NO STANDALONE STORES OR SPECIAL WORKS
One essential principle must be kept in mind. No store or other special work can exist as a standalone entity within the Society. Every store and/or special work must be owned and operated by a Council or Conference. A Council or Conference, for specific reasons, may set up a store or special work with its own Tax ID and tax exemption; however, the entity must still be clearly designated through all of its organizing documents as a subsidiary of the Council or Conference that established it. The store’s or special work’s information must also be included in the annual report of the Council or Conference that owns and operates it. It is directly contrary to the Rule to establish a special work as a standalone organization using the Society’s resources to do so. This would be the equivalent to giving SVdP funds to an outside organization, a direct conflict with the Rule.
All stores and special works committees report to the Council or Board. The committee is advisory and a resource of time and talent, not managerial. Staff of the stores and special works are given their responsibilities by the Council through its President or by the Council through a Chief Executive Officer/ Executive Director.
All stores and special works exist for the furtherance of our core missions – not for building a business within the Society. Saving profits to open another bigger, better store or special work is not Vincentian work if little or none of the income goes to the poor. One store in the Western Region was saving all of its profit for several years to open a bigger store. No money was going to the poor. The SVdP mission must be kept in mind and movement toward it at all times.
All stores and special works are controlled and operated for our missions by Vincentians. All stores and special works have the element of Vincentian person-to-person service to God’s poor. We do not hire staff or an outside group or business to exclusively service those in need. The Council, not the staff, makes the overall policy decisions to establish stores and special works. The Council may delegate some of the day to day work to the staff through the President or the Chief Executive Officer/Executive Director. If there are no Vincentians directly involved in the operation of the stores or special works, it should be reexamined to determine if it truly meets our Vincentian Rule.