The Shambhala Trust grew out of an inspiration from the Vidyadhara, Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, to look at the whole Shambhala mandala and support worthy efforts across a wide range of activities and locations.
At that first meeting, the first donation was to the European retreat center, Dechen Choling, which was just getting started and needed a boost.
At that time, it was also decided that, for the most part, the Trust would not fund operating budgets, only capital developments and special initiatives. In addition, Trust members felt that their financial contributions should be above and beyond their
individual commitments to Shambhala and its various elements, including their local centers. Finally, members decided to make the Trust an autonomous organization closely related to, but not part of, the Shambhala organization.
Because the Trust's mission is to support the mission and vision of Shambhala as presented by the Vidyadhara and Sakyong Mipham, members work very closely with the Sakyong, the President of Shambhala, and the entire Shambhala administrative mandala. However, as a donor group it is not an arm of the administration but a group of individuals who work with the practice of generosity to promote the creation of enlightened society.
The magic of this group arises from friendship and the inspiration generated through the Trust process of cultivating and supporting proposals. The group works cooperatively, and all major decisions are made by consensus. The ultimate intent of the Trust is to share this magic and magnetize generosity throughout the Shambhala community.
The Trust is recognized as a tax-exempt charitable organization in both the United States and Canada.