Frequently Asked Questions

Is my contribution tax-deductible?

The Tibetan Nuns Project is a 501 [c] 3, so all contributions are tax-deductible for residents of the United States. You can choose to receive a letter or email (depending on your preference) that serves as your tax receipt.

For Canadian Donors

For Canadian donors (sponsors see below) who wish to receive a tax receipt, you will give through our “Tibetan Nuns Project Giving Group” at Chimp Foundation.

You can give to the Tibetan Nuns Project via Chimp in these 3 ways:
1. online via credit card at
2. by cheque by mailing it to Chimp Foundation, Suite 1250 – 1500 West Georgia Street, Vancouver, BC, V6G 2Z6 AND including the Giving Group name “Tibetan Nuns Project Giving Group” in your memo;
3. by gift of securities ( by calling Chimp at 1 (877) 531-0580 or emailing

For Canadian Sponsors

If you wish to receive a Canadian tax receipt for your sponsorship gifts, you may make your gifts (whether monthly, quarterly, or annually) through our Tibetan Nuns Project Giving Group at the Vancouver-based Chimp Foundation.

We ask that you commit for a year if possible and the basic cost is US$30 a month or US$360 a year. Due to inflation over the years, the true cost to sponsor a nun is about US$1,000, but since 1998 we have maintained our sponsorship program at US$360 a year. Some sponsors are willing and able to give more than the US$30 suggested amount, but you do not need to. We know that the Canadian dollar is generally weaker than the US dollar and that there are always currency fluctuations. If you are able to donate a bit more than Cdn$30 a month to deal with the exchange, that would be wonderful.

You can set up your donations through the Tibetan Nuns Project Giving Page at Chimp Foundation in whichever way you wish — monthly, annually etc. Once you do so, we will forward along your information to our office in India and you will be paired with a nun. Chimp Foundation will provide you with an annual Canadian tax receipt, but you will receive correspondence from our office with additional details about sponsorship.

How are Sponsorship Funds distributed?

We seek to offer an equitable system of sponsorship, and in order to do this we have found that distributing money to the nunneries of sponsored nuns, rather than individuals themselves is the best method. Within each nunnery, the funds are used collectively to cover the basic expenses of food, housing, clothing, medical care and education. Each nun receives 200 rupees per month for incidental expenses. In the case of nuns who do not reside in a nunnery (nuns in retreat), funds are issued to them on a monthly basis to cover food, rent and incidentals. When these nuns have additional needs, such as medical care or clothing, they may apply to the project for assistance.

How does my money get to India?

Funds are wire transferred to the Tibetan Nuns Project in Dharamsala every quarter.

Can I study at one of the nunneries?

Lay people can always join the nunnery and study in the nunnery as day students with no accommodation. If these students wish to have their meals from the nunnery kitchen, they can do so and pay for it directly at the nunnery. Foreign national nuns who study and stay in the nunnery pay a donation of US $35 or INR 2000 per month for their accommodations and food. Only nuns are provided with accommodation in the nunnery.

I am interested in becoming a nun, how do I do so?

Those who wish to study Tibetan Philosophy will need an understanding of the Tibetan language. Studying at a local Tibetan Institute for a few months to a year proves beneficial for foreign nationals. Once the interviews have been conducted, nuns will provide a hair offering to a lama, start wearing robes and recite their vows.

What is the meaning of the Tibetan Nuns Project logo?

Tibetan Nuns Project green hoodie showing logo

Through the online store, the Tibetan Nuns Project sells hoodies with the TNP logo. They are available in 5 sizes from small to XXL and in two colors, forest green and burgundy.

Our logo is made up of the seed syllables E (pronounced “ay” as in “day”) and VAM, written in an ancient Sanskrit script and surrounded by a circle of twenty-one syllables TAM.

The seed syllables E and VAM, which symbolize wisdom and compassion, are surrounded by a circle of twenty-one TAM, the seed syllable of Tara, the feminine embodiment of compassion.

There are twenty-one because the twenty-one forms of Tara are one of her most popular manifestations. The nuns have a particular affinity for Tara and are frequently asked by the Tibetan community to perform Tara rituals on their behalf.

How should I dispose of prayer flags respectfully?

Tibetan tradition considers prayer flags to be holy. The flags contain sacred texts and symbols and should be treated respectfully. They should not be placed on the ground or put in the trash. When disposing of old prayer flags one should burn them so that the smoke may carry their blessings to the heavens. Do not let prayer flags touch the ground as they are burned. To learn more, read our blog post on this topic.

Further questions?

Contact us at our US office at phone: (206) 652-8901 or email: