A Guide to Financial Giving
The temple is fortunate to have members and friends who volunteer
their time and energy to support our activities. While this physical
support is critical, there is also a need to ask our members to consider
financial support as well. These solicitations come in several forms and
at times may seem confusing or even conflicting in purpose. Here’s a
guide to some of the more common forms of financial giving.
Pledge – The temple has an annual campaign to raise funds that go towards
the Operating Budget. This budget pays for ministerial salary, programs,
utilities, maintenance and the day-to-day expenses of running the temple.
The Pledge provides about one-third of the required income. Unlike some
temples that assess dues, MBT has long relied on our members to determine
their level of donation. A suggested guideline is one percent of one’s annual
income. This is merely a suggestion and Pledges of any amount are gratefully
accepted. Pledges average $400 per family with 50% coming from Niseis,
27% from Sanseis and 23% from Dharma School Families. A financial
Pledge entitles a member to vote on temple matters. If you have any questions
concerning the Pledge, please see Sharon Harada.
Envelope Days – There are six major religious holidays when the temple
sends out Donation Envelopes. These include Hoonko, Hanamatsuri, Gotane,
Obon, Ohigan and Bodhi Day. Members and friends are encouraged to make
a donation on these holidays whether they are able to attend the service or not.
These funds go towards the Operating Budget and account for about 15%
of the required income. Donations vary between $10 and $50.
Monthly Memorials – On the first Sunday of each month, the temple
conducts a memorial service for those who have passed away during that
month, regardless of year. Invitations are mailed to families on record and
many respond with a donation. These funds go towards the Operating
Budget and account for about 10% of the required income. Donations vary
between $15 and $100. If you wish to have a family member added to our
records, please contact the Office.
BCA Dues – The Buddhist Churches of America assess annual dues based
on temple membership. MBT’s dues are paid through the Operating Budget.
As a result, a portion of your Pledge to MBT goes to support the BCA.
BCA Sustaining Membership – This is an annual solicitation to support
needs and programs not covered by the BCA Budget. A portion of the fund
is transferred to the Bishop’s Expansion Fund, which in turn has supported the
Eastern Buddhist League Conference, renovation of the Bishop’s residence,
publications and ministerial grants. Donations vary between $25 and $100.
Campaign BCA - The 21 st Century – This is a $30 million campaign to
increase the understanding, appreciation and practice of Jodo Shinshu Buddhism
throughout the US and to provide more ministers, facilities, staffing and the
financial resources necessary to serve future generations. A central objective is
to establish facilities for the Institute of Buddhist Studies and the Jodo Shinshu
Study Center. A building has been secured in Berkeley, California and is
undergoing renovation. You will hear more about this Campaign in the coming
Throughout MBT’s sixty years of existence, we have been fortunate to enjoy the
generous support of countless individuals and organizations. While fundraising is
a necessary component of temple life, it is not meant to be our primary focus. As
a not-for-profit organization, our budget is designed to break even. Unlike some
temples, MBT does not publish donated amounts as all donations, regardless
of size, are gratefully and equally accepted. Thanks to the planning and sacrifice
of our Issei and Nisei, the temple is on a sound financial footing. It is now up to
the Sansei and Yonsei to continue this tradition of selfless giving. Together with
our new members and those who will join us in the years to come, the future
remains bright for MBT.