Funding RS Enrichment Night

Discuss questions around local unit policies for budgeting, reconciling, etc. This forum should not contain specific financial or membership information.
User avatar
borenmt
New Member
Posts: 29
Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2007 9:58 am
Location: Utah (Wasatch Front)
Contact:

Funding RS Enrichment Night

Postby borenmt » Fri Feb 25, 2011 9:09 am

Interesting thread. I've got a situation where the sister in charge of enrichment night (Super Saturday actually) wants to collect money for craft projects via paypal. She already has a paypal account for an online business and wants to have sisters pay into that, then buy the materials. She is willing to pay the fees out of her own pocket. I've said No (I'm the bishop) until we get clearance from the stake.

The accounting issues mentioned above all seem to apply, though at a much smaller scale. But... without paypal, many of the same issues still apply. I don't think the sisters in our ward have EVER made a check or donation slip out to the ward for these kinds of expenses. They make the check out directly to the person who bought the doilies, cardstock, glue, etc. How "bad" is that? Is that against policy as well?

User avatar
aebrown
Community Administrator
Posts: 14685
Joined: Tue Nov 27, 2007 8:48 pm
Location: Sandy, Utah

Postby aebrown » Fri Feb 25, 2011 9:22 am

BorenMT wrote:The accounting issues mentioned above all seem to apply, though at a much smaller scale. But... without paypal, many of the same issues still apply. I don't think the sisters in our ward have EVER made a check or donation slip out to the ward for these kinds of expenses. They make the check out directly to the person who bought the doilies, cardstock, glue, etc. How "bad" is that? Is that against policy as well?


Like many things in life, if everything always goes well, you can get away with being a bit relaxed on procedures. But what happens if a payment gets lost? What if someone handling those funds gets accused of doing something dishonest with the money? What accounting and accountability is there?

I know it's a difficult cultural battle to fight because of entrenched traditions, and when you ask people to follow the proper procedures, many people would say "That's a big hassle -- don't you trust us? It's not that much money." I wish the policy were more clearly stated in this regard, but as I mentioned earlier, I really do think that the policy applies to all funds handled by the unit, for the protection of all.
Questions that can benefit the larger community should be asked in a public forum, not a private message.

russellhltn
Community Administrator
Posts: 20729
Joined: Sat Jan 20, 2007 2:53 pm
Location: U.S.

Postby russellhltn » Fri Feb 25, 2011 10:47 am

Since my post forks this off from the PayPal question, I spun this off as a new thread.

BorenMT wrote:I've got a situation where the sister in charge of enrichment night (Super Saturday actually) wants to collect money for craft projects via paypal.


I find the answers to many dilemmas is found in the Handbook. I took a look at Handbook 2. I started in "Relief Society". I found Finances under 9.10.6 which simply said "See 13.2.8".

Section 13.2.8 is "Funding for Activities". It says "Stake and ward budget funds should be used to pay for all activities, programs, 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." It goes on to list exceptions. Exception #4 says "Optional activities as outlined in 13.5."

I took a look at 13.5, but Enrichment Night doesn't fit into any of the examples.

So, it would appear to me, that charging a fee for enrichment night supplies is not in keeping with the Handbook. All materials should be funded out of the Ward Budget. Unless you can find another interpretation, that certainly solves that PayPal dilemma. (But it's likely to make some sisters unhappy.)
Have you searched the Wiki?
Try using a Google search by adding "site:tech.lds.org/wiki" to the search criteria.

User avatar
aebrown
Community Administrator
Posts: 14685
Joined: Tue Nov 27, 2007 8:48 pm
Location: Sandy, Utah

Postby aebrown » Fri Feb 25, 2011 11:04 am

RussellHltn wrote:Since my post forks this off from the PayPal question, I spun this off as a new thread.


But the original post on this new thread refers to the original thread, so this spinoff might be a bit confusing. The original thread, by the way, is Collecting funds for Singles Conference via Paypal.

RussellHltn wrote:So, it would appear to me, that charging a fee for enrichment night supplies is not in keeping with the Handbook. All materials should be funded out of the Ward Budget.


It's interesting to note that step #26 of the Ward Audit instructions says:
Pass-through funds are funds that should be spent promptly for the special purpose for which they were collected. Some examples are funds collected for a temple trip, food storage, or Relief Society craft night.
So at least the audit assumes that wards would collect funds for this kind of activity. Of course, the latest audit instructions are dated October 2010, one month before the current Handbook became effective -- perhaps that step is now out of compliance with policy.

In any case, I am also unable to find any exception in the current Handbook that would justify charging a fee, even an optional one, for a Relief Society activity. So I think you are raising a good point.
Questions that can benefit the larger community should be asked in a public forum, not a private message.

kisaac
Community Moderators
Posts: 1170
Joined: Sun Oct 21, 2007 5:04 am
Location: Utah, united states

Postby kisaac » Fri Feb 25, 2011 10:43 pm

RussellHltn wrote:So, it would appear to me, that charging a fee for enrichment night supplies is not in keeping with the Handbook. All materials should be funded out of the Ward Budget. Unless you can find another interpretation, that certainly solves that PayPal dilemma. (But it's likely to make some sisters unhappy.)


I see a difference. Asking every sister who attends to bring three dollars, which I think certainly think would not be appropriate, is different than asking each sister to decide if she wants to do the craft and pay for her own materials to do it. In our ward, some sisters want to make a craft and pay the materials money to another sister, while many sisters come and just quilt with the other sisters, attend a workshop and have a nice lunch and not pay anything.

russellhltn
Community Administrator
Posts: 20729
Joined: Sat Jan 20, 2007 2:53 pm
Location: U.S.

Postby russellhltn » Fri Feb 25, 2011 11:04 pm

kisaac wrote:I see a difference. Asking every sister who attends to bring three dollars, which I think certainly think would not be appropriate, is different than asking each sister to decide if she wants to do the craft and pay for her own materials to do it.


I think what you're trying to say is that since the sisters are not required to take part in the craft portion during the activity, this is allowed under 13.5 Optional Activities. However, reading that section:

Units may sponsor optional activities that are presented by Church-related entities. Such activities include Church university performance groups, special youth programs, and periodic major cultural events. As authorized by a member of the Presidency of the Seventy or the Area Presidency, members may be charged a modest fee to defray the costs of such events if (1) the program is entirely optional, (2) the cost is not burdensome, and (3) the event is not used to raise funds. Budget funds may be used to help those who want to attend but are unable to pay.


The problem I have with your interpretation is that Enrichment Night is far different from the examples given in the Handbook above. There is also the issue of "As authorized by a member of the Presidency of the Seventy or the Area Presidency" which could be interpreted to be necessary to classify the event under that section.
Have you searched the Wiki?

Try using a Google search by adding "site:tech.lds.org/wiki" to the search criteria.

kisaac
Community Moderators
Posts: 1170
Joined: Sun Oct 21, 2007 5:04 am
Location: Utah, united states

Postby kisaac » Fri Feb 25, 2011 11:35 pm

RussellHltn wrote:The problem I have with your interpretation is that Enrichment Night is far different from the examples given in the Handbook above.

I should have clarified that the crafting activity is, in fact an "optional" or at least an additional activity held one saturday a year, and these are never held during the week night meeting that we once called enrichment. But, point well taken...

added later: I guess since the title of this is funding enrichment night I should clarify... I look at a crafting meeting for RS like I look at the book club or the scrapbook events. My wife certainly can choose to participate or not, and she wouldn't expect the ward to buy her the book or the paper either.

User avatar
PNMarkW2
Member
Posts: 66
Joined: Thu Jun 11, 2009 1:44 pm
Location: Portland, Oregon, USA
Contact:

Postby PNMarkW2 » Sat Feb 26, 2011 10:54 am

Every training I have ever attended, or ever heard of, where this subject comes up, including those after the new handbook, has always made it clear that if a Sister is making something that she will take home after the activity then the Ward is allowed to collect funds to pay for those materials. But, if a Sister wants to participate, yet can not afford the cost, then the Ward Budget should cover that on an individual basis.
~Mark
Ward Clerk
Colonial Heights Ward
Portland Oregon Stake

-----
"For a list of all the ways technology has failed to improve the quality of life, please press three."
---Alice Kahn

User avatar
aebrown
Community Administrator
Posts: 14685
Joined: Tue Nov 27, 2007 8:48 pm
Location: Sandy, Utah

Postby aebrown » Sat Feb 26, 2011 10:57 am

PNMarkW2 wrote:Every training I have ever attended, or ever heard of, where this subject comes up, including those after the new handbook, has always made it clear that if a Sister is making something that she will take home after the activity then the Ward is allowed to collect funds to pay for those materials. But, if a Sister wants to participate, yet can not afford the cost, then the Ward Budget should cover that on an individual basis.


This is clearly a wide-spread practice. But can it be supported from the Handbook as currently written? I haven't seen any convincing quote yet that overrides the quote in section 13.2.8:

Stake and ward budget funds should be used to pay for all activities, programs, 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.
Budget funds pay for all supplies. Members do not pay fees. Members do not provide materials or supplies at their own expense. Seems pretty straightforward to me, with no exceptions listed that cover the topic of this thread.
Questions that can benefit the larger community should be asked in a public forum, not a private message.

russellhltn
Community Administrator
Posts: 20729
Joined: Sat Jan 20, 2007 2:53 pm
Location: U.S.

Postby russellhltn » Sat Feb 26, 2011 11:47 am

kisaac wrote:I should have clarified that the crafting activity is, [...] held one saturday a year,


Which would seem to me to make the expense that much more affordable to the budget which is supposed to be the funding of all activities.


Another concern I have is that $3 is a very round number. Either the sister getting the supplies is out of pocket (particularly if fewer sisters participate then expected) or she's making a profit however meager it may be. Couple that with the lack of oversight in financial matters, and I see the potential for problems as well as violating the spirit of other church policies on finances.

As Alan says, it might be a wide-spread practice, but I don't see support for it in the current Handbook.
Have you searched the Wiki?

Try using a Google search by adding "site:tech.lds.org/wiki" to the search criteria.


Return to “Local Unit Finance”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest