Guide to Financial Giving

The Midwest Buddhist Temple is fortunate to have members and friends who volunteer their time and energy to support our activities. While this physical support is critical, there is also a need to ask our members to consider financial support of the temple as well. To ease any confusion about the various forms of solicitations that may be distributed, here’s a guide to some of the more common forms of financial giving at MBT.


The temple has an annual campaign to raise funds that go toward the Operating Budget. This budget pays for ministerial salary, programs, utilities, temple maintenance, operational expenses, and dues to national and district Buddhist organizations.

The Pledge provides about 40 percent of the temple’s required income. Unlike some temples that assess dues, the Midwest Buddhist Temple long has relied on our members to determine their own level of donation. A suggested guideline is $400 per person, but this is merely a suggestion as Pledges of any amount are gratefully accepted.

A minimum Pledge of $250 person ($500 for couples) entitles members to vote on temple matters. If you have any questions concerning the Pledge, please contact us at or call 312.943.7801.

If you are considering a pledge of support to MBT, please visit our Membership Pledge page for more information.

Monthly Memorials

On the first Sunday of each month, the temple conducts a memorial service for those who have passed away during that month, regardless of year. Invitations are mailed to families on record and many respond with a donation. These funds go toward the Operating Budget and account for about 10 percent of the required income. Donations vary from $25 to $100.

If you wish to have a family member added to our records, please contact the office at or call 312.943.7801.

Envelope Days

There are six major religious holidays when the temple sends out Donation Envelopes. These include: Ho-onko, Hanamatsuri, Gotan-e, Obon, Ohigan and Bodhi Day (you can learn more about these holidays by visiting the Buddhist Holidays page).

Members and friends are encouraged to make a donation on these holidays whether they are able to attend the service or not. These funds go toward the Operating Budget and account for about 5 percent of the required income. Donations vary from $25 to $50.

Special Donations

These are specific-use funds that include:

  • MBT Legacy Garden (maintenance)
  • Nokotsudo (maintaining the columbarium)
  • Eitaikyo (maintaining the altar)
  • Flower (for fresh flowers for the altar)
  • Dharma School (supports educational programs)
  • Library (maintains temple’s lending library)
  • Bulletin (supports the temple’s monthly newsletter)
  • Kono Fund (supports Buddhist education, primarily for ministerial students)

Donations vary from $25 to $100.

Throughout MBT’s 70 years of existence, we have been fortunate to enjoy the generous support of countless individuals and organizations. While fundraising is a necessary component of temple life, it is not meant to be our primary focus. As a nonprofit organization, our budget is designed to break even.

Unlike some temples, MBT does not publish donated amounts because all donations, regardless of size, are gratefully and equally accepted.

Thanks to the planning and sacrifice of our issei and nisei (first- and second-generation Japanese-American) members, the temple is on sound financial footing. It is now up to each of us to continue this tradition of selfless giving.

If you would like to make a donation to the Midwest Buddhist Temple, either securely online or by check, please visit our Donate page.

Planned Giving

Planned Giving is a method of supporting non-profits like the Midwest Buddhist Temple through a donor’s estate. Please visit our Planned Giving page for more information about this method of donating to the Midwest Buddhist Temple.