EV Mercy Fund
The purpose of the Mercy Fund is to demonstrate the love of Christ by providing benevolent assistance to Christians who have encountered a specific financial hardship or need.
But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truthI John 3:17-18
And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.Galatians 6:9-10
Oversight & Accountability
The Officers of Eternal Vision, Inc. working together as a selection committee (Committee), under the oversight of the Board of Directors, shall have responsibility for overseeing the administration of the Mercy Fund (Fund) and the Biblical stewardship of the money held therein. The Committee shall determine who will receive disbursements from the Fund, in what amount, and for what purpose. The Committee shall give regular accounting to the Board of all contributions to and disbursements from the Fund.
Eternal Vision's Corporate Counsel shall be tasked with investigating and independently verifying the information received relative to eligibility criteria for the various beneficiary applicants. The level and methods of verification employed shall be within the discretion of Corporate Counsel, but he shall make every effort to satisfy the ministry's due diligence responsibilities.
Contributions to the Fund
Through Eternal Vision's ministry to donors, local churches, and Christian schools, the Mercy Fund presents a natural opportunity to match worthy causes, projects and opportunities with individual Christian givers who have been blessed with a burden for others and the capacity to help. The following guidelines and restrictions apply to gifts made to the Fund:
All gifts to the Fund must be unconditional and without personal benefit to the donor.
Contributions to the Fund may not be earmarked or otherwise legally designated for particular purposes or recipients.
While individual donors should consult their private tax professionals concerning the appropriate tax treatment of donations, contributions that comply with the above criteria shall be issued a contribution receipt pursuant to standard ministry policy. Such receipts shall be issued annually unless otherwise requested by the donor.
Fund donors are not disqualified from making suggestions or nominations for assistance from the Fund, but such suggestions shall be non-binding and, where accepted, shall be independently verified by the ministry prior to acceptance.
Recipients of Assistance
To be eligible to receive financial assistance from the Fund, an applicant must satisfy the following eligibility criteria:
- The recipient must be a Christian individual with a specific need, deficiency, project, or other opportunity to be a blessing through a one-time financial gift.
- The recipient must have a demonstrated financial inability to meet the above-referenced need.
- Application for assistance must be made sufficient that the above criteria may be independently verified by Eternal Vision to confirm eligibility. Application may be made directly by the recipient or on behalf of the recipient by any individual with sufficient information to establish initial eligibility (subject to independent verification.)
Limits of Assistance
The stated purpose of the Fund is to provide benevolent assistance to Christians who practice good personal stewardship, and who have encountered a specific financial hardship or need. The Fund is not intended to serve as a long-term sustained funding stream, but rather, to meet a specific identified need in the life of a financially struggling Christian.
Needs that may not be met by the Fund include:
- Business investments, business debts or anything that brings financial profit to the individual or family
- Paying off credit cards. Exceptions can be made when an individual has had to use a credit card in a crisis or emergency (e.g., hospitalization, death, etc.)
- Paying fines incurred for breaking the law
- Legal fees arising from criminal behavior
- Gambling debts
- Penalties for late payments or resulting from irresponsible actions
Guidelines for Disbursement
Disbursements from the Fund may not be made in the form of a loan. Under no circumstances is assistance from the Fund to be considered a loan, nor may any gift be repaid, either in part or in full, in money or labor.
The Committee shall not authorize a distribution to anyone who, in their estimation, will have a negative or irresponsible behavior reinforced by the financial assistance.
Potential recipients must be willing to grant the Committee permission to follow-up on and independently verify any of the information provided to it. Appropriate sensitivity will be given to confidential issues.
To the extent possible, distributions should be made directly to the party or entity to whom payment is due and not in the form of cash given directly to the individual or family intended as the ultimate beneficiary. (e.g., if assistance with paying for a new roof is requested, the payment should be made to the contractor selected to perform the work.)
Application & Approval Process
While good stewardship demands that due diligence be exercised in selecting beneficiaries, it is not the intention of this process to become burdensome or bureaucratic in meeting the legitimate needs of worthy candidates. To that end, application need not be made on any particular form so long as sufficient information is provided to verify the legitimacy of the need and eligibility under the criteria that govern the Fund. Eternal Vision will provide an application form that explains the criteria and requests the information needed to establish eligibility, and the use of the form, though not mandatory, can certainly expedite the verification process.
The following basic steps outline the process of application and disbursement:
- An individual with knowledge of a Christian with a specific need notifies an Eternal Vision staff member or Officer of the need.
- Eternal Vision's staff independently investigates the need and seeks to confirm eligibility.
- EV's staff makes a recommendation to the Committee concerning distribution.
- Distribution is made subject to available funds in the account. Under appropriate circumstances, an appeal may be made by Eternal Vision to solicit additional funds to meet the established needs.
Established and Adopted this 7th day of May, 2008.