Affiliate of the
Silent Thunder Order

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DANA - the Art of Generosity
Giving (Skt. dana) is one of the most tangible acts of support of Zen Buddhism. Many give generously of their time and expertise, but it is simple monetary giving that keeps the Silent Thunder Order and the training program at Atlanta Soto Zen Center healthy and prospering. At ASZC we regard dana not as an obligation, but instead as an opportunity to help the Sangha thrive, and to sustain its propagation of authentic Zen practice.

So please practice generosity with an open mind and an open heart. We welcome you to the Sangha, and appreciate your questions, comments and suggestions about the programs we offer. We pledge to practice transparency as to where the money goes, and what it is used for.

Annual Pledge
Please consider pledging on an annual basis, committing to a fixed amount per month that you can afford and that reflects how much you value your practice. Consider what gifts we receive from the Sangha, if nothing more than quiet sanctuary from the chaos of life. Then consider the source of those gifts and what personal need we have to return some portion to the program provided by the Sangha. Your generosity will form the basis of the coming years budget for the center, as we gather everyone's commitments and use those to continue our programs at ASZC.

How Much to Give - what is Zen worth?
You won't find an easy answer to that one here. This is a very personal decision— one that we encourage you to make a matter of serious consideration. Someone said that Zen may be free — but this building isn't! Of course, your pledge supports a lot more than the physical facility. It makes possible the practice of Zen for so many people, we estimate 1000 or more per month across the STO network. What is Zen worth? How much do you value your membership in the Sangha, and the ability to practice Zen on a daily, weekly, monthly and annual basis? What else can you do that gives you your whole life back?

Employer Matching Grants - double your gift!
Many employers offer a Matching Gift Program to their employees. These programs are the employer's way of reaching out to local non-profit organizations, contributing at a level based on employees' direction and input. Please inquire as to whether your employer offers such a program. Your gift can go twice as far to support your Sangha.

Automated and Electronic Giving - simplify your life...
Most banks send payments on a regular schedule. Your bank will automatically send your contribution to ASZC every month. If you bank online, electronic giving helps maintain continuous income, which facilitates the Sangha's budgeting process. You can set up a regular donation using PayPal by clicking here. Be sure to designate your dana as a gift, not a purchase. Mail checks to:

Atlanta Soto Zen Center
PO Box 133241
Atlanta GA 30333-3241

Planned Giving
Planned giving is a means of leaving a legacy to the Sangha. Income level is not the only measure of potential giving. You may have accumulated assets that can be the source of a significant gift to your community. Planned giving of assets may provide a way to support the Sangha if you have limited income or are concerned about retaining current income.

Gifts can be provided through wills and bequests, gift annuities, life insurance, property, securities, stock and charitable remainder trusts. They can provide you with significant tax advantages and other estate planning benefits.

The most significant difference between planned and other types of gifts is that a planned gift provides the Sangha a future, rather than an immediate, value (such as an outright gift of cash or securities). A planned gift is living testimony to a vital Zen practice. Planned giving means that you genuinely believe that the Sangha and its Zen practice must be preserved for future generations.

Financial FAQs
The Silent Thunnder Order and the Atlanta Soto Zen Center are both registered 501(c)3 corporations. Donations to STO go to support the Abbot and future Priests. Donations to ASZC underwrite the facility and programs, with a portion supporting the Abbot as a minister's household expense. All donations are tax deductible (purchases and retreat fees are not). Please consult with your tax advisor for further information on deductibility issues.

You may also contact us by email with any questions.

And thank you for your support!