2021 Capital Fundraising Campaign

Great Plains Zen Center

2021 Capital Fundraising Campaign

• January 1- February 28 •

To have a place of practice where we can deepen in the way of Zen–this is the gift of a serene retreat space. Great Plains Zen Center in Green County, Wisconsin, offers just such an opportunity for the quiet reflection, meditation and moment-by-moment practice that is Zen.  Here is where we roll up our sleeves and devote ourselves to the questions that arise during our practice and work together.  With our guiding teacher, Rev. Susan Myoyu Andersen, Roshi, we come together to deeply examine our lives in a place of quiet beauty, stillness and simple living.

For our first capital campaign since 2015, the members of the GPZC Administrative Circle (the Board) have identified two projects that have been on our wishlist for several years: Renovation of the Sangha House kitchen, and the purchase of a dedicated garden shed to house all of the tools and equipment that are required for the work we do in our gardens and prairies. We are seeking donations from our members, friends and subscribers to achieve these goals.

Why now? The last gathering at our retreat center was in March. Due to the pandemic, we have since moved online to hold our monthly retreats and our weekly schedule of sittings, and our various workshops and classes. Since moving online, we have been delighted to find that participation among our 35 members has been augmented by many new practitioners who have joined us from near and far. We hope to resume in-person activities in mid-2021 while maintaining online opportunities for practice. Meanwhile, we find that this is an ideal time to undertake the kitchen renovation while our on-site gatherings have been temporarily suspended.



The Sangha House Kitchen                Renovation Budget: $12,000

The kitchen is the heart of the Zen temple.  Here is where food is simply and ethically prepared and served with open hearts to the participants to nourish both bodies and spirits.  It is a place of order, cleanliness, serenity, and respect.  


As the membership of GPZC has grown, so has the number of retreat participants. Members who volunteer to prepare meals are challenged to provide three traditional 3-bowl meals for as many as 20 guests at retreats and 30 or more at special events, all in our modestly sized and outfitted kitchen. Renovations to our kitchen will provide: updated, energy efficient appliances; new, sustainably sourced flooring; expanded sanitary food preparation surfaces; improved lighting and ventilation; a more efficient overall layout; and more orderly storage of food and utensils.  


Bring together the rice pots and other utensils and make sure that everything is well-ordered and clean. Put whatever goes to a high place in a high place and whatever goes to a low place in a low place so that, high and low, everything settles in the place appropriate for it. –from Zen Master Dogen’s Instructions to the Cook



Our current kitchen.


The Garden Shed        Construction Budget: $8,000

At the Center, we have restored two prairies, created four beautiful decorative gardens, and established a large, organic vegetable garden to provide ingredients for the meals we serve. We are also working to incorporate regenerative agricultural practices.  


Our work practice includes the care and cultivation of these living spaces. The tools and equipment for this work are many and varied, and they are currently stored in our half-sized garage (which also serves as a principal entrance to the Sangha House).


Construction of an ample-sized, dedicated garden shed on the grounds will provide an orderly and appropriate home for all of the equipment, while returning much-needed space to the small garage.

A garden requires patient labor and attention. Plants do not grow merely to satisfy ambitions or to fulfill good intentions. They thrive because someone expended effort on them.” – Liberty Hyde Bailey



One possible version of our new Garden Shed, and a sampling of our gardens & prairies.


Financial Goal:         $20,000        

($12,000 Kitchen Renovation + $8,000 Garden Shed Purchase)



This Capital Fundraising Campaign runs now through February. Since last March, our retreats have been held online. We hope to return to holding activities at the Center in mid-2021. Our goal is to do all of the kitchen remodeling work in the winter and early spring, while there are no crowds on site. We also hope to have the garden shed completed for use in the spring.

Matching Pledges will DOUBLE your Gift !

Thanks to the commitments of students who make up the Board of Directors, we are launching our campaign with $5,000 already pledged. Additionally, we have pledges to match the next $7,500 contributed by donors like you, doubling the impact of your gift.


You can actually triple your gift if your employer offers a matching donation program. Donors should check with their employers to see if matching grants are offered. You can see if your employer has a matching grant program by searching the listings at CharityNavigator.org. We are happy to provide any additional information which may be required.


Sincere Bows of Gratitude

We sincerely appreciate any and all donations made toward this campaign. We recognize that some of our friends are greatly impacted by the pandemic-related economy. Our hope is that everyone who is inspired will make some donation at a level comfortable for them. Thank you!

Ways to Give

  • Great Plains Zen Center
  • W 7762 Falk Rd
  • Monroe WI 53566

Tax Deductibility Information

The IRS recognizes Great Plains Zen Center as a 501(c)(3) Charitable Organization, and GPZC is recognized as a church under sections 509(a)(1) and 170(b)(1)(A)(i) of the Internal Revenue Code. Contributions to GPZC are deductible under section 170, and we are qualified to receive tax deductible donations under section 2055, 2106 or 2522. Consult with your tax advisor to determine if your donation is deductible for you.

•  •  •

Capital Fundraising Update



Island and peninsula take shape, awaiting stainless steel countertops

The first part of our kitchen remodeling project is underway, thanks to the generous donations already received.  At this point, we are within $2,200 of our goal to take advantage of all matching donations and meet our goal.  We are grateful to all who have contributed to this campaign so far.

We are also very grateful for the volunteers who are donating their expertise and time to completing the remodeling project.  They have already put in many hours of skilled work and without them, this project would not be possible.  

We strive to use your donations wisely, to achieve beautiful and functional results, and at the same time, upholding our commitment to reducing our carbon footprint and supporting sustainable business practices throughout the world.  The kitchen island and peninsula are beginning to take shape as shown below, now awaiting their stainless steel countertops.  The new sage green cabinets complement the existing golden oak cabinets, adding more storage and a color accent.  After considerable team work, the vented range hood has been installed successfully.   Flooring (see below), the new refreigerator and stove, ceiling fan and upgraded overhead lighting for work areas will be next.  Last will be the stainless steel countertops for the peninsula and island and the ceramic tile backsplash.  Learn more about the benefits of cork flooring and the cork industry here


The vented range hood has been successfully installed.

Waterproof cork flooring ready for installation

The remaining funds from this drive will allow us to purchase a spacious garden shed that will hold tools used in our organically grown vegetable garden, decorative perennial beds and native prairies.  We are working to incorporate more regenerative agricultural practices and hope to plant a small orchard this coming spring.  



Spring 2021 is coming!

Please consider making a  donation to this ongoing campaign.  Your gift now through February 28 will be matched by our matching donors.  You can actually triple your gift if your employer also offers a matching donation program. Donors should check with their employers to see if matching grants are offered. Visit CharityNavigator.org and search for your employer. We are happy to provide any additional information you need. 

We recognize that some are greatly impacted economically by the pandemic and appreciate any and all donations received, regardless of the amount.  We hope you will feel inspired to make a donation at a level comfortable for you. We thank you sincerely. 

  • Use this quick PayPal Donation Link

  • Checks may be mailed to:

    Great Plains Zen Center, W7762 Falk Rd, Monroe WI 53566

  • Make a grant through Fidelity Charitable where GPZC is already a listed, qualified charity.

  • The IRS recognizes GPZC as a church and a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. 

The pasque flower is one of the first to bloom in spring.