Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Policy Regarding Money

It's the time of year when people generally are really happy that I over estimate the cost of the trip. Every year we end up with money left over. I over estimate on purpose to ensure we have plenty for any unforeseeable event that might happen on the trip. I would much rather make you all happy by giving money back than to disappoint you by having to ask for more money at trip's end. Since this trip is not underwritten by anyone - I see no other way than to do it this way.

So here is the policy regarding left over money:

There are generally two figures - sponsor money and money the team member paid out of his/her pocket.

Sponsor Money

Sponsor money can NOT be returned. It was given for Pine Ridge and must be spent on Pine Ridge in one way or another to keep us out of trouble with Uncle Sam - and God for that matter. It CAN be used in one of several ways:
  • IF the team member is planning to go back to Pine Ridge next year, the money can be held in their account for that trip. However, it cannot be held for more than ONE year because it makes a mess of the books. We have a volunteer bookkeeper and I don't want to make that job harder than it already is.
  • If the team member is not going back to Pine Ridge next year, the money in their account can be given to someone else who is going next year.
  • It can also be given to the church on the reservation.
  • We could also choose to use it to purchase something for the village.

Money Paid Out of Pocket by Team Members

Money paid out of pocket by team members is refundable unless it was given to the church. The church has a policy of not returning donations. You get tax credit for money given to the church but it is not returnable. But if you wrote your check to the Pine Ridge Mission Fund, then that can be returned to you. You do not get the tax credit for any money given to that fund though because it simply a checking account set up for trip expenses and not a non-profit organization.

You can choose to do any of the following with this money:

  • Have a check written to you to put back in your pocket.
  • If you are going back next year you may also hold it in your account for that trip and be that much further ahead for next year. (I recommend this option.)
  • You may choose to give it to someone else who is going back next year.
  • You may choose to send it to the church on the reservation.
  • You may choose to purchase something for the village on the reservation

You will need to let me know ASAP what you wish to do so that we can cut checks and wrap this year's trip up, clear the books and begin on next year's trip.