Religion, Spiritual Development

Bhikshuni

Making visible the Vinaya Sangha Presence in America

aka Calm Clarity Temple, Buddhafolk

Ames, IA

This organization has provided GuideStar with documentation indicating that it is a church or religious organization.

Mission

Bhikshuni Mission statement –  Making Visible the Vinaya Sangha Presence in America

Bhikshuni offers traditional Buddhist teachings and practices as taught by Buddha and teachings of respected monastic Vinaya Sangha. Encourages local communities to seek out Sangha and help to establish residences for both 2-part Sanghas.  Bhikshuni and Bhikshu Sanghas live and teach Buddhism in accord with the times and conditions in which actually exist now while upholding their Vinaya ordination tradition of now in excess of 2,500 years old.

Notes from the Nonprofit

Documents are forthcoming. Updating files, to include past years. Setting up new organization material to meet new guidelines and uphold mission statement.

Ruling Year

2006

Principal Officer

Ven. Hong Yang Shi

Main Address

421 Stonehaven Dr., #306

Ames, IA 50010 USA

Keywords

Bhikshuni, Iowa, cultural programs, Buddhism, Sangha, elderly population, familly population, urban population

EIN

20-4354893

 Number

1392760406

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Buddhist (X50)

Interfaith Issues (X90)

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (Y01)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is not required to file an annual return with the IRS because it is a religious organization.

Blog

Programs + Results

What we aim to solve New!

Bhikshuni is actively serving Buddhists while promoting awareness of the Chinese Buddhist Sangha in the USA. While active in religious activity Bhikshuni is also working on improved public awareness and coverage of the USA's founding Sangha, the Chinese Buddhist Sangha since 1852. Much about the USA Chinese heritage is ignored or diminished. Grassroots change has begun by Chinese Buddhist Sangha who are a hodgepodge of the USA diaspora. Much work has been done to provide accurate English translations of Buddhist sutras from the Chinese Mahayana Tripitaka, a key collection of all the traditions and schools available today.

Sangha provide educational and culturally enrichment programs to various interested people from local groups, schools, elderly centers, and social welfare organizations. Since our primary approach is teaching when asked, we do not convert or persuade so people can choose to take away what methods or ideas presented for their own practice while enjoying the teaching.

Our programs

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Community Building creating awareness of Sangha

Sangha Walks documentary

Calm Clarity

USA Sangha Council

Where we workNew!

Our Results

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one. These quantitative program results are self-reported by the organization, illustrating their committment to transparency, learning, and interest in helping the whole sector learn and grow.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Number of people within the organization's service area accessing food aid

TOTALS BY YEAR
Population(s) served

Adolescents (13-19 years),

Adults,

Aging, elderly, senior citizens

Related program

Community Building creating awareness of Sangha

Context notes

Chinese Buddhist Sangha served food to people in need, by providing meals and gathering food pantry items.

Number of people trained

TOTALS BY YEAR
Population(s) served

General/Unspecified,

Aging, elderly, senior citizens,

Caregivers

Related program

Community Building creating awareness of Sangha

Context notes

Bhikshuni provided resources for people interested in receiving Buddhist training in their area, and received students, and the public interested in contacting Chinese Buddhist Sangha.

Number of small learning community opportunities offered to improve undergraduate student engagement

TOTALS BY YEAR
Population(s) served

Adults

Related program

Community Building creating awareness of Sangha

Number of individuals applying skills learned through the organization's training

TOTALS BY YEAR
Population(s) served

Adults

Related program

Community Building creating awareness of Sangha

Context notes

Through various social media, in person contact, large group lectures

Charting Impact

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What is the organization aiming to accomplish?

What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?

What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?

How will they know if they are making progress?

What have and haven't they accomplished so far?

Bhikshuni is still striving to create more awareness of the Sangha presence in the USA and abroad. Focusing on the USA we have been active in our local areas with regular programs about Buddhism and those interested in meditation. We are also searching for land to provide the headquarters for our national organization and serve our Sangha community in realistic ways by providing access to resources and education in meeting their needs while remaining robed in the West.

Our first strategy has been met, establish a presence in Iowa. We have been here since 2006 Feb 22. And while being here were have persistently remained active in the community. We are stabilizing our presence while being independent of a space or burdened by one. We are now in our second phase where we are comfortably trained in management of a residence and setting up the infrastructure for the permanent site in a home or a piece of land where construction of a space would be required.

In 2018 we are improving our financial stability by seeking professional training for our board and our interested supporters. That training will be complete in August this year. Financial future planning underway for projected donations and a budget will be set in anticipation to provide a set venue for activity for local Buddhists and interested public.

As there is one Bhikshuni for this state of Iowa we are limited in reach so we focused on social networking, google+, website and blog management. At the moment we have 5 volunteers who are part time and on call for help. We are getting the calendar year schedule set up for public events and fundraising.

At first the public response was curiosity and very welcoming. Manly people wanted to inquire about where my temple was. As I was newly arrived I felt that it was too early to establish a temple. Without clear donor support it would have meant taking on personal debt. As time as passed more people have become interested in Buddhism and learning from the Sangha. This is sporadic and usually tied to one large event. Since people have hosted the Dalai Lama in 2011 and the Buddha Relics in the same year I think the time has come for a permanent place. Learning management and already skilled in bookkeeping the master is ready for a land search in Iowa or Mid-West.

In 2018 we have succeed in providing a stable atmosphere of awareness in Iowa and the Midwest part of the USA. Donations are much needed for the establishment of a temple, library and guesthouse.

In 2006 establishing the organization after becoming very active in hospital and home visits was the biggest accomplishment. Then from 2006-2007 local assessment of needs became apparent with repeated requests for participating in public events. in 2008 to 2009 a Buddha Hall was opened to test the community response, it received little interest and the project was ended after 9 months. The master knew little about advertising and didn't feel that cost of advertising was met by donations which did not cover the rent of the space. In 2009 to present the master spent her time traveling to large events and small events in central Iowa. She decided and started and online presence and published 9 books on Buddha Dharma during this time. She helped connect UNI with people hosting the Dalai Lama and later the Buddha Relics. Due to recent requests in 2012 to 2013 a land search has been underway. At this point fundraising will be undertaken in the upcoming Fall of 2013 to raise approximately $20,000 towards a land purchase.

We failed to raise the necessary funding for land purchase. So we have changed our strategy for donations and are undertaking professional training in this summer of 2018.

External Reviews

Photos

Financials

We do not have digitized financial information from the IRS for this organization. The information displayed below is self-reported by the organization.

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Board Leadership Practices

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?

Yes

CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?

Yes

ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?

Yes

BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?

Yes

BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?

Yes