Bright Way Zen Strategic Plan: 2019 – 2022


Overview : This plan will guide our efforts through fiscal year 2022. May our efforts be in service to the Dharma.


A strategic plan is always in service to a mission, and Bright Way Zen’s mission is to help people find spiritual peace, deepen their wisdom, and manifest compassion. We do this by providing access to the teachings and practices of Soto Zen Buddhism, maintaining a harmonious and welcoming spiritual community, and supporting a vital and sustainable Zen center that will be here for future generations. Our vision includes: Offering a place of spiritual refuge in Washington County; making our Zen center accessible and visible to anyone who wants to explore meditation or Zen; building a warm, vibrant, inclusive community; and manifesting our bodhisattva vows beyond the walls of our Zen center.

Overall, development of our Strategic Plan has taken place over several years, and incorporated the ideas and concerns of many people. The Board of Directors drafted a Mission and Vision for Bright Way Zen in the spring of 2017. Later that year, a survey was conducted to help identify what participants most appreciated about Bright Way Zen and what they would like to see happen. Responses were received from 40 people, or 80 percent of the Sangha. In March 2018 the Mission and Vision were adopted by the Board and, based on the results of the survey, strategic planning identified three key areas of focus: Sangha growth, member investment and enhancement of sangha resources. Leaders were identified to support these goals and several successes – such as the development of a popular children’s program and a celebratory fundraising event – came to fruition.

In March 2019 the board plus two senior BWZ members drafted this updated version of our strategic plan with the help of facilitator Thomas Bruner of Bruner Strategies. This plan was adopted by the board at its April 17, 2019 meeting, and will be implemented as time and resources allow, guiding our strategic decisions through fiscal year 2022.

This strategic plan is focused on three key goals. The first is to deepen member engagement. We will support Sangha members connecting to one another through practice and social opportunities. We will build a culture of gratitude. Our second goal is to share the Dharma with more people, which we will achieve by broadening the visibility of Bright Way Zen and by broadening our appeal to a diverse community. Our third goal is to build Sangha resources, which will help insure that our mission and Sangha community thrive for many years to come.

Articles from the Strategic Plan Committee:
– July 31, 2019: Bright Way Zen Creates Strategic Plan to Address Priorities, by Jeff Young, Chairman of the Board
– August 9, 2019: Building a Culture of Gratitude, by Jinryu Janna Allgood
– August 16, 2019: Our Growing Children’s Program, by Marcia Kahn
– August 21, 2019: Exploring and Polishing the Sangha Jewel, by Myoju Bella Jhunjhunwala
– August 29, 2019: Multiple Ways to Practice Dana Paramita, by Jinryu Janna Allgood
– September 19, 2019: Embracing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at BWZ, by Shoketsu Ellen Carlin


Goal 1: Deepen Member Engagement


We will increase the level of engagement and involvement of existing Bright Way members. 


Strategy A: Build a culture of gratitude and of appreciation for each other among members


  • Develop a plan to acknowledge members and attendees in our weekly newsletter and on the web site as appropriate
  • Use U.S. mail to personally thank and in other ways acknowledge sangha members and friends of Bright Way Zen Use verbal “thank you’s” where appropriate
  • Consider gratitude or appreciation-oriented services, potlucks, and/or talks

Advocate: Jinryu Janna Allgood[i]

Cost: $1,150/year (materials and supplies $250; admin support $900)

Outcome: 85% of members report feeling acknowledged and appreciated according to annual survey


Strategy B: Facilitate engagement of families and children among members


  • Add two additional helpers to program
  • Expand engagement of members in our children’s program, including grandchildren, nieces, nephews, foster children, visiting relatives and others
  • Expand our children’s program from 1 to 2 Sundays/month as interest allows

Advocate: Marcia Kahn

Cost: $5,000/year (space $3,000; materials and supplies $500; admin support $1,500)

Outcome: Number of member families participating increases from 6 to 12


Strategy C: Increase connectivity and communication among members


  • Develop and maintain an online membership directory
  • Hold at least one sangha social event per quarter
  • Send welcome packets to new members
  • Pair new members with active members of at least one year

Cost: $1,700/year (materials and supplies $500; admin support $1,200)

Advocate: Myoju Bella Jhunjhunwala

Outcome: 85% of members report feeling connected according to annual survey


Goal 2: Share the Dharma with More People


We will share the Dharma with more people in Beaverton and surrounding communities.


Strategy A: Broaden the visibility of Bright Way in our community at large


  • Advertise our programs to people who have an interest in meditation, mindfulness and contemplative traditions
  • Grow our social media presence, activity and followers

Advocate: Domyo Burk

Cost: $2,400/year (targeted advertising $600; admin support $1,800)

Outcome: 10% increase in visitors annually


Strategy B: Engage non-member families in our children’s program


  • Advertise our children’s program to non-member families who have an interest in meditation, mindfulness and contemplative traditions

Advocate: Marcia Kahn

Cost: $600/year (targeted advertising)

Outcome: Number of non-member families participating increases from 5 to 10


Strategy C: Increase our diversity, equity and inclusion


  • Offer “Awakening to Whiteness” cohort at least every 18 months
  • Target market to people of color who have an interest in meditation, mindfulness and contemplative traditions
  • Develop partnerships with 1 culturally-specific organization/group annually

Advocate: Shoketsu Ellen Carlin

Cost: $1,800/year (targeted advertising $600; admin support $1,200)

Outcome: 10% increase in visitors and/or members of color annually  


Goal 3: Build Sangha Resources


In order to deepen member engagement and share the Dharma with more people, we will grow our financial resources.


Strategy A: Increase membership revenue


  • With Board support and approval, develop a plan to increase member donations that includes:
    • Inviting regular attendees to consider becoming members
    • Visiting members 1:1 and within small groups to discuss pledges for the coming year

Advocate: Jinryu Janna Allgood

Cost: $1,350/year (materials/fees $150; admin support $1,200)

Outcome: Gradually increase our annual membership revenue from $36,000 in 2019 to $55,000 in 2022


Strategy B: Grow our fee revenue


  • Market our fee-based events to non-members with an interest in meditation, mindfulness and contemplative traditions
  • Consider fee increases as market and costs warrant

Advocate: Domyo Burk

Cost: $1,400/year (materials/fees $200; admin support $1,200)

Outcome: Gradually increase our annual fee revenue from $7,400 in 2019 to $10,000 in 2022


Strategy C: Grow our fundraising revenue  


  • Work with Executive Director and Board to create a workshop for fundraising communication. Consider making this a fee-based workshop and invite other communities
  • Based on annual budget review/approval and biennial plan review/approval, develop a multifaceted fundraising plan to include:
    • Membership pledges (see Strategy C above)
    • An annual year-end appeal
    • Continue to explore the possibility of events with Cost per Dollar Raised of $0.35 or less
    • Planned giving
    • Acceptance and management of high-ticket items, such as cars and boats

Advocate: Jinryu Janna Allgood

Cost:   $2,850/year without event (materials/fees $450; admin support $2,400)

Outcomes: Gradually increase net fundraising revenue from $1,500 in 2019 to $6,000 in 2022; Identify six people as planned givers


Outcomes: Deepen Member Engagement (Goal 1) _______


Outcomes: Share the Dharma with More People (Goal 2) 



Outcomes: Increase Our Sangha Resources (Goal 3) ____



[1] If someone is identified in the plan as a “champion” or “point person”, that individual is simply taking on the responsibility of seeing that plan area gets executed in some way. It is not an indication of what that person must do him/herself. Note also that the plan is for the three-year period from 2019 through 2022. Time frames for the tactical aspects of the plan will be identified by the person/s responsible and those who support them.