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08-18-2022 Questions and Answers

08-18-2022 Questions and Answers 1200 628 Jill Pioter

Q: I understand that an Executive Director (ED) is an ex-officio member of all standing committees. Is he also an automatic member of the Board of directors and entitled to attend any meeting (including Executive board meetings)?

A: In the Bylaws, The CEO/ED is normally included as a non-voting Board Member and officer.  As such, the CEO/ED is also included in the Executive Committee. However, if part of a board meeting is to discuss matters related specifically to the CEO/ED’s performance or review, then the Board or Executive Committee may go into Executive Session which would only include voting Board Members.

Q: One board member who is limited in personal income has asked to be compensated for his time spent working on computer/printer needs. He did not ask to be paid for the camera he volunteered to install. Should we reimburse this member for work which previously was either done voluntarily or was done without bringing a request for compensation to the board in advance for approval?

A: If there was no clear expectation in advance by both parties that compensation was necessary for the work to be done. Within SVdP, members should be reimbursed for expenses they incur when doing SVdP work, but they should not be expected to be paid for their time unless there was a prior agreement in place.

Spanish Translation

P: Entiendo que un director ejecutivo (ED) es un miembro exoficio de todos los comités permanentes. ¿Es también miembro automático de la Junta Directiva y tiene derecho a asistir a cualquier reunión (incluidas las reuniones de la Junta Ejecutiva)?

R: En los estatutos, el CEO/ED normalmente se incluye como miembro de la Junta y funcionario sin derecho a voto. Como tal, el CEO/ED también está incluido en el Comité Ejecutivo. Sin embargo, si parte de una reunión de la junta es para discutir asuntos relacionados específicamente con el desempeño o la revisión del CEO/ED, entonces la Junta o el Comité Ejecutivo pueden pasar a una Sesión Ejecutiva que solo incluiría a los miembros de la Junta con derecho a voto.

P: Un miembro de la junta que tiene ingresos personales limitados ha pedido que se le compense por el tiempo que dedica a trabajar con computadoras/impresoras. No pidió que le pagaran por la cámara que se ofreció a instalar. ¿Deberíamos reembolsar a este miembro por el trabajo que anteriormente se realizó voluntariamente o se realizó sin presentar una solicitud de compensación a la junta por adelantado para su aprobación?

R: Ambas partes tenían que clarificar las expectativas de antemano si es necesaria una compensación para realizar el trabajo. Dentro de SVdP, los miembros deben ser reembolsados ​​por los gastos en los que incurren cuando realizan el trabajo de SVdP, pero no se debe esperar que se les pague por su tiempo, a menos que haya un acuerdo previo en vigor.

08-11-2022 Questions and Answers

08-11-2022 Questions and Answers 1200 628 Jill Pioter

Q: It is my understanding that only presidents of aggregated Conferences can be voting members of a District Council. Is this correct?

A: The Rule, Part III, Statute 10 specifies that District Councils represent a minimum of three, and ideally a maximum twelve Conferences in an (Arch)diocese. Although there is no specification that the Conferences have to be aggregated in the Rule, when a District Council applies for Institution, there is a requirement that at least three of the Conferences must be aggregated. In the nationally approved bylaws for District Councils, there is no specification that affiliated Conferences must be aggregated to be voting members of the District Council.  However, it is highly recommended that Conferences get aggregated as soon as they are eligible (after one year of service).

Q:  Can a paid employee vote in SVdP elections?

A:  The answer can be found in the Rule Part III Statute 14. As the statute states, “employees of the Society … may serve in a Conference other than holding any office. Paid staff cannot be officers at any level in the Society; however paid staff who are active members of a Conference may vote on all issues (including elections) except those which may affect their jobs.”

Spanish Translation

P: Tengo entendido que solo los presidentes de Conferencias agregadas pueden ser miembros con derecho a voto de un Consejo de Distrito. ¿Es esto correcto?

R: La Regla, Parte III, Estatuto 10 especifica que los Consejos de Distrito representan un mínimo de tres, e idealmente un máximo de doce, Conferencias en una (Arqui)diócesis. Aunque no se especifica que las Conferencias deban agregarse en la Regla, cuando un Consejo de Distrito solicita la Institución, existe el requisito de que al menos tres de las Conferencias deben ser agregadas. En los estatutos aprobados a nivel nacional para los Consejos de Distrito, no se especifica que las Conferencias afiliadas deban agregarse para ser miembros con derecho a voto en el Consejo. Sin embargo, se recomienda encarecidamente que las Conferencias se agreguen tan pronto como sean elegibles (después de un año de servicio).

P: ¿Puede un empleado asalariado votar en las elecciones de SVdP?

R:  La respuesta se puede encontrar en la Regla Parte III del Estatuto 14. Como establece el estatuto, los empleados de la Sociedad pueden servir en una Conferencia además de ocupar cualquier cargo. El personal asalariado no puede ser funcionario en ningún nivel de la Sociedad; sin embargo, el personal asalariado que sea miembro activo de una Conferencia puede votar sobre todos los asuntos (incluidas las elecciones), excepto aquellos que puedan afectar sus puestos de trabajo.

 

Governance: What is Meant by “Hoarding” in a St. Vincent de Paul Context — Part Two

Governance: What is Meant by “Hoarding” in a St. Vincent de Paul Context — Part Two 1200 628 Jill Pioter

Within the documents of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, there are found a number of instances where hoarding is prohibited. Please look at the Appendix to this document to see those specific references. Unfortunately, there is no specific place in the SVdP documents where the word hoarding is actually defined. There have been many times over the years that the National Office has been called to give a definition so our members can have a better understanding of the prohibition. The explanation was given a number of times in the Q&A section of the National Council’s Frederic’s e-Gazette. However, it has been deemed appropriate by the National Governance Committee to give a formal definition.

Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary defines hoarding as “to collect and lay-up, amass and conceal.” The considerations related to hoarding within the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, however, are slightly different when looking at this from a Conference perspective and a Council perspective. We will treat each separately.

(For Frederic’s e-Gazette readers:  Part One addressed Conference considerations. Part Two deals with Council considerations.)

Council Considerations

TYPES OF FUNDING HELD BY COUNCILS

The first thing to keep in mind is that Councils do not do direct assistance. The primary purpose of the Council is to support the work of the Conferences. On the Council annual report, there is no designation for direct assistance. So, typically, the funds raised by the Council are for something other than direct assistance. The primary concern for hoarding is the decision to bank funds rather than give assistance to those in need.

Not all Councils have Special Works that provide direct assistance. Usually when they do, they have designated fundraising to support those Special Works. If a Council receives donations intended for direct assistance and they have no Special Works, then they should be distributing those funds in one fashion or another to the Conferences; if they do not, then that is hoarding.

The next consideration before answering the question “What is Hoarding?” is to understand the different types of funds that Councils may hold.

  1. General Donations: These funds are received from the Conferences, the public, other SVdP entities, general fundraising efforts of the Council, benefactors, general bequests, memorials, and organizations. There is no specific intent associated with these funds other than the assumption that the funds will be used for the purposes of the Society to support the work of the Conferences and better serve those in need. These funds are held in checking accounts, savings accounts, money market accounts, CDs, and other financial instruments that are essentially considered to be liquid (easily accessible). A few comments must be made related to the fundraising efforts by Councils. Special care must be given to the way fundraising appeals are made. Sometimes, a Council will create an appeal that looks to the donor as if the donation will be used for direct assistance to those in need when the actual intent of the Council was for the funds collected to be used for other purposes. If the implication from the appeal is different from the actual intent of the Council, then the appeal must be clarified. These funds can be susceptible to hoarding.      
  2. Donor-designated Funds: These funds are received from a donor (individual or organization) that identifies a specific purpose for the use of those funds. For example, an individual gives a check to a Council and on the line preceded by the word “for” the donor has specified “utility payments.” Another example is a check from a donor that is accompanied by a note or letter that designates the donation for a particular purpose. If the Council accepts the check, it accepts the responsibility to track those funds and only use those funds for utility payments. The funds cannot be used for any other purpose. In this case, if the Council has a Special Work that provides utility payments for those in need, then the Council must use the funds in that Special Work. If it does not, the funds can also be distributed to the Conferences to help make utility payments. Another example would be a Council receiving a check from ABC Organization for $10,000 to be used for rental assistance. If the check is accepted, the Council must hold those funds in reserve and only use those funds for rental assistance. The Council would do so in a similar way to that described for utility payments. The Council can also distribute the funds to the Conferences and the Conferences have a legal obligation to ensure the funds are not used for any other purpose. These funds must be used for the purpose given.  When not used for the purpose intended, these funds may also be considered as hoarding.
  3. Funds from Grants: These funds, for the most part, are similar to Donor-designated Funds. They are usually given for a specific purpose and that purpose must be honored. These funds must be used for the purpose given and are not susceptible to hoarding. However, sometimes, but rarely, grant funds are issued for general use by the Council. In this case the funds are treated the same as general donations. These funds must be used for the purpose given. When not used for the purpose intended, these funds may also be considered as hoarding.
  4. Capital Campaigns/Endowments/Disaster Relief: Capital campaigns are normally established to purchase land, buildings, special equipment, or fund special programs. Endowments may be established to provide special programs or services with ongoing income. Disaster relief funds are normally established to provide relief to people suffering from a recent disaster in the area. The key thing about these funds is that donors contribute to them for their specific purpose. These funds are collected for a specific purpose and can only be used for that purpose. These are treated the same as Donor-designated Funds. These funds must be used for the purpose given.  When not used for the purpose intended, these funds may also be considered as hoarding.
  5. Interest Earned/Investment Income: If funds are placed in financial instruments that gain interest or in an investment account that generates income, there are two options available:
    1. If the donor requires it, the interest earned/investment income on his/her donation must be used for the purpose of the fund for which it was originally designated.
    2. Otherwise, if the allocation of interest creates an unnecessary burden there is no legal requirement for the interest earned/investment income to be restricted for any purpose and may be used as the Council determines. It may create an unnecessary burden to try to allocate the interest to specific funds.
      All interest earned/investment income that is for general use is not susceptible to hoarding (see #1 – General Donations, under Council Considerations). All interest earned/investment income designated for direct assistance to those in need is susceptible to hoarding, if not used for the purpose intended. 
  6. Council-designated Funds: There are times when the Council takes a certain amount out of the general fund and sets it aside for a particular purpose. Those funds will remain in the designated area until the Council decides to use them for another purpose.  These Council-designated funds may be changed from one purpose to another as often as the Council decides. An example of this is a Council budget, where funds are designated to be spent for a fundraising dinner. The budget designations may be realigned at any time by the Council. These funds, having originated in the general fund, are not susceptible to hoarding.
  7. Council Reserve Accounts: Councils sometimes have fixed expenses. For these, the Manual’s recommendation is to maintain a balance for the future of up to six months of expenses. Councils, like Conferences should not seek financial security by building up excessive balances for future needs. There may be needs for capital campaigns, endowments, and disaster relief, but those are addressed in number 4 above. So, unless a Council has some fixed expenses, there is no need for a reserve account. Surplus funds should be shared generously with needy Conferences or Special Works of other Councils. The “balance for the future” and/or the reserve account may be susceptible to hoarding.
  8. Special Works Reserve Accounts: Stores and other Special Works that may be operated by a Council may legitimately have fixed expenses. The recommendation from the Manual is to maintain a balance for the future of up to six months of expenses. This balance for the future or reserve account should be maintained at such a reasonable and necessary level as the Council or the Board of Directors determines is needed to assure the financial stability of the Special Work. Surplus funds should be shared generously with more needy Conferences or Special Works of the Councils. There may be needs for capital campaigns and endowments but those are addressed in number 4 above. The “balance for the future” and/or the reserve account may be susceptible to hoarding.

So, it boils down to two types of funds that are held by the Council: those that are susceptible to hoarding and those that are not. Those funds that are designated for a particular purpose must be honored (by law) for that purpose. Our concern in this document is to define hoarding, so let us recap which funds are susceptible to hoarding:

  1. All funds designated for direct assistance to those in need (normally in Special Works);
  2. Grant funds designated for general use for direct assistance to those in need;
  3. Council Funds designated for direct assistance to those in need.

REFLECTIONS ON HOARDING RELATED TO COUNCILS

Regardless of the source of its income, a Council needs to start by asking if and why it is amassing funds. The following are guidelines and principals that should govern the use and accumulation of funds by Councils:

  • If the Council operates a Special Work, then it should consider having a reserve to operate that Special Work based on the expenses normally incurred over a period of time designated by the Council Board.
  • If the Council has employees or fixed expenses such as rent and utilities, then it should consider having a reserve to cover the expenses normally incurred over a period of time designated by the Council Board.
  • The Council should, as part of its annual budgeting process, set aside funds to share with those Conferences that have inadequate funds to meet the needs which they face to help people in need.

Hoarding occurs when a Council decides to keep funds in its financial instrument instead of using the funds as they were originally defined or to advance the purposes of the Society.

The fact is that once the Council in its Special Works decides that the request for direct assistance is legitimate and it has the resources to fulfill the request, then deciding to keep the money in the bank is the wrong decision.

There are Councils that do not have Special Works who use their funds to support the Conferences: training materials, running Ozanam Orientations or other workshops, holding days of recollection for spiritual growth, sending members to regional and national meetings, etc.   This spending fulfills the purpose of the Council and is not susceptible to hoarding unless the Council simply sits on the money.

It is wrong for a Council to decide to NOT use funds for the purpose for which they were donated. There are certain circumstances that may occur that would prevent a Council from using funds accumulated for a specific purpose. An example of this is the case of a Council collecting funds for a particular disaster in its area. If, after a period of time, funds are no longer needed to address the effects of the disaster, but the Council still has funds on hand, there are three ways to resolve the unused designated funds:

  1. The remaining funds may be returned to donors;
  2. The donors may be contacted to re-designate the use of those funds; or
  3. If it is not practical to contact donors, State laws vary and local legal counsel should be sought before taking action; but generally, UPMIFA (Uniform Prudent Management of Institutional Funds Act) requires the nonprofit to provide written notice to the Attorney General of the State and wait 60-90 days, and then only if the restriction is deemed:
    1. Unlawful, impractical, impossible to achieve, wasteful,
    2. The amount is less than the amount defined by the State,
    3. The fund is more than 20 years old, and
    4. The charity uses the fund in a way that is consistent with the charitable purpose of the donor restriction.

Other releases of restrictions will require a Court Petition.

STEPS TO BE TAKEN WHERE A COUNCIL HAS ACCUMULATED EXCESS FUNDS

Here are some examples of things Councils may do if they have accumulated excess funds:

  • The Council should set aside funds to share with those conferences that have inadequate funds to meet the needs which they face to help people in need.
  • A Council can reflect and discern on whether they ought to direct additional funding, towards achieving various goals set forth in “Standards of Excellence Questions for Diocesan Councils.”
  • If a Council has additional funds, then it should look for ways to help the Society and its members through the Disaster Services Corporation, International Twinning, domestic twinning with Councils in need of financial help.
  • Reviewing its programs and considering the need for starting new non-income producing Special Works such as through an evening or lunch meal program, a Coming Together to Getting Ahead program, or the like.

Appendix: Hoarding in SVdP Documents

In the Rule, Part I, Article 3.14:

Nevertheless, the Society uses money and property to help relieve the suffering of those in need. The Society’s funds must be handled with the utmost care, prudence, and generosity. Money must not be hoarded. Decisions regarding the use of money and property are to be made after reflection in the light of the Gospel and Vincentian principles. Accurate records must be kept of all money received or spent. The Society may not allot funds to other organizations, except occasionally for other branches of the Vincentian Family, save under exceptional circumstances.

In the Rule, Part III, Statute 24:

Councils and Conferences zealously manage and maintain the Society’s assets. The authority to manage the Society’s assets remains exclusively with Councils that may delegate this authority in accordance with the Rule of the Society and the Bylaws and Resolutions of the National Council.

Faithful to the spirit of non-accumulation of wealth, the next higher Council may determine annually the percentage of the funds of each Council or Conference within their area that may be made available to them. The next higher Council will work with the Council or Conference to determine an appropriate reserve for unanticipated events and direct the allocation of funds which exceed the anticipated demands, which may not be hoarded as a capital sum, to the service of the poor in their own area or abroad in the poorest areas of the world.

In Manual, under Council funds:

Sources of Council funds may include contributions from Conferences, donations, bequests, Special Works, and grants. Like Conferences, Councils act as custodians of funds given to the Society, understanding that they belong, ultimately, to the poor. While some Councils prefer not to accumulate funds, others make a point of setting something aside for exigencies. Operating an active Council with a reasonable bank balance is good business practice, not hoarding. A bank balance equal to the operational cost of the Council for six months may be reasonable. A balance of less than three months’ operational cost may be unhealthy. Councils with inadequate balances should review the budget for ways to increase their income or reduce their expenditures. Councils with overly large balances should find ways to expend their excess funds on behalf of the poor, such as subsidizing active Conferences in poorer areas or planning needed Special Works.

In Manual, under Funds of the Conference:

It is wrong for a conference to seek financial security by building up a large balance for the needs of the future. Conference balances generally should not exceed what they expect to spend during an average quarter. Surplus funds should be shared generously with more needy Conferences or the Special Works of the District Council.

In Bylaws, Document 1 for Conferences Without a Board of Directors, Article 16:

Conferences and Councils zealously manage and maintain the Society’s assets. The authority to manage the Society’s assets remains exclusively with Councils that may delegate this authority in accordance with the Rule of the Society. Faithful to the spirit of non-accumulation of wealth the Upper Councils may determine annually the percentage of the funds of each Conference within their area that may be made available to them. The Upper Councils will work with the Conference to determine an appropriate reserve for unanticipated events and direct the allocation of funds which exceed the anticipated demands, which may not be hoarded as a capital sum, to the service of the poor in their own area or abroad in the poorest areas of the world.

In the Conference Audit Manual, under Bank Account:

Every Conference is required to maintain its bank account(s) separate from the parish and separate from the personal accounts of any of the members. There shall be no co-mingled funds.  The funds of the Conference must be in standalone accounts not tied to the parish or any of the members. The only exception to this is when a Conference has an approved reserve account. To avoid any perception of hoarding, the reserve accounts should be approved by the next upper Council. The funds in the reserve may be combined into a shared investment account as long as the Conference has sole access to its funds.

In Resolution 114:

Be it resolved that legal issues which involve one Council or one Conference have the potential for affecting the whole Society and therefore if not addressed will lead to the suspension and removal from the Society of the offending Vincentian, Conference or Council if not corrected in a timely fashion.  Such legal issues include but are not limited to the following:

  • Violation of any state statute, local ordinance, or federal law or any regulations adopted by any state, local government, or federal agency which violation relates to the operation of not-for-profit organizations.
  • Failing to conduct an annual audit.
  • Failing to file a Federal Form 990 or any required state form.
  • Adopting Bylaws that have not been updated to comply with federal requirements
  • Giving funds to non-Vincentian organizations or for non-Vincentian activity.
  • Failing to submit required annual reports
  • Failing to allow women or minorities as Conference members
  • Maintaining large balances that do not constitute legitimate reserve for future operations and which constitute hoarding,
  • Failing to enact Bylaws that are in compliance with those approved by National Council
  • Failing to make home or similar visits in pairs – i.e., allowing only one Vincentian to make such visits
  • Having officers who are not active members of the Society
  • Limiting assistance to certain groups to the exclusion of others
  • Acting in an autonomous manner and as though not answerable to the Society
  • Changing Bylaws to permit activity contrary to The Rule of the Society
  • Removing members without complying with The Rule of the Society
  • Violating confidentiality of those being served
  • The failure of National Council Members to attend National meetings
  • Raising funds across Council boundaries without permission and without adequate disclosure to the public
  • Any other issues having legal implications.

08-04-22 Questions and Answers

08-04-22 Questions and Answers 1200 628 Jill Pioter

Q:  Can a member in need receive assistance from their home Conference or must they seek assistance from a neighboring Conference where they are not a member?

A:  Every Conference should be willing to assist people in need even if that person is one of their own members. However, there are special considerations:

  1. No Conference should help one of its own members more than it would help anyone else coming for assistance.
  2. The assistance should be given in the same manner as in helping others.
  3. The case should be discussed at the Conference meeting without that member present.
  4. To avoid future complications, the member in need may have to withdraw from the Conference until the crisis is over.

Q: If the church parking lot or drive needs to be paved, do we need to have a special fundraiser or request a special donation, or can it be covered by our regular funds?

A:  According to our Rule, the Society does not give funds to outside organizations (including the church). We do not perform fundraising activities for outside organizations either. Individual members may contribute personally to the church fundraiser, but not as the Society.

Spanish Translation

P: ¿Si un miembro tiene una necesidad, puede recibir asistencia de su propia Conferencia o debe buscar asistencia de una Conferencia vecina de la que no es miembro?

R:  Cada Conferencia debe estar dispuesta a ayudar a las personas con necesidades, incluso si esa persona es uno de sus propios miembros. Sin embargo, hay consideraciones especiales:

  1. Ninguna conferencia debe ayudar a uno de sus propios miembros más de lo que ayudaría a cualquier otra persona que venga en busca de ayuda.
  2. La asistencia debe darse de la misma manera que cuando se ayuda a otros.
  3. El caso debe ser presentado en la reunión de la Conferencia sin la presencia de ese miembro.
  4. Para evitar complicaciones en el futuro, es posible que el miembro necesitado deba retirarse de la Conferencia hasta que termine la crisis.

P: Si es necesario pavimentar el estacionamiento de la iglesia o el camino, ¿necesitamos tener una recaudación de fondos especial o solicitar una donación especial, o puede cubrirse con nuestros fondos regulares?

R: De acuerdo con nuestra Regla, la Sociedad no otorga fondos a organizaciones externas (incluida la iglesia). Tampoco realizamos actividades de recaudación de fondos para organizaciones externas. Los miembros individuales pueden contribuir personalmente a la recaudación de fondos de la iglesia, pero no como Conferencia de la Sociedad.

 

 

What is Meant by “Hoarding” in a St. Vincent de Paul Context — Part One

What is Meant by “Hoarding” in a St. Vincent de Paul Context — Part One 1200 628 Jill Pioter

Within the documents of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, there are found a number of instances where hoarding is prohibited.  Please look at the Appendix to this document to see those specific references.  Unfortunately, there is no specific place in the SVdP documents where the word hoarding is actually defined.  There have been many times over the years that the National Office has been called to give a definition so our members can have a better understanding of the prohibition.  The explanation was given a number of times in the Q&A section of the National Council’s Frederic’s e-Gazette.  However, it has been deemed appropriate by the National Governance Committee to give a formal definition.

Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary defines hoarding as “to collect and lay-up, amass and conceal.”  The considerations related to hoarding within the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, however, are slightly different when looking at this from a Conference perspective and a Council perspective.  We will treat each separately.

Conference Considerations

A. TYPES OF FUNDING HELD BY CONFERENCES

The first consideration before answering the question “What is Hoarding” is to understand the different types of funds that Conferences may hold.

  1. General Donations: These funds are received from the parishes, members, benefactors, other SVdP entities, bequests made to a Conference that do not designate a specific purpose, other organizations, and fundraising efforts.   There is no specific intent associated with these funds other than the assumption that the funds will be used for the purposes of the Society to better serve those in need.  These funds should generally be held in the Conference checking account or other liquid financial accounts. These funds are susceptible to hoarding.
  2. Donor-designated Funds: These funds are received from a donor (individual or organization) that identifies a specific purpose for the use of those funds. For example, an individual gives a check to a Conference and on the line preceded by the word “for” the donor has specified “utility payments.”  Another example is a check from a donor that is accompanied by a note or letter that designates the donation for a particular purpose.  If a Conference accepts the check, it accepts the responsibility to track those funds and only use those funds for utility payments.  A Conference has a legal obligation to ensure the funds are not used for any other purpose. These funds must be used for the purpose given.  When not used for the purpose intended, these funds may also be considered as hoarding.
  3. Funds from Grants: These funds, for the most part, are similar to Donor-designated Funds.  They are usually given for a specific purpose and that purpose must be honored. These funds must be used for the purpose given.  When not used for the purpose intended, these funds may also be considered as hoarding. However, sometimes, but rarely, grant funds are issued for general use by a Conference.  In this case the funds are treated the same as general donations. These funds are susceptible to hoarding.
  4. Capital Campaigns/Endowments/Disaster Relief: Capital campaigns are normally established to purchase land, buildings, special equipment, or fund special programs. Endowments may be established to provide special programs or services with ongoing income.  Disaster relief funds are normally established to provide relief to people suffering from a recent disaster in the area.  The key thing about these funds is that donors contribute to them for their specific purpose.   These funds are collected for a specific purpose and can only be used for that purpose.  These are treated the same as Donor-designated Funds. These funds must be used for the purpose given.  When not used for the purpose intended, these funds may also be considered as hoarding.
  5. Interest Earned: Sometimes Conferences place their funds in financial instruments that gain interest.
    1. If the donor requires it, the interest earned on his/her donation must be used for the purpose of the fund for which it was originally designated.
    2. Otherwise, if the allocation of interest creates an unnecessary burden there is no legal requirement for the interest to be restricted for any purpose and may be used as the Conference determines. It may create an unnecessary burden to try to allocate the interest to specific funds.
      All interest that is for general use is susceptible to hoarding.  All interest designated and used for a specific purpose is not susceptible to hoarding.
  6. Conference-designated Funds: There are times when the Conference takes a certain amount out of the general fund and sets it aside for a particular purpose.  Those funds will remain in the designated area until the Conference decides to use them for another purpose.  These Conference-designated funds may be changed from one purpose to another as often as the Conference decides.  An example of this is a Conference budget which designates a specific amount of funds to be spent on maintenance of equipment.  The budget designations may be realigned at any time by the Conference.  These funds, if originated in the general fund, are susceptible to hoarding.
  7. Conference Reserve Accounts: A consideration for Conference reserve accounts must be included with the above. There is only one mention in the Manual related to reserves for Conferences and it does not use the word “reserves.”Donations to Conferences — whether they come from church collections, from the members themselves, from benefactors, or from fundraising efforts — are meant to address today’s needs. It is wrong for a Conference to seek financial security by building up a large balance for the needs of the future. Conference balances should not exceed what they expect to spend during an average quarter. Surplus funds should be shared generously with more needy Conferences or the Special Works of the District Council.It addresses the fact that donations are “meant to address today’s needs” and that “surplus funds should be shared generously.”  This applies to most Conferences.  So, unless a Conference has some fixed expenses, there is no need for a reserve account.  The “balance for the future” and/or the reserve account, if originated in the general fund, are susceptible to hoarding.
  8. Special Works Reserve Accounts: Stores and other Special Works that may be operated by a Conference may legitimately have fixed expenses. Although the Manual attributes Stores and Special Works to Councils, the recommendation is to maintain a balance for the future of up to six months of expenses.  This balance for the future or Special Works reserve account should be maintained at such a reasonable and necessary level as the Conference or the Board of Directors determines is needed to assure the financial stability of the Special Work.  Surplus funds should be shared generously with more needy Conferences or Special Works of the Councils.  The “balance for the future” and/or the Special Works reserve account may be susceptible to hoarding.

So, it boils down to two types of funds that are held by the Conference: those that are susceptible to hoarding and those that are not.  Those funds that are designated for a particular purpose by the donor must be honored (by law) for that purpose.  Our concern in this document is to define hoarding, so let us recap which funds of a Conference are susceptible to hoarding:

  1. All funds held for general use, typically these are in the checking account, but they may be in other financial instruments;
  2. Grant funds that are designated for general use;
  3. Interest earned on funds designated for general use; and
  4. Conference-designated Funds.

B. REFLECTIONS ON HOARDING RELATED TO CONFERENCES

Members must accept the fact that our donors have given the Conference resources to use to help those in need. The reality is that the funds we have belong to the suffering, the deprived, the forgotten, the poor, and those in need.  We are stewards of these resources and are accountable for how they are used.  There are two primary considerations about the funds our Conferences receive:

  • Are the funds we received designated by the donors for a particular purpose? If so, then it is our obligation both legally and morally as stewards of those resources to ensure they are used for the purposes for which they were given.
  • Where there is no specific donor designation, then the funds are to be used to relieve the needs of those who come to us for help (with a reasonable amount dedicated to Society approved Conference expenses).

Hoarding occurs when a Conference decides to keep funds in its financial instrument rather than helping an individual or family that it is capable of helping.

The fact is that once the Conference decides that the request is legitimate and it has the resources to fulfill the request, then deciding to keep the money in the bank is the wrong decision and constitutes hoarding.

As Vincentians, we are asked to love those in need in the best way we can.  The only way to do that is to treat each case on its own merit.  While establishing general guidelines for assistance has some benefit, Vincentians are called upon to assess each home visit as a unique encounter and should not set predefined limitations on the amount of help to be given or the type of help to be given or the number of times to help someone.  To love someone in the best way possible is the keep all of our resources available for our Lord’s use.  All of our resources include our hearts, our time, our funds, and other things we use to help people.

C. STEPS TO BE TAKEN WHERE A CONFERENCE HAS ACCUMULATED EXCESS FUNDS

Conferences are encouraged to seriously read the Manual, Section 2.1 Conference, Funds of the Conference: “It is wrong for a Conference to seek financial security by building up a large balance for the needs of the future. Conference balances generally should not exceed what they expect to spend during an average quarter. Surplus funds should be shared generously with more needy Conferences or the Special Works of the District Council.”

A review of fund balances should occur towards the end of each fiscal year with Conference members entering into a discussion and consideration of “twinning” to more needy Conferences within their District and/or Council, to SVdP National programs providing direct assistance, to Disaster Services Corporation, or to some SVdP International Conferences.

Appendix: Hoarding in SVdP Documents

In the Rule, Part I, Article 3.14: Nevertheless, the Society uses money and property to help relieve the suffering of those in need. The Society’s funds must be handled with the utmost care, prudence, and generosity. Money must not be hoarded. Decisions regarding the use of money and property are to be made after reflection in the light of the Gospel and Vincentian principles. Accurate records must be kept of all money received or spent. The Society may not allot funds to other organisations, except occasionally for other branches of the Vincentian Family, save under exceptional circumstances.

In the Rule, Part III, Statute 24: Councils and Conferences zealously manage and maintain the Society’s assets.  The authority to manage the Society’s assets remains exclusively with Councils that may delegate this authority in accordance with the Rule of the Society and the Bylaws and Resolutions of the National Council.

Faithful to the spirit of non-accumulation of wealth, the next higher Council may determine annually the percentage of the funds of each Council or Conference within their area that may be made available to them. The next higher Council will work with the Council or Conference to determine an appropriate reserve for unanticipated events and direct the allocation of funds which exceed the anticipated demands, which may not be hoarded as a capital sum, to the service of the poor in their own area or abroad in the poorest areas of the world.

In Manual, under Council funds: Sources of Council funds may include contributions from Conferences, donations, bequests, Special Works, and grants. Like Conferences, Councils act as custodians of funds given to the Society, understanding that they belong, ultimately, to the poor. While some Councils prefer not to accumulate funds, others make a point of setting something aside for exigencies. Operating an active Council with a reasonable bank balance is good business practice, not hoarding. A bank balance equal to the operational cost of the Council for six months may be reasonable. A balance of less than three months’ operational cost may be unhealthy. Councils with inadequate balances should review the budget for ways to increase their income or reduce their expenditures. Councils with overly large balances should find ways to expend their excess funds on behalf of the poor, such as subsidizing active Conferences in poorer areas or planning needed Special Works.

In Manual, under Funds of the Conference: It is wrong for a conference to seek financial security by building up a large balance for the needs of the future. Conference balances generally should not exceed what they expect to spend during an average quarter. Surplus funds should be shared generously with more needy Conferences or the Special Works of the District Council.

In Bylaws, Document 1 for Conferences Without a Board of Directors, Article 16: Conferences and Councils zealously manage and maintain the Society’s assets.  The authority to manage the Society’s assets remains exclusively with Councils that may delegate this authority in accordance with the Rule of the Society.  Faithful to the spirit of non-accumulation of wealth the Upper Councils may determine annually the percentage of the funds of each Conference within their area that may be made available to them. The Upper Councils will work with the Conference to determine an appropriate reserve for unanticipated events and direct the allocation of funds which exceed the anticipated demands, which may not be hoarded as a capital sum, to the service of the poor in their own area or abroad in the poorest areas of the world.

In the Conference Audit Manual, under Bank Account: Every Conference is required to maintain its bank account(s) separate from the parish and separate from the personal accounts of any of the members.  There shall be no co-mingled funds.  The funds of the Conference must be in standalone accounts not tied to the parish or any of the members.  The only exception to this is when a Conference has an approved reserve account. To avoid any perception of hoarding, the reserve accounts should be approved by the next upper Council.  The funds in the reserve may be combined into a shared investment account as long as the Conference has sole access to its funds.

In Resolution 114: Be it resolved that legal issues which involve one Council or one Conference have the potential for affecting the whole Society and therefore if not addressed will lead to the suspension and removal from the Society of the offending Vincentian, Conference or Council if not corrected in a timely fashion.  Such legal issues include but are not limited to the following:

  • Violation of any state statute, local ordinance, or federal law or any regulations adopted by any state, local government, or federal agency which violation relates to the operation of not-for-profit organizations.
  • Failing to conduct an annual audit.
  • Failing to file a Federal Form 990 or any required state form.
  • Adopting Bylaws that have not been updated to comply with federal requirements
  • Giving funds to non-Vincentian organizations or for non-Vincentian activity.
  • Failing to submit required annual reports
  • Failing to allow women or minorities as Conference members
  • Maintaining large balances that do not constitute legitimate reserve for future operations and which constitute hoarding,
  • Failing to enact Bylaws that are in compliance with those approved by National Council
  • Failing to make home or similar visits in pairs – i.e., allowing only one Vincentian to make such visits
  • Having officers who are not active members of the Society
  • Limiting assistance to certain groups to the exclusion of others
  • Acting in an autonomous manner and as though not answerable to the Society
  • Changing Bylaws to permit activity contrary to The Rule of the Society
  • Removing members without complying with The Rule of the Society
  • Violating confidentiality of those being served
  • The failure of National Council Members to attend National meetings
  • Raising funds across Council boundaries without permission and without adequate disclosure to the public
  • Any other issues having legal implications.

07-28-2022 Questions and Answers

07-28-2022 Questions and Answers 1200 628 Jill Pioter

Q: Am I correct, that we should not use a friend in need’s name and picture in our advertising — even with their permission?

A: Using our friends in need name and photograph on advertisement is not a violation, so long as written authorization has been given to do so. Many SVdP Councils/Conferences have case record forms that have a disclaimer on it that may work for this purpose; others have a separate release of information and photo usage form for our friends in need to sign. Be sure you are consistent with your Council’s and Diocese Safeguarding policies in this regard. We recommend not using photos of children in need; “stock” photos are acceptable and help with safeguarding protections.

Q: If a Catholic attends meetings but has no contact with the poor, are they an active member or associate? A situation: a person attends meetings regularly, their company gives substantial money every year, but their job prevents them from participating in our work. It has been suggested to let them return calls from neighbors in need, so they are serving the poor. The majority of the Conference wants them classified as active members for fear of losing the donation from their company. Your thoughts?

A: To summarize, The Rule, Part III, Statute 3, an Active Member is Catholic, attends meetings on a regular basis and participates in the works of the Conference. Make every effort to get this person involved in the works of the Conference in some way; it does not need to be with direct contact. It is the Conference who decides who is an Active Member and who is an Associate. We ask that you be consistent with everyone and not be motivated only by money considerations.

Spanish Translation

P: ¿Estoy correcto que no debemos usar el nombre y la imagen de un amigo con necesidades en nuestra publicidad, incluso con su permiso?

R: Usar el nombre y la fotografía de nuestros amigos con necesidades en un anuncio no es una infracción, siempre que se haya otorgado una autorización por escrito para hacerlo. Muchos Consejos/Conferencias SVdP tienen formularios de registro de casos que tienen un descargo de responsabilidad que puede funcionar para este propósito; otros tienen un formulario separado de divulgación de información y uso de fotos que nuestros amigos necesitan firmar. Asegúrese de ser consistente con las Políticas de Salvaguardia de su Consejo y Diócesis. Recomendamos no usar fotos de niños; las fotos de “stock” son aceptables y ayudan a protegerlos.

P: Si un católico asiste a las reuniones, pero no tiene contacto con los pobres, ¿es un miembro Activo o Asociado? Un ejemplo: una persona asiste a las reuniones con regularidad, su empresa aporta una cantidad sustancial de dinero todos los años, pero su trabajo le impide participar en nuestro trabajo. Se ha sugerido que les permita devolver las llamadas de los vecinos con necesidades, para que sirvan a los pobres. La mayoría de la Conferencia quiere clasificarlos como miembros activos por temor a perder la donación de su empresa. ¿Qué piensa?

R: Para resumir La Regla, Parte III, Estatuto 3: un miembro activo es católico, asiste a las reuniones regularmente y participa en los trabajos de la Conferencia. Hacer todo lo posible para involucrar a esta persona en los trabajos de la Conferencia de alguna manera; no necesita ser con contacto directo. Es la Conferencia que decide quien es Miembro Activo y quien es Asociado. Le pedimos que sea coherente con todos y no motivado sólo por consideraciones de dinero.

07-21-2022 Questions and Answers

07-21-2022 Questions and Answers 1200 628 Jill Pioter

Q:  Should members of the Conference be permitted to perform services for which they are compensated by a neighbor who is being helped by the Conference?

A:  Members of the Society should not accept compensation from those we serve for the works that we do as Vincentians. What we provide in the way of resources and our time is a gift to those in need. No payment is to be accepted.

Vincentian connections are not proper to make business solicitations for work done outside of the Society. Otherwise, nothing prohibits a Vincentian from conducting their usual business services for someone who receives Society services. We do not restrain trade; however, there should be a clear distinction between what is provided as Society service (at no cost to those receiving the services) and what may be done as a contractor, etc.

Q:  Our Conference is assisting a neighbor who has someone once a week to help with laundry and housework. The helper is paid $22/hour. The neighbor is not happy with the job this person is doing and would like to find someone else to do the work. Discussing the situation at our Conference meeting, one of our members offered to help this neighbor. The member wants to be paid for her services. Is this something that is permitted within the Conference?

A:  In the above Q&A, we indicated that members should not be paid for work they do as Vincentians. However, in this case, the member is effectively being employed by the person the Conference serves. If the member continues to receive payment for services from the person served by the Conference, then the member must withdraw from participating in any way with the Conference in evaluating requests from that person.

Spanish Translation

P: ¿Se debe permitir que los miembros de la Conferencia acepten compensación para hacer servicios por los cuales están recibiendo ayuda por la Conferencia?

R:  Los miembros de la Sociedad no deben aceptar compensación de aquellos a quienes servimos por las obras que hacemos como vicentinos. Lo que proporcionamos en forma de recursos y nuestro tiempo es un regalo para los que tienen necesidades. No se aceptará ningún pago.

Las conexiones vicentinas no son apropiadas para hacer solicitudes de negocios para trabajos realizados fuera de la Sociedad. De lo contrario, nada prohíbe que un Vicentino realice sus servicios comerciales habituales para alguien que recibe servicios de la Sociedad. No restringimos el comercio; sin embargo, debe haber una distinción clara entre lo que se proporciona como servicio de la Sociedad (sin costo para quienes reciben los servicios) y lo que se puede hacer como contratista, etc.

P: Nuestra Conferencia está apoyando a un vecino que tiene un ayudante que viene una vez a la semana para ayudar con la lavandería y las tareas del hogar. Al ayudante se le paga $22/hora. El vecino no está contento con el trabajo que está haciendo esta persona y le gustaría encontrar a alguien más para hacer el trabajo. Hablando de la situación en nuestra reunión de la Conferencia, uno de nuestros miembros se ofreció a ayudar a este vecino. El miembro quiere que le paguen por sus servicios. ¿Es esto algo que está permitido dentro de la Conferencia?

R:  En la pregunta/respuesta anterior, indicamos que a los miembros no se les debe pagar por el trabajo que realizan como vicentinos. Sin embargo, en este caso, el miembro está siendo efectivamente empleado por la persona a la que sirve la Conferencia. Si el miembro continúa recibiendo el pago por los servicios de la persona a la que sirve la Conferencia, entonces el miembro debe dejar de participar de cualquier manera con la Conferencia en la evaluación de las solicitudes de esa persona.

Governance — Recruiting New Members

Governance — Recruiting New Members 1200 628 Jill Pioter

*The information in this article was provided by the Governance Committee and Vincentian Life: Conference

In the previous chapter, we focused on how to retain the members you have and how to help them to grow. Keep in mind that in order for the Conference to grow we need to be able to attract new members. New members have the ability to renew a Conference with fresh new ideas and experiences. History has shown that Conferences which do not engage or welcome new members become stagnant and often close down.

Imagine the benefits of gaining a new member is like finding a diamond in the slag at the Kimberly mines. You have no idea of its real value until you chip away the exterior to reveal its inner composition (get to know her/him), and spend time polishing its surface (provide training, motivation and direction).

In this chapter, we will focus on the techniques to use to bring new members into the Conference so that you can discover those hidden diamonds.

PERSONAL INVITATION

It has been proven that the best way to recruit new people for your organization is the personal invitation. Challenge every member of your Conference to invite one friend or family member to join the Conference. Your Conference would easily double in size. This is because people have a tendency to trust the recommendations of people close to them, people whose opinion they value.

If you have enjoyed being a Vincentian, then you probably have talked about it to family members and friends. Spreading the word about something good can prove to be contagious. If being a member of the Society has truly had a positive impact on your life, then you likely want to share that with others.

Start by encouraging them to attend a meeting. Invite them to participate in some activity of the Society. Invite them to accompany you on a home visit to observe how we serve those needing help. Exposure to who we are and what we do is one sure way to make someone want to know more. Of course, keep in mind that all you can do is invite them. It is the Holy Spirit that will move them to sign on the dotted line.

INVITATION TO SERVE

After the personal invitation, the next best recruitment method available is the Invitation to Serve. The Invitation to Serve is a proven recruitment method that is used for starting new Conferences and recruiting new members for existing Conferences. This is touched on in the chapter titled “Getting Started.” This method provides an organized approach for recruitment and has a proven track record throughout the United States and has been used for more than 30 years.

There is no need to go into detail about this recruitment program here. All of the details are described in the program documentation which is available on the National Council website under Growing New Conferences/Councils. Suffice it to say that everything you need for a successful recruitment is spelled out in the program description. All you have to do is follow the step-by-step plan.

MINISTRY FAIRS

Another recruitment method that has been in use is the parish ministry fair. Essentially, the parish picks out a particular weekend on which they invite all of the parish ministries to have a display table with information about their particular ministry and invite parishioners to join. Members of each ministry provide brochures and other information and answer questions the people have about their ministry.

This can be an effective way to get people to join many ministries. It can also be overwhelming to people who are given too much to choose from. For an individual ministry, you are faced with people being offered too many choices, a lot of competition, and the possibility that you will be overlooked depending on your location. Realistically, more time is required and much smaller numbers result from this type of recruitment. However, it does give your organization visibility and an opportunity to talk about the good works of the Society.

DIVERSITY

In any recruitment effort, we must keep in mind the ethnic and cultural differences of the community in which we live. The membership in a Conference ideally should reflect ethnic and cultural diversity. An example would be if a community has a large populace of Hispanic/Latino people, that membership should be reflected within the Conference. The same holds true with Black Americans, Native Americans, and other ethnic or racial groups. Conferences should be aware of and exposed to the cultural competencies needed to service those in need regardless of ethnic, racial or cultural background.

Did you know the Society was founded by a group of college students?  Young adults were at the very center of our existence and growth as an organization. Youth and young adults represent the future of the Society. It is imperative that we make every effort to attract and welcome young people into our Conference. This very important topic is discussed in more detail in another chapter on Youth and Young Adult Involvement.

BE WELCOMING

The biggest failure that occurs in any recruitment effort is when existing members do not welcome the new recruits. In this case, we are not referring to saying “hello” and shaking their hands. “Welcoming” means to allow them to participate in the life of the Conference.

“Welcoming” includes the following:

  1. Allowing new members an opportunity to attend meetings on a regular basis. Sometimes our existing members are unwilling to accommodate changes to attract new members. For example, often times Conferences will hold their meetings during the day because the majority of the existing members are retired and daytime meetings are attractive and convenient. However, this does not allow people who work during the daytime hours the flexibility to attend the meetings. The existing members could adjust their meeting schedule to accommodate the new recruits as a sign of acceptance.
  2. The same holds true with doing Home Visits. Sometimes our members again set all Home Visit schedules for daytime hours with no regard for its new member’s availability.
  3. Our existing members need to partner with the new recruits to make them feel welcome in addition to training them. Sometimes our members are so accustomed to a familiar partner they sidestep the opportunity to partner with new members.
  4. This is also true with activities other than Home Visits. For example, certain members are used to doing a particular job, such as organizing and maintaining the food pantry. They feel ownership of that work and will not allow anyone else to help.

As mentioned in the previous chapter, one of the fastest ways to lose members is to not make them feel welcome.

SUMMARY

There are proven ways to bring new people into the Conference: personal invitation, Invitation to Serve, and ministry fairs. However, no effort will prove successful if you do not welcome the new recruits and get them active.

07-14-2022 Questions and Answers

07-14-2022 Questions and Answers 1200 628 Jill Pioter

Q: Our parish is giving us some generous space in the bulletin every week to get our message out. Some relatively new, but very effective, Vincentians have suggested that we publish our monthly statistics: how many individuals and families helped, etc. They also want to publish how much we spend on our assistance every month. Do we have a rule that governs this?

A: It has been a recommendation of the Society for Conferences to give a summary of their activity to the pastor and the parish at least annually. Using the bulletin to do this is appropriate. Providing such detailed assistance information more than four times a year is usually too much. The space may be better used by having regular bulletin announcements about the Society.

Here is the website link to SVdP bulletin announcements for every week of the year: https://members.ssvpusa.org/formation/formation-resources/bulletin-announcements/.

Q:  Our Conference purchases food at a good price from our local food bank. The food bank requires that we provide them a list of everyone to whom we give food. Is this a violation of confidentiality?

A:  Yes, it is a violation, unless you received authorization from those to whom you give food to share their information with other organizations. If you stay with the food bank and someone chooses not to authorize this sharing of information, you may have to refuse to give food from the food bank to them. They could be given food you purchase or get from other sources.

Some food banks accept as an alternative a list of people not by name or other specific identifiers but by demographic group and zip code. See if this would be acceptable.

Spanish Translation

P: Nuestra parroquia nos está dando un espacio generoso en el boletín todas las semanas para difundir nuestro mensaje. Algunos vicentinos relativamente nuevos, pero muy efectivos, han sugerido que publiquemos nuestras estadísticas mensuales: cuántas personas y familias ayudaron, etc. También quieren publicar cuánto gastamos en nuestra ayuda cada mes. ¿Tenemos una regla que gobierna esto?

R: Ha sido una recomendación de la Sociedad que las conferencias den un resumen de su actividad al pastor y a la parroquia por lo menos una vez al año. Usar el boletín para hacer esto es apropiado. Proporcionar información de asistencia tan detallada más de cuatro veces al año suele ser demasiado. Se puede aprovechar mejor el espacio si se publican periódicamente anuncios sobre la Sociedad en los boletines.

Aquí está el enlace del sitio web a los anuncios del boletín SVdP para cada semana del año: https://members.ssvpusa.org/formation/formation-resources/bulletin-announcements/.

P: Nuestra Conferencia compra alimentos a buen precio en dispensa local. La dispensa de alimentos requiere que les proporcionamos una lista de todas las personas a las que damos alimentos. ¿Es esto una violación de la confidencialidad?

R:  Sí, es una violación, a menos que haya recibido autorización de aquellos a quienes les da alimentos para compartir su información con otras organizaciones. Si sigue trabajando con esta dispensa y alguien recibiendo comida decide no autorizar este intercambio de información, es posible que deba negarse a darles alimentos de la dispensa. Podría dar a estas personas comida comprada u obtenida de otras fuentes.

Algunas dispensas aceptan como alternativa una lista de personas no por nombre u otros identificadores específicos, sino por grupo demográfico y código postal. Vea si esto sería aceptable.

07-07-2022 Questions and Answers

07-07-2022 Questions and Answers 1200 628 Jill Pioter

Q: Our local electric company demands a deposit of $300 for two years of a new resident at one of our rental apartments. Because of the legal concerns, after two years, that deposit is sent back to the resident if they pay their bills during the two years (even if SVDP pays the deposit). It is my contention that this is a deposit that should be returned to us. Some of our conference members feel that we should not ask for a return of these monies. What is the position of National?

A: Two things to keep in mind: first, the utility company may not keep track of a third party to whom the refund should be given.  Second, when we give assistance to people, it is given as a gift – not a loan; so, we should not look for a return.  One of the things we have always promoted within the Society is that “once given, the gift belongs to the recipient.” They can do with it as they please. That goes for food, clothing, furniture, rent, utilities, gift cards, vouchers, etc.

Q:  Does the Rule allow two members to serve as Conference Co-Treasurers?

A: The Rule requires a designated treasurer. The treasurer can have assistants who do various aspects of what is required. One person must be the responsible person for the position.

P: La empresa de luz local exige un depósito de $300 por dos años de un nuevo residente en uno de nuestros apartamentos de alquiler. Debido a las preocupaciones legales, después de dos años, ese depósito se devuelve al residente si paga sus facturas durante los dos años (incluso si SVDP paga el depósito). Es mi opinión que este es un depósito que debe ser devuelto a nosotros. Algunos de nuestros miembros de la conferencia sienten que no debemos pedir la devolución de estos dineros. ¿Cuál es la posición de Nacional?

R: Dos cosas para tener en cuenta: primero, la empresa de servicios públicos no puede realizar un seguimiento de un tercero a quien se le debe dar el reembolso. En segundo lugar, cuando brindamos asistencia a las personas, lo hacemos como un regalo, no como un préstamo; por lo tanto, no debemos buscar un retorno. Una de las cosas que siempre hemos promovido dentro de la Sociedad es que “una vez dado, el regalo pertenece a quien lo recibe.” Pueden hacer lo que quieran con el regalo. Eso se aplica a alimentos, ropa, muebles, alquiler, servicios públicos, tarjetas de regalo, cupones, etc.

P: ¿La regla permite que dos miembros sirvan como co-tesoreros de la conferencia?

R: La Regla requiere un tesorero designado. El tesorero puede tener asistentes que hagan varios aspectos de lo que se requiere. Una persona debe ser la persona responsable del puesto.

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