How does the Fund Work?
The Friends Meeting House Fund operates as a mortgage pool. Friends and Meetings can lend (with interest) money to the FMHF, thereby creating a large pool of money. That money in turn can be loaned to Quaker Meetings for renovating, adding on to, constructing or purchasing a meeting house. Funds can also be loaned for renovating, improving or adding on to other structures on meeting house property, including conserving, protecting, restoring, or enhancing the immediate environment of those structures. Loans are secured by mortgages held by the FMHF. Loans currently are at 7% interest for 15 years – a competitive rate for a commercial loan.
The Friends Meeting House Fund also awards small grants 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 FMHF. Requests for loan and grants can be combined.
How is the Fund Managed?
The Friends Meeting House Fund is managed by an Executive Director and a ten-member Board of Directors. The Board members are appointed by the Central Committee of Friends General Conference. Board members, although volunteers, possess expertise in architectural practice and design, property management, construction, fiscal planning, real estate lending, and legal practice. One or more Board members can assist your meeting in reviewing all aspects of your project. The Board will conduct a site visit to meet with your meeting before approving a loan.
How is Friends Meeting House Fund Organized?
The Friends Meeting House Fund is organized as a Pennsylvania non-profit corporation established by Friends General Conference (FGC) to provide a way for Quaker Meetings to borrow money to help renovate, build, or buy a meeting house.