For years, the Development Working Group (DWG) has been requesting financial support from the Congregation and the Board with the primary goal of being able to apply for outside grants so that we can afford large capital campaigns to maintain our building. Through the Furness Exhibition, the DWG has garnered a lot of visibility and interest for our church, and they would like to monopolize on this momentum. The DWG came to the Board this past fall with 2 extremely critical requests, both of which have financial implications.
The first DWG request was to find funding for an audit of the church’s finances which is a requirement for all grant applications. The last church audit was completed for FY 2007 as well as half of FY 2008. Since that time, we have been unable to provide funding for an audit in the church’s annual budget. The EIWG researched our available finances, consulted with Lora Thornburg, and made the following recommendation, which the Board approved at the most recent Jan Board Meeting: the EIWG recommended using the Preservation Fund which contains $6,300. This is a restricted donation that had not otherwise been allocated.
The second DWG request is regarding the creation of the 501(c)3 which will allow the 501c3 entity to apply for grants which would otherwise not be available to us as a religious organization. The creation of the 501c3 was already approved by the Congregation a few years ago, however no one followed through with the next steps. Part of this process not only includes getting an audit, but it also involves hiring a lawyer to help prepare the necessary paperwork. The lawyer will cost about $7,700. Since the Board already found church restricted donations for the audit, the Board would like to ask the congregation to come together to help raise funds for this cause. As a first step, every Board member has already committed to making a donation towards the formation of the 501c3. In the next few weeks, the Board will be sending out a letter requesting all of your help to support this cause. The DWG has been working with limited funds for years, and it is time that we gave them the necessary tools to be able to apply for grants.