Working with Volunteers

All our Buddhist Centres depend heavily on volunteers. The North London Centre recently estimated it benefitted from 60 individual volunteers – which included all its teachers, Council members, many class supporters, and so on, including not least of course those who clean the centre.

Volunteers will only stay if they enjoy it and their needs are met; it’s therefore well worth investing time and energy learning how to work with volunteers. The Bristol Center has only three staff but one is employed specifically to coordinate volunteers.

This section currently contains three documents:

* Triratna_volunteers_handbook, written by Lokabandhu

* The Ipswich Buddhist Centre Volunteer Handbook is a 23-page handbook for new volunteers at the Centre, covering the Centre’s vision, aims and core values; the various types of Centre Volunteers; the Centre’s Volunteer Policy; its complaints procedure, Induction, training and support, and more.

* Mentoring for Volunteers, a draft outline of a mentoring scheme for volunteers. These were both developed by Jnanamitra, until recently Chair of the Ipswich Buddhist Centre.

She writes – In my last year as Chair of the Ipswich Buddhist Centre I did a lot of work with policies and procedures, and with exploring volunteer management and mentoring. They were a LOT of work – it took months, and I am proud of the way I have integrated ethics into it, and changed the tone, at least to some extent, to emphasise practice.
This work should be relevant to other Centres – we should all have such things as they are a requirement. I was helped with them by Maria Brett, a woman mitra from Cambridge who has since gone back to Australia – she was working with SAVO – Suffolk Association of Voluntary Organisations, and it was their templates which I edited and which she checked.

I would be happy for them to be posted as examples on the Centre resources site
Love from

One Response to “Working with Volunteers”

  1. […] a new page ‘Working with Volunteers’ in the Sangha section of the site; this contains a sample Volunteers Handbook and also a […]