Vol 7

On People's Minds

Mailbox with hearts and petals Question

Does the treasurer have to provide a receipt for every single contribution made to the local Fund? Thanks in advance for your answer.

Answer

Thank you for your message. It is very important that all contributions, including cash, contributed expenses and in-kind gifts, receive a receipt from the Assembly treasurer. The following instruction is found on page 129 of the Stewardship and Development Manual for Treasurers:

II. RECEIVING OFFERINGS FROM THE FRIENDS

A. Prepare duplicate receipts for all contributions

The Universal House of Justice instructs us that a receipt is required for each and all contributions. In fact, duplicate receipts should be issued; in a manual system, these can be done without extra effort by using a booklet with carbon sheets or pressure-sensitive paper. Not only is giving a receipt a good business practice, but this habit creates a permanent record of all money coming into the Funds. A complete receipt record protects the contributor, the Treasurer and the Assembly. The receipt should include:

• donor’s name

• date

• purpose

• amount

• name of the Assembly

• signature of the Treasurer or other authorized person

Be sure to number the receipts consecutively. Pre-printed and numbered receipts are even better if you can find them, as they leave a better “audit trail.”

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have additional questions or need any further assistance.


Eternal Blessings

Shrine of The Bab silhouette As stewards of the Funds of the Faith, we are always aware of the pressing needs of the diverse institutions that we serve, including the Universal House of Justice, the Continental Boards of Counsellors, the National Spiritual Assembly and the Local Spiritual Assembly. You have likely seen the recent heart-warming letter from our Supreme Body about the developments at the World Centre and the subsequent letter from our National Treasurer regarding what our response will be materially. The following is a quote from our National Treasurer:

“While there has been no call for financial support by the Supreme Body, we can be certain that these efforts require disbursement of considerable resources from the International Fund. As each of us considers our capacity to support the National Fund—which as reported recently is about halfway to reaching the annual goal—we urge you to likewise consider making contributions to support the International Fund. This done without earmarking will allow funds to be applied where the greatest need exists.” (National Treasurer, December 24, 2009)

We urge you to consult with the believers in your community about both of these crucial letters and together consider ways we can all contribute to this sacred work being done at the World Centre of our Faith and also continue our regular and sacrificial giving to the National Fund, the Continental Fund and the Local Fund. Please share the results on the Treasurers Cafe and contribute to an important conversation.


FUNDcast: Kit Miller

Kit Miller In this FUNDcast episode, Kit Miller from Albany, Oregon shares her thoughts about Baha’u’llah as the remedy for the ills of the world in this Day and our privilege as Baha’is to contribute to the spread of the Cause so that all may hear His divine Message.

In order to adequately view the FUNDcast videos, you will need to have the latest version of QuickTime installed. To do so, you may visit the following website:  http://www.apple.com/quicktime/download/


On People's Minds

Mailbox with hearts and petals Question

As we are currently underway in our audit, we have come across the term "contributed expenses" in the auditing procedure worksheet found on the administrative website. We have tried to figure out exactly what this term means, but are yet unsure.  Could you please send us an explanation so we can be sure to finish the audit properly? On the worksheet, it is the second part of step 5: "Compare total receipts to total bank deposits."

Answer

Thank you for your message and for your Assembly’s attention to the important task of completing the annual audit.

Contributed expenses refer to an expenditure made by a believer at the request of the Assembly for which the believer prefers a contribution receipt rather than reimbursement. For example, say that the Assembly asks a member of the community to purchase flowers as decoration for a Holy Day commemoration. Normally the believer could expect to be reimbursed for the cost of the flowers. However, he or she may instead wish to pay for the flowers themselves to spare the Assembly this expense, and consider the cost to be a contribution to the Fund.  In this case, the believer would provide the Treasurer with the paid receipt for the flowers and in turn the Treasurer would give them a contribution receipt for that amount. The Treasurer would then note this transaction as a “contributed expense” in the accounting record.


End of the Year Inspiration and Focus

Atlanta young people As the Gregorian year is drawing to a close, many things are on our hearts and minds. Recently an inspiring film was released featuring highlights from the 41 conferences last year called by the Universal House of Justice. In the letter for the Feast of Masa’il, the National Spiritual Assembly tells us:

“The Supreme Body has expressed its desire that the film will ‘serve as a source of learning, encouragement, and inspiration to those who, in response to the summons of their Lord, are arising to serve their fellow citizens in every corner of the world.’ May this refreshing of the memory of the six exceptionally warm and unified gatherings held on our own soil galvanize us into renewed and concentrated efforts to fulfill all our obligations to the Five Year Plan’s stirring call to action.” (National Spiritual Assembly, December 11, 2009)

As we know, the Fund represents the underpinnings of the Plan and is essential for its continued progress. We encourage you, in your consultations about this film, to reflect with your fellow believers about the crucial role the Fund played in the carrying out of these awe-inspiring conferences and the momentum generated in the Plan as a result. Please share the insights generated on the Treasurers Cafe, so that we may all benefit!


FUNDamentals: A Stirring Conversation

FUNDamentals Here, in the Office of the Treasurer, we try to keep all types of people in mind when it comes to Fund education, and our sincere hope is that you will do the same in your local community. The following is a quote from our Supreme Body that inspires us in this regard:

“…you must redouble your efforts to educate every member of the Baha’i community—the new and the old believer, the youth and the adult—on the spiritual significance of contributing to the Fund.” (The Universal House of Justice, December 26, 1995)

The Young Believers Programs division of the Office of the Treasurer creates materials for our young community members, including children, junior youth, youth, and young adults. One of these you may be familiar with is an ezine titled FUNDamentals, which is geared toward young adults. Sent bi-monthly, each issue addresses topics of money management, financial and spiritual responsibility and creating a balance between the material and the spiritual aspects in our lives. Go here, fundamentals.usbnc.org, to view this online conversation. Please share the FUNDamentals website with the young adults in your community and report the feedback on the Treasurers Cafe. We look forward to hearing more about the impact this communication is having on our young people!


FUNDcast - in both English and Spanish!

Johanna Toloza-Parrish We are delighted to share this FUNDcast episode with you, in both English and Spanish. Johanna Toloza-Parrish from Chicago, Illinois shares her experience in hosting musical devotionals with her husband and how her relationship with the Fund has developed since she was a youth.

In order to adequately view the FUNDcast videos, you will need to have the latest version of QuickTime installed. To do so, you may visit the following website:  http://www.apple.com/quicktime/download/