Dāna Economy

Dāna is the Buddhist principle of generosity. As part of spreading the Buddha's teachings, we think it's important that we run our centre on the basis of dāna and aim to inspire a culture of giving.

All are classes are run by volunteers who aren't paid for the work they do. We don't charge for most of our classes, but simply ask you to donate whatever you can so we can cover our running costs.

This page provides an overview of our costs and income, as well as information about how to give. The centre is operated by our charity, The Triratna Buddhist Community (Colchester) and as a registered charity, our full accounts are available from The Charity Commission.

What It Costs

Monthly costs based on spending from our financial year ending June 2017.
Building works, equipment, repairs and maintenance

Covers all the costs of our new building so far. There is still a lot of work to be done (including a new roof for the small shrine room), so we are projecting to spend around the same this coming year, approximately £830 per month.

Rent, utilities, care-taking and IT costs

Includes all utilities, hiring a cleaner, and our website costs. Now that we own our building, we no longer have to pay rent, however it costs more to heat the larger centre. This year we expect to spend around £530 per month.

Insurances, fees, bank charges, loans and interest

Instead of rent payments we now have loan payments (taken out to purchase the new building) to be repaid. Therefore, our costs in this category will be higher this year, and we’re projecting to spend around £389 per month.

Chair and Mitra Convenors meetings

Our Chair and Mitra Convenors attend national/international meetings several times throughout the year for a week each time, the cost of attending is paid by the centre. This year we will spend about the same.

Kitchen, office and shrine keeping supplies

Includes all our Fairtrade tea, coffee and biscuits, cleaning supplies, shrine keeping supplies like flowers, candles and incense, and office stationary and printing costs. This year we will spend about the same.

Donated to other Triratna centres and projects

Almost every Triratna centre voluntarily donates a small amount of their surplus to help other Triratna projects such as new centres and central institutions. This year we hope to give about the same.

Where It Comes From

The vast majority of our income is from the generosity of people who come to the centre. We also make a small amount from hiring the centre, running retreats, and from bookshop sales.

The amount of money being donated has been decreasing over the last several years. In our financial year ending June 2017, donations were down 8% from the year before. This year we are projecting a further 14% decrease. We are also making much less money on retreats due to rising costs, and so our income from retreats is also expected to decrease. This means our total expected income for the coming year is projected to be around 17% less than last year, despite our costs only projected to be around 9% lower.

Income from financial years ending June 2016 and 2017 compared to our projected income for our financial year ending June 2018:

How You Can Help

Most people who come to our classes donate at the centre (we can take donations by cash or card). You can also make a donation online now:

However, many people who attend the centre regularly choose to set up a monthly standing order. Many people find this more convenient than donating every time they come to the centre. Below are instructions for setting up a standing order. If you have had a standing order for a while, you might consider occasionally increasing the amount.

We provide suggested donation amounts for our classes and events. If everyone gave these amounts, our costs would be covered, but those can’t afford this (or even anything), are just as welcome as anyone else. We hope that by encouraging you to give what you can those who are able to give more will help cover for those who can’t afford as much, and we can continue offering our classes free of charge.

Our suggested one-off donation amounts:
Short Classes & Groups

For example, Lunchtime Drop-In class, men’s/women’s groups, or Mitra study groups

Longer Classes

For example, Newcomers Night, Dharma Morning or Saṅgha Night

Whole Day Events

For example, festival days or study days

Our suggested monthly donation amounts:
One Weekly Class

For example, just attending Newcomers Night, Dharma Morning or Saṅgha Night each week

Regular Attendee

For example, attending a weekly class, plus a study group and the occasional festival day


These are suggested donation amounts only. All of the classes and events mentioned above are free of charge and giving to the centre provides no benefit.

Another way to give to the centre is to come to one of our volunteers work days to help with the work and maintenance needed to keep the centre looking beautiful and suitable for our classes and events.

Standing Orders

You can set up a standing order yourself using online or phone banking using these account details:

Account Name Colchester Buddhist Centre
Sort Code 08-90-31
Account Number 50278714
Bank The Co-operative Bank

Or download and print a standing order form, fill it in, and we'll set it up for you. If you don't have a printer, you can pick up a form at the centre.

If you are a UK taxpayer, the value of your donation can be increased by 25% under the Gift Aid scheme at no extra cost to you. This makes a significant difference, so if this applies to you, please help us by completing a Gift Aid declaration.

Learn More