OVERVIEW & GUIDELINES
Freedom in Worship Church (FIW) established a Benevolence Fund known as the “Acts Fund” to assist those individual(s) who are in urgent financial need. The fund is intended as a source of last resort and is to be used when an individual or family requesting assistance has explored all other possibilities from family, friends, savings or investments. It is intended solely as temporary assistance during a time of crises.
Applicants are not required to be members of the church. The Acts Fund is to enable the church to provide financial aid that covers the basic necessities of life, including, but not limited to: housing, utilities, medical care and transportation. Although not all inclusive, the following is a list of some needs that may not be met by the Acts Fund: private school tuition, business ventures or investments, law enforcement tickets, legal fees, bail bonds or credit card debt (unless credit card was used in a crises or emergency). Under no circumstances shall a gift from the Acts Fund be considered a loan.
Individuals may submit a formal application directly to a member of the Pastoral Staff or via email at . Applications must include a copy of the bill, invoice or statement requesting to be paid. If approved, and contingent on the level of necessity, the church will provide benevolence gifts up to $1,000.
Once an application has been submitted, a five-member Committee will review and decide on whether to approve or deny funds. The Committee will provide a formal response no later than five business days from the date of a submitted application. The Committee may request additional information before making a decision (i.e. bank statements or income documentation). If an Interested Person, such as a member of the Board of Directors, submits an application, then a vote will be taken by the FIW Board of Directors in accordance with the church’s Conflict of Interest Policy.
The Committee will prepare a check payable to the third party agency to which the applicant owes funds. Checks made out directly to an individual shall be considered on a case by case basis after all information has been considered and reviewed by the Committee (i.e. the applicant is requesting reimbursement after making a payment via an online bill pay structure or automatic withdrawal).
If payment is made directly to an individual(s), then the individual(s) must sign a cash receipt, verifying that he or she has received the funds.
Under no circumstances shall gift cards be provided.
The Committee will assign a member of the FIW Pastoral Staff to provide spiritual support.
The Committee will notify applicants(s) directly of a decision no later than five business day from the date of application. Applicant(s) may not submit more than one application within a six-month period. If approved for the maximum amount, applicant(s) must wait a full 12 months before reapplying.
The Committee will oversee the weekly operations and will approve applications based on available funds. A designated Committee member will provide a report to the Board of Directors at each quarterly meeting, along with all completed applications and supplemental documentation for appropriate record keeping. If the Committee exceeds the annual Acts Fund budget at any point in the year, the Committee must request additional funds directly from the Board of Directors.