May Contribution

May Commemorative Contribution April 27–June 2, 2019

The Oga Lotus, born from primeval lotus seeds, blooms in brilliant profusion at the Florida Nature and Culture Center, Weston, Fla., October.Photo by STEPHANIE ARAIZA.


Report: A Financial Overview

by Erica Kondo
Assistant Chief Financial Officer

On behalf of the SGI-USA, thank you very much for your sincere financial offerings to support the organization. Because of your dedicated efforts, we have accomplished many significant milestones toward the expansion of our kosen-rufu movement in America, enabling us to further assist members’ practice while spreading our humanistic values to society.

Members’ contributions accounted for over 80 percent of the SGI-USA’s yearly operating budget in 2018. Here are ways in which contributions were used last year:

Operating and Capital Expenses in 2018:

A. CAPITAL EXPENSES AND FACILITIES MAINTENANCE: Members’ contributions support the operations and maintenance of approximately 100 SGI-USA Buddhist centers and facilities. Seven centers opened in 2018.
Technology upgrades secured the launch of SGI-USA’s first online exams, the new digital ID security system and 50,000 Lions of Justice Festival registrations.

B. PROGRAMS AND ACTIVITIES: These include 50K Festival costs, youth practices and activities, building rentals for large meetings, support for the SGI-USA Study Department, our community relations work and our social media outreach program.

C. PUBLICATIONS AND BOOKSTORES: Production and operational expenses related to the World Tribune, Living Buddhism and our bookstores. (The SGI-USA is committed to offering publications and books at the most affordable rate possible, rather than making a profit.)

D. GENERAL AND ADMINISTRATIVE: Purchases of equipment and supplies, payment for professional services, staff compensation and travel.

E. FUNDRAISING: Preparation and mailing of letters and contributor gifts, administrative expenses and contribution-related travel.

Primary Sources of Yearly Operating Funds

May Contributions: Nearly 65 percent of members’ financial contributions are received during the annual May Contribution activity, making it a vital source of support to advance our movement.

Sustaining Contributions: Members make monthly or quarterly contributions via automatic credit or debit card deductions to support kosen-rufu throughout the year.

Other Revenues: Subscriptions, bookstore sales, conference fees from the Florida Nature and Culture Center, general contributions and investment income. However, substantial expenses are associated with several of those categories. (Estate gifts are designated separately to the Millennium Fund to support the future of kosen-rufu in America.)

SGI-USA Structure: The SGI-USA is an independent, religious nonprofit organization, registered under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. As such, all contributions are tax-deductible to the donor, as allowed by law.

Oversight Practices: The SGI-USA’s board of directors oversees operations and reviews financial statements. The 13 board members bring a variety of professional expertise to their responsibilities. The SGI-USA also undergoes a yearly independent audit of its business affairs to affirm that secure procedures are protecting and accurately accounting for members’ contributions. Our auditor is Moss Adams LLP, a leading accounting and auditing firm. For more information, visit www.sgi-usa.org/sgiusa-governance.

Thank you again for your heartfelt support to advance kosen-rufu in America, especially in this Year of Soka Victory! WT

2018 Key Accomplishments

SGI-USA centers opened in:
• Chandler, Ariz.
• Columbus, Ohio
• Hampton, Va.
• Houston, Texas
• Long Beach, Calif.
• San Antonio, Texas
• Santa Ana, Calif.

New titles were introduced!
• Stand Up for Hope and Respect! by SGI President Ikeda.
• In A Baptist Preacher’s Buddhist Teacher, Lawrence Edward Carter Sr., the founding dean of the Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel, recalls “how my interfaith journey with Daisaku Ikeda made me a better Christian.”

The 50,000 Lions of Justice Festival in Newark, N.J., Sept. 23, 2018. Photo by DAVE GOODMAN.

50,000 Lions of Justice: Your contributions helped underwrite the historic gathering of 50,000 Lions of Justice, who gathered in nine major venues across the country to stand up for the dignity of life.