Divine Light Mission recently released the following financial report to DUO communities and centers. Michael Dettmers (DLM-Vice President, Finance) asked us to include it and his letter in this paper.
Dear Brothers and Sisters:
To do propagation takes a strong and united effort. Just as in a normal business it takes a great deal of energy to generate a small profit, in DLM it takes a lot of support to get a propagational campaign under way. DLM is still very young; it is just like a baby that needs much attention and support in its first few years. One must give with the trust that the baby will grow and will one day be strong enough to give back so much more as a result of that early support. Guru Maharaj Ji is patiently waiting for the day when all premies come together in the realization of Knowledge and offer the fruits of their actions in service to him.
Here is the report. If you have any questions, ask your DUO Director or write to me personally.
SOURCES OF FUNDS
The major source of funds in DLM comes from the actual cash earnings and income allocations of ashram members. This accounts for a little more than half of all funds received. The remaining half is split almost equally between our contributions (domestic, primarily, and some international) and sales income from Mission-run businesses.
In the future, as more people participate in AMP, we expect the contributions slice of the pie to be the predominant piece.
USE OF FUNDS
This pie is divided into two major parts: one part depicts the scope and range of direct propagation activities, and the other part shows the same for indirect propagation activities. The main point to see here is that everything DLM does is for propagation, since the Mission exists for no other reason.
The direct propagation activities that need money are the production of film, photos, publications, slide shows, cassettes, videos, posters and leaflets, the holding of satsang programs, various community projects, the maintenance of the ashrams, and the maintenance of Guru Maharaj Ji.
By comparing the two pie graphs, you can see that the percentage of production costs for propagation materials far exceeds the money made from them. DLM is set up to do propagation; it is not a normal business that exists for profit. A great deal of overhead and manpower is needed to produce these propagation materials, and the costs are only partially offset by the revenues from the sale of these materials.
About 10% of each dollar is spent on community propagation projects - ranging from satsang programs to many different kinds of community projects.
The ashram and mahatmas account for 31% of each dollar spent, yet the ashram members make 53% of the income in the Sources of Funds pie.
The cost of maintaining Guru Maharaj Ji accounts for the remaining 4% used in direct propagation. This 4% is small but crucial when you understand who Maharaj Ji is and what his service is to the world.
The indirect costs of propagation include the costs of running businesses, administrative costs, international development, and reduction of outstanding debts.
The businesses that DLM is currently operating are producing profit as a whole, (4% between revenues and expenses).
Administrative costs are basically the cost of maintaining our offices, particularly the International Headquarters. These include office equipment, supplies and sophisticated communications and information systems.
International Development is the cost of internationalizing the Mission. There are now over sixty-two countries that are in direct and regular communication with the Denver Headquarters. Costs include telephone, telex, and shipping costs, the fronting of propagational materials to countries that cannot afford to pay for them, and financing international tours of mahatmas and the International staff.
The large debt that DLM has carried for well over a year has been substantially reduced. It is now only a fourth of what it was sixteen months ago, the remainder of the debt is being systematically reduced and we estimate that it will be completely paid off by the year's end.