Donating to Birken Forest Buddhist Monastery
Birken Forest Buddhist Monastery’s Expansive Garden Project: A Beautiful Legacy for Us All
- Japanese stroll garden directly in front of the Vihara: A focal point meant to be seen by all when they first arrive at Birken, this area will be a place for walking, for meditation, for quiet contemplation of the elements, and an extension of the natural surroundings which exemplify the experience of a visit to Birken. This is the largest and most labour and cost intensive area in our garden plans.
- Courtyard garden directly in front of Nimitta House: Tucked away for quiet conversation, reading, and meditation, this will also be a secluded area for our outdoor video recordings.
- Moss garden on the north side of the Vihara: A cedar fenced space next to our new torii gate with meditation benches, low growing plants and mosses leading to our marsh just a few hundred meters away.
Now the true work begins…
If you’d like to contribute towards the costs of this great monastery project, please see below for the many ways you can give. Be sure to note “GARDEN PROJECT” on your donation, whether it is made through CanadaHelps, Interac e-transfer, by cheque or cash.
To all our donors, we wish to express our immense gratitude for your continuing support of Birken’s cultivation of the Dhamma in all of its exquisite forms. Anumodana! We rejoice in your tremendous generosity and great merit!
Birken/Sītavana Monastery’s Monthly Giving Circle
Birken Forest Buddhist Monastery, Pali name of Sītavana (Cool Forest Grove), continues to thrive because of the enduring support of countless donors over the past 25+ years. This perpetuating wheel of lay support and the sharing of Dhamma by the Sangha can only continue to turn with regular, sustaining contributions. To that end we’ve created Sustaining Sītavana: Birken/Sītavana Monastery’s Monthly Giving Circle.
If you are a current monthly donor, you’re already part of Sustaining Sītavana (to change your monthly donation amount, just log into your CanadaHelps Donor Account). If you wish to join our circle at the monthly giving levels of Supporter ($30), Benefactor ($150), Patron ($500), or any other amount, please use the donation form on this page. Your monthly gifts may go to our day-to-day General Giving Fund (see examples of some of those costs below) or our Endowment Fund, providing a sustaining level of commitment that allows us to plan for upcoming needs, as well as provide a welcome level of stability as we continue our work in the world.
Anumodana! We rejoice in your tremendous generosity and great merit.
That’s what it costs each and every day to keep Birken operating (based on our recent 10 year expense average). What are some of those expenses? Well, imagine you live alone and have to pay your bills. Those include your commute to work, buying groceries, cleaning supplies, toilet paper, maintaining your home computer, paying for your dentist visits and eye exams, auto insurance, home repairs and improvements, property taxes and insurance, and all other expenses.
Now multiply that by 10 people. That is our core population of monastics and stewards who feed us each day and keep the business and technical sides of things running. Now add in another 15 guests and you can see how these costs can climb.
And all of the stewards are here as volunteers. They perform their duties out of a commitment to the sangha with only food and accommodations offered in exchange for their generous services. For the monastics their work is their meditation practice. Their requisites of food, clothing, shelter and medicine must be offered to them as well, each and every day.
Birken Forest Buddhist Monastery (‘Birken’) remains opened solely through the ancient tradition of ‘dāna’ (‘generosity’ or ‘giving’). Generosity is a quality of the heart which the Buddha greatly encouraged for its benefits to the giver in this life and beyond.
Please consider supporting Birken and its important work through a Monthly Donation. Here are just a few examples of what your monthly gift can buy:
Birken Endowment Fund
Birken Forest Buddhist Monastery’s Endowment Fund, established in 2021, allows for balanced stability of the monastery well into the future. The endowment fund, which is managed by Nicola Wealth, enables us to use modest interest earnings as a reliable source of ongoing funding for our day-to-day operations. As in major endowment funds for universities, museums, etc., the principal capital fund is to remain secure and increase through donations while a certain percentage of earnings may be used yearly. We welcome this form of sustainability to meet the uncertain and non-profit structures which the monastery relies on.
If you would like to contribute to this fund for long-term benefits to the monastery, one time and monthly donations may be made to Birken utilizing the CanadaHelps donation form, or any of the donation methods described below. Please indicate “Birken Endowment Fund” on your donation; tax receipts will be issued by Birken, with the exception of donations made through CanadaHelps, which provides tax receipts directly to donors.
If you would like to donate securities in-kind to the Endowment Fund, please contact our bookkeeper (email@example.com) for more information. We also suggest you consult with your financial advisor or tax professional to confirm that it is a good strategy in your financial situation.
Special Giving Opportunities
Throughout the year there are special opportunities at Birken that may be seasonal, such as construction projects, or year-round, such as dana meals, that can always use your support. Below are just a few of our current and upcoming works in progress. If you’d like to contribute towards the costs of any of these funds, just follow the instruction indicated below. The easiest way is through CanadaHelps, yet you may also donate by Interac e-transfer, by cheque or cash, or any of the Many Ways to Give shown below.
To all our donors, please accept our immense gratitude for your continuing support. Anumodana! We rejoice in your tremendous generosity and great merit.
Video Production Fund
Ajahn Sona believes the Dhamma should be presented in the finest means possible, both in content and production. To that end Birken endeavours to create the highest quality video and audio productions possible for Ajahn Sona’s YouTube Channel.
If you would like to support this important work into the future, please select our General Giving Fund through CanadaHelps and designate your monetary donation towards “VIDEO PRODUCTION” in your message. Please consider a sustaining gift by selecting “Donate Monthly” as this type of regular donation will allow us to plan for future production enhancements. Your funds will be used for the production equipment and services needed most by our production team. You can also email us for further information.
Virtual Dānā Meal Program
Our Virtual Dānā Meal Program is an opportunity for families and individuals to make a financial contribution towards Birken’s meal offerings in memory of loved ones without visiting the monastery. The meal will be cooked by resident stewards at the monastery and offered as either breakfast or our mid-day meal on the day of your choosing (subject to date availability). Any portion of your donation that is not spent on your sponsored meal will either be used for a meal at a later date or for general kitchen expenses.
We invite you to fill out our online form to schedule your Virtual Dānā Meal, or see our other ways to give below. You may designate your donation in the name of someone and/or select a preferred date for your dānā meal. If you have a preferred date, please include it under your selected donation amount where it says, “Write a private message to us (optional)”. For those requesting a specific date, we will reply within one week to confirm if it is available. Whatever giving method you use, please be sure to note “DANA MEAL” on your donation.
Should you have any questions about our Virtual Dānā Meal program, please email us for more information.
Many Ways to Give
Donate online to our Endowment Fund or General Giving Fund using your credit card or PayPal through CanadaHelps, or through CAF America for U.S. donors (administrative fees will apply). You can also donate Securities and Mutual Funds and Cryptocurrency, and make a tribute in memory of a loved one through CanadaHelps. Simply click on the corresponding photo below.
Donations by cash, cheque or money order can be made at the monastery or sent by post. You may send money directly to our bank account through a secure Interac e-Transfer (email money transfer) from any Canadian financial institution. See below for more information. It is also possible to make non-monetary donations of material goods or labour.
For more information, please feel free to contact our bookkeeper at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Donations at the Monastery
You can make donations by cash, cheque or money order when visiting Birken Forest Buddhist Monastery. Please write all the required information on your donation envelope, and then insert into the Donation Box located in the main foyer. Also see Tax Receipts information below.
Mail a Cheque or Money Order
You may make cheques or money orders payable to ‘Birken Forest Buddhist Monastery‘ and mail to:
Birken Forest Buddhist Monastery
7000 Smith Lake Forest Srv Rd.
Knutsford, B.C. V0E 2A0
You may send us an Interac e-Transfer (secure email money transfer) from your Canadian online bank account. Please see the instructions below.
CAF America for US Donors
Now U.S. residents can donate to Birken and receive a U.S. tax receipt. CAF America facilitates donations to foreign charities with an 8% administrative fee (minimum of $80)* through their Donor Advised Gifts (DAGs) program. DAGs enable all types of U.S. donors, including individuals, foundations, and corporations, to make single donations as desired. (*Administrative fee is deducted from the donation amount sent to Birken, yet CAF America provides donors with a tax receipt for the full amount of all donations.)
Please see their Donor Advised Gifts form for further information. If you would like to donate to Birken through CAF America, just click on the button below.
Please note: Birken Forest Buddhist Monastery (‘Birken’) has an offsite bookkeeper who is responsible for processing all donations and issuing tax receipts. If you reside in Canada and would like to request a tax receipt, you must provide your full name, residential address (including postal code), and email address with each donation. Our bookkeeper does not have access to Birken’s contact database.
Financial donations to the monastery are tax deductible in Canada and eligible for a Canadian tax receipt.
Learn more about Tax Receipts...
While charities are under no legal obligation to issue tax receipts, we are pleased to do so for a minimum $25.00 donation IF we receive all the required information referenced above for each of your donations. If we do not receive this information from you at the time of your donation, it will be assumed that you do not require a tax receipt.
If you donate electronically through PayPal or Interac email money transfer, please be sure that we have the required information mentioned above – you can email this information to our offsite bookkeeper at email@example.com. CanadaHelps and CAF America issue a tax receipt to each donor; you will not receive an additional tax receipt from Birken if you use this donation method.
Tax receipts are normally issued electronically by e-mail, but can be sent by post if this is specifically requested with the donation. Tax receipts for eligible donations will be sent within 30 days of the donation’s receipt by our treasurer. Please note that we cannot issue tax receipts retroactively for donations made during previous fiscal years (Birken’s fiscal year runs from August 1 – July 31).
Throughout the year, there are many individuals who donate anonymously or request not to receive tax receipts for their donations. The Birken community expresses its gratitude to these individuals for their generosity and rejoices in their good merit.