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BCA Technology and Outreach Subcommittee Is Seeking New Volunteers

Have you been enjoying the fresh stories on the BCA website? How about the BCA Connect email newsletter, or our Facebook and YouTube content?


These are among the accomplishments in recent years by the Technology and Outreach Subcommittee (TOSC), part of the BCA Communications Committee, led by Judy Kono. We’re BCA members with professional experience and an interest in using digital communication to tell stories and build an engaged audience. And we’re looking to do much more.



What We’ve Done


We started with the BCA Connect email newsletter to start a pulse of regular updates from the BCA to general membership. Email is an important communication channel, with a high engagement rate from the BCA demographic — 35% of the monthly emails we send out are opened, compared with an industry benchmark of 21%. If you haven’t already signed up, you can do so at: https://www.buddhistchurchesofamerica.org/bca-connect


Much of this content was already being created for the Wheel of Dharma and the Center for Buddhist Education, but by repackaging it and delivering it an easier-to-consume format, we took an audience-first approach that we’ve continued through other projects.


We then started collecting feedback and planning the new BCA website. But when the pandemic hit in March 2020, we shifted gears to hosting workshops to help temples better use digital technologies to reach their members without in-person events. These included workshops on marketing strategy, social media, and creating video content.


With the support of BCA leadership, we posted and filled a new part-time BCA position: digital content assistant. The digital content assistant helps collect and redistribute content in all of its various forms across the website, email, and social media. With the extra help, we launched the new BCA website on a modern web platform, and have continued to keep it fresh and updated.


We’ve since done many more projects including more workshops, launching the BCA Instagram account, working together with other BCA groups on getting their work out to members (FBWA, Music and Scouting committees), the virtual BCA Art Exhibit, and more.


Now, we’re working with the Dharma Forward campaign, as the Technology and Outreach pillars, to make an even more meaningful impact on the future of the BCA.


Who We Are


My name is Brad Ito, and I’m the TOSC co-chair. I enjoy sharing the Dharma and building technologies to bring people together. I grew up going to Aiea Hongwanji in Hawaii, was a Dharma School teacher and Sangha Teen advisor at Gardena Buddhist Church, co-chair of the TechnoBuddha Conference, president of the Venice YABA, and am now a part of the Dallas-Fort Worth Texas Sangha.  


Professionally, I’ve led software engineering teams for a number of startups, including an email marketing platform, a fundraising platform for nonprofits, and two different artificial intelligence (AI) companies.


Rick Kawamura, TOSC co-chair, has been leading marketing and growth teams for several Silicon Valley technology companies. He is a lifelong member of the Palo Alto Buddhist Temple, headed up their growth committee, and also led their recent website redesign. In addition to the TOSC committee, Rick also spends time on the Dharma Forward Campaign, co-chairing the Outreach and Technology Pillar.


Additional TOSC members include: Andi Dean, Alex Tsukahara, Tyler Moriguchi, Brian Koichi Mizushima, Carl Yanari, Stephanie Fong, and Orange County Buddhist Temple Resident Minister Rev Jon Turner. We’re also very grateful to have the attendance and support of Bishop Rev. Marvin Harada, Rev. Kiyonobu Kuwahara, Jon Kawamoto (Wheel of Dharma), John Mullins (original co-chair), and Judy Kono (Communications Committee chair).


Get Involved


If you like what we’ve been doing, or have ideas on how the BCA can further improve our technology and outreach, let us know!  Contact us at: tosc-committee@bcahq.org


We’re looking for more TOSC volunteer members with experience or an interest in digital marketing who love the BCA and want to help to share the Dharma. 


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