How to Name Shambhala in Your Will
What we refer to as “Shambhala International” in the broadest sense is composed of many different legal entities in the United States, Canada, and Europe. People who wish to make a bequest to a part of the Shambhala International mandala in their will or other testamentary document may wish to specify the entity or purpose to which they wish their gift to be designated. This document will assist in understanding how such a gift should be stated.
1. Shambhala International (Vajradhatu) is the principal corporation in the United States. It is a Colorado nonprofit corporation and has been determined to be a charitable church organization and association of churches by the Internal Revenue Service. General gifts for the benefit of Shambhala as a whole may be made as follows:
“I give one million dollars to Shambhala International (Vajradhatu), a Colorado nonprofit corporation and a church of the Buddhist religion.”
This is a general, unrestricted gift, and the use of the funds will be up to the governing body of Shambhala International.
2. The equivalent body in Canada is Vajradhatu Buddhist Church of Canada, a Nova Scotia Society. Vajradhatu Buddhist Church is recognized as a charitable organization by Revenue Canada. General gifts may be made in a similar manner as described in paragraph 1, above.
3. Most US Shambhala Centers and dharma centers (except Shambhala Mountain Center) are corporate divisions within Shambhala International (Vajradhatu). If you wish to make a gift to a US center, you may do so as follows:
“I give one million dollars to the Gotham City Shambhala Meditation Center, a division of Shambhala International (Vajradhatu), a Colorado nonprofit corporation and a church of the Buddhist religion.”
“I give one million dollars to Karme Choling, a division of Shambhala International (Vajradhatu) etc.”
4. All Canadian Shambhala Centres and dharma centres (including Dorje Denma Ling, Gampo Abbey, and Kalapa Valley) are divisions of Vajradhatu Buddhist Church. General Gifts may be made in a similar manner as described in paragraph 3, above.
5. The central governing corporation for the European centres is Shambhala Europe gGmbH, which is a German nonprofit corporation. However, individual European Shambhala Centres (and Dechen Choling) are not included within this corporation. Rather, they are separately organized in their respective countries. Persons wishing to make a bequest to the European mandala generally may designate Shambhala Europe gGmbH as their beneficiary. If you wish to leave a bequest to a specific European centre, you must check with the local administration for an accurate description of that centre as a legal entity.
6. If you wish to make a bequest to a specific activity within the mandala, such as the Shambhala Trust, Shambhala Archives, the Dorje Kasung, the Great Stupa of Dharmakaya, Shambhala Art, or the Nalanda Translation Committee, you must determine in which corporation that activity resides for legal purposes. For the most part, in the United States, that will be Shambhala International (Vajradhatu) and in Canada that will be Vajradhatu Buddhist Church. For example:
“I leave one million dollars to the Shambhala Archives, a division of Shambhala International (Vajradhatu) etc.”
The Nalanda Translation Committee (NTC) is primarily part of Shambhala
International (Vajradhatu) in the U.S., though NTC also has a presence as
part of Shambhala/Nalanda Foundation in the U.S., if for some reason a
nonreligious entity is desirable. NTC is wholly part of Nalanda Foundation
of Canada in that country.
Bequests for the Great Stupa of Dharmakaya may be made either to Shambhala International (Vajradhatu) or to Shambhala Mountain Center, a Colorado nonprofit corporation (which is discussed in more detail in paragraph 8).
7. A few activities are operated through Shambhala/Nalanda Foundation, a Colorado nonprofit corporation, and its Canadian counterpart, Nalanda Foundation of Canada, a Nova Scotia society. Both of these corporations are educational charities recognized in the United States and Canada, respectively.
8. A growing number of United States centers are separately incorporated. In particular, Shambhala Mountain Center and Naropa University are a separate corporations from Shambhala International (Vajradhatu). If you wish to make a bequest to Shambhala Mountain Center, you may use this form:
“I leave one million dollars to Shambhala Mountain Center, a Colorado nonprofit corporation.”
Among the local centers, Austin, Atlanta, Boston (Vajradhatu of Massachusetts), Los Angeles, Milwaukee, and Seattle are presently separately incorporated. Gifts to those centers should be made in their respective corporate names.
9. You may wish to designate a more specific use for your bequest, such as for “construction of retreat cabins at Dorje Khyung Dzong” or “to provide scholarship funds for students attending Vajrayana Seminary.” In general, Shambhala International will certainly undertake to honor such designations. Under United States tax law, however, the board of directors must reserve the right to make the final decision as to how such funds will be allocated. If you have specific questions about this, please contact the Development Coordinator Lodro Rinzler at LodroRinzler@gmail.com.
10. There are special considerations if you wish to make a gift for use in a foreign country. For example, if a US resident wishes to leave a gift to Kalapa Valley, which is part of Vajradhatu Buddhist Church of Canada, your bequest should NOT be made directly to either Gampo Abbey or to Vajradhatu Buddhist Church of Canada, but to Shambhala International (Vajradhatu) with a statement that you wish your bequest to be given to Kalapa Valley.
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