Minister’s Discretionary Fund
Minister’s Discretionary Fund

A Minister’s Discretionary Fund  (or Help Fund) is usually a separate checking account that the minister or pastoral care team can use to provide confidential assistance to those facing emergency financial need, for congregational or community programs in need of seed money, or for other tax-exempt purposes stated in board policy.

Suggested Practices and Policies

  • Contributions to the fund may be made by individuals or by allocations by the board or from the operating budget. 

  • To allow contributions to be tax-deductible, no contribution may be designated for the benefit of any particular recipient.

  • No distribution may be made to the minister or to any member of their family at any time. 

  • Any distribution to a church employee must be paid through payroll so that payroll taxes and reporting are correctly calculated and reported.

  • If cash or gift cards are disbursed, there should be a log book including the date and amount of the gift card and it's purpose.

  • The minister should provide an annual report to the board with all amounts paid out by the fund, listing dates and purposes of the payments (but not the names of recipients). 

  • The Treasurer should review the canceled checks and receipts to confirm adherence to the written policy, and will keep confidentiality around any details.

  • Records should be kept in a locked file by the church.

About the Author

  • The regional Congregational Life staff are congregations' local connection to the UUA. All of the program Congregational Life staff have expertise in most aspects of congregational life and each also has a few program areas of expertise. See the UUA Congregational Life Staff...

For more information contact conglife@uua.org.

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