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Finance Committee Report - October 2014

Finance Committee Report
October 19, 2014
Prepared by Bob Gaines

On October 5th the Finance Committee hosted its third threshing session to assist the Meeting in discerning the right use of its financial resources.  The session focused on these queries:

"Is money from the Baumann bequest and sale of land available to be used solely for the needs of those who attend the Canyon Road Meetings for Worship or is it also available for the needs of the Worship Groups? Who decides this matter - the group at Canyon Road or SFMM as a whole?"

A participant asked about who donates.  The treasurer prepared this answer for the last full fiscal year:

For calendar year 2013, 46 identifiable donors made 127 discrete donations ranging from $25 to $2000.  Eleven of these donors made multiple donations on a more or less regular pattern (monthly, bimonthly, quarterly), ranging from $25 to $500.  Twenty-six made a single/annual donation, ranging from $25 to $1,000.  The total of unrestricted donations to the general fund in 2013 was $19,290.  Total general fund expenses were $38,542.

A summary of some of the other responses by participants is appended.  The final session on November 2 will address specifically how the Meeting might use the the Baumann and land sale money.

Finance Threshing Session – October 5, 2014

The Queries

The 630 Canyon Road 9 am and 11 am Meetings for Worship and the South Side Friends Quaker, Las Vegas, Taos Clearlight, Tres Piedras, and Los Alamos Worship Groups are collectively the Santa Fe Monthly Meeting. Those Friends who meet for Worship at 9 and 11 am at 630 Canyon Road have managed funds contributed to the Santa Fe Monthly Meeting separately from the Worship Groups under the care of the Monthly Meeting. Worship Group funds have generally been used for the operating, maintenance, and good works expenses of the respective worship groups and are separately managed by each group.

Is money from the Baumann bequest and sale of land available to be used solely for the needs of those who attend the Canyon Road Meetings for Worship or is it also available for the needs of the Worship Groups? Who decides this matter - the group at Canyon Road or SFMM as a whole?

In either case, what structures and policies does the Canyon Road group or the Monthly Meeting need to set up for management and disbursement of the bequest and sale funds? How does the Canyon Road group or Monthly Meeting go about developing such structures and policies?

The Comments

10 persons attended.   Bob Gaines took notes and paraphrased some of the comments:

- The Santa Fe Monthly Meeting encompasses all groups.  
- The Business Meeting meets once a month, and the worship groups have the opportunity and the responsibility to attend or to send their concerns to M&C.  If they don't attend, they should trust the work of the Business Meeting and committees.
- Maybe the Business Meetings should be held occasionally at one of the worship groups (WG).
- The WGs should use their liaisons to convey their concerns, but I like the suggestion to rotate the Business Meeting (BM).
- Does the South Side WG have a business meeting?  If so, do they report to the Monthly Meeting (MM)?  What is the relationship?
- The BMs are too long and some can't attend or sit through them.
- The intent of the donation of land was to have an impact, to initiate something new.  It's a good thing that others are starting something new. [Donor's Letter of Intent, 8-16-09:]
- When the South Side WG came to the MM with a request for money to complete their meetinghouse, the discussion in BM dragged on and on.  There was no reasonable attempt to address the request.
- That's because it was clear in the BM discussion and the subsequent threshing sessions that we didn't have unity on the relationship between the MM and the South Side WG.
- “630 Canyon Road” is a fiction – there is only the MM [in the sense that it is the MM that receives and spends donations, not 630 Canyon Road].
- What I hear us saying is “Us” and “Them.”
- Is there something that spells out the financial relationship between a MM and its WGs?  Anything in the YM's Faith and Practice?  [No.]
- We do assume that we have a spiritual relationship.
- We don't necessarily need to reach out to non-Quakers, we need to start with our own WGs.  
- We need a committee to receive proposals for using MM funds from each group in the MM; the committee would present the proposals to the BM.
- The Future Planning Committee has identified needs for 630 Canyon Road that could use up all the available funds and more.
- When Alison made the gift to form the South Side WG, it never occurred to me to think 630 Canyon Road had any claim on the gift.  Is it the case that what is given to a WG is theirs but they can also use what is given to the MM?
- How do we understand our contributions to sustain future generations of Friends?
- I support having a committee to bring to the BM proposals from WGs for the MM funds.
- I've been participating in a study group with members of the WGs, and it has lessened my sense of "Us" and "Them."
- Maybe the"Us" and "Them" stems from Alison's gift.
- What percentage of the donations to the MM come from 630 Canyon Road and what from the WGs?
- How many contributors are there to the MM?  How many of those are in WGs?
- Should we earmark our contributions for 630 Canyon Road if that's where we want them to go?
- Does the MM pay for anything for WG members?
- The MM pays the $50 IMYM assessment for the members who attend WGs [i. e. those who have formally joined the SFMM -- there are about 8], and any member or attender in a WG can request financial aid to attend the IMYM Annual Gathering or to travel as a representative of the MM to IMYM committee meetings.
- Was Alison's gift to the South Side WG consistent with the vision and values of furthering Quakerism in Santa Fe (which I share)?
- I think of my contribution as supporting not just the 630 Canyon Road Meeting but also for Good Works.

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