New SGI-USA Guidelines in 2019
Effective Jan. 1, a new guideline will include a requirement for people to attend at least two four-divisional district activities prior to receiving the Gohonzon. Full details will be communicated soon to SGI-USA leaders.
Effective Jan. 1, new members who want to make financial contributions to the SGI-USA must wait one year. They will also need to be interviewed by a chapter through national leader prior to making financial contributions.
These changes are based on the founding spirit of financial offerings, as encapsulated in SGI President Ikeda’s guidance from The New Human Revolution:
Donations to support the [Soka] Gakkai’s organizational activities represent offerings for the advancement of kosen-rufu. Faced with members’ growing insistence that they be allowed to help finance the organization, [second Soka Gakkai President Josei] Toda sensed that the time had finally come to open the door to such a development.
Still, Toda remained extremely cautious. He felt it imperative that finances for kosen-rufu derive from donations made with the utmost sincerity and purity of intention, and he was very strict as to which members could participate in making financial contributions to the organization. He initially chose 78 persons whom he deemed to be both strong in faith and financially secure, and appointed them members of the Soka Gakkai’s finance group, responsible for all the [Soka] Gakkai’s funds.
The finance group, officially inaugurated on July 3, 1951, grew steadily over the intervening years, becoming a great force in sustaining the [Soka] Gakkai’s economic foundation. The members selected to belong to the group were filled with pride, joy and appreciation at being able to make offerings for kosen-rufu. Nothing gave Toda greater pleasure than to see this spirit pulsing in the lives of the group’s members. Financial contributions to the Soka Gakkai were not the same as donations to other organizations, because it was essential that offerings for kosen-rufu be based on faith. As long as the contributors possessed such sincere and ardent faith, they would not fail to receive immeasurable benefit and be praised by Nichiren Daishonin. (vol. 4, pp. 107–08)WT