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Good Works Committee Recommendation to Finance Committee and Business Meeting

The Good Works Committee Recommendation to Finance Committee and Business Meeting of 20 December 2009

Torn between prudence and the desire to be charitable during these distressed times, the Good Works Committee is compelled to advise that Meeting maintain a balanced budget in 2010. (We intend to meet our previously budgeted Good Works obligations for 2009 although this will almost certainly mean we will dip into savings by end of 2009). At a Threshing Session after Meeting for Worship on 1 November 2009, we heard Members and Attenders give voice to the desire to live within our means and to care for our Meetinghouse and our obligations without dipping into savings. We also heard voices – often the same ones – speak of the importance of putting our faith in collective action by giving to those in need in our community and the wider world. In the words of one at the Threshing Session, “Our giving together is a song that others can hear.”

Budget Recommendations

Our Own Community: We recommend that Scholarships be reduced only by $300 to $1200, as this money provides for a significant  number of  our Members and Attenders, especially to IMYM. We recommend that Emergencies and Sufferings each be budgeted at $100. (The Sufferings fund has approximately $1400 in reserve.) In regard to Emergencies, is our sense that were a Member or Attender to incur an emergency that an appeal to the Meeting for assistance would be effective.

Our Own Community total for 2010 as recommended is $1400.

Broader Quaker Concerns: In acknowledgement that these significant Quaker organizations – excluding FCNL – receive no  assistance from IMYM except for transportation of representatives to meetings, we do not recommend severe cutbacks in our gifts to these organizations. We do, however, recommend that the AFSC gift be designated for $400 to go to AFSC NM for their important local work, with the remaining $350 unrestricted. We recommend that Friends Peace Teams – a dynamic, postcolonial nonviolent model of social change – be reduced only to $300, and no further. We recommend also that RSWR be reduced to $100.

Broader Quaker Concerns total for 2010 as recommended is $2250.

Local Community Needs: We recommend that rather than eliminate organizations, cutbacks of approximately 60% be applied to all Local Community Needs in 2010. Nonprofits are rewarded for broad-based community support, and it is not our intent to withdraw all financial and symbolic support from valued organizations at this difficult time. We do recommend that As Needs Arise be left in the budget  -- but with no monies  -- as a placeholder for future concerns, and we note that NM Repeal the Death Penalty can be struck from the budget. We note too that the Interfaith Leadership Alliance can not be reduced as the $125 is an assessment, not a contribution per se.

Local Community Needs total for 2010 as recommended is $2275.

IMYM Assessment: $4230.

Recommendation for Ongoing Work of the Good Works Committee

 The Good Works Committee is moved to continue our work into 2010. We recommend that the Committee meet in May and September of 2010 to review the donations to Meeting received at that date. This would allow us to share with the Meeting how we are faring financially. We propose that at that time we also assess how to best  make our contributions. We are asking that the Meeting treasurer not pay any Good Works (excluding our assessment to IMYM and perhaps some scholarships) until after we have met in May and made a recommendation to the Finance Committee.

The Good Works Committee intends to do due diligence on administrative overhead on organizations both of Broader Quaker Concerns and those of Local Community Needs. We will invite further feedback about these organizations from Members and Attenders of Meeting. Our May and September meetings will allow us an opportunity to assess our donations, to consider what we have learned about particular organizations, and to make adjustments in our recommendation for the 2010 Good Works budget if necessary. These are volatile and uncertain times, and the proposed May and September meetings provide a safeguard as we strive for fiscal prudence.

Lest this all seem solely about money, budgets, and prudence, we hope to share stories of attenders’ generous donations of time, materials, and funds to organizations in our community. We want to acknowledge the participation of many amongst us in Good Works. We hope to liaison with the First Day School as they have already been doing Good Works, and we hope to collaborate in future endeavors. We hope too that consideration of IMYM’s fall queries concerning a future service project may spark passion for further Good Works. In conclusion, we hope to inspire further generosity in sharing stories, acknowledging ongoing Good Works, and undertaking  new commitments.

Respectfully submitted,

The Good Works Committee

Rebecca Allahyari
Peggy Giltrow
Wyn Lewis
Alan Rogers

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