So then, as we have the opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith. – Galatians 6:10
We hope to avoid any criticism of the way we administer this generous gift. For we are taking great care to do what is right, not only in the eyes of the Lord, but also in the eyes of men. – 2 Corinthians 8:20-21
House on the Rock Fellowship believes that meeting the financial needs of our faith community is one way we share the love of Christ. This Benevolence document outlines the process used by the Finance Team when assisting those within our fellowship (both members and regular attendees). Assisting others outside our fellowship should be directed to our Hope Team (firstname.lastname@example.org).
When handling a benevolence request the current Finance Team shall:
- Discern the difference between “need” vs “convenience”
- A “need” is understood as something required for survival
- The types of help that will be provided by the benevolence resources include, but are not limited to; meeting financial hardships that have arisen as a result of natural calamities, food needs, payments of utilities, medical bills, but are not limited to those categories.
- Discern the difference between helping vs harming, underwriting an irresponsibility or particular lifestyle choice.
- Provide financial instruction any time money is provided, i.e. basic financial planning, reference a simple money management book, etc.
- Provide vouchers as opposed to money whenever possible.
- Pay bills to a 3rd party that provide receipts for expenditures (IRS required for over $75.00).
- Not provide money to people who are not a part of this fellowship, i.e., non-members or those not in regular attendance. Those requesting assistance who are not members/ regular attenders of this fellowship shall be referred to the Hope Team.
- Counsel the applicant to seek assistance in the following order
- Family (Relatives)
- Life Group- If the Life Group can help or should know of a need, communicate with the group leader the name(s) of their members who are in need.
- Finance Team
- Void and return all checks designated to a specific individual or family. Please give to specific individuals or families directly.
- Maintain complete confidentiality regarding benevolence discussions except for pertinent information offered to the Elders and Life Group leaders.
The individuals or the families who seek financial assistance from HRF are asked to follow the below steps:
- Firstly, the individual or family members are required to obtain and submit the Request Form to the church office in a sealed envelope with "Financial Request" written on the front. The form should be supported by the required documentation. Requests must be made directly and are not received or processed on behalf of someone else.
- Then the interview/ appropriate counseling must be completed with the Finance Team.
- All the additional information and documents asked by the Finance Team must be provided.
- Finally, the Finance Team will review the application and approve, based on a majority decision, and communicate the amount of financial aide to the one seeking assistance as early as possible. Assistance is always based on the availability of benevolence funds. Once an individual or family has met the annual limit up the $500.00 of financial assistance, they are no longer eligible. However, the church reserves the right to exceed the $500.00 annual limit in special circumstances to be approved at an Elders Gathering.
The Finance Team will record the required Internal Revenue Service documentation for benevolence requests and gifts. The following documentation should be recorded for accurate record-keeping:
- A complete description of the assistance
- The purpose for which the aid was given
- The objective criteria for disbursement
- How the recipients were selected
- The name, address, and amount distributed to each recipient
- Any relationship between recipient and officers, or key employees or substantial contributors to the church.