Why did we start a Capital Campaign?

After seven years of careful planning and a feasibility study, the Zen Center Board of Directors in September 2007 approved a $16.9 million dollar capital campaign.

Because we had never embarked on a campaign of this magnitude, this decision was not an easy one to make. We faced three critical challenges and agreed that a bold step was necessary:

  • long overdue maintenance of facilities at our three treasured practice centers
  • the need to invest in programming and teacher support
  • inevitable cost of living increases including health care

At the same time we were also aware of a growing request for Zen practice opportunities. In response, we developed several initiatives to guide us in going forward:

  • Extend Suzuki Roshi’s vision of Zen practice and expand access to our programs
  • Enhance our teaching capacity and deepen the training of the next generation of Zen teachers
  • Sustain and improve our facilities, while reducing environmental impact
  • Increase endowment to sustain the community and ensure long-term financial stability

How did you receive the Challenge Grant?

In the summer of 2009, years of discussion with a longtime Zen Center supporter came to fruition when we received a letter outlining the terms of an extraordinary gift: a minimum of $5.5 million dollars for the capital campaign to provide an endowment fund.

This gift, established as a challenge grant, is set forth in three phases, each with milestones attached. As of today we have met the first two of the three matches and we have one more to go!

  • Phase 1: “1 for 1” $2 million dollar challenge, in which we must raise $2 million by the end of 2010. (Completed.)
  • Phase 1 bonus challenge:  If we were to raise an additional $500,000 before the end of 2010, $500,000 would be added to their grant. (Completed.)
  • Phase II: “2 for 1” $2 million dollar challenge, in which we must raise $4 million by the end of 2012. (Completed.)
  • Phase III: “3 for 1” $1 million challenge, in which we must raise $3 million by the end of 2014. (Completed.)
Three Phase matching chart

More information on the Campaign and the challenge grant is in the Campaign Updates and White Papers.