The CMI Board of Directors recently elected to change its posture with regard to deputized fundraising of CMI team members and the presentation of these funds in CMI financial statements.
As part of our commitment to integrity and transparency in our fundraising, the following information is presented to inform current donors of this change in policy and explain the rationale for this decision.
Previously, donor-preferenced gifts toward the CMI ministry of individual CMI team members were considered as “with-restriction.” However, beginning on June 1, 2020, CMI will consider these gifts to be “without restriction.”
What exactly does this mean and how does it impact my support for the CMI ministry of individual team members?
From a practical standpoint, this change does not alter how CMI plans to use such gifts.
• CMI will continue honoring donor-preferences toward board-approved CMI staff support projects as we have previously done.
• Gifts toward the CMI ministry of individual team members will be recorded and tracked distinctly from other gifts.
• Gift receipts will continue to reflect preferences toward the CMI ministry of specific team members.
• Gifts preferenced for these purposes will be the first to be used in providing compensation for CMI team member’s ministry service.
If this is so, what does this policy change mean?
Basically, this is a change in how support for CMI team members are presented in our financial statements. In nonprofit accounting, funds are presented in financial statements in one of two categories:
Without Restriction: Gifts that can be used for any board-approved purpose.
With Donor Restriction: Net assets restricted (a) for a specific time or purpose or (b) restricted in perpetuity (For example, an endowment).
Beginning on June 1, 2020, donor-preferenced gifts toward the CMI ministry of specific team members will be regarded in the “without restriction” category, rather than temporarily-restricted.
Why is CMI making this change?
There are three practical reasons why CMI is making this change.
• It better reflects CMI team values. Individual team members have responsibilities for helping raise support for our shared CMI ministry. However, we do this collectively for the sake of our shared mission, not for individual ministries. By treating these funds as without-restriction, our financial presentation better reflects this collective team commitment and shared responsibility for the funding of our common mission. It is worth noting that prior to the CMI Board making this change, this change was discussed with and affirmed by each CMI team member responsible for raising support.
• It better reflects historic CMI management practices. CMI team member compensation is not correlated directly to the support income received. CMI establishes and provides compensation for the work CMI team members perform, and compensation is not limited exclusively to the support income received. In some circumstances, or for limited periods of time, CMI has elected to supplement shortfalls in CMI team member support accounts utilizing other available funds. These practices have been to the benefit of CMI team members receiving deputized support and practically reflect a posture that more closely aligns with a “without-restriction” approach.
• It simplifies CMI accounting and management of funds. CMI continually looks for ways to improve its governance and management processes. Making this change streamlines accounting and management practices, which helps assure that a greater portion of donations are directed toward the core purposes for which they were intended. Furthermore, the CMI Board believes this change will provide a simpler and clearer presentation of CMI’s financial position to aid in effective oversight by the board and in communication to the CMI donor community.
Thank you for your attention to this matter. If you have additional questions about this change in policy or any other questions related to gifts to CMI, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 972-941-4422.
Craig A. Murray
Church Ministries International