Bylaws of the Buddhist Sangha of Bucks County


The following Bylaws were approved by the Board  – September, 2015

The sangha is a 501 (c)(3) Non profit organization ran entirely by volunteers and governed by these bylaws. Find out more about us

Article 1


  1. Name:  The name of the corporation shall be the Buddhist Sangha of Bucks County (BSBC).
  2. Mission: To Present, Teach and Practice Buddhism: To Provide Meditation Instruction and Community Service in a Manner Consistent with the Teachings of the Buddha.

Article 2


  1. Membership shall be by written agreement of those interested in Buddhism and who support the mission statement of the BSBC.
  2. Visiting or attending persons who do not wish to become members may be welcomed as ‘Friends of the Sangha’.
  3. Voting Members shall be limited to the Board of Directors and Sangha participants who have signed the Membership Agreement form.

Article 3


  1. There shall be a meeting of the general membership for such business as may come before the BSBC annually at a place to be specified in the notice of such meeting.  Notice of said meeting shall be broadcast to the membership at least two weeks in advance of the meeting.
  2. Special meetings of members shall be called by the secretary or any other officer upon the request of the president of the Board of Directors or on the written request of one-half of the voting members.

Article 4


  1. Management: The property and affairs of the BSBC shall be managed and conducted by its Board of Directors (the Board), the members of which shall serve without compensation.
  2. Qualifications: The Board shall consist of the Officers and Members-at-Large recommended by the officers and elected at the BSBC annual general membership meeting. Board members shall be committed to the study and practice of Buddhism and shall demonstrate commitment to the BSBC through contributions of funds, time, or other services.
  3. Elections: Prior to the annual election of officers, the Board will elicit a show of interest from the BSBC membership.  Based upon the interest of the members, the Board will develop a slate of officers, and members-at-large, and present the slate to the membership. The presiding officer shall call for a vote on this slate, following any additional nominations from the members attending.
  4. Vacancies: In the event of a mid-year vacancy on the Board, said vacancy shall be filled either at a special meeting called by the President for such purpose, or at its next scheduled meeting, through nomination and agreement among the voting members, taking into consideration the expression of interest obtained earlier in the year from the membership.

Article 5


  1. The officers shall consist of a President, a Vice President, a Secretary, an Assistant Secretary, a Treasurer, and Member(s)-at-Large and such other officers as shall be determined by the Board.
  1. President: The President shall preside at all meetings of the members and of the Board. The President may make and sign in the name of the BSBC contracts and agreements in the ordinary course of business, and other contracts, obligations, and instruments when authorized by the Board. The President shall have such other powers and duties as may from time to time be assigned to him by the Board. The term of office of the President shall be for two consecutive years and shall begin on the date of the meeting of the voting members at which he or she is elected.
  2. Vice President: The Vice President shall perform duties assigned by the President or Board and will represent the President when he or she is unavailable. The term of office of the Vice President shall be for two consecutive years and shall begin on the date of the meeting of the voting members at which he or she is elected.
  3. Secretary: The Secretary shall give notice of all meetings of the General Membership, as required by these by-laws, and shall keep and maintain records and minutes of all meetings of the General Membership and of the Board. The term of office of the Secretary shall be for one year and shall begin on the date of the meeting of the voting members at which he or she is elected.
  4. Assistant Secretary:  The Assistant Secretary shall perform duties assigned by the Secretary and serve as Secretary, when the Secretary is unavailable. The term of office of the Assistant Secretary shall be for one year and shall begin on the date of the meeting of the voting members at which he or she is elected.
  5. Treasurer:  The Treasurer shall be entrusted with the care and custody of the funds of the BSBC, under the direction and supervision of the Board, and shall keep or cause to be kept accurate books of account of such matters that shall be the property of the BSBC. The term of office of the Treasurer shall be for one year and shall begin on the date of the meeting of the voting members at which he or she is elected.
  6. Members-at-Large:  The Members-at-Large shall oversee projects of interest to the Board, as directed by the President.  The term of office of the Members-at-Large shall be for one year and shall begin on the date of the meeting of the voting members at which he or she is elected.

Article 6


  1. There shall be three standing committees: Outreach, responsible for community service activities; Communications, responsible for newsletters, member notices and digital communications; and Program, responsible for recommending and securing special teachers and for providing leadership and assistance in organizing special events.
  2. Other ad hoc committees may be established upon recommendation by the President and approval by the Board for the any purpose consistent with the mission, activities and policies of the BSBC.
  3. Committee members shall consist of BSBC members and other Friends of the Sangha approved by the Board.
  4.  Each committee shall be chaired by one or more Board member(s) as assigned by the President, and with the consent of those selected to serve.

Article 7


  1. No funds shall be raised from individuals in the form of solicited contributions or pledges. Individual contributions shall be donated freely, solely to support the activities and functions of the BSBC.
  2. Any and all harmful weapons, illegal drugs, gambling devices or services, or any service, article or device that is not consistent with the purposes of the BSBC shall be excluded from any premises or activities of the corporation.

Article 8


  1. Meditation and Liturgy for those who seek opportunities for Buddhist practice and knowledge, development and discipline of mind and body, as taught by the Buddha and interpreted by recognized teachers.
  2. Community service and other activities designed to relieve the suffering of other sentient beings.
  3. Meetings, classes, and seminars dealing with Buddhist philosophy and practice. Publishing and distribution of literature and creation and maintenance of a website and use of other digital media for the purpose of education regarding the Buddhadharma and publicizing the mission and activities of the BSBC.
  4. All other activities of any nature that conform to and do not in any way violate the mission and guidelines of the BSBC.
  5. Adoption of policies by a majority vote of the Board pertaining to the safe, effective and compassionate operation of the BSBC in support of its mission or to help foster the spiritual path of the Sangha members.

Article 9


  1. Checks:  All checks, drafts or orders of the payment of money shall be signed by the Treasurer or President.  Any payment over $500 will be agreed upon, ahead of time, in writing by the both the President and Treasurer before the check, draft or order is issued.
  2. Fiscal Year: The Fiscal Year of the BSBC shall be January 1 through December 31.



The purpose of BSBC’s Facebook Page include the following:

a. To continue to build our sangha by creating an interactive tool that will permit members and other individuals to comment on posts to our news feed, to create a greater sense of community within the sangha, and to use what Facebook offers in order to increase the visibility of our sangha among local Buddhists and those learning about Buddhism within the broader Bucks County community.

b. To inform BSBC members and those interested in BSBC about relevant events and opportunities related to our practice, as well as to provide educational materials that can help strengthen the practice of those who follow our Facebook page.

c. To use Facebook’s organizing tools to lessen the work of BSBC volunteers.

A. Facebook Page Management

Two members of the Communications Committee, at least one of whom is a co-chair, will serve as managers of BSBC’s Facebook page. They each have administrative privileges of the Facebook page.

The managers will help shape the overall direction of the Facebook page, coordinate Facebook content with BSBC’s website, and develop policies and resolve conflicts concerning the use of the Facebook page, including the content and tone of any postings.

The managers will maintain day-to-day management of the Facebook page, and their duties include posting content, recruiting volunteers to help with the Facebook page, and such other activities necessary to fulfill the purposes of the Facebook page.

B. Use of BSBC’s Facebook Page

In using the Facebook page to build sangha, or in fulfillment of the other purposes of the page, BSBC Facebook managers and volunteers may take any of the following illustrative actions:

1. Post material consistent with these guidelines. They may post material from or about the BSBC website (e.g., BSBC blog posts, or they may provide links to other content such as posts from other Facebook or Internet pages. (Linking to the Facebook posts of other organizations will boost traffic to our Facebook page due to Facebook algorithms.)

2. Encourage BSBC members to “invite” friends to “like” the page.

3. Use Facebook’s Events functions to organize our own events such as the Dharma teachers or retreats. With a small amount of training, event organizers can use the Events function for invitations, RSVPs, and to provide event information such as location and date. Thus, we can use both the webpage and Facebook page to promote the Event, and we can use the Facebook Events function as an events organizing tool.

4. Create a gallery for photos of BSBC events, member photos from retreats and other related Buddhist-related destinations, or photos that are consistent with Buddhist or contemplative themes.

A tutorial on Facebook page capabilities may be found

C. Guidelines for Posting on BSBC Facebook Page

1. Unacceptable Posts:

a. Partisan political posts or posts of original or linked material which are inconsistent with traditional Buddhist principles both in content and in tone. Examples:
• Political posts – unless it includes everyone it should not be posted. Something that says, “I am upset about a particular person or leader so do this meditation” is political and assumes that everyone supports this notion. However, a post about our humanity and not letting a leader define who you are is ok since it is inclusive of all affiliations
• No posting of an article relating to teachers whose origins are not from a Buddhist tradition.

b. Unmindful speech, such as, but not limited to unskillfully-stated expressions of anger, insults, accusations or other venting and personal disagreements.

c. Any advertisements for commercial products or services unless it has been explicitly approved by the President of BSBC and one member of the board. This would NOT exclude opportunities that might be fun or enjoyable and that would lead people to get to know sangha members better, such as, an open house or art exhibit of the works of a sangha member.

d. A Sangha member’s home address, phone number or other sensitive personal information such as bank accounts or status of personal relationships.

2. Acceptable Posts:

a. Posts relating to teachers whose origins are from a Buddhist tradition, such as any of the teachers that BSBC has studied, including the Dalai Lama, Sharon Salzberg, Tara Brach, Jack Kornfield, Pema Chodron, and Joseph Goldstein.
c. Links to Buddhist magazines and website articles just as Tricycle, Lions Roar, and The Mindfulness Bell.
d. Links to news releases or other action statements from other Buddhist groups about issues such as climate change and diversity. Such posts of other Buddhist groups will be reviewed to ensure that they follow the BSBC guidelines on unacceptable posts.
e. Inspirational posts or posts that lead people to reflect on Dharma teachings. Example:
• In our gratitude month, posts which identify things for which members are grateful.

f. Any announcement pertaining directly to sangha and its functioning, such as meeting times, locations and changes, announcing new items posted on the website and supporting material for board meetings and the Annual Meeting. Example:
• Any announcement that pertains to direct practice opportunities, such as retreats and seminars, concerning or offering meditation, the Dharma or engaged practice opportunities.

Questions about postings may be directed to anyone on the BSBC Communications Committee.

D. Screening

Members of the public—not just members of the sangha—can post comments on our Facebook page. Accordingly, Facebook administrators will screen comments periodically for distasteful language, or comments which are offensive in tone or language, or that are otherwise expressed in a manner that distracts from the values embodied in our sangha.


It is understood that rules covering every possible posting are impossible and that we must depend on the good judgment of Facebook managers and volunteers to decide about what is or is not appropriate content to post. If a posting causes offense, the Facebook managers may, at their discretion:

– Ask the person posting the offending message to clarify;
– Delete, or cause to be deleted, the offending messages;
– Remove, or cause to be removed, the administrative privileges of a volunteer to post to the Facebook page if the volunteer continues to post offending material;
– Ask the Board to decide on an appropriate course of action if the conflict persists.

Similarly, if the actions of a Facebook manager cause conflict, individuals are asked to discuss the situation with the President of BSBC.

A. Availability of Guidelines.
These Guidelines will be posted on BSBC’s website.

B. Amendments.
Future experience, Facebook technology changes, Board decisions and other factors may necessitate that we amend these Guidelines. The Facebook managers will email the Board updated copies of these Guidelines after adoption of any amendment.

C. Other social media guidelines
Facebook is currently BSBC’s primary social media platform. The guidelines adopted here also apply to our Twitter, Web and Blog platforms.

D. Effective Date.
These Guidelines are effective immediately.

The Gil Howard Memorial Retreat Assistance Award

This award was begun in 2017 to honor the contributions to the Buddhist Sangha of Bucks County of Gil Howard. Gil was a longtime member of the BSBC and served as President, Vice President, and Board Member for many years. His love for and contributions to the sangha were boundless, and we hold him in our hearts as we seek to help members of our community attend a meditation retreat by providing financial assistance up to four times per year.

The amount allocated for this Award is up to $300 per quarter, with a maximum of $1,200 annually. The Award may be divided between more than one applicant each quarter. The Board of the BSBC has created a committee to review all applications, and the committee will discuss the review process with the full Board, which will determine the allocation of the Award. Please note that the Award is intended to help BSBC members for whom a retreat may be otherwise out of reach for financial reasons. All information by applicants will be held in confidence.

To submit an application to be considered for the Award, please follow these guidelines:

• The Award is for attending a meditation retreat at a recognized Buddhist retreat center, led by a recognized Buddhist teacher.

• Application to the committee must be made via written letter to the committee (The Gil Howard Memorial Retreat Assistance Award Committee). An applicant’s letter should indicate 1) how you feel the specific retreat may be helpful to your practice; and 2) how the Award would contribute to your ability to attend the retreat. Please provide the letter to either the President of Vice-President of the BSBC.

• It is a condition of the Award that successful applicants be willing to talk about their retreat experience upon return, and share how it has affected their practice, either during a Monday night discussion or through a written letter to be shared with the community.

We know that Gil would be deeply moved to help any BSBC members attend a retreat that may be otherwise unavailable to them, and we are humbled to offer this Award in honor of his memory and years of service to the sangha. Good luck in your application. May you have happiness and the causes of happiness.