TBC Decision-Making Survey Results

Thanks to everyone who took the time to complete the survey! We’re very happy with the number of people who responded and greatly appreciate the thoughtfulness you put into your responses.

The survey ran from May 2 to May 14, 2021 and was completed by 31 respondents, with a good representation of new and old members of TBC. People were notified of the survey at a Community Meeting on May 2, through Sunday announcements, a website announcement, and direct email to 54 recipients. A copy of the survey can be found here.

The purpose of the survey was to get a better understanding of the will of the TBC community with respect to how decisions get made at TBC, and how the Steering Committee can best support this. In particular, we asked about the division of decision-making responsibilities between the whole community at AGM’s or community meetings, the Steering Committee, and the individuals Leads and Volunteers who provide our programs.

The Steering Committee is using this information to put together a Proposed Governance Model for TBC. The TBC community will have an opportunity to review the proposal and vote on it at the next AGM this Fall.

Overall Decision-Making Model

A strong majority of respondents indicated that their preferred overall model is:

The Steering Committee makes decisions to implement the direction of AGM and Community Meetings

The next most common response was by those who chose the “Other” option and suggested that it should be a combination of the Steering Committee and the Leads that make decisions for TBC.

What Types of Decisions Should Each Level Make?

A series of questions were asked to help identify what types of decisions should be made by the AGM/Community Meetings, the Steering Committee, or by the Leads. There was a range of responses but most common answers fell into these areas:

Type of Decisions to be made by AGM/Community Meetings

  • Decisions affecting the Strategic Direction of TBC, such as:
    • Mission Statement
    • Membership
    • Charitable Status
  • Approving Annual Budgets
  • Changing the start time of our Sunday Sessions
  • Having social events

Type of Decisions to be made by Steering Committee

  • Decisions about TBC programs, such as:
    • for Sunday sessions
      • Choosing a meeting location
      • Selecting Sunday Facilitators
      • Deciding about remote access
    • for Days of Mindfulness:
      • Choosing a location for Days of Mindfulness
      • Deciding about fees for Days of Mindfulness
      • Deciding about collaborating with other groups
  • Decisions about whether to offer new initiatives, such as:
    • Supporting diversity and inclusivity
    • Offering meditation instruction
    • Providing activities to welcome new members
    • Offering a monthly newsletter
  • Approving financial expenditures for activities

Type of Decisions to be made by Leads/Volunteers

  • For Sunday sessions:
    • Choosing the chants used
    • Selecting the dhamma teachers
  • For Days of Mindfulness:
    • Selecting teachers
    • Setting the length of the sessions
  • For Communications:
    • providing social media updates
    • making email announcements

Other Questions

  • Number of Community Meetings – Most respondents said that would like an annual AGM and 1-3 Community Meetings during the year if needed
  • Consultation with the Community – Most respondents said that they were happy with the level of consultation they are currently receiving about TBC decisions
  • Other Comments:
    • 3 comments stressed the importance of supporting and empowering individual volunteers and leads
    • 3 comments said there’s a need to balance the work load and protect people from burnout
    • 2 comments spoke about the need to recognize the legal responsibilities and authority of the Board of Directors
    • 2 comments stressed the need for accountability of the leadership to the community
    • many other individual comments and suggestions were made as well and are being considered as we move forward