Did you know that all SVdP Conferences must meet a set of minimum requirements to be in good standing?
If you didn't, now is a great time to review the Standards of Excellence below and asset what your conference may need to improve.
If you need help or have questions, please reach out to our main office!
SVdP Standards of Excellence
Existing SVdP Conferences must meet the follow SVdP Standards of Excellence:
• Adopt Bylaws within one year of their start, and update bylaws whenever new standard bylaws have been approved by the National Council. • Review the following “Minimum Requirements for Existing Traditional Conferences” and develop a plan to correct areas in which the Conference is not meeting the requirements of the Rule.
Minimum Requirements for Existing Traditional Conferences
1. The Conference excludes no one from membership based on age, sex, race, or ethnic background. (Rule, Part I, 3.2) 2. The Conference meets regularly and frequently, and not less often than twice a month. Weekly meetings are desirable. (Rule, Part I, 3.3.1, Part III, Statute 5) 3. The Conference has four or more active members and a full slate of officers: President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer. (Rule, Part III, Statute 12) 4.Prayer, spiritual readings, and reflection are a part of each meeting. (Rule, Part III, Statute 7) 5.The Conference has an active, trained Spiritual Advisor who attends full meetings regularly, and accepts responsibility to promote the spiritual life of the Conference. (Rule, Part I, 3.13, Part III, Statute 15, U.S. Manual, Pages 48-49) 6. The Conference is aggregated or has filed an application if it has been in existence for one year or more. (Rule, Part I, 3.8, Part III, Statute 6) 7. The Conference serves all those in need regardless of age, sex, race, ethnic background, or lifestyle. (Rule, Part I, 1.4 Part III, Statute 8) 8. All Home Visits and other interviews are made by two Vincentians. (Rule, Part III, Statute 8) 9. The Conference has person-to-person contacts with the needy. (Rule, Part I, 1.2, Identity Statement) 10. Home visits are the primary focus of work for traditional Conferences. (U.S. Manual, Page 23) 11. The Conference maintains a bank account separate from the parish, under the control of the Conference Treasurer. (Rule, Part III, Statutes 12 and 24, U.S. Manual, Pages 26 and 30) 12. The Conference has 501(c)(3) tax exemption, either on its own or through its Council; files a 990 annually, or provides the input required for the Council’s 990. (Bylaws Document 1, Article 2)
13. The Conference attends District meetings and takes part in programs and events sponsored by their District/Diocesan Councils. (Rule, Part I 3.6, U.S. Manual, Page 36)
14. The Conference sends its members to formation and training sessions offered by the Society, particularly the Ozanam Orientation. (Rule, Part I, 3.6, 3.12, Part III, Statute 10)
15. The Conference submits Annual Reports to the District/Diocesan Council. (Rule, Part III, Statutes 22 and 23)
16. The Conference maintains regular communication with its Pastor and parishioners on its service and activities, including an annual report, preferably through the parish bulletin. (Rule, Part III, Statutes 22 and 23, U.S. Manual, Page 30)
17. The Conference maintains a positive relationship with the clergy. (Rule, Part I, 5.1)
18. All donations go to the works of the Society to maintain Society structure, both nationally and internationally. No donations are used to fund other charities no matter how worthy. (Rule Part I, 3.14, Part III, Statute 26)
19. The Conference provides required support (solidarity dues) for Councils/Region. (Rule Part III, Statute 25)
20. The Conference actively recruits new members such as by utilizing the Invitation to Serve materials. (U.S. Manual, Page 28)
21. The Conference President has served no more than two consecutive 3-year terms. (Rule, Part III, Statute 12)
22. The Conference upholds the spirit of non-accumulation of wealth. (Rule, Part I, 3.14 and Bylaws Document 1, Article 16)
23. The Conference conducts an annual audit or financial review, whichever is appropriate. (Rule, Part III, Statute 23 and Bylaws Document 1, Articles 12 and 16)
24. The Conference knows and follows the Rule of the Society. (U.S. Manual, Page 14)
Conference Best Practices
Our council is ready to assist each group in reaching these goals, as they are in place to help the function and growth as productive servant leaders. These best practices will allow your conference to:
Run productively and remain in accordance with the national office standards and best practices
Qualify for future grants and funding that can help us continue to carry out our mission
Preserve our tax status
Look for questions and answers about practices and standards of excellence-coming soon to the Vincentian page of our website!