Many of our supporters learn about Karuna from a Karuna fundraiser, who knocked on their door. It is important to us that people have time to make a considered decision to support the charity and not feel pressured to give on the spot. Since the early 1980s, Karuna has fundraised in this way.
Whilst a handful of our fundraisers are employed by Karuna, the vast majority are volunteers, recruited from the UK and international Buddhist community. We do not use agencies.
The volunteers will usually fundraise in a city or large town for a period of six weeks. In this time, they will live together as a community, meditating, eating, sleeping, fundraising and sharing their experiences with each other.
The volunteer fundraisers are often professionals: teachers, carers, accountants, taking time out to volunteer for a charity whose work they feel passionate about.
Registered with the Fundraising Regulator, Karuna is committed to achieving the best possible standards of practice and the best experience for our supporters.
If you have any concerns or comments about our methods of fundraising, we would really appreciate hearing from you. Please email Patrick Harper, Supporter Relationship Manager at or call our office on 0207 700 3434.
Volunteering on a Karuna Appeal
Each year, we run several door-to-door fundraising appeals. Our volunteers fundraise in a city for six weeks, giving people the chance to learn more about Karuna’s work in India and Nepal.
Unlike most other charities, Karuna’s fundraising approach is motivated by Buddhist ethics. During an appeal, our volunteers live in shared accomodation, eating and meditating together throughout the appeal. This makes Karuna appeals not only an opportunity to do something for others but also with others, deepening one’s spiritual practice within the context of a supportive and like-minded community.
Once a year at the Karuna office in London, we run a telephone appeal powered by volunteers. They call our most committed supporters to update them on our projects so that they can feel confident that their donation is making a difference. Telephone campaigns begin at 3:00pm and end at 9:30pm for 6 weeks, Monday to Friday. We provide training, ongoing support and a context where fundraisers can explore working in a Buddhist Team-Based Right Livelihood.
“I was born in rural Maharashtra into a poor Dalit community, certain to follow my mother into the low-paid work of agricultural labour. My prospects changed when a Karuna-funded project, giving reading and writing classes, began in my village. Learning about social reform from the philosophy of Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar, I was deeply inspired and I knew I could do something much better with my life.
I worked hard and was eventually able to pay for myself to go to university, but I never lost sight of my commitment to give something back. In 2005, I had the opportunity to go to the UK, and once there I immediately volunteered on a Karuna appeal.
I was very nervous in the beginning, but it was a transformative experience. I was able to meet many householders who shared my desire to transform the lives of people in India and Nepal. People want to make a difference in the world. We simply try to connect with that kindness in people. After volunteering several more times, in 2012 I became an Appeal Leader.
Karuna appeals have the power to truly change lives, just as they did mine. By deciding to join one of these appeals, you can begin transforming not just your own life but that of so many others too.”
Sanghanath, Appeal Leader