Policy revision regarding gifts

The Board is updating the St. John’s Policy Manual.  Many changes are simple tweaks to match policy with current practice or to revise language. We recently revisited the Policy on Gifts and want to review longstanding policies and also to explain a change. 

“Either Donations or Bequests to St. John’s which are specifically earmarked by the donor must be approved by the board before they are accepted by the church.”  This continuing policy means if someone gives us a backhoe or leaves money for a swimming pool in the playground, the digging won’t happen automatically and possibly not at all. 

“If the gift is made to one of the already established Endowment Funds of St. John’s, it will be added automatically to that fund.”  Our three endowment funds  are Legacy, Miller-Lorentz Property, and Music Endowment and this policy is unchanged.

“In the spirit of protecting and growing gifts made to the church, all unrestricted or undesignated gifts or bequests to St. John’s will be distributed as follows:

  1.  Any unpaid pledge from the current or previous years will be deducted from the bequest and transferred to the current year’s Operating Budget.  (No change)
  2. Any balance after paragraph 1 above, will be transferred to the Legacy Fund and will be distributed per the current Legacy Fund policy.  (No change)
  3. The Board may vote to deviate from the prior policies  (1,2) and vote to use part or all of the gift or bequest for a specific expense. 
  4. Gifts provided as stock, or other investment vehicles, will be immediately liquidated and be distributed as above.”  (No change)

Item #3 has been changed because we find ourselves with many immediate needs for repairs and maintenance on the property.  We are playing serious catchup. For the next few years we’ll probably need to use a combination of endowment funds and undesignated gifts to finance our building needs. Otherwise the cost of major repairs will exhaust the amount we can spend from our endowment funds.  We know folks want the money they give to St. John’s to be used.  And for now, it’s the building’s turn. 

Please contact me with comments or questions.

Linda Heath

Finance Director

For a list of recent building and grounds updates, see the March Property Report.