Earlier this morning Myself, Gurunam Kaur and Guruka Singh were in a long meeting, working on SikhNet’s budget for 2007. At the end of every year we create goals and plans for the upcoming year, and have to ensure that SikhNet’s operation is covered financially and works within the budget.
SikhNet.com has grown quite a bit in the past 11 years (Since Nov 1995). Not only the number of people visiting, but the number of services that we maintain. The SikhNet staff does this full time, and so have all the expenses that a regular business would have (office space, rent, wages for staff, insurance, utility bills, computers, servers, etc).
SikhNet has been fortunate to have started the SikhMatrimonials.com service back in 1996, which has been one of the major sources of funding for SikhNet. However, in the past few years funding from this service has declined rapidly as multi-million dollar commercial companies in India took over the Indian Matrimonial market. We recognized that we would not be able to compete with these companies. It was not our core focus to be spending most of our time developing matrimonial services and leaving little time for our core purpose (serving, educating and inspiring people to the message of the Gurus).
The past two years have been a leap of faith for us all. With matrimonial funding for SikhNet going down it started to become more and more important to receive financial support from the sangat at large. Our prayer is that people value the SikhNet service enough to support it, and start to make up the difference in funding. We have consciously made an effort to serve, serve, and serve more, so that people will feel the impact that SikhNet makes in their life and want to support it. Hopefully this is evident to you in all the many projects that we started this year. We have received countless emails from many of you expressing appreciation for SikhNet and how it has changed your life in some way, so know we are on the right track.
Today I have been feeling a bit moody and emotional. After having our budgeting meeting and seeing the financials it became VERY apparent how community support is crucial for SikhNet to continue in the future. I’m feeling the weight and gravity of the situation.
For the past 11 years I have poured my heart and soul into SikhNet and It has been the most gratifying thing in the world, to see people grow and blossom before your very eyes. I know it is all Guru ji’s doing! Working with SikhNet is such a gift, to be able to help serve others in this way. However, I’m feeling the weight of the unknown, and am unsure what the Guru will bring to SikhNet. On one hand I have to keep reminding myself to not worry and trust that the Guru will take care of it, however that doesn’t stop me from being concerned.
Why am I telling you all this? This blog has always been a way for me to share things that are on my mind in a personal way, and I felt like it was important for you to realize that everything isn’t just "business as usual". I don’t want to give you the impression that SikhNet is going to shut down next month…because it isn’t. The resources needed for SikhNet will manifest somehow, and at the right time. SikhNet does have some money in savings for emergencies, however it is not something that could sustain SikhNet on an ongoing basis.
Many people traditionally give their dasvandh to local Gurdwaras or other charitable organizations. I always try to share with people the vision of how they can make such a large impact globally through SikhNet. One should still give support locally, but recognize the impact that one can also have globally in this age of technology. There is so much yet to be done and you have the opportunity to be a part of this change.
My goal tonight is not to make you feel guilty or pressure you to give money to SikhNet. My real prayer is that you see the gift and opportunity that YOU ALL have to make a difference in the lives of thousands upon thousands of people all over the world by becoming a supporting SikhNet member. You make it possible for SikhNet to spread the teachings of the Siri Guru Granth Sahib, to serve and uplift humanity. As you have been touched and transformed in some way by SikhNet, you have the opportunity to help others to benefit in this same way.
So, those of you who feel called to serve at this time, please give generously to SikhNet and even consider signing up to give a monthly donation. I would very much value any ideas or suggestions from you all in ways to bring more financial prosperity to SikhNet. We need all the help we can get. Maybe you know someone else that might be in a position to support SikhNet, or maybe you can raise funds locally in your community.
Thanks for listening…..