Refundable Deposit for Youth Activity

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jdraket
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Refundable Deposit for Youth Activity

Postby jdraket » Sun Mar 01, 2020 3:41 pm

Let's just say that a ward is planning a youth activity. Upfront costs are incurred based on a predetermined number of youth who have committed to attend. Then the event happens and some youth who committed to attend don't attend and the ward ends up eating the cost.

Would it be OK to collect, let's say, a $50 refundable deposit from each youth who commits to attend. The deposit money is put into an "other" account. If the youth attends, they are refunded their deposit (through reimbursement). Else, if they don't attend, the money stays in the other account and is used to pay for expenses from the activity. This is a way for the youth and their parents to have "skin in the game".

Does anyone see a problem with this? What about just holding the check, not cashing it, and returning it if the youth attends?

russellhltn
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Re: Refundable Deposit for Youth Activity

Postby russellhltn » Sun Mar 01, 2020 4:04 pm

So, there's no charge if the youth attends but there is a charge if they don't? That hardly seams right. How are the costs for the attending youth covered?
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jdraket
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Re: Refundable Deposit for Youth Activity

Postby jdraket » Sun Mar 01, 2020 4:22 pm

We're talking about a youth camp or similar activity, one that will incur a large cost. The cost would be covered by budget and/or "other" account funds. We have found from experience in the past that if the youth don't have a vested interest in attending an event (like having paid for a portion of the activity), they can be very wishy-washy about their commitment, which can lead to wasted funds. This idea was hopefully an attempt to completely pay for the activity and not ask the families to contribute funds but also hold people to their commitments.

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Re: Refundable Deposit for Youth Activity

Postby russellhltn » Sun Mar 01, 2020 5:29 pm

I understand the concept, but I'm not sure as it would fall within the guidelines for fund raising outlined in the General Handbook. That sounds like something that needs to be taking up with the next level of presiding authority.
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jdraket
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Re: Refundable Deposit for Youth Activity

Postby jdraket » Mon Mar 02, 2020 8:27 am

We're not raising funds funds. I guess another way of thinking about it would be that if they don't go, the $50 would actually be a way for them to reimburse the ward for costs incurred on their behalf but that were not used as intended. If they commit to attend, but don't, they're wasting sacred funds. This way they would be repaying what was lost.

davesudweeks
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Re: Refundable Deposit for Youth Activity

Postby davesudweeks » Mon Mar 02, 2020 8:52 am

jdraket wrote:We're not raising funds funds. I guess another way of thinking about it would be that if they don't go, the $50 would actually be a way for them to reimburse the ward for costs incurred on their behalf but that were not used as intended. If they commit to attend, but don't, they're wasting sacred funds. This way they would be repaying what was lost.

We can all give our opinions here on the forum, but the handbook is clear that questions not answered in the handbook should be taken up with your Priesthood leaders. This one seems odd enough to me that it would qualify for that clarification.

I agree that if people have "skin in the game" they are more apt to attend. Penalizing youth (or their parents) for them not attending, however, may end up doing more harm than good. It could become a never-ending discussion of which excuses would qualify to waive the $50 back charge and which would not. If the cost is the concern, then perhaps the entire activity should be re-evaluated given the instructions in the handbook on activities and costs.

russellhltn
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Re: Refundable Deposit for Youth Activity

Postby russellhltn » Mon Mar 02, 2020 10:50 am

jdraket wrote:We're not raising funds funds.


Then I'd review the instructions for in what situations can a ward charge/accept funds for local events. I'm not sure as calling it a reimbursement would fly. It might be better to look for other ways to have skin in the game.
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jdraket
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Re: Refundable Deposit for Youth Activity

Postby jdraket » Mon Mar 02, 2020 11:06 am

Thank you all. Everyone raises valid points to consider. We will seek further guidance from our local leaders and/or Salt Lake.

BrianEdwards
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Re: Refundable Deposit for Youth Activity

Postby BrianEdwards » Tue Mar 03, 2020 9:33 am

davesudweeks wrote:If the cost is the concern, then perhaps the entire activity should be re-evaluated given the instructions in the handbook on activities and costs.

Agreed, GHB 20.2.8 outlines this well. Reading that, my impressions are that the Church discourages activities that incur large costs, except for pre-determined Youth Camps or FSY. So many activities that are really good, whether for youth or adults, may not align with the intent of Church policy if they are relatively costly. And for the pre-determined Youth Camps / FSY, the youth can pay a portion, which the ward can help with either through an organized fundraiser, or a Bishop's discretion to use ward funds for individual cases.
That said, I definitely sympathize as this is a common situation. There will always be certain families that may not be reliable, and each ward needs to determine how to best engage with them in a helpful way for all involved.

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cjbeckert
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Re: Refundable Deposit for Youth Activity

Postby cjbeckert » Sat Mar 07, 2020 3:45 pm

Allowing for refund of event participant deposit/fee has been an accepted practice. The FSY funding letter of 7 Feb 2020 (Local Unit Budget Allowance (LUBA) Guidelines for Children and Youth and For the Strength of Youth (FSY) Conferences) has guidelines for reimbursing participant's EFY fee if they pull out at least 30 days prior. After that its not reimbursed unless it was an emergency as validated by the bishop. Perhaps FSY organizers are trying to get a commitment from the youth? Our stake also has reimbursed YW Camp fees when a YW drops out before camp for reasons validated by the bishop.

My comment is based on the assumption that your event is an authorized annual event as outlined in the GHB.


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