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Friends of FPMT FAQ


What is Friends of FPMT

Q. What does my Friends of FPMT donation pay for?

A. As a Friend of FPMT, you are part of a worldwide donor program composed of students and friends working together to support Foundation for the Preservation of Mahayana Tradition global activities. Friends of FPMT provides reliable funding for Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s International Office, allowing us to continue to serve our centers and students.

Q. Why did you change the name from FPMT Foundation Membership to Friends of FPMT?

A. We found the term “membership” was confusing for some students and staff already affiliated with one of FPMT’s 160+ centers, projects or services. We received questions such as, “I attend classes at my local FPMT center, doesn’t that already make me a member of FPMT?” To avoid confusion we decided to change the name of our program so it is clear that membership to Friends of FPMT is different than membership to the greater organization.


Friends Registration and Billing

Q. How do I sign up to be a Friend of FPMT?

A. Thank you for your interest! The easiest way to sign up is to visit us online at http://fpmt.org

You are also welcome to email us or give us a call at, (503) 808-1592. Friends of FPMT forms can be mailed to: FPMT International Office, 1632 SE 11th Avenue, Portland, OR 97214, USA.

Q. Does my donation reoccur every year or will I be contacted about renewing?

A. Your Friends of FPMT donation can be set up in a variety of ways to suit your preference. We recommend recurring donations which are paid on a monthly or quarterly basis; these can be automatically deducted from a checking account or paid by a credit card number we have on file. This is an easy and effective way to support us with little effort on your end.

Friends of FPMT is also offered annually which can be paid by check, credit card, or money transfer. We will contact you at the end of your member year with renewal information. If you are a recurring member, your membership will automatically renew until you cancel (and you can cancel at anytime).

Q. Do I have to wait to be contacted or can I renew at any time?

A. You are welcome to renew at any time. If you’d like to do so now, please visit http://fpmt.org or contact us at, (503) 808-1592.

Q. Will my contact or email information be shared with other organizations?

A. No, your contact information is kept private within the FPMT organization. We do not share or rent information.


Friends Membership VS Center Membership

Q. I have a membership to my local FPMT center. Does that mean I am also a Friend of FPMT?

A. Friends of FPMT is separate from your center membership. Friends of FPMT supports FPMT’s global outreach in the areas of education, center service and support, and charitable projects. Your local center membership directly sustains that particular center and any initiatives they sponsor.

Some centers offer Friends of FPMT as part of their center member benefits package. If you are not sure if this is included in your center membership, please check with your center. If it is not, we invite you to become a Friend of FPMT today!


Friends of FPMT Benefits

Q. I just signed up. Will I receive a membership card?

A. At this time, Friends of FPMT does not come with a membership card.
Q. What if I already have a Mandala Magazine subscription?

A. If you have been receiving (or formerly received) Mandala as an individual subscriber and wish to continue to receive it, you can now only do so via the Friends of FPMT program. This will allow you to stay connected to Mandala and will bring you additional exciting benefits, such as online resources and educational opportunities.

One exception to this is that some readers receive Mandala Magazine as a benefit of belonging to an FPMT center. If you receive Mandala because of your center membership, you have the option to donate your second print subscription to a prisoner or friend. Please email to donate your subscription.

Q. I enrolled as a member but haven’t received the latest Mandala, why?

A. Mandala is dependent upon a printing schedule and you may have enrolled just after the current issue was mailed. For example, if you enrolled in January, the Jan-Mar issue would have already been sent out and your first issue would begin with the Apr-June issue, which is sent in early March. Please contact if you have questions about receiving the current or any past issues.

Another possibility is that you changed your address and didn’t notify us. In that case, your magazine was returned. Please be sure to let us know if your address changes.

It’s always best to check first with your postal carrier/service to see if they can offer any information about the delivery of your Mandala. In some parts of the world, mail service can encounter significant delays which are unfortunately out of our control.

Q. Why do you offer a price range for each Friends of FPMT level? Wouldn’t everyone just choose the lesser amount?

Friends of FPMT is a donor program for those wishing to support FPMT’s worldwide activity. We offer a price range to accommodate any budget, if people feel they can offer more than the base price for the same benefits, we’re happy to put their money to excellent use. Every dollar we receive directly supports Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s work to help all living beings.

Q. I was previously offered a discount to the Foundation Store with my FPMT Foundation Membership. When you changed the name to Friends of FPMT you withdrew the Foundation Store discount. Why?

A. We found it administratively difficult managing the discount codes necessary to offer a discount at the Foundation Store. About 40% of our customer service questions involved questions about the discount codes. We’re a very small staff and felt this wasn’t the best use of your dollars to offer this particular benefit. Instead, we can use our resources to maintain and develop the core benefits of Mandala Publications and the Online Learning Center.


 What is the FPMT Online Learning Center?

With over 50 modules available in English, Spanish and French, and more than 17,000 registered users, the FPMT Online Learning Center provides an enormous opportunity to learn. Students who want to  engage in the comprehensive programs developed by FPMT Education Services can easily join other students from all parts of the world in their studies and practice without leaving home.

Perhaps you’ve studied Buddhism for years in a town with no Buddhist center and feel you have no one to talk to about progressing on the path. Maybe you already participate in online social forums and would love to do so with a spiritual community. Or perhaps a question arises at 3:00 a.m. that needs an answer ASAP. Even if you already attend a Dharma center, the Online Learning Center may offer additional Dharma connections,  and an opportunity to study a program not offered locally.

The programs range from Buddhist basics to advanced Vajrayana commentaries, with offerings including study programs such  as Meditation 101, Discovering Buddhism, Living in the Path, the Basic Program; and additional teachings such as Shiné Retreat with Ven. Choden Rinpoche and Ven. Rene Fusi, and special commentaries such as Commentary on Lama Chopa and Commentary on Lama Tsongkhapa Guru Yoga.  Programs are complete with video and audio teachings, reading materials, moderated discussion forums, coursework and study guides, and community service assignments.

The Online Learning Center brings ease, structure and depth to your studies. All these resources can be found through the convenience of a module’s single webpage, and with links provided to other resources, you can study without the need to search the web for related materials. Everything can be stored digitally or streamed directly from the web, and modules can be completed on your own time and pace.


There are two ways to take advantage of the Online Learning Center:
  • Join Friends of FPMT now, and immediately have access to a number of free modules.  Friends of FPMT who make monthly or annual contributions have access to additional modules, receive a year’s subscription to Mandala Publications, downloadable Dharma gifts, and special Friends of FPMT communications.
  • You can purchase individual modules of the programs at the Foundation Store. Choose the “online” version of your selected module.
Visit the Online Learning Center



How does Friends of FPMT benefit FPMT centers worldwide?


Friends of FPMT is much more than just a subscription to a magazine or access to an online learning center. Friends of FPMT offer vital support to the efforts of Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s International Office, allowing us to continue to serve our centers and students through:

  • Developing innovative education programs including the FPMT Online Learning Center, which now has over 17,000+ registered users
  • Publishing educational books, practice materials and study courses in a variety of languages, under the advice of Rinpoche
  • Making Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s teachings available immediately through livestreams online to students anywhere in the world.
  • Publishing Mandala magazine and online articles which include stories and news from FPMT sites around the world aimed at providing a sense of community and cohesion amongst students and supporters
  • Supporting the 160 (and growing!) FPMT centers, projects, services and study groups around the world
  • Providing administrative and financial structure for the incredible charitable projects, education funds, holy object initiatives, health care activities and animal liberations  which give FPMT an excellent global reputation
  • Establishing relationships between FPMT centers and qualified geshes and translators
  • Handling all of Rinpoche’s correspondence with students, many of whom are students at FPMT centers
  • Maintaining Rinpoche’s teaching schedule which allows centers and students continuous access to our precious spiritual director
  • Providing centers and their supporters with Rinpoche’s latest advice and updates through the FPMT News

Friends of FPMT

Friends of FPMT is a program created for those who want to directly become a part of the FPMT community of supporters, and provides much-needed funding to many FPMT activities. As a Friend of FPMT, your donations will fund the creation of FPMT Education programs and materials, new translations of texts, help us serve our charitable projects and assist FPMT centers, projects, and services. Your donations will maintain all our websites, blogs and the Online Learning Center, which has provided over 17,000 registered users with access to rich FPMT Education programs. It will also enable us to print Mandala magazine, and lots more. 

And as a Friend of FPMT you will also get to directly enjoy and be connected to what you support. Friends benefits can include a subscription to Mandala magazine, access to all the courses in the Online Learning Center, free downloadable gifts from FPMT Education Services, puja’s at Kopan monastery sponsored in your name, e-Newsletters and special updates.


The Four Harmonious Friends

In the Vinayavastu (Foundation of Discipline), the Buddha tells the story of the Four Harmonious Friends – a pheasant, a rabbit, a monkey, and an elephant – who lived together in harmony. Each of the younger animals showed respect for the older animals’ life-experience and knowledge by carrying the older on his back.

Later, the eldest (the pheasant) taught the practice of ethical conduct to the others, who then taught the same practice to the rest of the forest creatures. Because of this, happiness and comfort increased greatly in the world.

It is said that wherever a picture of the Four Harmonious Friends is displayed, the ten virtues will increase, the minds of all will become harmonious, and many auspicious events will occur.

Other Ways To Help FPMT?


Contact us!

FPMT International Office
1632 SE 11th Avenue
Portland, OR 97214-4702

Office Telephone: (503) 808-1588
Toll free (US only): 866-808-3302
Fax: (503) 232-0557

Annual reports and financial reports allow us to demonstrate our accountability and achievements.

Thank you for your Friendship.

Annual Review
Financial Performance

Click on your level of choice to join.
All levels are for a term of one year.



$30 per year

  • One year subscription to Mandala magazine online and as a downloadable PDF for your e-reading device or computer 
  • E-newsletter updates
  • Annual Friends Celebration Letter updating the successes of FPMT International Office for the year in order to rejoice, dedicate and celebrate



Foundation Friends

$5-$25 monthly gifts

(or $60+ per year)

You will receive the above plus:

  • A one-year subscription to Mandala Publications
  • A new annual Dharma eBook, mp3 or video from FPMT Education Services once a year
  • Annual Friends Celebration Letters informing you of the successes of FPMT for the year in order to rejoice, dedicate and celebrate

Dharma Supporters

$30-$99 monthly gifts

(or $360+ per year)

You will receive the above plus:

  • Complete access to FPMT’s Online Learning Center
  • A new Dharma e-book, mp3 or video from FPMT Education Services every 3 months

Patron Friends

$100 monthly gifts or more

(or $1,200+ per year)

You will receive the above plus:

  • A special yearly Patron Puja sponsored on your behalf at Kopan Monastery


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Gift Friendship

All levels

Would you like to give the gift of Friends of FPMT? Click here to give Friends to your friends!



IMI Sangha Friends

$30 per year

Are you an ordained Sangha member?


International Friends

$30 per year

Do you live in a country with low to medium international currency exchange rates

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Free Friends – Just Sign Up

You will receive:

  • Monthly e-newsletters
  • Access to free courses on FPMT’s Online Learning Center
  • Links to other free resources