Launched 11/18/04


The "C" Word
Responses to Forbes

Full financial disclosure remains a sore issue for some. I expect to get a more in-depth, better article to add here. In the meantime, below are some remarks that clarified for me the spirit of offering (whether financial or whatever).

*  *  *

Excerpt from Matilda Buck's remarks: 
How important it is, therefore, that we safeguard this precious movement through our financial support. These monies help ensure that we can gather together, communicate with one another, and build a united and effective organization. Of the six paramitas — the practices required of bodhisattvas to attain enlightenment — the first is almsgiving. Nichiren Daishonin writes:
“What is appropriate for ordinary people is offering in principle [sincerely offering what is important to one’s own life]. This is the teaching called the paramita of almsgiving…” (The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, p. 1126). 
We make offerings of our time, our effort, our thought, our concern and our money for both the spiritual and the physical growth of our movement. Our financial contributions provide the means to operate 80-some facilities as centers for activities in every part of the United States, paying for rent, utilities, supplies, equipment and maintenance. It also pays for our youth programs, cultural events and community events. 

*  *  *

From the SGI-USA website:

Does Buddhism place a significance on making contributions?
Yes. Many of the letters Nichiren Daishonin wrote to his believers begin with expressions of gratitude for their sincere offerings. He praises them for their support of his activities to teach and propagate the Buddhist Law. Because this is an organization that promotes Nichiren Daishonin‚s Buddhism, making sincere offerings to support SGI- USA is a profoundly significant and important act for the sake of the Law. Making financial contributions is an expression of our sincere faith in the Gohonzon. It is a cause that will help lay the foundation for peace and prosperity of the world, as well as our personal good fortune and happiness. As Nichiren Daishonin writes: 'Still greater are the benefits arising from ten or twenty contributions, or from five years, ten years, or a lifetime of contributions. They are even beyond the measure of the Buddha's wisdom.... When you embrace this sutra, you will overflow with happiness and shed tears of joy. It seems impossible to repay your debt to Shakyamuni, but by your frequent offerings to me deep in these mountains you will repay the merciful kindness of both the Lotus Sutra and Shakyamuni Buddha' (The Major Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 254). 

How can I make financial contributions?
SGI-USA provides various opportunities to make contributions. These are completely voluntary, and members are encouraged to use common sense when making them. Annual Contributions can be made in monthly, quarterly or semi-annual installments, or in one annual payment. The minimum monthly contribution is $20.00. General Contributions can be made at World Peace Prayer Meetings, which are held monthly. Commemorative Contributions can be made during the month of May every year. This opportunity is provided to SGI-USA members in commemoration of both the founding of Nichiren Daishonin's Buddhism, April 28, and Soka Gakkai Day, May 3. 

Specifically, how will my contributions be used?
All contributions are placed in a fund used for SGI-USA activities. They support the faith and practice of SGI-USA members and contribute to the betterment of society. Expenditures fall within the following general categories: Operations: community center leases, insurance, maintenance, utilities and activity expenses. Asset acquisition: the purchase of buildings, properties and equipment, as well as building improvements. Administrative costs: salaries, legal, accounting and administrative costs. Bookstore operations: purchasing, distribution costs and warehousing. 

SGI-USA funds are used for our organizational purposes. Occasionally, SGI-USA contributes to disaster-relief or local community projects. SGI-USA makes no contributions to the Soka Gakkai in Japan or organizations in other countries. Thanks to the efforts of volunteers, a broad range of activities can be carried out and many facilities operated with a limited staff. 

Are my contributions tax deductible?
Yes. The Soka Gakkai International-USA is a nonprofit religious corporation, recognized as a tax-exempt organization by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) under Section 501 (c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. All contributions are tax-deductible. A receipt should be obtained for all contributions of $250 or more.

*  *  *

More information on financial disclosure is to come.

This website is owned and maintained by Kathy Ruby. No one else is responsible for its content. Any resemblance to any other website is purely accidental and/or satirical. Any abusive email will be read and chuckled over. Any articles documenting my personal experience are just that -- my personal experience. Your mileage may vary. Isn't that so true in life? Pages are subject to change at any time based on my whim.