The Foundation was originally created as the Sakya Foundation in June of 1998, with Her Eminence Jetsun Kushok as the Chair. It was created to hold a parcel of land in the Napa Valley, donated to Her Eminence, with the intent that the proceeds of the land sale be used towards the building of a monastery or other charitable purposes. The Sakya Foundation received its determination letter from the Internal Revenue Service, granting it IRC 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status in May 1999. In 2015, H. E. Jetsun Kushok decided to retire and requested His Holiness the 42nd Sakya Trizin Rinpoche to head the Sakya Foundation.
The Napa Valley land was sold in August 2016, and the proceeds from the sale have been kept as “Board Designated” funds in a separate investment account. The use of those funds will be decided by H.E. Jetsun Kushok, to honor Her Eminence’s leadership and service to the Sakya Foundation and the donor’s original intent.