1. Name of the Organisation and its Constitution: International Lay Buddhist Forum
The name of the organisation shall be International Lay Buddhist Forum, hereafter referred to as ILBF. The ILBF hereby adopts and sets forth this “Constitution”.
2. The purposes of the ILBF are:
2.1 To support lay Buddhist practitioners and projects or activities.
2.2 To support the practice, research on, and studies of Buddhism, particularly lay Buddhism.
2.3 To develop a framework for lay Buddhist practice, cooperation and collaboration.
2.4 To disseminate information and news of lay Buddhist activities.
2.5 To encourage young lay Buddhists.
2.6 To maintain contact and exchange with monastic and other Buddhist organizations.
3.1 Membership in the ILBF will be open to all individuals who support the ILBF purposes. Applications must be accepted by the ILBF Steering Committee.
3.2 Membership must be renewed in writing periodically as determined by the Steering Committee.
3.3 Contact information for members will be recorded by the ILBF Secretary-Treasurer.
3.4 The ILBF Steering Committee reserves the right to terminate the membership of any member.
3.5 A copy of this Constitution will be available to each new member.
In addition to regular members, sponsoring individuals and organization may be recognized by the ILBF.
5.1 The ILBF will have a Steering Committee comprised of a minimum of 5 members.
5.2 There will be a Chairperson, a Vice-chairperson, and a Secretary-Treasurer elected by the Steering Committee from among its members.
5.3 The Steering Committee may appoint or co-opt members to serve on sub-committees or undertake specific activities as appropriate. Co-opted members will not be eligible to vote at Steering Committee meetings and may be referred to as ‘Associate Committee Members’.
5.4 Steering Committee members will serve for four years unless reappointed for another four year term. New Steering Committee members may be selected by the Steering Committee at any time to complete the term of a departing member.
5.5 The Steering Committee may vote by simple majority to add or remove a Committee member from the Committee, provided that a two-thirds quorum participates in the decision.
6 Steering Committee Rules
6.1 The Chairperson may preside at Steering Committee meetings and ensure that rules are observed, oversee activities, and attend to other duties which the nature of the post may require.
6.2 The Secretary-Treasurer will be responsible for the financial affairs of the ILBF, keep records of all money transactions, and give periodic reports to the Steering Committee as they may require.
Should there be a need or when an occasion calls for it, a bank account will be opened and maintained in the name of International Lay Buddhist Forum (ILBF). The Chairperson and the Secretary-Treasurer will be signatories (both to sign).
6.3 The Secretary-Treasurer will ensure that the ILBF Constitution is followed, that appropriate information is available about the ILBF, and that minutes and records are maintained.
6.4 The Secretary-Treasurer will prepare and distribute invitations, information, and letters to members in accordance with Steering Committee decisions.
6.5 The Steering Committee may appoint an examiner to audit the ILBF financial records.
6.6 Steering Committee members may resign in writing to the Chairperson.
6.7 If a Steering Committee member resigns part way through his or her term, a new Steering Committee member may be appointed for the remainder of the term.
6.8 Two–thirds of the Steering Committee will constitute a quorum.
7.1 There will be an annual Steering Committee Meeting on a date to be decided by
the Steering Committee. Notice of this meeting will be sent by email at least 6 months prior to the meeting. The basic purpose of this meeting will be to review the activities of the ILBF over the previous year, and to discuss and decide on matters related to future International Lay Buddhist Forums and other ILBF activities for the coming years.
7.2 Special Committee Meetings may be called from time to time as necessary. Notice of these meetings will be sent by email at least 2 months prior to the meeting. These may be part of other events which are open to all members.
7.3 There will be a minimum of one Steering Committee Meeting each year on dates that coincide with the annual forum event.
Funds may be raised and donations collected to further the aims of the ILBF.
9. Hosting and Organisation of the Annual International Lay Buddhist Forum Event
9.1 Buddhist organisations interested in hosting the annual 3 to 5-day International Lay Buddhist Forum event of any year should submit a proposal to the ILBF Steering Committee at least 3 months before the date of the forum of the current year. The Steering Committee will make the decision and announce it at the current Forum event if possible.
9.2 Criteria for hosting the event include the host’s capacity for providing a venue, local transportation, food and lodging for 40 participants or more. Where the host’s financial resources allow, the host may offer sponsorships to particular participants of their choice to attend the forum. The criteria of such sponsorship should be made known to the ILBF Steering Committee.
9.3 While the host maybe responsible for the forum and its organisation, the ILBF Steering Committee should be duly consulted, and informed of the structure and format of the forum’s organisation and implementation.
9.4 The host is responsible for consulting the ILBF Steering Committee and keeping it informed of the progress of the organisation of the event.
9.5 Publicity for the forum will display the names of both the ILBF and the host.
9.6 The Steering Committee may withdraw ILBF endorsement of, or cancel, the event should the host be found to be not cooperative or acting against the interests of the ILBF.
9.7 The Chairperson of the Steering Committee shall keep track of the organisation of the annual event and liaise with the host throughout the year to ensure that the event is organised in line with ILBF objectives and interests. The Chairperson shall keep the Steering Committee informed on the progress of preparations for the event and consult with members.
10. Amendments to the Constitution
The Constitution may be amended from time to time by vote of 2/3rds of the Steering Committee.
A description of proposed changes will be communicated to the members through email for the purpose of informing them and eliciting feedback.