Friends of Cloud Mountain (FOCM) is the administrative 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that runs Cloud Mountain. Our organizational structure is simple. The FOCM Board of Directors currently consists of three members:
Dhammadasa David Branscomb
- President (founder and builder of Cloud Mountain)
- Vice President
- Secretary/Treasurer (current Executive Director, co-founder of Friends of Cloud Mountain)
Where large boards can be helpful to certain kinds of organizations, it is our observation that large boards tend to develop large organizations. For the purpose of running Cloud Mountain, we have chosen to remain small in order to be flexible, nimble, personal and responsive to circumstances as they arise. Those who serve as board members have established histories of valuing Cloud Mountain for its mission and how we carry it out, and a strong practice of Dharma service and generosity. However, while generosity as a quality is sought in our board members, personal wealth is not.
As a Dharma organization we don't automatically and vigorously pursue accumulation of money beyond what is needed to meet our budgetary needs. While we maintain a healthy emergency fund, we feel our energies and human resources are best spent supporting awakening, not fundraising, except as specific projects require funding.
To summarize 2015 retreat numbers and financial activity:
We hosted 1,243 individuals on 34 retreats that varied in length from two to 27 days long. Our total expenses for the year were just over $650,000. We offered over $27,000 in scholarship assistance.
Our total revenue before donations was $609,000. The total donations we received for that year amounted to nearly $146,000.
At the current time, we feel comfortable with where our retreat fees are set in meeting our budgetary needs. We're grateful that our community of meditators continues to offer such generous support through donations to cover staff health care benefits. (See our page on dāna
for more information about this aspect of our financial activities.) We see no need to increase retreat fees for the foreseeable future.
We have been able to designate a significant portion of the general donations received in surplus of our operational needs toward the project to build additional single sleeping spaces in the area below the parking lot. (That project is currently on pause, since the county building and planning department put significant additional requirements in place in response to our construction proposal.) That project will require significant fundraising.
We do not believe that "bigger is better" and have no plans to expand Cloud Mountain's capacity beyond its current size. We're considering offering longer retreat opportunities for experienced meditators. These may not take the form of teacher-led retreats. Rather, we may experiment with offering leaderless practice opportunities that would require participants to be largely self-directed and mature in their practices but have the support of the energy of a group. Specifics are still under discussion.