About THL > How to Participate > Donating Funds and Equipment to THL
THL is a non-profit initiative whose survival is based on grants and volunteer activity. Its aim is to benefit Tibetan and Himalayan peoples, the field of Tibetan and Himalayan Studies, and the international public with an interest in Tibet and the Himalayas. THL is dependent upon individuals, foundations, universities and government agencies for financial and equipment contributions to pay for staff, facilities, equipment, training programs, travel, and various project related activities. We are thus actively seeking endowment funds, as well as small scale project-specific gifts.
please contact us at to let us know of your interest in making donations of funds, equipment, software or supplies in support of THL. The present document details in a summary fashion various types of long-term and short-term needs for which THL is seeking support. All donations are fully credited within THL including profiles of donors, unless donors request otherwise.
These donations will be processed by the University of Virginia and are tax deductible. The full extent of the donation will go to support the work with no deduction of any type. The online form has an area for "special instructions" where you can specify precisely what you would like to support with your donation. We will follow those instructions to the letter, and are happy to have you followup by contacting THL directly about the plans and timetable for the supported work.
Every staff position within THL is funded with "soft" monies, namely limited-term grants or donations. This is the most pressing problem that THL currently faces. Grants are often given by agencies whose priorities are often different from those of THL, and our organization sometimes has to thus compromise on its goals in order to getting the funding that will keep it afloat. When grants come to an end, a great deal of energy goes into applying for renewal. And, of course, there is never any guarantee that we will be successful in being awarded the grant for the new period. Put more simply, surviving on limited-term grants undercuts out broader objectives of helping individuals, communities and institutions from Tibet and the Himalayas, and of providing the infrastructural support for scholars who work in this area of the world.
The only long term solution to this situation is to create an endowment to provide us with permanent operating funds. The creation of an endowment would allow us to establish permanent positions that would ensure continuity and reliability of our work. It would allow us to provide support to important projects as they emerge, to create and execute long term strategic plans, and to maximize benefit to local communities in Tibet and the Himalayas. We are therefore actively seeking endowment donations with the broad goal of funding the following positions and programs:
- Manager of THL for systematic administering, planning and coordinating all THL work
- Programmer/Technical Director of THL, who would be responsible for oversight, integration and execution of core THL technologies
- Community and Development Director of THL for outreach, community development, and training with a focus on Tibet and the Himalayas itself.
- Ethnic Tibetan director of on-site work in Tibet to oversee, stimulate and coordinate THL activities in Tibetan areas of Asia
- Tibetan and Himalayan Fellowships for supporting Tibetans and Himalayans to receive advanced training and support.
- Project Support for providing direct support to specific projects in the form of processing labor, equipment and supplies, training and travel funds
Sponsor a Text: you can sponsor a specific Tibetan text for cataloging, input, summary and/or translation. Please contact us with the text and activity you would like to sponsor and we can provide you a quote and timeline.
Sponsor an Extant Project: most of the projects in THL are in need of funding. Please review the inventory of THL projects and consider making modest contributions, or becoming the main sponsor of a given project. For example, projects in need of funding include the Lhasa Neighborhoods, Sera Monastery, Samantabhadra (input and translation of Nyingma literature), Ngari Western Tibet, Monasteries of Tibet and many others. If a sponsor is so interested, we would be more than happy to provide detailed plans and updates, including, as relevant, inclusion of the sponsor in planning and priority decisions. Please contact us with your interests.
Sponsor a New Project: if you have a project in mind , and are able and willing to fund it, please contact us and we will work with you to create a plan, timeline and budget. For example, you may want to sponsor a translation project of a series of texts, or a rich visual study of a specific monastery, the biographical study of a specific Saint, or a learning module on a specific subject. Please contact us with your interests.
Sponsor a Domain: THL consists of five major domains – Collections, Reference, Community, Education, and Tools. For donors interested in broadly supporting THL, please consider directly supporting the systematic activities of one of these domains with small to large donations. Specific content
Miscellaneous: there are many other specific needs we have. If you are a corporation willing to consider grants of your own product, please contact us and will respond immediately.
Equipment is an ongoing challenge since equipment constantly is worn out with use, rapid changes render yesterday's equipment obsolete, and the region itself is severely challenged in terms of economics and infrastructure. We are thus in engaged in a constant struggle to make sure we have sufficient equipment. We are thus seeking equipment grants in the following areas.
Server in Lhasa: we would like to establish a local mirror in Lhasa for THL at Tibet University so that regional users have much more rapid access. However we need to purchase and adequate server.
Server at Virginia: we need to regularly update the central THL Server equipment at Virginia so that THL resources are available with the necessary speed and reliability. We have suffered tremendously over the years due to resources being fragmented over multiple servers and not having full control over the configuration of those servers.
Computers: computers are a fundamental and ongoing need, from low end to high end, and from desktops to laptops. We are particularly challenged in terms of providing adequate computer resources to our partners in Tibet and the Himalayas to fully empower their participation as creators and users.
Computer peripherals: scanners, projectors, speakers are just a few of the computer peripherals which we are constantly challenged to provide both at THL's central operations and in Tibet and the Himalayas itself for local participants.
Audio-video recording equipment: a core feature of our work is the audio-video recording of interviews, oral histories, literary readings, oral commentaries, dramatic enactments, places, special events and much else. We are also actively involved in training Tibetans and Himalayans to use such equipment for their own communal ends. Thus we are in need of audio recorders, video recorders, tripods, microphones, lighting equipment. and other related accessories. In addition, we need processing equipment such as video decks both at THL's central operations and in Tibet and the Himalayas itself.
Photographic equipment: photographic documentation is central to THL's work on many levels. In addition, given the remoteness of many areas in Tibet and the Himalayas, as well as our goal of empowering Tibetans and Himalayans to represent their own perspectives and values, it is central that the regional residents themselves be provided necessary equipment to engage in photographic documentation of their places, events and traditions. We need digital and non-digital cameras, lens, flashes, bags, tripods, QTVR equipment and much else.
Specialized site documentation equipment: there is a variety of tools needed to adequately document buildings, places and landscapes, such as GPS devices for determining locations, laser measuring devices, compasses, and the like.
Fieldwork equipment: THL engages in many expeditions across the region to collect data and work with local communities. This work requires a broad variety of equipment and supplies: tents, sleeping bags, power generators, solar power equipment, and the like.
Miscellaneous: there are many other equipment needs we face. If you are a corporation willing to consider equipment grants of your own product, please contact us and will respond immediately. Software Needs
We simply cannot afford most specialized forms of software that cost more than a few hundred dollars unless it is donated, nor can we adequately support the needs of our partners in Tibet and the Himalayas who have limited financial resources. Obviously software is central to a complex digital library initiative, but in addition our focus on allowing users to work with their own language and script (Tibetan, Nepali, etc.) requires that we have constantly updated versions of software that support Unicode fully. We are thus actively soliciting donations of software in the following categories.
Windows: the most current versions of Windows are necessary for residents of Tibet and the Himalayas to fully use their own languages/scripts in computers.
Office software: our creation and processing of data is as much as possible rooted in basic Office software – spreadsheets, word processing, presentation systems, database creation tools and the like – to maximize the extent to which THL participants across the world can be empowered to create their own data. Multilingual needs and the cutting edge of our work, however, requires that users have access to newer versions of such software.
Image and Audio-visual related software: there is a broad range of software needed for managing and processing images and audio-video recordings. If major corporate donations of software are made, we are perfectly willing to consider the adoption of new software.
Immersive and interactive resources software: expensive software is necessary for the creation of three dimensional, fully interactive models of places and buildings, as well as of interactive maps and models.
XML software: we have ongoing and extensive needs in all forms of XML software, ranging from editors for markup to more high end tools for searching/indexing and other activities related to the management of complex XML repositories.
Miscellaneous: there are many other software needs we face. If you are a corporation willing to consider software grants of your own product, please contact us and will respond immediately.