The Buddhist Council’s Member Service Program provides general information and resources to support and assist members. Most Buddhist organisations are run by volunteers who may not have all the experience they need to comply with regulations and laws when running an organisation. For example, an organisation may need to update its constitution, make a visa application, build a new temple, or publicise its activities. They may not be aware of the need for compliance with laws governing not-for-profits, such as the need for annual reporting to the Office of Fair Trading. This is where we can provide assistance.
As a member organisation of the Buddhist Council, we can assist you in areas where we have the resources to help. This is a free service for our members. For more complex enquiries we can refer members to professional firms who are sympathetic to the Buddhist community and may offer their professional services for a discounted fee. The Member Service Team is run by legally trained professionals who draw upon the expertise of a range of volunteer professionals who are knowledgeable in tax, finance, constitutions, fundraising, and good governance. Our Member Service Team understands the day-to-day needs of Buddhist temples and societies.
The law governing incorporation requires a constitution to be developed and adopted. We can assist in issues regarding charitable and non-profit status and applying for an Australian Business Number (ABN).
Organisations that depend upon donations for their survival require proper processes to be followed to ensure finances are well managed. We can assist our members with financial management software, public fundraising and the application for funding grants.
The management committees and boards of not-for profits requires the use of good governance principles and an awareness of compliance with regulations and mandatory reporting.
Some temples sponsor the visits to Australia of eminent teachers which require a visa to stay short or long periods. Some temples face difficulties in building a temple when they apply to local government for development applications. We can provide assistance in these legal issues.
There are many tax issues at the Commonwealth and State jurisdictions, including Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) Status, Income Tax Exemption, GST Exemption and Stamp Duty Exemption. We may be of assistance to organisations with taxation queries.
Insurance is necessary but can be complex. Members may need to obtain different types of insurance to cover volunteers, workers compensation, public liability and general property loss. We offer member organisations the option to join our Group Public Liability Insurance (PLI) and Volunteer Worker’s Insurance.
Many member organisations realise the need to use the internet to communicate the activities and other details about their organisation, so they need to build and maintain a website. We may be able to offer assistance with this. We can also promote your events on our website, Facebook and e-newsletters.
Other issues that may be of interest to member organisations include the management and coordination of volunteers, the promotion of events and understanding Australian culture and society. We are able to assist with promotion through our website, e-newsletters and Facebook page.