Are you a 501(c)(3) charitable organization?
Yes. The IRS approved the Zen Foundation as a 501(c)(3) organization in April, 2012. You can find a photocopy of our acceptance letter from the IRS on our donations page.
Does that mean my donations are tax deductible?
If you live in the United States, yes, your donations are tax deductible.
Where is the Zen Foundation located? How do I contact you?
The Zen Foundation is a new startup organization, created by Alvin Alexander, and like any great startup, it's currently run out of his residence. You can reach us by using our contact form, at Mr. Alexander's personal phone number (720-431-1945), or his address (11829 Ridge Parkway, Unit 638, Broomfield, CO, 80021). We hope to have a business office and phone at some point, but we also don't want to waste money for an office we don't need yet. We want to turn as many donation dollars into books as we can.
Why not eBooks?
In his autobiography, it was written that Steve Jobs had only one eBook on his iPad. This was for a man whose company was trying to make money selling eBooks. In short, we don't think eBooks are a terrific format for our mission.
Based on my own experience, it's easy to forget that you even own e-books. But real, physical books, they sit there on a shelf, looking at you, daring you to pick them up and read them. And of course they're much easier to discover that way. Imagine taking a vacation, sitting at a nice B&B, you look over, you see a Zen book, and out of curiosity, you pick it up. That's what we're trying to encourage, that first spark.
What books will you distribute?
We'll begin by distributing the Zen books that have been the most influential in my own life (Alvin Alexander). That includes the books you've seen on our website:
- Zen Training
- Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind
- Dropping Ashes on the Buddha
I'd also like to distribute on of the two Zen cartoon books, "Zen Speaks" and "Zen Master Raven" (because they're simple and a joy to read), and I'd also like to distribute at least one book by the Dalai Lama. So our basic shipment package will include five books.
Where do you plan to distribute the books?
We'll distribute the books to the following organizations:
- Healthcare facilities, including hospitals, recovery facilities, senior care facilities
- Schools (colleges and universities)
- Motels and hotels
- Anywhere else that people can "Discover Zen"
How much money are you making? (What is your salary?)
At this point my salary is $0. In fact, I've spent several hundred dollars to create the Zen Foundation, and I've donated thousands of dollars in my time to this mission. I'm not in this for the money; I make plenty of money as a programmer and author. My goal here is to help change the world's consciousness for the better.
If this ends up becoming a full-time job I may take a moderate salary, but I won't accept anything near what I can make in my current roles as a freelance programmer and author.
Who else is affiliated with the Zen Foundation?
At the present moment it's just me, Alvin Alexander. A few friends have also volunteered their time to review my work, but now that the Zen Foundation is officially up and running, one of my first major jobs is to build a Board of Directors to help run the foundation.
If you know of someone who is qualified to serve as a board member, please send me an email or call me. Basic criteria to serve as a Board Member includes having an active interest in Zen and a willingness to support this cause in any way. After that I welcome anyone who has prior experience in successfully running a nonprofit organization.