Money & Mission
Volume VI, Issue 17 - June 1, 2016
Editorial: Mobilizing Around Strategic Priorities
The Territory has established seven strategic priorities, relating to Spiritual Health, Leadership Development, Social Justice, Integrated Mission, Children and Youth, Gospel and Transformation, and Discipleship.
In the January issue of Salvationist, Commissioner Susan McMillan, Territorial Commander, announced a champion for each priority and the slogan Mobilize – meaning “to prepare our hearts (upward), serve others (outward) and move forward together (onward).” She challenged each of us, no matter what our roles, to ask ourselves, “What can I do—on my own or as part of a group—to help achieve the Strategic Priorities?”
It may be tempting for those of us whose roles are primarily financial, to assume that the call to mobilize is a call to those on the front lines who deliver our programs and services. That assumption would be wrong.
We can play a significant role in the achievement of the strategic priorities by ensuring that resources are available to fund the work that will be required to accomplish them. Where resources are plentiful, this may mean allocating additional funds to help achieve specific priorities; where resources are constrained, it may mean that we have to help identify other things that we are doing of lesser importance, so that resources can be realigned with the strategic priorities. This is a task that is often difficult; no one wants to give up doing things that we have been successful doing in the past. We have to recognize, however, that there is an opportunity cost associated with not aligning resources to match our priorities.
The Commissioner urged us not to wait to Mobilize, but to start today. May we all have the courage to do just that.
Financial Management in Social Services Accreditation Review Process
By Liz Garrison, Social Services Consultant
The Salvation Army has 127 ministry units across the Territory involved in the Accreditation Review Process. This review focuses on the processes and systems that support program delivery, risk management and operational effectiveness, and is conducted every three years. In contrast, Internal Audit conducts more in-depth operational examinations related to risk and internal controls at ministry units selected for review, primarily by Divisions.
All key areas of social ministry are assessed in every accreditation. Accreditation standards relating to key roles and functions are divided into areas called Chapters for Governance, Human Resources, Facility, Spiritual & Religious Care and Program. In order to achieve accreditation status, a rating of 80% is required in each Chapter.
The Financial Management aspects of the review are contained within the Governance Chapter. It includes 14 standards that were developed in consultation with the Finance department relating to financial management practices and processes. Each of the standards is subjected to evidenced-based measures to determine the level of compliance by the Ministry Unit to the standard.
Examples of standards (with their identifying numbers) include:
- Monthly monitoring of the budget to the actual financial results by appropriate staff and recording of significant variances (1.9.3).
- Maintenance of a daily log of all cash/cheques received, receipting and deposits made (1.9.4).
- Management of all funds held on behalf of clients in accordance with territorial policy (1.9.6).
- Compliance with the requirements relating to charitable tax receipts (1.9.14).
Most Recent Results of Reviews
The results from the most recent reviews indicate that managing funds on behalf of clients (1.9.6) and monitoring and consulting with staff on financial statements and recording variances (1.9.3) can be areas of weakness for ministry units with challenges in this section.
Of the 127 ministry units on the review cycle, 27 did not pass the Governance Chapter. Of those 27, 25 units had one or more standards noted as being less than fully compliant in the Financial Management Section. Lack of full compliance with these standards is a risk that the review process addresses through the development of an action plan.
Donation Receipts for Tax Purposes – Part II
Part I of this article presented five examples of situations in which care is needed in assessing whether an official donation receipt for income tax purposes may be issued, and, if so, in what amount. This Part sets out five more examples. See how many you answer correctly before turning to the answers that follow.
Remember that the main rules of the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) for issuing donation receipts for income tax purposes have been incorporated into TFM 0902.
- A member of your corps who comes from Ecuador wants to make a donation to help those who have been rendered homeless as a result of the recent earthquakes there. Can your corps issue an official donation receipt?
- A local business will donate $2,500 in support of your ministry unit’s charity run, provided the logo of the business appears on the shirts to be worn by the participants. Can a tax receipt be issued to the business?
- Your corps needs to replace the aluminum wiring in its building, since it is considered a fire hazard. A member of the corps, who is an electrical contractor, has volunteered to do the work, provided he will be given an official donation receipt for the value of his time. Can this be done?
- A member of your corps is on the board of a local welfare organization that has applied for registration as a charity with the CRA, but the application is unlikely to be approved before the end of the year. He asks whether the corps could forward a donation he intends to make to that organization, and could issue a charitable donation receipt to him.
- Your corps is well advanced in its plans to sponsor a refugee family from Syria. Another local charity was hoping to sponsor such a family, but realizes it will not be able to raise the required funds; it therefore offers to donate the funds it has raised to your corps, provided the corps gives it a charitable donation receipt. Would this be permitted?
- No, gifts to fund charitable activities outside Canada must be receipted by Territorial Headquarters. The only exceptions to this are gifts received for the Partners in Mission Appeal.
- No. The business will receive advertising in exchange for the “donation”, so it may not be receipted.
- No, to be eligible for an official donation receipt, the gift must be an exchange of physical (i.e. tangible) property, such as cash, equipment or supplies. A donation of time is not an exchange of property.
- No, a charity may not act as a conduit to transmit funds to another organization.
- No, a registered charity may not give another registered charity an official donation receipt.
Money & Mission Editorial Team
Design Editor & Production Manager:
The Salvation Army Translation Department