Gate Church International (GCI)
Tithing Fund Guidelines for the Allocation of Gifts and Donations
The purpose of the GCI Tithing Fund is to honour God and help grow His Kingdom by supporting a range of charities and projects that fit with the GCI Purpose and Vision. The Tithing Fund is overseen by the Trustees of GCI, who decide on the amount and destination of all donations. 10% of the unrestricted income of GCI is paid into the Fund from which donations are then made according to the criteria defined below.
1. All donations will be made in accordance with OSCR charity guidelines including up-to-date declarations of interest from all GCI Trustees.
2. Donations will normally be made only to charitable organisations (including other churches) registered with OSCR or the Charity Commissioners of England, Wales and Northern Ireland, or to an overseas charity or church which satisfies the Trustees of GCI regarding its probity and good governance.
3. Any charity or organisation to which GCI makes a donation must have purposes in line with the charitable purposes of GCI, as defined in our Constitution (Clause 4), and also be aligned with the Beliefs, Vision and Culture of GCI. In addition, one or more of the following may also apply: a) GCI has an active connection, e.g. advocate(s), volunteer(s) and/or employee(s) from within the GCI congregation; b) Active in our local area; c) In view of Scripture stating “. . . first for the Jew, then for the Gentiles” (Rom 1:16), the Tithing Fund will support charities who share the Gospel with and/or bless the Jewish people. 4. We will endeavour to give 10% of the Tithing Fund annually to Jewish related charities as defined in 3(c).
5. Where possible, donations from the Tithing Fund will be divided, as decided by the GCI Trustees, between projects in (a) Tayside, (b) Scotland as a whole, (c) the wider UK, and (d) world-wide.
6. Since the development of Partnerships is a key element of the Culture of GCI, the Trustees will where possible encourage joint working/support/involvement by individual members of the GCI congregation in the projects that receive donations from the Tithing Fund.
6.1. To enable this to be applied appropriately and fairly, the GCI Trustees will be open to the congregation identifying those charities and projects with which congregation members are involved.
6.2. Where two or more charities/projects have approximately the same aims/profile/impact, and where they meet the other allocation Criteria as listed here, the Tithing Fund will tend to donate to those charities/projects with which members of the GCI congregation are involved. This is in order to facilitate partnership working and promote the involvement of congregation members in the wider work of the Kingdom.
7. Any Trustee, or immediate family member of that Trustee, who is an employee or office holder of a charity or project that is being considered for a gift by the Tithing Fund shall absent him/herself from all discussion in relation to that decision (see Clause 36.3 of the Constitution).
7.1. In this scenario, normally a maximum of 10% of the annual Tithing Fund will be given to that charity in any year
8. The Trustees will consider written applications for Tithing Fund gifts from (a) members of the GCI church, (b) GCI Trustees, and (c) external charities and projects. Gifts will not necessarily be restricted to those charities/projects that have made a formal application. Any application received will be formally acknowledged by the Church Office.
9. Since the number of eligible projects/charities that can meet the above Criteria will always far exceed the funds available from the Tithing Fund, their ability to meet the criteria is no guarantee that they will receive a gift.
10. Normally, applications are considered at the end of the current financial year for implementation in the new financial year.
10.1. We are open to receive applications between the 1st and 31st January. Applications will not normally be considered after that.
11. The Trustees of GCI may decide to set up a sub-team to manage all aspects of the Tithing Fund, including the review of existing gifts and considering potential future gifts. These recommendations must then be made to the Trustees who alone are empowered to make a final decision on all Tithing Fund gifts.
11.1. If and when established, the Sub-team will include a Trustee as the lead, a Pastor, the Treasurer of the Trustees, and a congregation member appointed by the Trustees
11.2. The sub-team, where established, will be appointed by the Trustees immediately after the annual allocation of Tithing Fund gifts, and will serve for a period of approximately 12 months until the next major allocation of gifts. The sub-team will record minutes of its meetings, and will be accountable for its work to the Trustees.
12. The decision of the Trustees as to the allocation of gifts from the Tithing Fund is final. They are under no obligation to publish the reasons for their decision.
13. Gifts from the Tithing Fund may be made either as a one-off donation or as a monthly donation. The term of these gifts will normally be open-ended, but fixed term gifts may also be considered.
13.1. As projects/charities are greatly helped by being able to predict future support, the Tithing Fund will endeavour to maximise the amount of monthly donations it makes.
14. All donations (whether regular or one-off) will be reviewed annually by the Trustees at the end of each financial year. The Trustees will make use of published Charity reports where appropriate, or specific requests for information, to determine if the charities still qualify in relation to clauses 1-3 above.
15. Any underspend in the Tithing Fund by year-end will be donated immediately in the form of one-off gifts to ministries and/or charities chosen by the Trustees.
16. In order to ensure complete transparency, the amount and destination of gifts (whether regular or one-off) will be publicised to the church for encouragement and information at least once per year. This is in addition to the information that will be available in the Annual Report and Accounts of GCI SCIO.
16.1. However, if publicising the precise nature of a project may cause danger to its staff, volunteers or beneficiaries, that project should not be publicised.
17. These GCI Tithing Fund Criteria will be published on the GCI website.