Trustees of Baltimore Yearly Meeting Annual Reports
The text of recently received Annual Reports are below, with the most recently received at the top and older reports below. To jump to a particular report, simply click the year listed below.
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BYM’s Manual of Procedure charges the Trustees to act for the Yearly Meeting in carrying out the Yearly Meeting’s responsibilities under the law. The Trustees administer their fiduciary responsibilities in their management of BYM’s investments while being sensitive to the spirit of the Meeting community in fulfilling Friends’ testimonies. This combined responsibility is both liberating and constraining for the Trustees.
The Trustees have met twice in person during the fall of 2019 (including one time jointly with Stewardship & Finance). During 2020, they have met at least monthly (a total of nine times) via Zoom in response to important fiscal matters and BYM’s response to the corona virus pandemic.
BYM has approved the following Trustees: Tom Farquhar, Tom Hill (Co-Clerk), Carlotta Joyner, Susan Kaul (Recording Clerk), Fred Leonard, Rich Liversidge (Co-Clerk), Byron Sandford and Katy Schutz. Serving ex-officio have been Ken Stockbridge (Presiding Clerk) and Jim Riley (Treasurer). Ned Stowe (our former General Secretary) and Wayne Finegar (now Acting General Secretary) also have attended meetings of the Trustees.
Responsibilities of the Trustees include liaison with several working groups and committees. These include the Youth Safety Policy Working Group (Carlotta Joyner and Katy Schutz), Camp Property (Katy Schutz), Development (Byron Sandford), Investments (Tom Farquhar, Fred Leonard and Rich Liversidge), and Stewardship & Finance (Rich Liversidge). Tom Hill has coordinated the monthly BYM financial teleconference calls.
Major subjects of concern and attention
Financial Needs of BYM through 2020. Especially during the spring and summer of 2020, an important concern of BYM staff and many committees has been the programmatic and financial health of BYM. BYM has faced two different concerns. One was a growing recognition that we have had a structural deficit in operations (i.e., a mismatch between operating revenues and operating expenditures). We have been spending more than we have been receiving from programs and investments. The other was the effect on operations of the coronavirus pandemic. Many programs and activities could not be held safely and were cancelled or deferred.
Many BYM committees addressed aspects of these two concerns, including Camping, Camp Property, Development, Supervisory, Stewardship & Finance, and others. The Trustees also have been involved in finding the best way forward in 2020 during these difficult times. A proposal was made at the May and June Interim Meetings to revise downward BYM’s operating budget for the balance of the calendar year 2020. This was approved by the Yearly Meeting.
The Trustees are aware that this has produced disappointment and disruption for BYM’s members, staff, programs, and finances. However, it is expected to reduce cash operating losses. It appears that the Trustees will not be called on to access emergency funds from the investment portfolios under our care. Further financial relief was provided by receipt of $178,000 in Federal Payroll Protection Program (PPP) funds under the CARES Act and $10,000 from Montgomery County to offset some effects of the pandemic. A member meeting funded the restructuring of $40,000 in Friendly loans relating to the Catoctin bathhouse that were maturing in 2020. As a result of these activities, BYM is in better financial condition now than it was earlier in 2020.
Supplemental financing remains possible through Sandy Spring Bank, which continues to make $125,000 in credit lines available to BYM. The annual cost of these lines of credit is about $500. These lines of credit are seen by the Trustees as helpful in managing BYM’s financial risk. We did not need to draw down on these lines during the past year. However, they remain available should a need arise.
Financial Investments under the Care of the Trustees. BYM maintains investment accounts with two investment managers, each of which follows socially responsible investing (SRI) practices in selecting investments for us. The combined value of our investment portfolios as of the end of June is about $1.46 million. The portfolio values have fluctuated by as much as 25% during recent market swings and periods of uncertainty. The market swings have reacted in both directions in response to economic and social events as well as to the COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing economic shutdown.
At present, BYM has a very conservative portfolio mix, reflecting our cautious view of the current investment market. In total, about 35% of our total portfolio assets are in cash, 50% in a diversified blend of equities, and 15% in bonds or the equivalent.
- Friends Fiduciary Corporation (FFC) manages about $702,000 of our invested funds in its flagship Quaker Growth and Income Fund, a balanced investment portfolio with about $350 million in assets. As of June 30, the fund is fully invested with 70% of the total in domestic and international equities, 25% in bonds with shorter-term maturities, and 5% in real estate investment trusts. Our investment produces a 4% annual distribution for use by BYM’s programs and other activities.
- Morgan Stanley Wealth Management (MSWM) manages about $758,000 of our investment portfolio. Presently, we have $492,000 in cash and a portfolio of several SRI mutual funds and ETF index funds with a market value of about $266,000. The large cash component provides flexibility in the event that BYM needs additional funds during this fiscal year and next. It also allows us to reinvest cautiously over the balance of 2020 if the investments are not needed to fund other BYM needs.
For several years into 2019, our MSWM portfolio was invested in the equities of a relatively small number of large-capitalization companies. Investment returns were high during the bull market through 2018. In mid-2019, the Trustees sold the large-cap equities in our portfolio out of a concern that the markets had become over-priced. In the fall of 2019, we adopted a portfolio strategy to gradually reinvest our funds using a dollar-cost averaging process. This was paused in early 2020 due to the pandemic shutdown and consideration of BYM’s possible need for funds from our investments. We expect to return soon to a gradual reinvestment of excess cash in the MSWM portfolio.
Review vs. Audit of Financial Statements in 2020.
BYM spent several months assessing our cash requirements and considering many ways to reduce expenditures. The Trustees agreed BYM could save about $10,000 in 2020 expenses by authorizing a financial review of BYM’s financial statements rather than an audit. We discussed this with our audit firm and understand a review provides the oversight we need. The auditors have agreed to audit BYM’s Balance Sheet in addition to its Review activities. This will help provide a clear starting point for the full audit we expect to require in 2021.
The Trustees and the General Secretary periodically review the insurances carried by BYM for its assets, staff, and programs. In August 2019, BYM and the Lincoln Financial Group restructured our employee retirement plan into an IRS-preapproved 403(b) plan document. This will reduce our administrative costs and simplify our oversight of our retirement plan for staff.
Friends serving as BYM Trustees in the year starting at Annual Session 2018 include Natalie Finegar (co-clerk), Tom Hill, Susan Kaul, Fred Leonard, Rich Liversidge, Byron Sanford, Ken Stockbridge, and Greg Tobin (co-clerk). Trustees work closely with Ned Stowe (General Secretary). Trustees have met in person twice and five times by teleconference or Zoom since Annual Session 2018. In addition, subgroups of Trustees have met by phone numerous times and Trustees have performed discussions and discernments of multiple topics by email discussions.
Trustees are charged with stewarding the assets of the Yearly Meeting, mitigating risk through insurance and other means, managing legal matters, and performing global and long-term discernment regarding the direction and financial health of BYM and its activities. Trustees perform these tasks while sensitive to the leadings of the Spirit and their wish to fulfill the social testimonies of the Society of Friends.
Subgroups and wider activities of Trustees have included the Youth Safety Policy Working Group (Natalie Finegar, Convener), Development (Byron Sanford, Liaison), Camp Property Management (Greg Tobin, Liaison), and Investments (Fred Leonard, Rich Liversidge, and Greg Tobin). Tom Hill has coordinated the monthly BYM financial teleconferences and Susan Kaul has prepared our Minutes and meeting notes.
Major subjects of concern and attention
Long-term financial assets. Trustees manage the financial assets of the Yearly Meeting including decisions on where and how moneys are invested. Trustees ensure that the investments conform to our socially-responsible investment policies.
As of June 30, 2019, BYM funds included approximately $671,000 in Friends Fiduciary Corporation and $837,000 in Morgan Stanley Wealth Management accounts. During the past year, Trustees sold all individual stock holdings at Morgan Stanley to reduce the risks associated with a portfolio of a small number of stocks and opened a second account at Morgan Stanley for a managed investment portfolio to contain diversified funds instead of individual securities. Trustees are updating our Investment Policy statement and modeling annual and 5-year financials of the Yearly Meeting to improve planning processes.
As part of the management of long-term financial assets, Trustees oversee Yearly Meeting Funds. For example, Trustees are documenting the creation of the Camp Diversity Fund, which was formed by Friends who donated money to increase the racial diversity in BYM camps by funding a program intended to send children of color to camp.
Legal settlement. Trustees represent the Yearly Meeting in legal matters. In late 2018, BYM was a named co-defendant in a legal suit stemming from the sexual abuse of a student at Friends Community School in the late 1990s. Based on a thorough review of BYM records and interviews with many former staff, officers, and directors, Trustees found no evidence that anyone in an official capacity at BYM has any knowledge of the events at the time. Further, BYM had no operational control or authority over this or any other Friends school in the BYM region.
Legal representation for BYM was performed by attorneys for Liberty Mutual Insurance Company, our carrier at the time of the incidents. The parties reached a settlement that was satisfactory to all parties and the court dismissed the case.
The terms of the settlement are confidential. This confidentiality was a necessary component of reaching the settlement. The settlement has no effect on BYM’s financial position moving forward.
Trustees strive to maintain transparency. This case was a rare instance where confidentiality in both process and conclusion has been required. Trustees also understand that crimes of this nature and the legal process may bring up difficult responses for those with similar or related experiences. We continue to hold in the Light and consider what care may be needed for those who have been hurt in this and similar cases.
Property. Trustees continue to hold our Camp and other properties in the Light. We review regular updates on repairs and improvements and we encourage all Friends to contribute to the stewardship of these important properties.
Led by our in-house Quaker historian, Tom Hill, Trustees investigate BYM’s ownership responsibilities in multiple properties, including burial grounds. Often the ownership details require research and legal clarifications. In the past year, Trustees investigated our ownership position and the status of the property upkeep at the Bellefonte Friends Burial Ground in Centre County Pennsylvania. The property has been owned by BYM since 1927. The property has been surveyed and our surveyor found an overlooked 1953 transfer of the Burial Ground to the local bank hired as trustee by local Friends. Tom provides periodic updates on a comprehensive annotated list of properties that have been owned by Meetings within BYM and its predecessor organizations.
Trustees granted Pepco a permanent easement along Quaker Knoll near the YM offices for buried power lines.
Financial Audit and Form 990. Trustees have engaged the accounting firm, BBD, LLP (Philadelphia) to perform the annual audit and complete our IRS filings. Trustees approve the audit along with the Form 990. In the past few years, the finances of the Miles White Beneficial Society (MWBS) have been consolidated with BYM for audit and reporting purposes. Although MWBS is a subordinate organization to BYM and BYM nominates MWBS Trustees, the Society independently manages its reserves and determines its disbursements.
By including in the audit the MWBS financial information and last year separating from the audit the financials of the Friends House/Friends Retirement Community, BBD’s draft 2018 audit now includes no adverse findings. Moreover, the auditor have found no material weaknesses in the Yearly Meeting's financial statements, record-keeping and internal controls.
The Trustees of Baltimore Yearly Meeting (BYM) met at the 2017 Annual Session and the Interim Meetings in the fall, spring and summer. We adopted two minutes by unanimous written consent.
Youth Safety Policy Trustee Natalie Finegar agreed to serve as the convener of the Youth Safety Policy Working Group that reports through the Trustees. This role had been performed by the Presiding Clerk of BYM. This group convenes each fall to see if adjustments are needed in the Youth Safety Policy. All revisions are considered for approval by Trustees.
Insurance Each fall, Trustees review the insurance claims that were made in the previous year. The General Secretary has conversations with our insurance broker to see if adjustments in our practices or our coverage are needed. Last year we worked with our broker to create a more timely approval process for the drivers for our vehicles at the camps which has made the process go more smoothly this year.
Financial Asset Management At each meeting we review the status of our accounts with Friends Fiduciary Corporation (FFC) and our account with Morgan Stanley Wealth Management (MSWM). Beginning with our June meeting we have begun a more thorough review, in part to see if we should be considering investments only in the Growth and Income Fund with FFC and to see what other investment options might be available with the resources at MSWM. We moved cash in the MSWM account into the operating account at Sandy Spring Bank in order to reduce the monthly bank charges.
Approval of the Audit and the Form 990 filing Each year the Trustees enlist the services of a CPA firm for the annual audit. We again used the services of BBD out of Philadelphia for this service and for the preparation of Form 990 that is submitted to the IRS. Trustees approve the audit along with the Form 990. The big change in the audit for 2017 is to include the finances of the Miles White Beneficial Society (MWBS). BYM approves the board of MWBS, so Generally-Accepted Accounting Principles require that MWBS financial activities be reported as part of the audit of BYM. The inclusion of MWBS in the 2017 audit removes the controlled-affiliate qualification that we have had to our audit.
Property within the Yearly Meeting Tom Hill has continued his project of creating a comprehensive list of properties owned by BYM or any of its predecessor or constituent meetings. In the past year he has included properties of Friends schools and housing corporations affiliated with BYM or any local meeting. This year's focus has been on legal matters related to Bellefonte Friends Burial Ground in Centre County, Pennsylvania, which the local court transferred to the BYM (Orthodox) in 1927.
Facilitation The Clerk of Trustees hosts a monthly finance teleconference involving the General Secretary, the Development Director, the Comptroller, the Treasurer and representatives of committees with budgetary responsibilities. The goal is to enhance communication and to help each committee and officer meet their responsibilities in the establishment and administration of the annual budget.
The Trustees of Baltimore Yearly Meeting (BYM) met at the 2016 Annual Session and the Interim Meetings in the fall, spring and summer.
Catoctin bathhouse project
Trustees worked with Stewardship and Finance to monitor the expenditures needed to complete the project by the opening of camp in June 2017. The committees and the General Secretary worked together to develop procedures for defining and accepting
Friendly loans which were offered by nine individuals and one monthly meeting endowment. Trustees authorized and BYM has accepted $340,000 in such loans with an average interest rate of 2.33. Payments will be made each year from 2017 through 2022 with the largest value of payments, $170,986, expected in 2022. Friends are reminded that donations are needed to pay off these loans.
Opequon Quaker Camp
Our current lease expires in 2027. Trustees are monitoring the efforts of the joint working group of the Camp Property and Camping Program committees to assess the financial implications of any steps that the Yearly Meeting might wish to take to be able to operate this successful camping program.
Relationship with Friends House (FH) and Friends Nursing Home (FNH)
At Annual Session 2016, Trustees proposed and BYM approved changes in the FH and FNH bylaws so that BYM appoints only three members of the respective Board of Trustees. These changes reflect the reality that BYM does not control the boards. These two organizations were noted in the qualified opinion of the auditors in 2015; they will not be mentioned in the 2016 audit. BYM Trustees are working with the Board of Trustees of the Miles White Beneficial Society of Baltimore City to gain a better understanding of whether its financial statements should be consolidated with those of BYM.
At each meeting we review the status of our accounts with Friends Fiduciary Corporation and our account with Morgan Stanley Smith Barney. The Investment subcommittee works closely with our broker at Morgan Stanley to see what actions need to be taken.
Approval of the Audit and the Form 990 filing
Each year Trustees approve CPAs' audit of BYM's financials and the Form 990 submitted to the IRS.
Property within the Yearly Meeting
Tom Hill has continued his project of creating a comprehensive list of properties owned by BYM or any of its predecessor or constituent meetings. In the past year he has included properties of Friends schools and housing corporations affiliated with BYM or any local meeting.
The Clerk of Trustees hosts a monthly finance teleconference involving the General Secretary, the Development Director, the Comptroller, the Treasurer and representatives of committees with budgetary responsibilities. The goal is to enhance communication and to help each committee and officer meet their responsibilities in the establishment and administration of the annual budget.
The Trustees of Baltimore Yearly Meeting (BYM) met at the 2015 Annual Session and the Interim Meetings in the fall, spring and summer.
Approval of a Vehicle and Driver Safety Policy In the summer of 2015 Trustees approved for a trial basis the “Vehicle and Driver Safety Policy and Procedures.” It has been created with the involvement of those affected by the policies. After the trial period, Trustees approved the policy at our March 2016 meeting. It will be reviewed in three years. This document reflects the desire of BYM to provide a safe and secure environment for everyone who participates in our programs. (click here to download the policy as approved)
New auditor hired Trustees hired a new auditing firm, BBD, LLP of Philadelphia, to begin their work with the audit of BYM’s 2015 records. They have extensive experience with Friends organizations including Friends Journal, Friends Fiduciary Corporation, Pendle Hill and others. Their work for us has been detailed, timely, and affordable. We expect to approve the audit at our meeting at Annual Session.
Exploring legal counsel Trustees, Stewardship and Finance Committee and Supervisory Committee have voiced support for having an ongoing relationship with legal counsel. Such a relationship can help us anticipate legal issues and possibly avoid certain expenses. We are in the process of exploring an arrangement with Davis, Agnor, Rapaport, Skalny, a firm in Columbia, Maryland.
Unrestricted reserves Trustees established a cross-committee task force to create a policy on unrestricted reserves. Included were individuals representing Trustees, Stewardship and Finance, Development, and Camp Property. The committee had three teleconferences which resulted in a draft document that is still under development. It attempts to define reserves as well as how to access reserves, how to build reserves and how reserves should be reported. We have met our current goal, established in 2012, of the level of unrestricted reserves equalling twenty-five percent of the operating budget.
Money Management At each meeting we review the status of our accounts with Friends Fiduciary Corporation and our account with Morgan Stanley. We approved a policy, “Gifts of securities are received through our account at Morgan Stanley Wealth Management. Securities that meet the standards of our Socially Responsible Investment policy may be kept instead of being automatically sold.”
Educational Grants Trustees worked with representatives of the Sandy Spring Friends Meeting to transfer all the funds from their educational grants program to the Educational Grants Committee of Baltimore Yearly Meeting. Sandy Spring Friends felt that the BYM program met the same goals as their program. The Maryland Attorney General supported this transfer of funds, approximately $12,400.
Approval of the 990 filing Each year Trustees approve the 990 form submitted to the IRS.
Property within the Yearly Meeting Tom Hill has continued his project of creating a comprehensive list of properties owned by BYM or any of its predecessor or constituent meetings.
Harford Friends School Financial arrangements have been made to clarify the financial obligations of Harford Friends School with BYM as part of the bequest from the Emily Bayless Graham estate. Quarterly payments are being made on their obligation.
Facilitation Trustees host a monthly teleconference involving the General Secretary, the Development Director, the Comptroller, Treasure and representatives of committees with budgetary responsibilities. The goal is to enhance communication and to meet our obligations in the establishment of the annual budget.
The Trustees of Baltimore Yearly Meeting (BYM) met at the 2014 Annual Session and the Interim Meetings in the fall, spring and summer. We had two teleconferences.
Vehicle and Driver Safety Policies: As noted in our annual report last year, the General Secretary was tasked by the Supervisory Committee to review risk management practices across all aspects of the Yearly Meeting. As part of that process, a working group of Trustees was formed to examine policies regarding the use of vehicles and driver safety. The overarching concern was to affirm and clarify policies that reflect the high standards for safety that we want to have regarding our children, our BYM staff, and our programs.
The insurance working group of Greg Tobin, clerk, Karen Treber, Riley Robinson and Harry Tunis were active throughout the year. Greg Tobin attended meetings of the Camping Program Committee and the Camp Property Committee, exchanged numerous emails and telephone calls with BYM staff, committee members, and our insurance agent so that all perspectives could be considered in creating a comprehensive policy. The working group focused its discussion on vehicles used by BYM staff on public roads in support of BYM programs or interests, including vehicles owned or leased by BYM, as wells as other privately-owned vehicles used by BYM staff. Among other things, we looked at the approval process for drivers, how vehicles should be operated safely, how insurance claims should be filed and tried to understand and minimize the transportation-related risks involved in sustaining successful programs. Through multiple conversations with affected parties we have come to common agreements. For example the time for approval of drivers has been dramatically shortened from six weeks to several days and a plan for provisional approval of drivers by the Camp Program Manager, the General Secretary or the Camp Property Manager is in place.
At the Interim Meeting held at Patuxent Friends Meeting in June, Trustees approved the “Vehicle and Driver Safety Policy and Procedures.” BYM staff will use this document for the camping season and into the winter months. In 2016 we will review this document and make any adjustments that appear to be needed based on our experiences with vehicle and driver safety. We anticipate having a document for Yearly Meeting approval at the Annual Session in August 2016. As with all approved polices we will suggest time periods for future review.
Approval of Contracts: Trustees approved contracts for the HVAC project at the Yearly Meeting office, the solar-power installation at the YM office, road adjustments at Catoctin, and forestry management at the camps. We have a contract with Miche Booz for design development, cost estimation and assistance getting building permits for the bathhouse at Catoctin. We also approved the comprehensive insurance policy with GuideOne.
Audit: We reviewed the 2013 audit and contracted with the new firm for the 2014 audit. Because of the complexity of our finances, Trustees decided to have an audit every year. Adjustments have been made in office practices as a result of the management letter that accompanied the 2013 audit. For 2014 several adjustments to Note 1 were made that explain the nature of the Yearly Meeting.
Approval of the 990 filing: Each year Trustees approves the forms submitted to the IRS. We are ahead of last year’s schedule for completing the audit and the IRS Form 990.
Property within the Yearly Meeting: Tom Hill has continued his project of creating a comprehensive list of properties owned by BYM or any of its predecessor or constituent meetings. We hired a surveyor to help clarify the location of the Bush Creek Friends Burial Ground so that a clarifying deed could be filed.
Acceptance of a bequest: Trustees accepted the gift from Roberta Warren’s 401(K) account. In accordance with her wishes, half of the bequest was for Catoctin camp scholarships and the remaining portion could be used for Catoctin property improvements.
Monitoring of our funds: Arthur David Olson created a comprehensive spreadsheet that keeps us current about our holdings with Friends Fiduciary Corporation ($505,255) and with Morgan Stanley ($637,506) as of June 9, 2015. Most of this value is restricted or partially restricted by donors. Trustees invested $58,000 of cash in excess of cash-flow needs with Friends Fiduciary Corporation. We plan to do such rebalancing on an ongoing basis.
We are establishing a subcommittee of Trustees along with representatives of several other committees to create a policy on reserves. Among other issues to be examined are the purposes for holding reserves, the desired amount of reserves, methods for acquiring reserves and the accounting practices for reserves. We hope that the work of this committee will be available to Trustees at the spring Interim Meeting in 2016.
Financial Manual: Tom Hill and Margo Lehman have been gathering documents related to financial policies approved in recent years. Arthur David Olson has reviewed Trustees minutes back to 1971 and compiled a list of financial policies approved by Trustees along with those policies cited in the minutes. All this material will be reviewed for possible inclusion in the financial manual. As a first step, Stewardship & Finance Committee in June established a higher threshold above which BYM checks require two authorized signatures. At our June meeting, Trustees approved new authorized signers for several of the BYM bank accounts.
Approved by Trustees at Interim Meeting on June 13, 2015 as an interim policy
Policy and procedures will be re-evaluated after the 2015 camping sessions.
Trustees anticipate bringing a revised draft to Winter Interim Meeting in March 2016 for consideration and to Yearly Meeting in 2016 for approval.
This Vehicle and Driver Policy is composed of the following sections:
- Vehicle maintenance
- Approval of Drivers and Vehicle operation
BYM Trustees are responsible for periodic review and revision of this policy with input from committees and staff most familiar with vehicles and their uses.
Baltimore Yearly Meeting (BYM) seeks to provide a safe and secure environment for everyone who participates in its programs and activities. This “Vehicle and Driver Policy Procedures” document is intended to apply to all vehicle and driver practices used in service to any BYM programs.
1.1 Purpose of vehicles
1.1.1 BYM owns, leases, and operates a fleet of vehicles for the purpose of providing transportation related to BYM-approved activities and to assist BYM staff and approved volunteers in carrying out work-related activities as necessary. BYM shall set policies in accord with all applicable laws, regulations and insurance requirements.
1.1.2 BYM shall provide safe vehicles for its personnel (both paid and volunteer) to drive and to transport others. BYM personnel shall maintain and operate vehicles in accordance with BYM policy and procedures to ensure continued safety and insurance coverage. BYM shall establish and maintain specific staff assignments for the management oversight responsibilities for each vehicle owned or leased by BYM (BYM Vehicles), operated by BYM staff, or owned and operated by volunteers.
1.1.3. BYM vehicles may not be rented. BYM vehicles may not be loaned to individuals or organizations for purposes that are outside the purpose/mission of BYM. At the discretion of the Camp Property Manager, vehicles may be used to support activities such as those of Monthly Meetings, Friends Schools, and other Quaker activities that are broader than those directly organized by BYM as long as the vehicle is operated by a BYM-approved driver.
1.1.4. The Camp Property Manager may assign vehicles that are temporarily out of use to trusted individuals for storage and periodic use to help keep them in running order. The individuals entrusted to provide care for the vehicles shall be BYM-approved operators who shall agree to run the vehicles for approximately 0.5 to 3 hours per month. Only drivers approved by BYM shall drive the vehicle. To lessen crowding in the parking lot at the BYM office, the Camp Property Manager may choose to store vehicles in alternative locations.
1.1.5 Any vehicles having no anticipated BYM activity assignment in the next 12 months will be sold or discarded at the discretion of the Camp Property Manager.
1.2 Vehicle Procurement, Ownership, and Responsibilities
1.2.1 As with all other assets, the vehicles are owned by BYM and are under the care of the Trustees.
1.2.2 BYM Trustees are responsible for periodically updating this Policy in consultation with the General Secretary, The Camp Property Management Committee, the Camp Property Manager, the Camping Program Committee, the Camp Program Manager, and others as appropriate. By default, Trustees will review the policy every three years.
1.2.3. The Camp Property Management Committee and the Camp Property Manager are responsible for purchasing, selling, equipping (with BYM-designated accessories), performing periodic inspections with a BYM checklist, and maintaining vehicles used by BYM.
1.2.4. BYM staff members are responsible for recruiting and training BYM drivers in the safe use of the vehicles that they are authorized to operate. For example, the Camp Program and Camp Property Managers are responsible for vehicle use related to BYM Camps; the Youth Program Manager is responsible for vehicle use related to Youth Programs; and the General Secretary or designated full-time staff member is responsible for vehicle use related to Annual Session and Interim Meetings.
1.2.5. All BYM vehicles shall be registered, inspected, licensed and insured as required by applicable laws rules and regulations.
1.2.6 The Trustees are responsible for reviewing vehicle insurance requirements and maintaining policies in force. Trustees shall consult with the Camp Property Manager, Camp Program Manager, General Secretary and others as appropriate.
1.2.7 Records of registration and insurance shall be maintained at the BYM office. Registration and insurance documents shall be kept within each vehicle.
1.2.8 A staff member who uses a vehicle may make personal stops in the course of work, but may not use it for extended personal uses. The availability of a vehicle is for work-related activities and not a fringe benefit.
2. VEHICLE MAINTENANCE
Vehicles shall be properly maintained to ensure that they can safely fulfill their required uses.
2.1 In general, the maintenance of all vehicles is the responsibility of the Camp Property Manager. Camp Directors share the responsibility of vehicle maintenance while the vehicles are used for their camp activities.
2.2. Vehicle maintenance records shall be stored in the BYM office.
2.3 Critical vehicle maintenance shall be performed by a licensed and insured mechanic. Minor maintenance tasks can also be performed by the Camp Property Manager or a BYM employee/volunteer judged to be qualified by the Camp Property Manager.
2.4 The Camp Property Manager shall maintain a list of all BYM vehicles, incidents, insurance claims and other issues and provide this list to the General Secretary upon request. In the first month of each year, the General Secretary shall provide Trustees with a summary vehicle report on the previous year vehicle experiences. The report, shall contain a list of the vehicles, vehicle incidents, insurance claims, and any other issues requiring attention, including proposed modifications to the Vehicle and Driver Policy.
2.5 The Camp Property Manager shall prepare a vehicle inspection checklist for inclusion in each BYM vehicle. The Camp Managers or Directors shall train the approved drivers in the use of the checklists to ensure that inspections are performed within the necessary time intervals specific to each vehicle.
2.6 The Camp Property Manager shall ensure that each vehicle contains sufficient equipment for the safe operation of the vehicle. In addition to the inspection checklist, additional items may contain kits to assist in dealing with roadside repairs, accidents, or winter driving. Buses and other vehicles carrying flammable liquids (e.g., stove fuel) shall be equipped with a fire extinguisher which shall be inspected according to law by the Camp Property Manager.
3. APPROVAL of DRIVERS and VEHICLE OPERATION
All BYM drivers must keep safety as the top priority while driving at all times and in all circumstances.
3.1 The General Secretary, Camp Property Manager, Camp Program Manager and other BYM staff as assigned responsibilities require shall approve the appointment of employees and volunteers to operate BYM and personal vehicles used for BYM activities in accord with input from the insurance company. For clarity, the General Secretary is responsible for vetting and overseeing drivers at Annual Session and Interim Meetings, the Youth Programs Manager for drivers related to Youth Programs, the Camp Program Manager for camp drivers during training and camping weeks, and the Camp Property Manager for all other drivers.
3.1.1 BYM staff shall collect a completed operator’s application (please see Appendix I) for each proposed BYM vehicle operator. Whenever possible, staff will submit the required information to the insurance company for review with sufficient lead time prior to the intended operation. Due to the time required to access and review driving records, “sufficient lead time” is normally defined as two weeks. After a review of the applicant’s driving records, the insurance company will either add the applicant to the policy as an operator or exclude the applicant from coverage. The insurance company will notify the BYM staff member and the General Secretary of its decisions and provide a complete list from time to time. BYM staff may submit an applicant who was previously on the excluded list for re-evaluation after two calendar years. In the event that a driver is needed on short notice, BYM staff may pre-screen the application internally by obtaining the driving record from the individual or from a motor vehicle office in states where this can be readily accomplished. BYM staff can then provisionally approve or disapprove the applicant based upon known and current qualifying criteria used by the insurance company and whether the applicant has ever been excluded from coverage by the insurance company. BYM staff shall not grant provisional approval to an individual previously named by BYM or by the insurance company as an excluded driver nor to an applicant under the age of 22. A provisional approval by BYM enables drivers to serve pending official approval by the insurance company upon receiving the completed application. All applications to drive a bus of more than 14 passengers must be processed through the insurance company and not given provisional approval by BYM staff. These procedures serve the dual purpose of allowing the insurance company to assist BYM staff in vetting drivers and enabling drivers to be named on the BYM insurance policy.
3.1.2. The General Secretary and/or BYM staff member approving an operator’s application shall consult with the insurance company at least each January to obtain current qualification criteria and to obtain a list of approved and excluded drivers.
3.1.3 Although the criteria for authorization of vehicle operation may change over time, applicants who do not have the appropriate legal credentials for the assigned driving responsibility shall not be approved. For example, as of 5/1/2015,applicants must possess an active Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) class B (or better) with a “passenger endorsement (P)” for approval to drive a bus used for BYM activities.
3.1.4 Additional criteria are subject to change by mutual agreement of BYM Trustees, BYM Staff, and the insurance agent. As of 5/1/2015, these criteria include the following:
- all BYM drivers must be at least 21 years of age to drive for BYM
- BYM drivers under the age of 25 must not have been convicted of or have pled guilty to a moving violation or have caused an accident within the previous 3 years
- BYM drivers must have a valid CDL of the correct class and preferably be at least 25 years of age to operate a full-size bus (greater than 14 passengers)
- BYM drivers over the age of 70 shall obtain a completed Physician’s Report of Driver Fitness from their physician (the e-form is provided by the insurance company to BYM staff)
- Applicants who have had a major violation or multiple minor violations within the previous three years may be classified as ineligible for driving vehicles
- BYM staff driving their own vehicles from one BYM site to perform work at another BYM site shall be considered commuting and not be subject to BYM driving policies.
BYM staff may submit a small number (less than 5) of applicants who do not meet all of the criteria to the insurance company for consideration as long as they are at least 22 years of age and have shown a history of responsibility within the camping program. In these rare cases in which the insurance company approves drivers who do not meet the criteria, the supervising BYM staff member shall provide additional oversight and supervision of the driver and may impose additional restrictions not applicable to drivers who exceed the criteria.
3.1.5 Only BYM staff so designated by the General Secretary may authorize BYM drivers. The BYM staff member authorizing operation of a BYM vehicle or a privately owned vehicle for use in BYM activities shall provide the approved operator with a summary of the Vehicle Operation portion of this policy containing relevant details prior to operation of the vehicle. Examples of policy summaries for camp and for Annual Session are in Appendices 2 and 3. The BYM staff member shall review the policies orally with each approved operator at least once a year.
3.1.6 Authorized operators must report accidents, traffic violations, and other incidents involving BYM activities within eight hours to the Camp Property Manager or nearest responsible year-round BYM staff person regardless of fault. Because authorization to drive is based partially on driving records, authorized operators must also report accidents and moving violations within 24 hours to BYM even when the incident is unrelated to BYM activities or if involved in an accident in which the BYM driver was not at fault.
3.1.7 Either the General Secretary or the BYM staff member who approved the driver may revoke that driver’s authorization to operate vehicles for BYM purposes.
3.1.8 Prior to transporting minors, operators must have passed a BYM background check.
3.1.9 The General Secretary or duly designated BYM staff person shall authorize drivers to transport other attendees at Annual Session using one of two methods. The General Secretary may forward the applicant’s name and images of his/her driver license and proof of insurance information to the insurance company at least two weeks prior to the start of Annual Sessions for determination of eligibility by the insurance agent. Alternatively, the applicant can provide an image of the drivers license and proof of insurance along with a copy of their driving record for determination of eligibility by the General Secretary.
3.2 Safe operation of vehicles is a priority of all BYM programs that use BYM or personal vehicles. Approved drivers shall comply with the following requirements and those specified in the Youth Safety Policy.
3.2.1 Drivers shall be well-rested and alert. Drivers may refuse to drive in support of BYM programs when they feel that they are in any way impaired or otherwise unable to drive safely.
3.2.2 Drivers shall strive to obey all driving-related laws and follow all BYM policies and procedures when operating motor vehicles.
3.2.3 Drivers shall operate vehicles within the passenger and weight limits posted on the vehicle.
3.2.4 Drivers shall carry passengers only in passenger compartments and not exceed the designated seating capacity of the vehicle.
3.2.5 When operating the vehicle, drivers shall not consume alcohol or use stimulants within 12 hours before and while driving for BYM.
3.2.6 Drivers shall not smoke, read, talk on a phone without a hands-free device, text, or engage in other distracting behaviors while driving for BYM.
3.2.7 For buses and other vehicles that require Class B CDL, the use of cellular phones to make calls or send/receive text messages while driving is not permitted regardless of whether a hands-free device is available. If a call is required, the driver shall pull into a safe area to make the call.
3.2.8 The use of hands-free cell phone devices in vehicles that require only a class C license will be permitted when: (1) communication is of a critical nature, (2)when no passengers are in the vehicle, (3) in regions where the use of hands-free devices is permitted by law (4) if the use is done in a safe manner, and (5) if circumstances allow hands free devices to be operated safely.
3.2.9 Drivers shall disallow smoking in vehicles or transporting fireworks or explosives. Firearms and other weapons may not be carried in vehicles without the written approval of the General Secretary or the Camp Property Manager. Flammable liquids, such as gasoline, may only be transported in the back of pick-up trucks equipped with a fire extinguisher, and, if carried, shall be in safety containers designed to hold flammable liquids. Stove fuel must be carried in approved containers.
3.2.10 Drivers govern passenger behavior in vehicles that they are driving in support of BYM activities. Distracting behaviors are unsafe and should not be allowed to continue. If necessary, the vehicle shall be safely driven to the side of the road until the disruptive behaviors end.
3.2.11 Bus drivers shall acquaint riders with BYM guidelines for safe transportation. A sign summarizing these basic guidelines shall be posted inside each bus.
3.2.12 Prior to driving the vehicle, the driver shall inspect the vehicle for any condition that may potentially result in unsafe operations. For each vehicle, the Camp Property Manager shall provide a vehicle inspection checklist that specifies items to inspect and the frequency of such inspections. For example, engine oil and coolant levels may require daily inspection in some vehicles. Regular pre-trip inspections and records of these inspections are required for safe operation of the buses.
3.2.13 Drivers and passengers shall use seat belts as provided in the vehicle.
3.2.14 Providing rides to persons unaffiliated with BYM is prohibited unless in an emergency.
3.2.15 Each driver is responsible for paying fines, tickets, or citations related to unlawful operation and parking of vehicles. As specified above, drivers shall report moving violations to BYM staff.
3.2.16 Some BYM vehicles use gasoline while others use diesel as fuel. The Camp Property Manager shall post signs within each vehicle specifying the type of fuel to be used. BYM Staff members providing diesel-burning vehicles to seasonal or occasional BYM-approved drivers shall remind the driver of the fuel requirements.
3.2.17 Drivers may be supplied with credit cards to fuel vehicles at the discretion of the General Secretary. BYM-credit cards may only be used to fuel BYM-owned vehicles. Drivers without BYM credit cards shall submit receipts to the supervising BYM Staff member for reimbursement.
3.3 Use of Personal Vehicles
3.3.1 Upon authorization from a designated BYM staff member, a personal vehicle may be used for BYM business by the owner of the vehicle. Driving for “BYM business” is defined, in part, as driving at BYM activities and does not include personal transport or carpooling to BYM events. Thus, transporting passengers from one building to another at Annual Session meets the definition whereas transporting oneself and/or passengers to Annual Session does not meet the definition.
3.3.2 As in the case of driving BYM vehicles, all BYM policies governing driving and child/youth safety shall be followed when driving personal vehicles. For example, drivers carrying passengers under the age of 18 must be 21 years of age or older and have a second adult over the age of 21 present unless in emergency situations
3.3.3 Drivers of personal vehicles for BYM use shall be governed by the same policies and procedures as drivers of vehicles owned by BYM. For example, those wishing to use their personal vehicles to transport others for BYM activities shall be pre-authorized by BYM staff and shall practice safe operation as specified in the above sections. The personal vehicles must be registered, licensed, insured, and in good working order.
3.3.4 Drivers of personal vehicles shall present a valid drivers license and show proof of insurance for their vehicle to the authorizing staff member.
3.3.5. At Annual Session, no transportation beyond the campus is authorized for BYM purposes except in case of a medical emergency unless the off-campus transportation is related to transporting to and from train, bus, or other transportation stations.
3.3.6 Minors, defined as those under 18, shall not be driven in personal cars on BYM business except in an emergency that occurs when BYM vehicles are not available. Except in an emergency, drivers transporting minors must be approved operators. In an emergency, the prevailing authority (e.g., Camp Director) shall be notified prior to transporting, if at all possible.
3.4 Camp-specific vehicle use
3.4.1 As specified in 3.2, vehicles are to be operated in a manner that emphasizes safety over expediency. Camps shall employ, as direct employees or contractors, a sufficient number of authorized drivers to conduct their business without risking operation by fatigued drivers. For residential camps, at least two CDL-B drivers are preferred and/or the use of contracted CDL Drivers.
3.4.2 Whenever possible, only camp vehicles shall be driven on camp business. Camp kitchen managers, cooks, and work-grantees may drive themselves in a personal vehicle with one other staff person over the age of 18 on a short shopping trip if the camp vehicles are not available provided that they have been approved by BYM to do so.
3.4.3 Camp staff, especially specialized staff such as rock-climbing instructors, may use their personal vehicles to transport themselves to a location outside of the camp boundaries to perform assigned tasks. Whenever possible, such camp staff shall obtain prior authorization by BYM staff. If authorization is not obtained, it shall be understood that the camp staff person is not currently on BYM business while commuting from one work location to another
3.5 Emergency procedures
3.5.1 In a medical emergency, a non-approved licensed person over the age of 21 is authorized by BYM to transport an individual in a properly registered, inspected, licensed, and insured vehicle to a doctor or hospital after discussion with camp director or other authority. To assist the individual needing medical attention, and for youth safety purposes, the driver shall include another adult or two minors whenever possible..
3.5.2 Upon resolution of the emergency, the driver shall report the details of the event to a camp director or other authority.
3.6 In case of a vehicle accident in a BYM vehicle
3.6.1 The Camp Property Manager shall place a brief procedural accident response checklist inside each vehicle. The following procedures may be summarized on the checklist.
3.6.2 Stop the vehicle in a safe place, check on the welfare of the occupants, and get help as needed.
3.6.3 In the event of injury or if it is unsafe or impossible to drive any of the vehicles involved, call the police.
3.6.4 Exchange information with the driver of any other involved vehicle including name, address, phone number, insurance company and policy number, driver’s license number and license plate number.
3.6.5 Make a written description of each car including year, make, model, and color and the exact location of the collision and how it happened. If possible, take photographs of the damage to all vehicles and the surrounding area.
3.6.6 Refrain from assessing blame for the accident to other drivers or from accepting or admitting responsibility for the accident to anyone.
3.6.7 Call the Camp Property Manager or BYM staff member. After obtaining the necessary information from the driver who was involved in an accident, the BYM staff member will contact the insurance company.
3.6.8 Submit a written accident report to the Camp Property Manager or immediate supervisor.
The Trustees of Baltimore Yearly Meeting (BYM) met at the Annapolis (spring) and State College (summer) Interim Meetings. Yearly Meeting investment policies and appropriate insurance coverage were the subject of much of our work this year.
The investment subcommittee made adjustments in our portfolio with Morgan Stanley to provide a suitable return while preserving principal. These activities were carried out using the Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) policy that Trustees approved for trial use last summer. With these guidelines we found ourselves able to make decisions that reflected Friends concerns regarding the environment, health and safety issues, peace and other important issues. On some occasions our policy guided us not to purchase some of the more active higher yielding stocks. We also did not invest in some appealing green companies because they did not generate the dividends that we need to support our programs. Newer companies also tend to be smaller and may not be sufficiently stable to help us conserve our principal. After some minor editing in the policy we gave final approval in State College to the SRI policy which is included in this report.
All investment decisions are made by the investment subcommittee. Our broker at Morgan Stanley is not authorized to sell or purchase stock unless we request these actions.
We approved a policy that provides a structure for Trustees and the General Secretary so that funds can be moved into the operating account in a timely manner in case of a shortfall in income. We approved a policy that identifies funds that can be released for investment.
We took steps to protect our operating account at Sandy Spring Bank from check fraud.
In the upcoming year we will take a closer look at our funds with Friends Fiduciary Corporation to see if any adjustments need to be made in our holdings.
Insurance and Youth Safety
The General Secretary with support from the Supervisory Committee worked on a risk management review across all aspects of the Yearly Meeting. The insurance subcommittee of Trustees spent many months carefully reviewing appropriate coverage including such issues as driver safety and support of the medical personnel at the camps. We were guided by our desire to ensure the safety of participants and employees in all our programs. The insurance policy of the Yearly Meeting (YM) covers all of the camps, the office building, staff and volunteer bonding, several burial grounds, and the liability insurance for the YM. A revised insurance policy was approved.
The new Youth Safety Policy Working Group is under the care of Trustees. This group has attended to several important issues in a timely manner. Please see their separate annual report.
Property within the Yearly Meeting
The Yearly Meeting and its predecessors have for more than 200 years accepted the care of burial grounds from discontinued local meetings; every ten or twenty years the Trustees or a special committee has asked each of the Monthly Meetings to consider (a) what burial grounds and meetinghouses are under their care and (b) whether the Meeting has clear titles. The last surveys went out about twelve years ago. Using the old reports from the BYM archives and new electronic forms to assemble such information, Tom Hill continues his work compiling paper or electronic copies of all deeds and other title documents covering all Meetings that have ever been a part of Baltimore Yearly Meeting. Tom prepares reports for the Trustees at least once a quarter. The latest Property List had over 200 pages encompassing the Yearly Meeting and 224 Friends Meetings or meeting schools. Alan Wright, an attorney in Maryland, has helped greatly in filing clarifying deeds and other instruments confirming that BYM owns the Bush Creek and Monocacy Friends Burial Grounds in Frederick County, Maryland and the Elk Ridge burial ground in Howard County, Maryland. The old deeds confirm our ownership of these three burial grounds, but the county officials had lost track of our title and now show the surrounding property enveloping the Quaker properties.
We approved the extension of the lease for Camp Opequon. It will be recorded.
Trustees approved the firm of Friedman and Associates, P.C., as the new auditor for Baltimore Yearly Meeting. They will complete a full audit for FY2013. A full audit is done every three years, or when certain financially-related positions change.
On occasion, representatives of Monthly Meetings ask if they can use the Yearly Meeting's tax identification number to support their tax-exempt status. The IRS has made clear that the Yearly Meeting's 501(c)3 documents are specific to the Yearly Meeting. The Treasurer and General Secretary will develop a standard response to Monthly Meetings who inquire about their tax exempt status and direct them to resources that will help them obtain their own 501(c)(3) documents from the IRS.
At the request of the Educational Grants Committee, we wrote off loans to three individuals with a total value of $4,113.75.
Harry Tunis (Herndon), Clerk
Baltimore Yearly Meeting
Trustees’ Policy on Socially Responsible Investment
Baltimore Yearly Meeting (BYM) wishes to insure that funds held on behalf of the Yearly Meeting are invested in organizations whose business practices and conduct are consistent with our values and testimonies.
Accordingly we will invest in organizations that promote the needs of a peaceful society, including, for example, food, medicine, clothing, housing, heat and light, transportation, communication and recreation.
Investment is encouraged in organizations that have a positive impact on social justice, the environment, organized labor, and community responsibility, as well as a history of acting with integrity with respect to customer, employee, and investor relations.
BYM will avoid investments in organizations that are involved in the production or distribution of products that damage or do not enhance society. In particular, investments in companies that manufacture weapons or support war will be avoided.
Upon reflection and approval by BYM Trustees, some investments may be retained in order to use the opportunity as shareholders to witness to our values.
Returns on Investments
BYM will seek appropriate returns on invested funds consistent with a level of risk that maintains capital.
The Yearly Meeting’s investment holdings and policies will be reviewed annually by the Trustees.
The Trustees of Baltimore Yearly Meeting (BYM) met at each Interim Meeting and by telephone in November. Yearly Meeting investments and funds were the subject of much of Trustees work in the past year.
Trustees approved the new revision of the Custody and Investment agreement with Friends Fiduciary Corporation (FFC) BYM has held investments with FFC for many years.
The remainder of BYM’s money had been held in mutual funds. Last summer and fall we completed moving these resource to an account at Morgan Stanley with a broker, Judy Zins, who works with other Friends’ organizations and who has a deep understanding of socially responsible investments.
Trustees established an investment subcommittee to monitor the Morgan Stanley account and the funds held in Friends Fiduciary Corporation.
Investment policies and procedures were revised as well:
- We reviewed socially responsible investment policies from several Friends organizations including our two leading funds that we monitor, Friends Fiduciary Corporation and Morgan Stanley. We created and approved a Socially Responsible Investment policy for BYM which will serve as a framework for all our holdings (included in this report). In the upcoming year we will attempt to incorporate all our current investment practices and those regarding reserves into one document which will guide our future investment activities.
- We approved the following policy for gifts of stock: Securities gifted to BYM and deposited into the BYM account at Morgan Stanley must meet all the following criteria to be considered for holding in the BYM account: (a) be more than $5,000 in value based on opening price of the day of deposit; (b) be a stock or security whose underlying company is part of the KLD Socially Responsible Index*; and (c) if a stock gift, have a dividend of 2% or higher. Securities that don’t meet the above criteria will be sold.
- We approved a method of annual allocation of income from our investments to support various programs of the Yearly Meeting in accord with the purposes of the restricted or designated funds. This method will provide a more predictable income than in the past, which can help with planning for the programs or activities that these funds support.
Insurance and Youth Safety
The insurance policy of the Yearly Meeting (YM) covers all of the camps, the office building, staff and volunteer bonding, several burial grounds, and the liability insurance for the YM. A subcommittee spent many months carefully reviewing appropriate coverage. The policy with GuideOne Insurance was renewed. Most local BYM Meetings have their own GuideOne insurance though BYM under this arrangement as well.
Last Fall Trustees sent a letter out to all local Meetings recommending that they develop or update their child and youth safety policies, just as BYM itself has now done.
We presented a minute to the Interim Meeting at Adelphi (June 2013) proposing the creation of a Youth Safety Working Group. The goal is to have an ongoing mechanism to be attentive to changes needed in the Youth Safety Policy.
McQuade Brennan, LLP, was selected to complete a financial review this year. A full audit is done every three years, or when certain financially-related positions change. There will be a full audit for FY 2013.
Trustees approved renewal of a line-of-credit agreement with Sandy Spring Bank, a possible source of emergency funds that is needed at least until BYM has established adequate emergency reserves of its own.
Trustees responded in detail to the draft report of the Camp Finance Working Group, whose work is still in progress.
Trustees submitted text to update the section of Faith and Practice that refers to Estates and Bequests.
Harry Tunis (Herndon) and Richard Liversidge (Sandy Spring)
*The MSCI KLD 400 Social Index™ (formerly the Domini 400 Social Index) is a capitalization-weighted index of 400 U.S. Companies that have passed multiple, broad-based social screens. Created by the research firm of KLD Research & Analytics, the index consists of approximately 90% large cap companies, 9% mid-cap companies that provide comparable industry representation, and 1% small cap companies judged to have strong socially responsible characteristics [per Morgan Stanley, 2012]↩
The Trustees of Baltimore Yearly Meeting have met at each Interim Meeting in the past twelve months. In addition we have met by telephone in December. Each meeting begins and ends in worshipful silence as we seek the aid of divine guidance as how to best serve the Yearly Meeting as a whole.
At Annual Session, Trustees reported on Miles White Benevolent Fund’s request to be a part of our Yearly Meeting while maintaining separate books and trustees. The Miles White Fund Trustees would now be appointed by the Yearly Meeting.
At October 2011 Interim Meeting, Trustees approved a report from the Educational Loan committee concerning the handling of old outstanding loans. In addition they also discussed the scholarship programs for BYM’s camps and the need for the camping committee to report back to Trustees on scholarships given. A report on the physical needs and possibilities for the Yearly Meeting office building was reviewed with the understanding that further research will be done.
In a telephone conference meeting on December 20, 2012 Trustees addressed the old Meeting House Fund. After reviewing the documents that set up the fund Trustees approved that:
- These funds should be used for emergency loans for any BYM Meeting, particularly smaller Meetings with fewer resources.
- There should be no limitation on the amount of the loan other than what is available in the fund itself.
- The loan can be made at the interest rate currently being used at the time as the IRS AFR rate.
- The payback period can be as long as five years.
- The fund is for repairs on Monthly Meeting-owned property, although Meetings with other arrangements might be considered.
- It will be administered by the Trustees. In an emergency, a decision can be made by as few as three Trustees.
- The form will be developed by staff.
The form was reviewed at the March 2012 Interim Meeting and approved at the June 2012 Interim Meeting.
Trustees began work on revising the investment of funds and the recording and allocation of income earned by investments as well as any capital gains and losses in marking the funds to fair market value at year end. Trustees approved that such gains and losses should not be allocated to individual funds.
In January, 2012 a subcommittee of Betsy Meyer, Marion Ballard, and Frannie Taylor met with Judy Zins of Morgan Stanley Smith Barney concerning the investments of the Yearly Meeting and how best for the Trustees to have a firmer grip on them.
At March Interim Meeting, Trustees reviewed the Minutes from the February 23, 2012 meeting of the joint Sub-committee of Trustees and Stewardship and Finance Committee established to review Unrestricted Reserves. It was the sense of the sub-committee that a separate operating reserve fund is not necessary and that the Yearly Meeting should instead plan for an increase in unrestricted reserves. Trustees agreed that the amount of the unrestricted fund balance should initially be based on 25% of the expenses reported in the approved 2012 budget. It was suggested that a line item be added to the budget called “Increase in Unrestricted Reserves,” and that it be left to the Stewardship and Finance committee to handle the budgeting for the funding of the reserve. Trustees approved.
Also a report from the Education Loan Committee was accepted. The Committee has recognized that for various reasons, the conditions under which it operates have changed over the years, and it feels it can no longer administer a loan program effectively. In that light, the Committee proposed that it should stop making loans, and begin awarding educational grants instead.
And after a report on the meeting in January with Judy Zins, it was agreed that all of the current mutual fund investments will be moved to be under Judy Zins care. Trustees discussed the need to decide who can make decisions about investment changes, noting that timeliness is often an issue. Trustees approved that a subcommittee will be formed, consisting of the Clerk of Trustees, the Treasurer or Assistant Treasurer, and one other trustee. It was agreed that to the extent possible, they will consult about any necessary decisions, and any one of them can convey the decision to the broker.
To further clarify our investments after discussion Trustees embraced the following.
Policy for distribution of income generated by invested funds
Trustees approved the draft policy for distribution of income generated by invested funds. This policy was designed in consultation with our CPA in charge of our audit/review process. Trustees approved the policy below:
- At its December 21, 2011 meeting, Trustees agreed that unrealized capital gains and losses should not be allocated to specific reserve funds.
- For the future, starting on January 1, 2012, income generated by invested funds will be allocated to the pertinent funds which are to earn income according to the total percentage earned. The remainder is to go to general funds.
- Education loan interest from repayment of loans is specific to Education Funds. Interest from vendors and interest from operating accounts is to be general fund income.
- The reserve funds which earn income will be identified by the particulars supporting the establishment of each fund.
At June 2012 Interim Meeting the Education Loan Committee recommended that three seriously delinquent loans, totaling $15,764.54, be written off. Trustees approved.
Trustees approved the Accountants Review of BYM’s FY 2011 financial statements and the IRS Form 990, both of which had been emailed to Trustees earlier for their review.
It was reported that Judy Stanfield, BYM’s auditor, is retiring. A subcommittee of the General Secretary, the Comptroller and a Trustee will seek bids for a new firm.
Trustees reviewed the proposed new Policy on Estates and Bequests. There were a number of proposed changes. The Clerk forwarded the revised policy for further review and after that to Sheila Bach for the latest draft of Faith and Practice.
It must be noted that although during the past year there was much discussion concerning the report from the Camp Finance Working Group Trustees were not able to find unity for a response.
Trustees were happy that the Shiloh Quaker Camp Pond has been finished and dedicated. We applaud the efforts both financial and physical which made it all happen.
Frannie Taylor, (Goose Creek) Clerk
The Trustees of Baltimore Yearly Meeting have met at each Interim Meeting in the past twelve months. At each meeting we begin and end in silence and acknowledge our need to best serve the Yearly Meeting as a whole.
We completed the final settlement with the executor of the estate of Emily Bayless Graham. The agreement indicated:
1. BYM received $300,000, including legal fees. After deducting the fees paid in 2009 and 2010 the amount was approximately $80,000 plus,
2. $40,000 of BYM’s legal fees is owed by Harford Friends School, to be paid to BYM as five Transferable Development Rights (TDR) are sold,
3. Harford Friends School is to receive 66 acres of property on which to build the school, along with 6 TDRs. Harford needs one of those TDRs for the school facility. The remaining five are to be split between BYM and Harford Friends School. BYM is to get about 55% of the proceeds as the TDRs are sold. HFS has ten years to sell the TDRs. If they are neither sold nor otherwise dealt with through negotiation by that point, BYM may sell them. Until the sales take place, no income will be recorded.
We have updated the Duties of Trustees in the Manual of Procedure in order to recognize the changing needs of tax requirements.
We have overseen the final undesignation of funds allocated to the Spiritual Formation Group and the Women’s Retreat Group and so finished the year’s long work of bringing the undesignated funds of the Yearly Meeting back to a positive balance. This helped get BYM a very positive management letter from our auditors for Fiscal Year 2010.
We are now working on creating a policy to insure that there is a plan to maintain operating reserves for our future. Under best practices for non-profits unrestricted reserves of 25-50 percent of annual revenues are recommended. We are working on this.
We have also been meeting with representatives from Miles White Beneficial Society in an effort to bring them under the BYM umbrella in order to keep them from the penalties which the Internal Revenue Code imposes on private foundations. Miles White was a member of Eutaw Street Meeting in Baltimore and left monies to support students and nonprofit organizations through grants. The Fund has been affiliated with Baltimore Yearly Meeting and makes an annual report to us.
We continue to work with the concerns of the properties, including the BYM office and the camps. Trustees and Supervisory Committee self-raised more than $10,000 for the new roof and the needed tree work at the office in Sandy Spring, MD.
Tom Hill of Charlottesville MM presented his work gathering information on all properties ever owned within Baltimore Yearly Meeting in any of its iterations, as well as the all the Monthly Meetings which have ever been a part of BYM. This enormous task will help us know which properties need care and, to some extent, who should provide that care.
Christopher Densmore, Curator of the Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College presented a request to have Yearly Meeting and Monthly Meeting records digitized by Ancestry.com. We are awaiting more information on the access that would be available to us once this is done. The Trustees recognized that Monthly Meetings have the right to make their own decisions regarding their records.
We continue to work with the Educational Loan Committee to resolve the outstanding problems of collections and to see a way forward for a more workable method of supporting students.
We respect the trust given us by the Yearly Meeting as a whole, and we invite interest of others in serving as a Trustee.
Frannie Taylor, (Goose Creek), Clerk
Trustees; Dick Bellin, Ramona Buck, Rich Liversidge, Meg Meyer, Hank Rupprecht, Hank Schutz, Betsy Meyerand Marion Ballard. Treasurer. The General Secretary also attends meetings.