Designated giving

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by John Ellwood Taylor, Jan 11, 2006.

  1. John Ellwood Taylor

    John Ellwood Taylor
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    Does anyone have an example from the Constitution/By-Laws on how to handle designated giving?
    Our situation is that we have money that was designated to a specific fund that cannot be used for general expenses. I.e. $15,000 in a kitchen fund that only ended up spending $7,500. Because the money was designated for that purpose and our constitution states reagarding the Treasurer, ". He/she shall keep separate accounts of all funds raised or contributed for particular purposes and no funds shall be disbursed by him/her except for the purposes for which raised or contributed. "

    We need disclaimer type language that allows the Board of Trustees to reallocate excess designated money.

    As well, does anyone have language regarding the right to refuse certain designated giving. I.e. "pass through" money or a designated gift that would not be consistent with the purpose of the church?

    Thanks-in-advance,

    JET
     
  2. John Ellwood Taylor

    John Ellwood Taylor
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    Here's examples of what I'm looking for:
    ARTICLE XIII
    Receipt, Investment, and, Disbursement of Funds

    Section 1.

    The Corporation shall receive all monies or other properties transferred to it for the purposes for which the Corporation was formed (as shown by the Articles of Incorporation). However, nothing contained herein shall require the Board of Elders to accept or receive any money or property of any kind if it shall determine in its discretion that receipt of such money or property is contrary to the expressed purposes of the Corporation as shown by said Articles.
     
  3. Hope of Glory

    Hope of Glory
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    When our designated giving exceeded the need for the purpose for which it was designated, we took an open vote on it, although our trustees chould have done it according to the bylaws.
     
  4. buckster75

    buckster75
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    This is not an answer to the question so pardon my detraction. Our church's records have gone a missin and I was wondering if it is necessary or of value to have Constitution/By-Laws?
     
  5. RayMarshall19

    RayMarshall19
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    This is strictly my OPINION!!!!!!

    I don't like designated giving and I think we would be better of if this practice were not allowed. I think anyone who gives should do it with the understanding that those who have been chosen to be stewards of that money will do the right thing with it. After all, God doesn't need our money to accomplish His purposes and only He knows what those purposes are. To designate the use for a donation, it seems to me, is to tell God (via his stewards) what He SHOULD do with it, and I don't think we have any business telling Him that.

    That is my OPINION!!!!!!!!!!!
     
  6. Hope of Glory

    Hope of Glory
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    It is certainly of value, "just in case". I have seen bylaws, for example, that state that in the case of dissolvement of the church, that the assets were to be sold and the money distributed to particular missions. This prevents those individuals that might want to gain from being greedy. (Not that it happens often, but it does happen.)
     
  7. tinytim

    tinytim
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    I'd say bring the left over money before the church for a vote. If the purpose of the money was served, then no one should complain.
     
  8. billreber

    billreber
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    Quote from RayMarshall19

    "I don't like designated giving and I think we would be better of if this practice were not allowed."

    I firmly believe you have the right to have this opinion. I, on the other hand, totally disagree with you.

    Designated Offerings are one way of giving that God uses to support missions. Our church, for example, sets a goal each year for the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions (LMCO). This year, our goal was $1500. God impressed upon our membership to give more than $3200! ALL of this money goes to support missions overseas. We also have other mission offerings through the year.

    Our church also has a written policy (part of our by-laws) that states what to do with designated offerings that are not used. (I do not have a copy in front of me, but am trying to piece it together here for you). First, the intended use is taken care of. Second, if any funds are left over, but the intended use may recur (youth funds for camp are an example), they are maintained in a separate account for the future. Third, if there is no expected future need for the extra funds, they automatically become a part of the general budget.

    Hope this helps!

    Bill [​IMG]
     
  9. Brother Ian

    Brother Ian
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    It is absolutely necessary to have a constitution and or by-laws. It helps protect the church.

    Some churches like to say, "We live by the Bible, we don't need a constituion." Even though we live by Scripture, there are many things things in the church that are not covered. While common sense may dictate for the church to conduct background checks on workers that work with children, the Bible doesn't say to do that. How about a policy for use of the church facilities? How about the manner which deacons are chosen? What about staff members? What is expected of the church secretary?

    I think you get the idea. Constituions and by-laws are aids to assist in the church's day to day operation.

    As to the OP, when the designated giving has exceeded the need, the use of the excess funds should be voted on by the church to distribute as the finance committee deems appropriate by the needs and constraints of the budget.
     
  10. superdave

    superdave
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    Designated giving also must be handled carefully as a tax exempt organization. I am pretty sure designated giving is only tax-exempt when it is given towards a purpose that has been announced or presented in a public meeting of the church.

    So if you are going to donate your 3 million to the church to build a new indoor waterpark, make sure they already have a building fund for it, and some conceptual drawings in the lobby!
     
  11. ccrobinson

    ccrobinson
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    My church does have a policy in the by-laws about designated giving. Our policy is that designated giving may be used for the stated purpose of the gift, or it may be directed elsewhere at the discretion of the pastor or deacons. We made this change last year, and other changes as well, at the advice of our legal council. Here's the scenario we're protecting ourself from.

    John Churchhater, with motive of destroying the church, gives funds and designates they go to some organization that promotes abortion. Without the above disclaimer, the church is forced to follow its by-laws and give the money as directed. If the church doesn't follow its own by-laws, it was explained that legal action can be taken against the church by John Churchhater. Add the disclaimer, and there is nothing that forces the church to follow designated giving to the letter. This does give the pastor and deacons the power to direct designated giving anywhere, but this is where it becomes necessary to let the leaders lead.

    I can't point to any empirical evidence that something like this has ever happened anywhere, but we modified our by-laws to prevent it from happening to us.
     
  12. Hardsheller

    Hardsheller
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    It's my opinion that a lot of designated giving is "disgruntled giving."
     
  13. RayMarshall19

    RayMarshall19
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    I understand what you are saying, but the very fact that you need a policy on designated offerings illustrates the problem I have with them. This policy would not be necessary if we (INDIVIDUALS, not God's designated stewards) were not trying to tell God what to do with the offering in the first place.

    Special offerings (like Lottie Moon) designated by God's stewards are a different matter. Asking for donations to a cause already approved by the stewards is different from allowing any offering to be designated for any purpose by the individual.

    One comment you made may help you understand my reasoning. You say "Designated Offerings are one way of giving that God uses to support missions." I disagree. They are one way WE use to support missions, a practice which scripture clearly commands. God doesn't NEED our money.

    I guess a marquis message I once saw in front of a Baptist church sums it up: "God wants you to serve Him, but not as an advisor." Including about how to spend "His" money.
     
  14. Hope of Glory

    Hope of Glory
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    Hmmm... While I'm not a big fan of designated giving in general, perhaps the designated reason is God's plan on how to spend his money.
     
  15. Paul of Eugene

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    The right thing to do is to contact the doners of the money and obtain their permission to redirect the money to either another designated fund of their choice or the undesignated reserves of the church. It is not necessary to contact every doner of the money. It is only necessary to contact enough doners to add up to the amount left over you are transferring.
     
  16. John Ellwood Taylor

    John Ellwood Taylor
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    Agreed! I often wonder if one who gives with an ulterior motive (designated giving to avoid 'paying the pastor's salary) expects a blessing from God for thier gift? :confused:
     
  17. John Ellwood Taylor

    John Ellwood Taylor
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    Agree with the legalities. Do you have the ability to provide the actual language for you addition/amendment?

    Thanks
     
  18. ccrobinson

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    John,

    I either already have it at home, or I can get it. I don't want to post it publicly, but I see no reason why I couldn't send it to you privately.

    I've made a note to look for it and send to you. I should be able to send it on Friday, 1/20.
     

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