Exciting news! The Internal Revenue Service recently granted 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status to The Buddhist Home as a public charity.
This is an important step as it makes our non-profit mission official in the eyes of the authorities, plus it allows donors to take a tax deduction for charitable donations. (See the button to the right if you are interested in making a tax deductible donation.)
Among other things, the IRS requires that TBH be non-discriminatory and open to all, have an affordability component, avoid overpaying our future employees, and maintain a conflict-of-interest policy.
Obtaining tax exempt status took quite a bit of effort and we are pleased that the IRS granted our request based on our first submission. Many thanks go to attorney Tom Wells who greatly assisted this effort.
We have been doing a lot of work to develop the concept for TBH — choosing some options and discarding others, narrowing down what TBH will be and will not be, creating a more defined vision. But then it occurred to us that while we might think our idea is perfect, what do the people who would actually live in TBH think of it? Who is really interested in TBH and how do they want to shape their retirement? Like the movie Field of Dreams, if we build it, will they come? Who are the charter residents going to be? To get the answers, we decided to reach out to the public by means of an online survey.
So – we are asking you to take our five-minute, confidential survey. Tell us what you think of the TBH concept, what your plans are as you get older, and how you would like to shape your “retirement.”
Once we have the survey results and a more complete picture of TBH, the next steps will be to develop the business plan and obtain funding. Stay tuned!
The board of directors and working committee joyously announce the official kick-off of The Buddhist Home! Quite a bit of work has been done to get to this point. There were the formalities of incorporating a non-profit business, forming a board, filing for tax-exempt status, etc. But more important to the public is the work we have done to develop the TBH concept – the mission, type of facility, population served, programs, etc. The working committee volunteered many hours over the course of more than a year, and we also secured professional legal and website services, pro bono. A few individuals offered our first cash donations, and here we are!
TBH is an idea that has picked up steam in the past few years, but the first meeting that led up to this juncture was way back in 1995. That’s when a handful of long-time Tibetan Buddhist practitioners gathered in the San Francisco east bay to talk about how they wanted to live as they got older. They talked about wanting to live with other meditators in a calm and lovely place conducive to dharma practice, where their regular needs (food, shelter, medical etc.) could be met, but where the focus of their time could be Buddhist practice. As the years went by, people kept the idea alive in conversation, but the hard work of actually making a Buddhist eldercare home happen was never started.
Skip forward to 2009, at the consecration ceremony for the Zuni Mountain Stupa in New Mexico. That’s where, relaxing in the afterglow of that wondrous event, Lama Sonam Tsering, Michael Maretich and John Pfeiffer decided to “get serious” and finally develop a Buddhist-oriented senior residential facility. Other volunteers were enlisted from among the Tibetan Buddhist sangha in Northern California to form a Working Committee, and the TBH concept began to develop.
Along the way, we considered a wide variety of formats for TBH (even including a ranch and a trailer park!), but eventually boiled it down a few key parameters:
Stay tuned to TBH by signing up on our email contact list. Let’s put our collective energy into it and make this dream a reality!
Please take our brief survey to help guide our vision for Buddhist Home.
We have a vision for a senior living house with a heart. Join us in making it a reality.
The Buddhist Home is a residential community based on Tibetan Buddhist values that serves the physical and spiritual needs of seniors as they age.