"This time of year I get to talk to you personally and that means a lot to me.
When I traveled to UK this year, a 16 year old boy saw me and said, "You're that guy from YouTube!" He told me the story of how he was about to cut his hair because of peer pressure. He went home that night and came across a SikhNet video explaining the purpose of hair. He decided then and there not to cut his hair off. He had a short beard coming in.
I invited him to the Darbar Hall for some Kirtan. I didn't see him there, so I went to look for him. I found him at the foot of the stairs looking very rigid. He said that he couldn't come in because he doesn't know anything. I told him that all he needs to come in is two ears and a heart.
What impacted me was that this boy was SCARED of the Gurdwara. He was afraid to come into the Guru's house. I realized that we've left our children without a connection to the Guru. Without a relationship to the Guru. Feeling that they are insufficient. So they look for companionship elsewhere. They look for it in their friends and not in the sangat. That experience struck me to my heart.
You know SikhNet is a small, hard-working team, and we try to do the most with the least. Each year we just squeeze through on our budget, and are able to continue. But we always have a discussion about growing, doing a better job, and reaching more people. Because that will take more resources, we always are OK with what we have and grateful to pick one new project to work on each year. But I think our small thinking is over. We can't think small at this point. The sangat is calling us to think bigger.
This year we did a marketing survey, and you told us all of the things that you want. It will take a lot of work, but we decided to take the leap because we know there is a hunger for the sangat to have a deeper experience. A hunger to merge with God and Guru in your life and in your relationships.
In order for us to make this leap, we need extra support from everyone. My request to you, my plea, the prayer of my heart is that YOU will be able to increase your gift to SikhNet this year so that SikhNet can serve better than ever before. Everyone who works here does it because we feel the Guru's mission manifesting through SikhNet. Won't you support that mission? If you are already a donor take the time to make an extra donation before the end of the year, or increase the monthly donation you are already making. And if you haven't given, now is the time. So please give some of your Dasvandh to SikhNet, and help to serve people all around the world who have that deep longing and hunger for the Guru, and to live as our Guru's taught us to live."
Guruka Singh Khalsa
Chief Executive Officer, SikhNet, Inc.
Please take a few moments right now to support this mission of Light by giving a portion of your Dasvandh to SikhNet. We need to raise $350,000 by the end of the year in order to fund SikhNet’s growth, and to continue serving hundreds of thousands of people around the world.
A Network of Light to Uplift Humanity
We live in difficult times. Never has the earth faced so many challenges on so many levels: from wars to economic injustice; from environmental distress to social unrest. When the Sikh Gurus lived hundreds of years ago, they forged a new spiritual path. One where people could live in harmony with the earth, and in peace with each other. The spiritual vision the Gurus shared created a community dedicated to equality, tranquility and prosperity.
Never is that vision needed in the world more than today.
SikhNet.com serves a very spiritual mission. We exist to give people around the globe a way to elevate their own consciousness. Change can happen through legal reform, or through social justice movements. But deep and lasting change, as the Gurus demonstrated, happens when individual people discover the power and light of their own Inner Spirit. When the Inner Light becomes ignited, a person can take away the darkness of others. Through the Guru, the Light within becomes manifest.
SikhNet serves that mission of Light. It is ONLY because of your generous support that SikhNet can continue this effort, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, reaching every single country on the planet.
If you come to SikhNet regularly, please consider becoming a monthly donor. Thank you.
Getting Ready for A Quantum Leap
No other organisation has taken a " world view" on Sikhi and the issues that face the diaspora. SikhNet has taken forward the concept of Sikhi being universally acceptable to mankind, rather than exclusive to those of Asian origin.
SikhNet.com has always been a pioneering organization. SikhNet as it exists today began 19 years ago, when the world wide web was just getting started. (Click to see Gurumustuk Singh’s video.) There is an entire generation of Sikhs who have grown up using SikhNet to support them on their journey of spirit and identity.
But now, SikhNet needs to take a quantum leap. A leap of faith. And we can only do it with YOUR support.
We know that when you, our donors, give to SikhNet, you are really investing your money with the Guru, for the future. We take that responsibility very seriously. In this year’s annual report, we want to speak to you as investors - as people who give in order to create a real and lasting change in the world.
The leap of faith that SikhNet has to make involves three phases. Those phases are:
Changing SikhNet’s infrastructure
Completing a comprehensive marketing survey to hear from you,
our audience, about what you need from SikhNet
Completely reinventing (reincarnating) the SikhNet website,
based on what we learned from you to serve our global, modern and mobile world.
During 2014, you did not see too many changes on the SikhNet website. From the outside, 2014 looked like “business as usual.” However, inside our offices, the entire staff was busy implementing phases one and two of our business plan. Here are some highlights of the internal work that we did in 2014.
Infrastructure changes are probably the most UNROMANTIC part of any professional endeavor. However, if the foundation is not laid properly, growth cannot happen. 2014 has been a year of setting a solid foundation for our upcoming changes and growth. We have been strengthening our roots in the following ways:
In April of 2014, we invited you to tell us what you thought about SikhNet’s existing services, and about the most effective way to use SikhNet’s resources in the future. The SikhNet marketing survey consisted of 96 questions which took 20-30 minutes to answer. The response was phenomenal. Over 1800 people from around the world participated, from children under 12 to seniors over 75.
You told us what SikhNet services you appreciate the most. You gave us suggestions on how to improve those services. Most importantly, you told us what you want to see more of.
It took us time to analyze the data from our marketing survey. But everything we heard will guide SikhNet’s reinvention. Here are some key findings from the survey.
There was so much more that you told us you wanted, but these are some of the highlights.
If you would like to learn more about who participated in the SikhNet survey, click here.
Can you believe that half a million people visit the SikhNet website every month? And our entire staff consists of five full time people and one part time person in the US, two part time people and a special project animator in India, and a few sevadars for the discussion forum who together manage the SikhNet website, the SikhNet apps, and our social media networks?
It is a lot of work for a small team.
Yet even with such a small team, this year, we focused on ways to become more efficient and effective with our time. How did we do this?
The results? We have improved our office efficiency by 50% this year - which means that YOUR DONATION from last year increased in effectiveness by 50%.
This year SikhNet has been able to deliver the same quality services that we have done every year while simultaneously being able to pave the road for the changes that lie ahead, all with roughly the same expenditures as previous years.
You, the donor, are the single most important reason SikhNet exists. SikhNet is the channel through which you can effect change on a global level. It is because of you that SikhNet can serve the global Sikh community around the clock. This year we have:
Begun sending out a quarterly donor newsletter
Through this newsletter, we have stayed in continuous communication with you, our donors, giving you the inside view of what is happening at SikhNet. Your feedback has told us how much you appreciate hearing from us on a regular basis through the newsletter.
Invested in a new donor management system.
This new donor management system has taken a year to implement. But it solves so many problems that you have told us about, and that SikhNet has faced in order to grow it’s base of support.
Our new donor system is integrated directly with our accounting system, which allows us to receive and manage your donations more effectively, and better report on SikhNet’s finances. With this new infrastructure in place, we can grow our funding base. You can donate money in your local currency, for instance, which has been a barrier for many people to support the work SikhNet does. This system also allows us to more confidently manage donor communications and major donor gifts, directed for specific purposes.
Sikhnet has the ability and the commitment...to transform the face of world by taking Siri Guru Granth Sahib Ji to people’s hearts!
Now that we have laid the groundwork, 2015 becomes our most critical year. While maintaining our daily services, we need to make a huge leap to reinvent SikhNet’s services in order to to serve you better and reach more people more effectively than we ever have before. How will the “reincarnation” of SikhNet better serve our community?
Imagine...an integration between SikhNet’s Online Siri Guru Granth Sahib, recordings of Gurbani shabads and katha explanations, dictionary meanings of Gurbani, and hsitorical references. All to make it easier for you to learn about and deeply understand the Guru’s teachings.
Imagine….self-guided Dharmic and spiritual learning experiences through online articles and videos, connected to community forums for discussion and feedback.
Imagine...special SikhNet sections dedicated to issues of family, wellness and relationships, giving you and your families the support you need to hold true to the Guru’s values under the difficult pressures of the modern world.
Imagine...a SikhNet Kids portal where Sikh youth can go to have fun, learn and be inspired.
Imagine...Expansions and improvements to our most popular services, such as the Gurbani Media Center, the SikhNet News and the Inspirations Videos.
These are just some of the ideas that we have developed since looking at the results of our marketing survey. But how much of this we can actually do will depend entirely on how much money we raise this year.
Attaining this goal of reincarnating the SikhNet website in 2015 will require a tremendous amount of work on the part of our staff, as well as significant one-time expenditures. Now, more than ever, we need your kind and generous support.
If you have ever thought about giving a significant gift to SikhNet, please consider making a directed donation towards the work that we need to do in 2015. Whatever you can give will help take SikhNet to this next level of serving what you, our audience, have asked us to do.
If you want to discuss our Leap of Faith with Guruka Singh directly, and how you can support it, please email him
Remember, your donation to SikhNet funds a powerful and effective global initiative for the world-wide Sikh community. Your money helps Sikhs in so many different countries maintain a spiritual connection to their faith, their history and their roots.
In addition to preparing to take this leap of faith, SikhNet continued to deliver high quality services to hundreds of thousands of people around the world in 2014.Here are some highlights from the work done this year. It is only because of your support that these services are able to continue.
For hundreds of years, the Hukamnama taken at the Harimandir Sahib in Amritsar, India has served as the Guiding Voice for the Sikh community. SikhNet is grateful to serve the Guru by helping the Hukamnama reach as wide an audience as possible. This is done by direct daily email to thousands of people every day, through the hukam page on SikhNet, through the free mobile app, and via the hukamnama telephone line. This year, a new telephone access number in Australia was added to the list of existing phone numbers in the USA, UK and Canada that people can use to call and hear the Daily Hukamnama and katha from Harimander Sahib on their phone.
SikhNet Gurbani Media Center and SikhNet Radio: We hear from people around the world who say the SikhNet Gurbani Media Center and SikhNet Radio services are their lifeline to the Guru and the sangat, especially if there is no local Gurdwara where they live. In 2014, we maintained both of these services, and added new tracks and artists every month.
In previous years, the Sikh Spirit Foundation supported the development of the SikhNet Gurbani Media Center App for Apple and Android. Then, in 2014, the Gurbani Media Center App became available to the public for FREE thanks to the generous support of Avtar Singh Dhamija, of Akal Engineers and Consultants, Ltd Canada. As a result, Web traffic of people listening and downloading Gurbani on SikhNet and through the mobile apps has increased 60% since 2013.
Thousands of people are now enjoying over 10,000 sessions every day listening to the largest online collection of Gurbani through their mobile devices. And of course - India is the #1 country that has downloaded this app.
Maintaining and growing these services is ONLY POSSIBLE because of your donation. Please give today and help the Guru’s words continue reaching hundreds of thousands of people.
The SikhNet News highlights positive work that Sikhs are doing in the world, and shares information and different views on Sikhi from a global perspective. This year, we made an extra effort to reach out and invite our community members to share their original submissions with us. Here are our editorial guidelines
By targeting our news stories to what people enjoy reading the most, the SikhNet News saw a 30% increase in readership this year.
Improving our content also helped grow our social network sites. The SikhNet Facebook page now has nearly 300,000 likes, which is an increase of 300% from this time last year.
Here are some of the most popular stories that the SikhNet News ran in 2014.
You have told us how much you enjoy the original videos that SikhNet produces. In 2014, we added 20 new videos to our Inspirations series, produced by our staff. In addition, we highlighted wonderful Sikh-related videos made by creative people within the Sikh community.
Thousands of people watch these videos through SikhNet and YouTube. Their comments tell us how these videos have positively impacted their lives. The SikhNet Inspiration Video series is one way that your donation touches and uplifts the hearts and lives of so many.
Very much needed, Will be watching over and over. Thank you!
In previous years, the SikhNet staff focused on creating audio stories for children. But the last half of 2013 and into 2014, in a quest for even greater impact, we decided to begin experimenting with animated stories for children instead.
We began with a very simple animation project, that put a “Sikh” spin on an old story. Mother Hen and the Wheat launched in January of 2014. It was our first attempt at doing a project like this - from writing the script, to finding the artists, to audio recording, and animating.
This first children’s animation project was successful. Many children and adults have enjoyed the story and sent us their positive feedback about it.
The work we did on Mother Hen and the Wheat prepared us for a much bigger project in 2014.
In 2011, Gurumustuk Singh wrote a blog post about his daughter and how she liked to imitate Disney Princesses. He wondered what would happen if she could watch animation that inspired her to become a “Khalsa” Princess, instead.
Inspired by that blog post, an anonymous donor made a large donation to SikhNet and asked us to create an animated story that would inspire young Sikh girls.
It took time for the SikhNet staff to gain the the skills we needed to fulfill this donor’s request, and to find exactly the right story to tell. But in 2014, we worked diligently to bring the animation “KAUR” to life. KAUR is an original animation project developed by SikhNet to help inspire and empower young Sikh girls.
KAUR shares the story of a modern day Sikh girl, Saibhang Kaur. Saibhang Kaur has an interest in science, but feels bullied and is afraid to follow her dream. When her Nani tells Saibhang Kaur the story of Mai Bhago, Saibhang Kaur finds a new strength within herself.
We plan to launch this original SikhNet children’s animated story in time for International Women's Day, March 8th 2015. We hope that you and the young Sikh girls in your life will enjoy it.
The SikhNet Youth Online Film Festival has become one of the most anticipated events among Sikh youth, especially in India. Through the Film Festival, Sikh youth are given an opportunity to create unique and original Sikh-positive media and tell their own stories to the world in their own voice.
This year, the theme for the Film Festival was “Uncommon Courage.” SikhNet received 25 films from young Sikh directors in India, the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia. The winners of the Film Festival were announced at the end of September. Many of these films will be invited into other film festivals, or shown at special Sikh spirit events organized by community members.
In addition to serving in the offices, members of SikhNet staff get invited to teach at Sikh youth camps. We often receive more invitations than we can accommodate. In 2014, SikhNet staff served at the Indianapolis Sikh Youth Camp and at Camp Miri Piri in the USA, along with five cities in the UK - including the week-long Newcastle Upon Tyne Summer Youth Camp - and at the Symposium on the Guru Granth Sahib in San Jose, CA.
Last, but certainly not least, we spend a lot of time every day answering questions on the Sikh Youth Questions and Answers Forum and responding to the many emails, Facebook messages and phone calls we receive from people who have personally reached out to SikhNet for help and inspiration. Maybe they have a question, or they need some support and elevation. But we do our best every day to provide that one-on-one personal touch that people need.
We want to express our deepest gratitude to all of you who have donated to SikhNet over the years. It is only because of YOU - your kindness, your vision, and your dedication to the Guru’s mission, that so many Sikhs in the global community have an online vehicle to uplift themselves.
We thank you for being part of the SikhNet family and ask you once again to give to SikhNet this year.
The ONLY WAY we can maintain our services next year and take the leap of faith we need to grow and serve the Panth in the way it now needs to be served is with your kind and generous support.
SikhNet, Inc is a tax-exempt IRS registered 501c(3) non-profit charitable organization.
All donations are deductible in the USA and many other countries as well.
SikhNet, Inc is a tax-exempt IRS registered 501c(3) non-profit charitable organization.
All donations are deductible in the USA and many other countries as well.