Family Missions Foundation
46. Another unseen project that we've been working on over the past year has been the setting up of a European-based nonprofit foundation called Family Missions Foundation. It has been in operation since July 2000. There are two goals for this foundation, both on the short term and the long term. FMF's immediate short-term goals are:
1) To aid in receiving some of the Family's tithes (gifts), which would then be used for the following two points:
2a) To make it easier to support Homes on the poorer mission fields who presently receive WS gifts. (A good portion of the tithe funds that come into WS go directly to Homes on the mission field, in places where it is not possible for them to raise sufficient income.)
2b) To more easily fund translation centers, Service Homes and other special ministry Homes that provide the Family with a particular missionary–related service via grants from the foundation. (WS pays for a lot of translation work on the mission field which allows GP and follow-up pubs to be translated into languages like Chinese, Russian, Thai, Vietnamese, Hindi, Arabic, etc.)
47. Through FMF, Homes in some areas will be able to more efficiently send in their tithes. Financial help to Homes on the poorer fields and missionary Service Homes can then be given directly from this foundation.
48. The long-term goal of FMF is to use this foundation to solicit financial support from donors. Presently, FMF does not have the personnel to pursue donations, and we don't see that happening for quite some time yet. However, we hope that somewhere down the line, through donations and by other means, FMF will be able to collect and set aside funds that can be used in the future to offer some measure of financial aid to Family missionaries when they reach retirement age.
49. Of course, we don't know if that will be necessary‚ as the Lord may return before then‚ but in the event that we do have more time, we want to be in a position where we can at least offer some financial aid to older folks. This is something that we have been concerned about and which we are planning for. However, please understand that this is a long-term vision and a long-term goal. As much as we'd like to‚ we aren't presently in a financial position to help in this way. But then again, most of us have a good ways to go before we're ready to retire! So please pray for the success of the FMF‚ so that we will have the funds necessary when the time comes to help those who have given their lives to reach and care for the lost.
50. The function and operation of Family Missions Foundation is somewhat different than Family Care Foundation, which is a U.S.-based public benefit foundation. Though both are nonprofit foundations, one of the main differences between the two is that those who donate to an American foundation like FCF can write their donation off of their taxes. With FMF, this is not the case. While FMF does not have to pay taxes on the funds it receives‚ those who donate to the foundation do not receive a tax break. (The laws are structured this way to make it more difficult for people to set up foundations for the purpose of tax evasion.) However, FMF's main purpose at this point is not receiving donations, but rather providing an agency to which you can donate your monthly tithes‚ and through which these funds can then be given to Homes on very poor mission fields as well as those who offer services that further FMF's mission statement of preaching the Gospel and helping those in need.
51. In order to head off any rumors that Mama, I, or anyone else is planning on running off with the money collected by FMF, let me explain a few ground rules about foundations, and in particular about Family Missions Foundation.
52. When a foundation is established‚ those who are setting it up must submit to a local governmental authority the purpose of the foundation and what any funds that come into the foundation are going to be used for. Because the government is going to allow these funds to be collected without tax being paid on them, they want to determine that the purpose of the foundation is truly nonprofit and of a charitable nature and purpose.
53. In addition to outlining the purpose of the foundation and what the funds are going to be spent for, those setting up the foundation must also write the bylaws of the foundation. These bylaws explain how the foundation's finances are collected, who is responsible for them, how they will be allocated, how decisions are made, etc. A board of directors must also be set up in order for the foundation to be functional. Generally this board consists of a president, a secretary, and a treasurer, among other board members. This board then has the authority to make decisions regarding the foundation.
54. The nonprofit foundation's finances are strictly governed by laws which prevent any individual from personally profiting from the foundation. No one—board member or not—can receive funds from the foundation for any other purpose than those set down in the foundation's bylaws and approved by the government of the country. That means that no one on the board can walk away with the money or benefit from the foundation in any inappropriate way. Neither can the foundation give money away unless it fulfills the foundation's mission statement.
55. In the case of the Family Missions Foundation, the purpose of the foundation is to help Family missionaries, the Family's mission work, to preach the Gospel, and support humanitarian projects. This is monitored by governmental authorities, and FMF will be audited on a regular basis to ensure that the finances that are collected are being used only for the purposes stated within the bylaws of the foundation. So if you're tempted to worry that somebody might run off with the funds‚ lay it to rest. It can't be done.
56. We believe that the establishment of FMF will, over time, be a great benefit and make it easier in regards to receiving tithes and the paying of missionary gifts. This foundation will most likely limit itself to the goals expressed here and will not endeavor to provide an umbrella program like FCF has done. The FCF missionary umbrella program has proven very successful, and we encourage any Family members who want to find out more about this program to contact FCF directly.
57. There are still many details to work out with the Family Missions Foundation, including having Homes donate their tithe to the foundation. As this progresses and the details are sorted out, we will inform the Homes in the various areas that will be participating. In other words, once FMF is fully functional, we will inform you and keep you abreast of its activities.