Don’t let vital info get lost in transition
We know impermanence is one of the three marks of existence, but sometimes we forget to take it into account in sangha management. For example, leadership changes over time. That can be challenging enough without accidentally creating more problems down the road when new board members don’t know crucial information or don’t have access to important documents.
How do you ensure that vital information doesn’t get lost in the transition?
Here are some suggestions:
Give more than one person access to important accounts.
Provide every new board member with a packet of important information about such things as dates for tax filing and contact information for support services.
Sangha's official address - If the address is an ex-leader’s address, important documents may not be received in a timely manner or at all. Geographically-based sanghas can have a P.O. Box, but if the board of a sangha is more dispersed, an online P.O. service can help, as they can forward mail to any address.
If you use bookkeeping software, be sure all reports are also available elsewhere, on the cloud and/or physical files. Future members may not use the service, but the records still need to be available.
Make sure meeting minutes contain sufficient information for future board members to understand how decisions were made, bank balances at the end of every year for tax purposes, and any other information that is often only contained in private emails between board members that future leadership teams will not have access to.
Keep a record of board members’ full contact information, as well as their emergency contact information, and ask all board members to provide their emergency contacts with instructions on who in your sangha leadership team to contact about any pertinent changes in their lives that would adversely affect their ability to serve.
When a board member leaves, be sure any access information to online accounts, government accounts, and bank access is transferred to an existing board member. Contact the bank for instructions on adding and removing signators.
Do you have other suggestions from your own experience? If you are an Insight Meditation sangha leader, we invite you to share them on the Intersangha email group! (Not a member? Contact us to be added to the group.)
May your sangha last for generations to come!
With mindful management, there will be less confusion, frustration, and unnecessary expense to undermine your best intentions. And your sangha will have the best opportunity to thrive.