[Church Name] Benevolence Fund Policy**

I. Purpose

The purpose of the [Church Name] Benevolence Fund (the “Fund”) is to provide financial assistance to individuals and families in need. This Policy governs the administration and distribution of the Fund by the principles of Christian charity and in compliance with IRS guidelines.

II. Contributions

A. Voluntary Donations: Contributions to the Fund must be voluntary donations made by members or attendees of the Church or the general public without any direct benefit conferred to the donor.

B. Designated Giving: While donors may suggest beneficiaries of their gifts, all final decisions on the use of all funds must be made by the Church’s benevolence committee or other designated church leadership, to ensure compliance with IRS regulations.

III. Administration

A. Benevolence Committee: A benevolence committee appointed by the Church leadership shall be responsible for the distribution of the Fund. The committee will consist of [number] members who will serve [term length].

B. Accounting and Records: Proper accounting records shall be maintained for all funds received and distributed. Individual disbursements shall be recorded and reported following IRS regulations.

IV. Eligibility and Distribution

A. Assessment of Need: Financial assistance will be provided based on an assessment of the recipient's need. The Church may require documentation or proof of the financial need.

B. Nondiscrimination: Assistance from the Fund will be made available to anyone in need, regardless of race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, marital status, or disability, following IRS non-discrimination requirements.

C. Types of Assistance: The Fund may be used for basic needs such as food, clothing, shelter, medical care, and other essential expenses. The Fund is not to be used as a loan and recipients are not required to repay the assistance given.

V. Procedures for Requesting Assistance

A. Application: Individuals seeking assistance must complete a Benevolence Request Form, which includes a description of the need, the amount requested, and relevant financial information.

B. Approval: All requests will be reviewed by the Benevolence Committee and assistance will be provided based on the availability of funds and the assessment of need.

VI. Limitations and Exclusions

A. Church Members and Staff: While members and staff of the Church may receive assistance, the Fund will not be used in a manner that violates IRS regulations of self-dealing, conflict of interest, or private inurement.

B. Consistency of Support: The Church will aim to be consistent in providing support and will regularly review its criteria for assistance to ensure fairness and compliance with IRS rules.

VII. Privacy and Confidentiality

All requests for assistance and the details thereof shall be treated with the utmost confidentiality. The identities of those assisted will be kept confidential following Church policies and applicable laws.

VIII. Compliance with IRS Guidelines

The Church shall administer the Fund in strict compliance with IRS guidelines, ensuring that the disbursements are made to meet the charitable needs of individuals rather than to benefit the donor or the Church.

IX. Amendments

This Policy may be amended by the Church leadership as needed to ensure continued compliance with IRS regulations and the mission of the Church.

This template provides a framework for a church's benevolence policy, ensuring that any financial assistance provided is done so in a manner consistent with Christian charity and IRS regulations. The church should regularly review and update the policy as necessary, particularly concerning IRS guidelines and the changing needs of the community it serves.

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