Member wants to donate flat screens...

Discussions about using TVs, projectors, laptops, tablets, smartphones, DVD Players and other media players in meetinghouses including standards, management, how to connect to them, proper use, and support.
mprusse
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Member wants to donate flat screens...

Postby mprusse » Sun Oct 27, 2013 7:41 pm

A member of my ward wants to donate flat screens for use throughout the building. Ideally they would be wall mounted in many of the classrooms. I've heard of this happening in some buildings but was looking for the official church policy on this along with forum member opinions, suggestions, connectivity thoughts, etc.

Thank you!

russellhltn
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Re: Member wants to donate flat screens...

Postby russellhltn » Sun Oct 27, 2013 8:18 pm

The only thing I can find is Handbook 1 14.4.8 which discourages donations in-kind. I know there is a specific ban on donations of administrative computers and Emergency Communication Equipment, but I don't know of one that would cover AV equipment.

Personally, it feels wrong, but I can't a policy to prohibit it.
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Gary_Miller
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Re: Member wants to donate flat screens...

Postby Gary_Miller » Mon Oct 28, 2013 5:44 am

I would think you would have to work with the FMG on this matter to see if they would even want to do this.

People wanting to do these type of things always have the best interest however after the donation there would be additional cost such as maintenance, security, and replacement that the church may not want to deal with.

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aebrown
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Re: Member wants to donate flat screens...

Postby aebrown » Mon Oct 28, 2013 6:39 am

russellhltn wrote:Personally, it feels wrong, but I can't a policy to prohibit it.

How about The Budget Allowance, which states that:
Stake and ward budget funds should be used to pay for all activities, programs, manuals, and supplies. Members should not pay fees to participate. Nor should they provide materials, supplies, rental or admission fees, or long-distance transportation at their own expense.

This donation seems like providing materials/supplies at their own expense.

russellhltn
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Re: Member wants to donate flat screens...

Postby russellhltn » Mon Oct 28, 2013 10:51 am

aebrown wrote:This donation seems like providing materials/supplies at their own expense.


It's not an activity budget, but it may be as close as we get. Why it feels wrong to me is because it would be a return to the old ways with locally-raised budgets where units located in "rich" areas would become the "haves" and the others become the "have nots".
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aebrown
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Re: Member wants to donate flat screens...

Postby aebrown » Mon Oct 28, 2013 11:49 am

russellhltn wrote:
aebrown wrote:This donation seems like providing materials/supplies at their own expense.

It's not an activity budget, but it may be as close as we get. Why it feels wrong to me is because it would be a return to the old ways with locally-raised budgets where units located in "rich" areas would become the "haves" and the others become the "have nots".

I don't see why it's relevant that it's not an activity budget. What I quoted was from the Budget Allowance section, not the Activities section. It said that the Budget Allowance pays for "all activities, programs, manuals, and supplies." If it were referring only to activities, those last three items would not need to be in that sentence. So clearly "supplies" refers to more than just supplies related to activities.

So I think the Budget Allowance policies do apply here, and your point about differences in funding levels in areas with different economic status is a good one -- one of the goals of the Budget Allowance program was to equalize funding for all units. That applies not only to activities but to every expenditure of every unit.

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johnshaw
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Re: Member wants to donate flat screens...

Postby johnshaw » Mon Oct 28, 2013 12:00 pm

russellhltn wrote:
aebrown wrote:This donation seems like providing materials/supplies at their own expense.


It's not an activity budget, but it may be as close as we get. Why it feels wrong to me is because it would be a return to the old ways with locally-raised budgets where units located in "rich" areas would become the "haves" and the others become the "have nots".


I agree wholeheartedly. Which is why I pushed, in my stake, to get a Single Large Flatscreen in each material center, and a small LCD for EACH occupying ward in a meetinghouse in 2013 (the year that Come Follow Me came out). We pushed hard after a 2011 stake center was built and came pre-loaded with all the nice goodies. If you see the standard spec sheet for libraries in the church, you'll see it is supposed to have equipment that I know and can testify is not there.

It wasn't until the Come, Follow Me curriculum announcement was official at the end of last year (2012) that our FMG was finally on board (I'd been following closely a couple of bogs/facebook groups and knew CFM was coming very quickly). Work within the system, and IF and only IF your FMG decides it is a good idea it'll get in the budget for next year. Then, and this is the key, Get the SP to make them purchase in the first week of the budget cycle, like Jan 3, 2014 - because they'll be out of money and crying poor by March.

The issue with sticking to the guidelines as a rigid rule is that something like the change in missionary age comes along and the FMG budgets (we're told) were vastly reduced to accommodate for the change. That leaves us unable to fund an improvement through the Correct path. I'd bet, that if you put it out in 'common consent' of the members of the church, we'd vote to have new TV's in our meetinghouses and equipment to provide the centralized program and choose to donate more money to the missionary fund (increase the $400 to $450) or whatever else... maybe we could reduce the amount of tithing funds used to offset the education of BYU Students and buy projectors for our seminary rooms, etc... I get and approve explicitly why the budget funding is the way it is, but if money can be withdrawn from the Budget that is reserved to do the other normal things, it leaves me to wonder if it isn't all that unfair to buy a TV for every meetinghouse in the area... maybe we could put together a kickstarter campaign.
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McCuneLR
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Re: Member wants to donate flat screens...

Postby McCuneLR » Tue Oct 29, 2013 11:59 am

Meetinghouses and all furnishings and equipment therein are the property of the Presiding Bishop of the Church. The Presiding Bishopric establishes policy relative to meetinghouse construction and operations, including authorized quality and quantity of equipment. Consistency in the quality and quantity of equipement is important so that equipment is compatible with systems authorized for and installed in meetinghouses, technical support and warranties are available from Church headquarters, and there can be proper planning for future replacement costs.

Funds donated to the Church, except for approved fund raisers for youth camps or supplies, do not carry with them any stipulation as to where the funds should be spent. The Council on the Disposition of Tithes determines for what purpose donated funds are used. It is therefore inappropriate for local leaders to solicit donations to be used for equipment purchases or accept the donation of equipment, as they have no authority to determine where those donations to the Church should be used.

It is also inappropriate to use local unit budget funds to purchase, for use in a meetinghouse, audio/visual or other equipment, which has not been approved by the Presiding Bishopric. In June 2012, the following notice was sent to Church project and facilities managers: "Stake and ward leaders requesting (unauthorized A/V or other technology) items from Facilities Managers should be advised that they are NOT allowed until direction is received from the Presiding Bishopric. They should be encouraged not to use donated or local unit budget funds to install these items on their own. Meetinghouses are the property of the Presiding Bishop of the Church, and local leaders and Church employees should not make any changes to Presiding Bishopric approved standards without permission to do so."

Discussions are being conducted by departments and committees under the direction of the Presiding Bishopric, and as the Bishopric makes decisions regarding A/V and other technological equipment local leaders and Church employees will be so advised.

Design and Facilities Support Section
Architecture, Engineering and Construction Division
Meetinghouse Facilities Department

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gregwanderson
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Re: Member wants to donate flat screens...

Postby gregwanderson » Wed Oct 30, 2013 6:19 am

mprusse wrote:A member of my ward wants to donate flat screens for use throughout the building.

This begs the question: Why? Does the building have any flat screen monitors now? If so, does someone think there aren't enough of them? According to this recommended list of library materials you should have at least one 32-inch or 47-inch monitor for the building (depending on the capacity of the building) plus a 26-inch monitor for each unit. If you don't have those already then you can make a good case for the "proper channels" to provide them. Or does this member simply have a surplus of TVs and they're feeling generous? Bottom line, someone thinks that what you have now is not cutting it. So, I ask why.
mprusse wrote:Ideally they would be wall mounted in many of the classrooms.

I don't think this is "ideal" at all. In our building there are about 20 classrooms. I'd rather have portable carts that can take a monitor into any of them.

For anyone who's still struggling to equip their buildings with flat screen monitors, I think you need to cut and paste the post right above this one and use it to make the case that A) your ward isn't allowed to fix this problem on its own so B) you can demand that the FM group act immediately (instead of getting around to it on another year's budget). McCuneLR's statement is rather strong, leaving no "wiggle room". So it clearly points out how the local teachers are at the mercy of a larger system that, at the moment, appears to not be serving everyone's needs as it was designed to do. Can we understand why the local, ward members/leaders are frustrated when it appears that "the proper channels" cannot respond to local needs but forbid the local leaders to do anything about it? (It's difficult for me to appreciate the need for product warrantees when I consider the absolutely ancient TV and VCR we were using in our building up until a few months ago.)

TinMan
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Re: Member wants to donate flat screens...

Postby TinMan » Wed Oct 30, 2013 7:16 am

Why? Because as per your calculations: If there are two units in a building, they should have 3 flat screen monitors, right?

At the same time there are 6 youth classes going on that all have "suggested videos" to watch during their lesson times. So leaders are required to bring their own devices from home. And watching a video with a room full of deacons when all you have is an I-Pad is not "ideal" either.

Then you are tying up the three monitors for the youth eliminating anyone from Relief Society, Elders, High Priests or Primary from using them.

At least that is the "why" in our building.


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