Ad hoc Collections

This document describes the Finance Committee policy on accepting "earmarked" contributions. In short, we cannot accept restricted contributions for purposes other than large, long term projects like the Property Improvement Fund, as determined by the ILYM business session. But we can, with caveats, accept unrestricted contributions in support of specific expenses paid out of the operating fund. Here is some background about this policy.

Friends are loving and generous. There have been many times in the history of the yearly meeting when a special need, opportunity, or leading arises. One example was the spontaneous inspiration at annual sessions to help fund two Adult Young Friends from Kenya to attend the World Gathering of Young Friends in 2005. Another example was the decision by Continuing Committee in spring 2007 to accept contributions toward a kitchen air conditioner.

The Finance Committee supports this inspiration and generosity. However, these collections comprise donor restricted funds, which can be difficult to administer. Questions often arise afterward. What do we do with any excess funds collected? What do we do with the collection if the project is cancelled? If the donors have already deducted the contribution from their taxes, it may not even be possible to return the funds. Sometimes the collections would carry forward on the finance reports for years, adding unnecessary complexity.

There is a place for donor restricted contributions. For a collection that will be large or long term, such as the Property Improvement Fund, it makes sense to accept donations restricted for that specific purpose, as the project may take years and great resources to complete.

But for any collection under about $2,000 for a project that will be completed within a year, tracking a restricted fund can be a hardship.

In May 2007 the ILYM Finance Committee united on adopting the following policy. It is hoped that this policy is flexible enough to accommodate Friends' spontaneous generosity, while preserving Simplicity in our finances.

For short term small collections that don't qualify for the establishment of a restricted fund, ILYM will accept the contributions as unrestricted, and for a limited time only. Shown below is what the donors should be told when the collection is undertaken; a version of this statement will be printed on their donation receipt. Furthermore, Finance Committee asks that when such a collection is initiated, a standing ILYM committee be named to oversee the fund, to provide guidance on spending, closing or redirecting the collection.

Wording of receipt for donors:

Illinois Yearly Meeting is grateful for your contribution in support of [name of project]. Finance Committee will direct your contribution toward this purpose. However, if either surplus funds are collected or the project is cancelled, your dollars will be directed toward another approved ILYM need. Please, immediately let us know if you are not in unity with this.