What is the Friends Meeting House Fund?
The Friends Meeting House Fund (FMHF) is a Pennsylvania non-profit corporation set up by FGC to provide a way for Quaker meetings to borrow money to help build, buy or renovate their meeting houses. FMHF has also established the Green Meeting House Fund, which provides grants to Quaker meetings for energy-saving improvements to their meeting houses.
How does the Fund Work?
The Friends Meeting House Fund is based on the simple concept of a mortgage pool. Friends and meetings can lend (with interest) a portion of their savings to the FMHF, thereby creating a large pool of money. That money can be lent to meetings for construction, renovation or purchase, with the loans secured by mortgages held by the Friends Meeting House Fund. There is currently over $700,000 available for loans for large projects. Loans are at 7% interest for 15 years.
The Friends Meeting House Fund also holds small grant funds for improving meeting community spaces, and the Green Meeting House Fund grants money to help meetings become more sustainable and energy efficient. Energy-efficient improvements such as water- or energy-saving appliances and building materials, energy audits, special projects like green roofs or rain gardens, and the like fall under the Green Meeting House Fund; all other grants applications should be made to the Friends Meeting House Fund.
How is the Fund Managed?
The Friends Meeting House Fund is organized as a Pennsylvania non-profit corporation managed by a ten-member Board of Directors appointed by the Central Committee of Friends General Conference. Represented within its membership is experience with architectural practice, property management, fiscal planning, and real estate lending.
During the almost 60 years that the Fund has been in existence, it has lent or granted over $4,600,000 to more than 200 Quaker meetings in 18 yearly meetings. Inquiries and requests for loans continue to be received from meetings all over North America, indicating healthy growth within the Society of Friends.
Contributing or Investing in the Fund
Grants made by the Friends Meeting House Fund are entirely dependent upon contributions from individuals and meetings. These gifts constitute a very direct way in which those with resources to spare can help nurture small, less well-endowed meetings. Contributions to the Grant Fund are tax deductible.
The Friends Meeting House Fund is not currently open for investment.
Grants made by the Green Meeting House Fund are funded by 1) carbon offsets purchased by Quakerbooks and FGC Gathering customers who elect to offset the costs of shipping and travel, 2) Quaker organizations that have gone going “zero emissions” through gifts to the Green Meeting House Fund, and 3) donations from the general public.