Finances and Financial Responsibility

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Philosophy:  All MVSA Unit funds are generated locally through agency stipends, pooling of funds from salaried positions, orthrough contributions and grants from congregations and other organizations. These funds are administered by Local Leadership. 

Local Leadership is responsible for establishing bookkeeping procedures, defining allowable expenditures, and generally determining how Unit funds are used.  Formal reviews of Unit finances occur annually in collaboration with the Sponsoring Congregation. 

 

Clothing: is to be supplied by the volunteer.  When special uniforms are required, these costs will be paid by the employer or theUnit.   

 

Education: Volunteers may take advantage of educational resources for personal and vocational growth if they do not conflict with their volunteer position, Unit life, or (in some cases) the conditions of their Canadian Work Permit.  Special courses or seminars are the expenseof the volunteer unless they are directly related to the performance of their volunteer position.   In these cases:

  • Position related education should be financed by the Sponsoring Agency;
  • The congregation may wish to underwrite costs for seminars or couses in some situations;
  • In rare situations, Unit funds may be used if approved in advance by Local Leadership.

Recreational Allowance: Each month $25.00 per volunteer is available from Unit funds for group recreational activities.  Decisions on the use of this allowance should be made as a group and the whole group should participate in the activity.  Other recreational activities are the expense of the volunteer and should come from their personal allowances and/or resources. Recreational Allowances may not be given to an individual volunteer to be spent as personal funds.

Educational Loan Assistance: MVSA expects that volunteers will postpone payment on all student loans while they are in MVSA and it is the volunteer’s responsibility to care for and respond to deadlines for student loan related matters. There may be situations where student loans make it impossible for an applicant to participate in the MVSA program

Food Spending Guidelines:  MVSA views food as a justice issue and believes that how we eat and the dollars we spend for food affects the world around us.  Volunteers should eat well while also being conscious of how their food dollars are spent.  For this reason, food budgets are adequate for a healthy, but simple, diet.  Because the amount of money required for food varies depending on the number of people in the unit, local economic conditions, etc., Local Leadership will determine a food budget that is appropriate to their context.

Personal Monthly Stipend:  a personal monthly allowance of $75.00 is paid to each volunteer from Unit funds.  It is to be used for personal expenses such as clothing, personal recreation, haircuts, postage, and other expenses not covered by the unit. 

Special Costs:  Special costs for expenses incurred because of the requirements of a volunteer’s assignment will be considered for reimbursement from Unit funds on a case-by-case basis if the Sponsoring Agency is unable to do so.

Supplemental Income:  MVSA calls people to identify with Jesus and to stand with the poor and needy in the world. In the Canadian context this demands a move to a less consumptive lifestyle.  With this in mind, MVSA challenges volunteers to commit to live within the monthly allowance guidelines provided by MVSA.

Some volunteers enter MVSA with savings or independent sources of income, while others have no financial resources apart from their personal monthly stipend.   Some volunteers receive direct financial support from their home congregation, friends, and relatives, while others have no external sources of financial support.  These financial differences can cause divisions within the unit that damage the MVSA experience of community life.

Volunteers entering MVSA with financial resources are invited to share their wealth while in voluntary service.  Since personal circumstances vary, such sharing is not mandatory.  However, such income is not to be used to enhance the volunteer’s llifestyle to the extent that it creates two classes of people in the unit of those who “have” and those who “have not.”  

Performing services such as babysitting, housesitting, etc. is discouraged as this takes the volunteer away from community time with fellow volunteers.  If income is received by the volunteer for performing such services, this becomes income for the entire unit.

Transportation and Moving: Travel costs to and from the assignment are the responsibility of each volunteer.  Moving costs for any household goods and personal possessions are also the responsibility of the volunteer.

Unit Finances: Each MVSA Unit will appoint a treasurer who will oversee finances, keep records, and submit a monthly report of transactions to Local Leadership.  Bookkeeping procedures will be determined by Local Leadership: computer program, traditional ledgers, etc.

Vacation:  Volunteers will receive two weeks of vacation per year.  It is important that volunteers who have placements that allow them more flexibility or vacation time than allowed by MVSA not take advantage of this.  MVSA expects the additional time to be spent on location assisting the community in other ways. 

While it is exciting to be in a new place or country, the local neighbourhood and community is the primary home and focus for volunteers during their term of service.  Lengthy times away from that environment can seriously detract from the fullness and integrity of the MVSA experience.  Extensive individual travel for the purposes of tourism should happen during the volunteer’s vacation, or during periods of time before and/or after their volunteer term.

 

"For no one can lay any foundation other than the one that has been laid; that foundation is Jesus Christ." 1 Cor. 3:11
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