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Report to Santa Fé Monthly Meeting from the Good Works Committee 5-15

Report to Santa Fé Monthly Meeting from the Good Works Committee

17 May 2015 – (David Henkel for the Committee)

Questions:

  • Is donating to Good Works a need for the Meeting?

  • Do these donations speak to our testimonies? Should we only contribute to As Needs Arise?

  • If we were not to make donations as a Meeting, what would this convey to the recipients?

  • What are the actual obstacles to Friends donating to worthy causes through the Meeting?

  • What is the real source of our anxiety over contributing to the meeting?

  • In addition to money, what other kinds of resources are we willing to contribute?

  • If we decide not to donate to organizations that are doing good work, what message does this send to Young Friends? To others considering joining us?

 

Observations:

  1. Santa Fe Friends Meeting approved a Good Works budget of $6075 for fiscal year 2014-15. This was equal to about 18% of our overall budget. In years past, we had vocally supported the idea of contributing an equal amount to good works as we spend upon ourselves as a Meeting.

  2. We increased the 2014-15 budget by adding $400 to the As Needs Arise category in the middle of the year.

  3. Members and attenders of Santa Fé Friends Meeting have raised insufficient funds—we are shy $4000--to meet the obligations we incurred.

  4. This means that we have an outstanding obligation for the current fiscal year, and raises questions about what we can actually support for the coming fiscal year.

  5. As Friends, we are obliged to truthfulness. Consequently, we should not pledge support beyond what we can deliver.

 

Recommendations:

  1. 2014-15: Do not make up the shortfall between what has been pledged and what has actually been contributed by dipping into bequests; this is not a question of generosity on the part of individual Friends who are moved to fill the gap, but a matter of responsibility for all members to support the approved workings of the Meeting.

  2. 2015-16: We should peg our commitments to what we have been able to raise this year--that is, approximately 67% of what we had budgeted. Specifically, that would mean a total contribution of $2156 instead of the current figure of $6475. (This means about 6% of our total budget instead of 18%.) If we are able to raise more than that amount, then we should decide whether we should amplify our contributions to the existing organizations or extend our contributions to other organizations not currently supported.

  3. We should express support for no new organizations until we can raise the money to do so.

Other suggestions:

  1. There should be a single line for Good Works, allowing the committee to exercise its judgment.

  2. Cycle through the recipient organizations across a multiyear period.

  3. At the time of their contribution, request that contributors to the monthly meeting indicate the charities they think we should support.

  4. Read brief descriptions of the charities during announcements, following Meeting for Worship each week.

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