NYYM Pay As Led Experiment

Starting in 2019, New York Yearly Meeting (NYYM)’s Sessions have been funded through a spiritual experiment that relies on each of us to do our part to support the wider community. We call this method “Pay as Led.” NYYM approved this holy experiment at Summer Sessions 2017.

 

Pay as Led is a way of acknowledging that wealth is not distributed evenly among Quakers. It offers us a method of increasing the number of people who attend Sessions, as people who can afford to pay more can do so, enabling those who need to pay less to do so. We believe Pay as Led can enrich our community by allowing the inclusion of new gifts and perceptions, particularly from those who are financially challenged by geography, employment, or stage of life. These gifts strengthen NYYM.

 

For every person who attends Summer Sessions in person, NYYM is responsible for paying Silver Bay’s standard room and board rates. With a Pay as Led process, some participants will pay less than the set rate and some participants will pay more. Instead of each of us paying Silver Bay directly, we will be paying NYYM and NYYM will pay Silver Bay. We trust that Friends will be both generous and honest in their discernment on what they are led to pay.

Sometime after you register, you will be sent, via email, three Pay as Led amount suggestions:

  • The standard rate, which is the full amount for room and board as charged by Silver Bay.
  • The full rate, which includes funds for NYYM programming costs and support for those paying less than the standard rate. Calculated at 30% above the standard rate.
  • The minimum rate, calculated as a percentage of the standard rate, depending on what level of lodging is requested: 25% of the standard rate for the least expensive Silver Bay lodging options, up to 75% for the most expensive lodging.

Registrants may choose to pay any amount at or above the minimum rate.

 

In addition, a registration contribution amount will be suggested to you. Any amount above the standard rate, including registration fees, will be recognized as a donation to NYYM and the donor will be provided with a receipt for tax purposes. If you pay online, you will be asked if you’d like to arrange a payment schedule and pay your fee in installments between now and the payment due date of June 15. (Please note that the preferred registration deadline is June 1; registrations made after that aren’t guaranteed a room or the lower Pay as Led option.)

 

If you are led to pay less than the standard rate, please consider any additional sources of funding available to you. Many local meetings recognize the value of having people attend Sessions and offer support. If you are a JYM volunteer or a member of a NYYM committee, there may be financial assistance available to you. When you make your first payment, please specify the amount you expect to receive from other sources. The email that you receive within a week or so of registering will explain how to initiate payments, including directions on how to ask your local meeting to send payment directly to NYYM.

 

The Pay as Led experiment presents our yearly meeting with some challenges. The financial challenge is that this is an experiment with no guarantee of success. We could end up with considerably less money than is needed to pay for our meals and lodging. The spiritual challenge is that we have to explore how we may be led. The community challenge is one of trust. We have to trust that if we are each faithful, this will work out for the community. We have to trust that our presence at Sessions is important even if we can’t afford to pay as much to be there. We have to trust that our extra contributions will appropriately help someone else. Pay as Led relies on the generosity of individual Friends to support the enrichment of our gathered community. The reward is an opening up of the yearly meeting to more people, with a diversity of perspectives, getting us closer to the goal of becoming a blessed community.

 

Monthly Meetings & Pay as Led

Even though Summer Session participants can Pay as Led (PAL), monthly meetings continue to play a critical role in supporting the attendance of their members and attenders. Friends seeking to pay less than the standard rate are asked to approach their monthly meetings for aid, but it’s likely that some Friends may skip that step and just pay less. The PAL experiment may fall drastically short in funds if monthly meetings no longer help people attend. The solution is quite simple! Monthly meetings, worship groups, regions, and quarters are all encouraged to consider what funds they normally provide to members and attenders—and donate that amount to NYYM, with the memo “Summer Sessions.” If your meeting receives a request from an individual, please send the amount directly to NYYM with the person’s name in the memo. NYYM uses a combination of meeting aid, individual donations, and registrant payments to cover our final bill from Silver Bay YMCA. For our planning purposes, it would be helpful if all donations were made to NYYM by June 15. Thank you for your kind consideration.

 

For more information, contact Helen Garay Toppins at [email protected] or  212-673-2285.