·Election of office bearers (President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer and Public Officer)
·Election of “ordinary” committee member
·Appointment of auditor
·Date of next AGM
·Opening ·Visit to India, 2015 ·“Umbrella” – Bodh Gaya Development Association and “Red Kangaroo in India” . TBMSG - Karunadeepa in Pune . Moanoghar – (presentation of Kabita’s report by Colin) ·Sneha ·Newsletters - hardcopies vs e-copies, colour vs black and white, mailing list ·Website – new url? ·Board role expansion/members – for discussion. (Colin) ·Reserve signature power (for Devin) ·Membership fee –if any ·ACFID (form subcommittee?) ·Any other general business ·Closure (by 5 pm)
President’s update June 2015
The most significant event for BODHI in the last year has been Susan Butler’s passing. Susan was central to BODHI and devoted a generous amount of time and her considerable skills to the organisation. As foreshadowed at the last AGM, Susan’s declining health necessitated a reorganisation of BODHI, so that we focus its energies on a smaller number of projects and make it more streamlined. Susan and Colin took substantial steps in this direction prior to Susan’s passing. These included decreasing the number of programs in which BODHI was involved, including scholarships in both Dhaka and the Chittagong Hill Tracts of Bangladesh, and the reproductive health project in Thailand. Support for Moanoghar (also in the Chittagong Hill Tracts of Bangladesh) is in some doubt, but we may be able to continue if Kabita Chakma can take primary responsibility.
Following Susan’s passing, I moved from vice president to president. Working with Colin, I’ve attempted to find ways to further streamline and rationalise BODHI’s administration. For instance, we’ve undertaken an informal review of SNEHA’s books for the previous two financial years. While questions remain about what proportion of the different schools’ incomes are from BODHI, we nonetheless have a better understanding of what BODHI’s assistance meant for SNEHA in 2013 and 2014. In that period, we have been their largest single funder, representing about 1/8 of their total income and 1/3 of their foreign income. Their largest source of income is from school fees, which increased substantially between 2013 and 2014. One of our aims is to further increase the transparency of the programs we fund. This will enhance accountability and facilitate decision making within BODHI.
Changing the way that work is spread across BODHI is another ongoing project that arose from Susan’s passing. Neither Colin nor I have the same amount to time to devote to administering BODHI that Susan once did. Further, we are keen to decentralise some tasks so that BODHI is less reliant on any single individual, which will reduce our vulnerability to future misfortune. For instance, Aryadharma took charge of the most recent newsletter, while Aswin Peris has offered to help with the BODHI Australia website. Jay Decker, in New York, has been extremely helpful in establishing a BODHI US website, but we remain uncertain about what to do for the BODHI Australia site. Maxine Ross, is now issuing receipts. She may be assisted by her friend Bob Rosen, if she is away. We would welcome further suggestions and offers of volunteering. My aim is to make BODHI even more useful in alleviating suffering while at the same time increasing its resilience as an organisation.
Treasurer’s report June 2015, for 2014 calendar year
BODHI’s audited report for 2014 is tabled. We thank the auditor, Greg Harper, at Camerons Accountants, Launceston. Greg has been our accountant for many years now. We also thank our generous donors. The highlights for 2014 are:
1.Income: fell to $55,119 from $74,046. However, 2013 income was boosted by a significant donation from the UK, from the Silbury Trust. Nonetheless, income fell and was below the average of the last five years ($60,000). The most probable reasons I suggest are (i) the cessation of donations from a previously loyal donor due to their financial difficulty; (ii) Susan’s illness and (iii) the recession. Susan’s illness has meant the BODHI Australia website has scarcely been changed for well over a year, including most of 2014. Income for 2015 looks slightly in decline, but I have not analysed it. 13.5% of BODHI’s income in 2014 was for the Bodh Gaya Development Association.
2.Expenditure fell to $60,653, exceeding income. Assets thus fell. Project spending was similar to 2013 ($53,141 compared to $54,223.)
3.Assets fell to $148,544 from $154,078.
13.7% of BODHI’s income was spent on administration and fundraising, most on Susan’s salary ($4500). Without that, our ratio would have been a very low 5.4%
The effort involved in the audit, for myself, for partners in Asia, and for the auditor are significant and have increased. However, it may be easier in 2016. Part of the difficulty this year was extracting and assembling the necessary email evidence from Susan’s as well as my computer, and also from my state of mind following Susan’s illness and death.
Thanks to Maxine Ross for help with issuing the receipts.
In process of migrating to new BODHI Australia website. BODHI US business has been moved from the BODHI Australia website.
Everything is in flux but progress is being made. Feel free to ask questions
Thanks to Aryadharma for help with the newsletter and website, also to Jay Decker
Thanks to Bryan and Gerry Warren, especially for help with the mailing list and for maintaining the on-line data base; thanks to several others for their advice, including Dr Bryan West.