Jennifer, I think what you're talking about can be an okay thing if it's upfront, and people coming in that it's part of what the dojo is about (which they definitely would at Nippon Kan). I do see a potential for problems in a situation where there's a nonspecific statement like, "We have periodic fundraisers for charity," and then one individual (or a few individuals) decide which charity is worthy based on their own personal values. The potential for problems turns into a likelihood, IMO, when people join the dojo and then afterwards someone decides that the dojo has a charity mission and starts putting the arm on people.
Yeah, no kidding, that is a problem. In that instance I would leave the dojo. And If you look back at my post again you can see that I do allude to some of the duplicitous or unjust uses of other peoples money or volunteerism( is that a word?) that can occur in such situations. In other words there needs to be agreement, transparency and integrity. Walk your walk. (This is starting to sound a lot like Aiki technique.hmmmm.smiles)
In my dojo (literally mine as I operate a sole proprietorship dojo) we haven't had any fundraisers(yet). I use portions of the 'profit' of my privately funded business in charitable ways.If we were to have a fundraiser it would be transparent and up front exactly where that $ was going. Hopefully raising social awareness through transparency.
I would like to move even more toward the model of the Nippon Kan. That is a part of the character of my dojo and IMO it is a portion of the character of living a spiritual life in support and in protection of all living things. And I'd like to inspire others through my acts, just as Homma Sensei has done.I do have hopes that other dojos in my area, and in other areas, will read this and take up a similar way of operating.
But,again,that is my dojo and to each their own.
Thanks for your great response.