Our Approach

Each year, we run several door-to-door fundraising appeals. Our volunteers fundraise in a city for six weeks, giving people they meet the chance to learn more about Karuna’s work in India and Nepal. If they feel moved, they will be asked to support with a regular gift. 

Unlike other charities, Karuna’s fundraising approach is motivated by Buddhist ethics. We do not pressure people into giving. Instead, we give time and space to people, allowing them to make a considered, conscious choice to donate. 

During an appeal, our volunteers live in shared accomodation, eating and meditating together 5 days a week and receiving training from professional fundraising team leaders. The structure and atmosphere of an Appeal is a combination of Team-Based Right Livelihood, community living and retreat conditions with a programme of practice underpinned by a Buddhist perspective. 

What happens on an Appeal?

In the summer of 2014, a team of women spent six weeks knocking on doors in Manchester, UK to raise money for Karuna, helping some of the poorest people in India and Nepal.

By working with their own obstacles to better develop openness and responsivity, they were able to encourage hundreds of new donors to give regularly to Karuna, creating benefit for thousands of people in South Asia - all while changing themselves in a positive way in the process. 

If you don’t feel you are able to give this level of commitment at this time then maybe you would consider volunteering for one of our Telephone Appeals?

Find out about the financial support we offer and other frequently asked questions.

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This has been the most significant developmental experience since my ordination 27 years ago! I’ve experienced interconnectedness like never before.


Stories From The Doors

Residential Appeal Dates

Women’s Appeals

Summer 2019 – 8th June to 20th July

Autumn 2019 – 14th September to 26th October



Men’s Appeals

Spring 2019 – 20th April to 1st June - London

Summer 2019 – 27th July to 7th September - London


Our Trainers


Why I love appeals. I love the appeals simply because it connects me to where I come from and it pushes me to think how I can be an agent for social change in the world. Doing appeals have changed me so much last few years than anything else.

Favourite Project: Karuna Hostels

Next to my village in India, there is a hostel for disadvantaged children which I have seen in action since I was a boy. It was one of the first places that I realised how much you can truly help others. Whenever I visit this project, I feel tremendous gratitude and love for Karuna.

E  appeals@karuna.org


Why I Love Karuna Appeals. I love witnessing people go through the journey of authentically meeting themselves in relationship to others and allowing themselves to be transformed by this. When the gap between self and other is lessened anything is possible! Appeals create perfect conditions to transform self and World.

Favourite Project: The Pardhi Hostel

I remember meeting some of the people who ran the hostel. Hearing their stories of discrimination moved me deeply. This community have experienced generations of extreme prejudice; deemed “criminals” from birth, they live with daily caste injustice. To know that Karuna help provide these children a safe and holistic educational environment to help break the cycle of extreme poverty and disempowerment helps me feel that the work I do makes a real difference. The project leaders had such a passion and fire for their work, it was inspiring!

E  appeals@karuna.org


Why I love appeals. It’s not what we do, but the way that we do it. We come together in love and friendship, then take that into the world  and to the people we meet. 

Favourite Project: NIRMAN. 

I saw real change, with men and women eating together and sharing household duties - something they didn’t do before. Some people technically didn’t even exist legally before NIRMAN intervened and helped them register their births. 

E  appeals@karuna.org

Would you like to speak to us about doing an appeal? 



All the essential need to know information

Financial Support

The support package ensures that volunteering for a Karuna appeal does not upset your finances. There are two support packages listed below to illustrate what is possible, although some people take less or nothing and others are welcome to discuss an increase. There is also a retreat allowance.

Appeals can be expensive. We try to keep the cost of an Appeal low so that more of the donations can go to our projects, while also trying to reduce the strain on our fundraisers for giving up their time to help. Karuna provides a realistic support package to fundraisers to make it possible for you to do an Appeal while also ensuring that your hard work reaches the beneficiaries in an impactful way.


Up to £250 per week to cover rent and bills incurred ‘back home’ while on the Appeal and travel to and from the Appeal. This includes a £70 per week allowance (from which one makes a contribution to the Appeal food kitty).


Up to £600 towards a return flight to the UK, internal UK travel to and from the Appeal, £70 per week (from which one makes a contribution to the food kitty).


On completion of an Appeal there is a 7 day retreat allowance (max £280) for use in any UK Triratna retreat centre.


This is a concern for a lot of people coming on Appeal and responses to it are explored through the training. Asking for money can bring up issues around our own worth and fears of rejection. Within the context of having built up some rapport with the householder and having given them a booklet to read about Karuna, you will learn how to mention money in such a way as to give the householder a free choice.

That’s OK. When you meet a householder you give them a booklet which describes the projects Karuna funds in India, so you don’t need to know a huge amount. Fundraising is about the connection made between you and the householder. The connection happens because of who you are rather than what you know.

However, obviously it does help if you know something! It’s a good idea to read a bit before you come on the Appeal (we suggest Ambedkar and Buddhism by Sangharakshita and But Little Dust by Padmasuri). Throughout the Appeal there will be opportunities to learn about the projects through a slideshow, videos, books and discussion. As you learn more and deepen your connection with Karuna’s work, your passion and inspiration will come across to the householders, in turn inspiring them to support Karuna.

Karuna offers a support package so that fundraisers can have their costs met whilst doing an Appeal. This includes home rent, bills etc. as well as £60 per week. There is also a seven day retreat allowance, for use at any UK Triratna retreat centre.

Most weekends are free and so there is the possibility of going away for a weekend. The recommendation is that you don’t leave for more than 2 weekends during the Appeal. Doing an Appeal is a somewhat ‘full-on’ experience and you will most likely want to chill-out on the weekends with the community. Also, the fundraising rests on the ‘retreat-like’ atmosphere creating a ‘going-deeper’ experience, and too many trips away will dilute this.

We take fundraisers' safety very seriously and have a policy and several processes in place to help fundraisers to stay safe. We choose our fundraising areas carefully and ensure that Appeal leaders are aware of fundraiser's whereabouts and have ways to stay in contact.


If your question is not answered here, please get in touch.

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