about $350,000.

Like many organizations, KCC is feeling the effects of inflation. The growth of income is not keeping pace with expenses, especially wages and benefits for our five wonderful employees, including Lama Eric, the Managing Director, and our SCOL staff.

  • The Board recently decided to “pause” on filling the part-time Portland Center Operations Manager position due to our projected budget shortfall.
  • The cost of insurance, Zoom and other key software subscriptions continue to rise.
  • The cost of fuel and other essentials for SCOL operations and maintenance have increased, too.
  • Replacement of the roof and siding at the Portland center is also an imminent expense.

Furthermore, the KCC Board is committed to providing Cost-of-Living-Adjustments to staff because KCC compensation is quite low in a high cost-of-living area like Portland, OR.

In 2024, the KCC budget looks like:

  • Projected Expenses: $366,000
    • Projected Employee Wages and Benefits: $207,468
  • Projected Income: $351,000
    • $125,000 from programming; $225,000 from contributions
    • This includes a $30,000 legacy gift
  • Shortfall: $15,000
    • Without the legacy gift, our shortfall this year would be $45,000
Help the KCC community steward its resources and provide a welcoming place for today and tomorrow’s Dharma practitioners.


Sustaining Supporters are the financial foundation of KCC.

During the 2024 Sustaining Supporter Drive, we ask you to consider:

  • Becoming a New Supporter
  • Increasing Your Pledge
  • Making a one-time Donation

Currently, about 130 supporters make recurring pledges.
An average monthly pledge of $175 would balance KCC’s budget.
Give enthusiastically within your means!

Here is some information to consider & guide you:

If your income is $100K per year,
a pledge of 5% of your income would be $416/mo.
a pledge of 2% of your income would be $166/mo.

If your income is $60K per year,
a pledge of 1% of your income would be $50/mo.

If your income is $30K per year,
a pledge of 1% of your income would be $25/mo.


Bi-weekly Raffle! 

During the 2024 Sustaining Supporter Drive, you will be entered into a bi weekly drawing to when you:

  • become a new sustaining supporter
  • increase your pledge
  • make a one-time donation

Make your donation early to be entered into all 4 drawings!


Volunteer Support

KCC recognizes that not all individuals are able to make a financial contribution. Volunteer efforts by sangha members are also invaluable contributions to ensure that tasks vital to KCC practices, retreats, and general operations are completed with care.  Contact Sally Mead to find a volunteer role that supports KCC.