At its 1925 general meeting held in San Francisco to celebrate its 25th Anniversary, and inspired by the visit of His Reverence Daiko Sonyu Ohtani, 22nd Head Priest of the Jodo Shinshu Hongwanji-ha, the Buddhist Mission of North America (presently Buddhist Churches of America) voted to establish the Hokubei Kaikyo Zaidan (North American Overseas District Endowment Fund).
In 1929, a fundraising drive was initiated to establish a permanent foundation to assure the future of Buddhism in the United States of America. The fundraising effort continued until the early 1940’s when it was disrupted by the war. In 1945, the Ministers’ Association reinvigorated the Zaidan by requesting all BCA churches to hold an annual Bishops’ Memorial Service and remit the offertory to the “Zaidan Fund”. The tradition for collecting Zaidan Fund donations at all BCA meetings, workshops and conferences sponsored by the BCA National and District Councils was established by the BCA National Board in 1959. The Ministers’ Association also approved the plan, and Zaidan collections have been made at all subsequent ministers’ conferences.
In 1976, the BCA officially renamed the Hokubei Kaikyo Zaidan to “Buddhist Churches of America Endowment Foundation”. At this time the National Board also adopted a $1 million goal for the Zaidan Fund, which was achieved in 1999 with the proceeds of a portion of the Endowment Foundation’s Colorado land sale.
Today, donations to the Zaidan Fund continue to come solely through contributions solicited at various BCA meetings and the annual Bishops’ Memorial Services.
Disbursements from the Zaidan Fund are used by the BCA for Jodo Shinshu propagation.
Administered by: BCA
Source: BCA 2018
Zaidan Fund, Buddhist Churches of America, BCA, Endowment Foundation