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Dharma Forward, New Capital Campaign, Is Unveiled

Dharma Forward, an ambitious new BCA capital campaign that aims to raise $15 million “to build the future of Buddhism in America,” was formally unveiled at the National Council meeting.


“The campaign is groundbreaking, and it’s a new future for the BCA and IBS,” said Michiko Inanaga, Director of Development for the BCA’s Endowment Foundation.


She noted at the Feb. 26 meeting that Dharma Forward has been endorsed and supported by the Endowment Foundation, IBS Board of Trustees, BCA Executive Committee, and the Ministers Association.


Dharma Forward has already received more than 40 pledges and gifts totaling more than $4 million to date. The campaign will continue until the goal is reached.


“We would like to sincerely thank everyone who has participated so far, believing in the launch,” Inanaga said.


The BCA determined last year that a fundraising campaign was needed to support both the BCA and Institute of Buddhist Studies through four pillar initiatives:


  • Education & Programs, including digital resources and publications to share Shin Buddhism and minister training;

  • Technology & Outreach, involving marketing and a video production studio at the Jodo Shinshu Center;

  • Facilities & Operations, consisting of improvements and repairs and facilities and a BCA Building Maintenance Fund; and

  • Scholarships & Support, including scholarships for IBS students and ministerial support for training and continuing studies.


In order to meet the campaign’s ambitious goals, five-year pledges are being requested. Pledges will be allocated to areas of greatest need unless specified by the donor.


Projects will be funded by a committee of BCA, IBS, and Endowment Foundation leaders, and both Inanaga and BCA Vice President Steve Terusaki emphasized the need and importance of the campaign’s accountability and transparency. They said that annual reports of donors would be reported, as well as regular updates of the campaign.


“The time to make this commitment to BCA is now — not tomorrow, a year from now and not by anyone else,” Inanaga said.


Donors are asked to complete a pledge form to properly record and acknowledge gifts, and pledge payments can be made monthly, quarterly, semi-annually or annually by check or credit card. Online donations options are available at https://bca.kindful.com


To donate via stock transfer, employer matching or Qualified Charitable Distribution from a 401k or Roth IRA, please contact Dharma Forward in advance.


Dharma Forward is the comprehensive program to support BCA and IBS with a synergistic vision of Jodo Shinshu. As we support each other’s paths to the future, we will ensure that the Dharma be available for anyone and everyone; to hear its calling.


Other programs such as Dana Program, which supports Buddhist education programs, and Friends of IBS, which supports IBS-specific initiatives, offer donors options in ways to support budgetary needs.


In his closing remarks at the National Council meeting, Bishop Rev. Marvin Harada supported the Dharma Forward campaign and said, “I have a vision and inspiration for our future for our temples, for our Sanghas, for our BCA.


“I see that in the future, we will have vibrant and diverse Sanghas, with people of all backgrounds, all ages, all genders, all ethnicities, and sexual orientation,” he said. “I see that in the future, our Sanghas will have the Dharma as its focus, that there will be Buddhist education classes and programs everywhere, in person and virtually …. I see in the future, a Sangha in which the teachings resonate with their lives, that they see the Dharma as indispensable, just as important as food and water and air to them.”


He added that he hopes everyone “will join me in that shared vision and aspiration for our future.”


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