Changes and Resources for Knights and Councils

(Originally published 3/29/20. Updated seven times in April, eleven times in May, and June on 6/4,6,10,11,19,22/20; latest changes in RED). The State and Supreme councils are actively working to address some of the programs and issues that need to be modified including how we will conduct the business ordinarily done by councils. Supreme has authorized and required councils to conduct "virtual" meetings. Here are some changes and deadlines and useful links:

Readings for all council leaders on changes: Supreme Fraternal Leader Advisory #1, Supreme Fraternal Leader Advisory #2, Supreme Fraternal Leader Advisory #3, Supreme Fraternal Leader Advisory #4.

Guidelines for Resumption of Meetings:

Councils must continue to follow the pandemic restrictions of church and state authorities. Councils must exercise prudential judgment when considering the resumption of face to face events and meetings. The safety of members and guests must be of paramount concern with special attention given to protecting those most vulnerable to the virus (elderly and those with pre-existing medical conditions). Since regulations are different in every state and city, the Supreme Council cannot, at this time, issue an overriding set of guidelines for a return to normal operations. Indeed, fraternal operations may never fully return to the old normal. Many new rules may remain in effect indefinitely. Furthermore, rules may change often and on short notice as society comes to terms with this terrible disease and its impact. In addition:

  • Any meeting on church grounds must meet diocesan requirements and have the approval of the pastor.
  • Councils should practice social distancing and attendees wear masks once in-person meetings resume. Use of hand sanitizer is a must.
  • Councils will need to provide for members who cannot attend in person due to health or other restrictions by providing virtual connections to the meeting. This is important so we do not leave members out. As much as we all want to be back together, most councils should expect to continue to meet virtually throughout the summer. Meetings will have to include a virtual connection, even if some members are meeting in person, indefinitely.
  • Supreme has suggestions for planning going forward. These are in the Frank Talk webinar, which you can watch.  The slides for that webinar are here.
  • Councils should name a technology director to manage virtual support of the council.

Preparations for Resuming Activities:

State Programs and Convention:

  • The final turn-in for the Super Cash Bonanza charity ticket campaign is June 18th and must be by mail to the State Treasurer.  Allow three to four days ahead of the deadline for your mail to reach State Treasurer Jeff Kiliany. The drawing will be online on June 27th at the State website.
  • State Program reports and People of the year nominations will now be accepted until May 31st with state awards presented at the tour meetings in July, conditions permitting. 
  • The state convention was "virtual" on May 16th.
  • The Support Our Seminarians (SOS) deadline for turn-in of donations was May 31st though checks were still being accepted as of June  4th. There is a revised turn-in form here. Allow three to four days for mail to reach IPSD Kevin Miller.
  • The Measure Up campaign weekends are now July 24 / 25  / 26 and July 31 / August  1 / 2. For those councils within the City of Columbus, the date to be permitted is August 1st and the authorized intersections are here. The permit and insurance cover sheet will be available in July. Final checks and forms to be turned into the State Warden by November 1st with checks issued to charities selected by the first weekend in January. No council should be conducting a public collection in May. Revised forms and info is on the state website Measure Up area.

Chapter Programs:

  • Remember to send a copy of your Knight and Family of the Year nominations to Dominic Nocera, Columbus  Chapter Vice-President, at nochie11@gmail.com. The Columbus Chapter Knight and Family of the year dinner, usually held in May, had previously been renamed the Christopher Columbus Awards Dinner and moved to October 11th prior to the pandemic.
  • The Chapter has the ability to provide "host" services on GoToMeeting to councils, districts, and chapter leaders upon request (subject to availability). Use the contact form on this website to request help.

Membership and Exemplifications:

  • Be flexible and creative in bringing in members. The best alternative is to use online membership as a gateway. Get the member in the order (use kofc.org/joinus) and have him designate your council as their preferred council then transfer them into the council following a virtual exemplification conducted by the State or Supreme council:

  • Online exemplifications for new members or those moving from 1st or 2nd degree to the 3rd are being conducted statewide every Tuesday and Friday at 7:00 PM in June.  Registration can be completed on this web page. Sponsors and observers may also register on the same web page. After an exempt, your council must submit a Form 100, either through form100@kofcohio.org or the new online Form 100, for every candidate that is exemplified. Form 450, report of degree exemplification, will be submitted by the host of the exempt either the Supreme or State Council. The form 100 is still the responsibility of the individual council. 
  • Supreme online exemplifications are occurring on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7:00 PM and 10:00 PM with the next ones scheduled on June 23rd, 25th, and 29th. These are announced in emails to Grand Knights and weekly webinars.  The degree can also be watched on-demand. The signup procedure is here (PDF). There is an invitation letter to send to prospects about this available. There are also online exempts in French and Spanish scheduled most Wednesdays and occasionally on Tuesday or Saturday. Councils should forward the downloadable PDF invitation to all eligible prospects for admission and advancement. Instruct the candidates to register for the exemplification of their choice by clicking on its associated link within the PDF invitation and filling out the online form. Note that they will need your council number to complete the registration. Contact the candidates to guide them through the registration if needed. After the ceremony, councils must process the candidates by submitting form 100s by e-mail or electronically in Officers Online. Any form 100 received by Supreme after 12 Noon EDT on June 30th will not be processed until July and not count toward the 2019-20 membership goals.
  • The membership goal for councils has been revised to 60% of the former goal, rounded to the nearest whole number.
  • State membership requirements have also been adjusted: meet 60% of your council’s former Supreme membership goal (this is the new Supreme goal also) plus one member by May 31 to get 100 points. This activity can replace all the state membership activities and will give sufficient points to max the membership program with only 1 report. To qualify, your increase in membership on the May 31 membership report less suspensions on the May 31 report and less outstanding form 1845’s on file with Supreme on May 31 must exceed your Supreme membership quota by 1. If you feel your council qualifies, you must submit a report to the state website under Members, claiming credit.
  • There is a virtual 4th degree exemplification on June 13th. Check with the assembly assigned to your council in order to register.

Meetings, Voting, Elections:

Changes to Star Council and Supreme Programs:

  • As part of the Supreme “Leave No Neighbor Behind” initiative, councils are encouraged to support food banks through food and monetary donations:
    https://www.kofc.org/en/news-room/knightline/special-edition/week-of-april-6/kofc-support-food-banks-funds-volunteers.html

    This is a simple and tangible way councils, regardless of the current circumstance, can help. A simple donation to a food bank nearby is one way to participate. Councils can then report this as part of the Supreme initiative (instructions at the first link). Councils can direct donations through the chapter which will then be distributed according to need by the diocese.

  • Star Council requirements have been changed for this fraternal year:
    • Only 10 programs required; 2 in each of the four areas, plus any 2 others. No mandatory programs. The featured programs and programs for the "Leave No Neighbor Behind" count double.
    • Membership goal is 60% of the previous goal (rounded to the nearest whole number); insurance goal reduced by 50% OR must hold a virtual benefits seminar with field agent. Districts can hold district-wide seminars but each council must have participants beyond the Grand Knight and Field Agent to get credit and the event must be promoted to the entire council. General Agents will report the council participation.  See this table to convert the previous goal to the new goals for membership and insurance.
    • Per capita and assessment payments not required for the second half of this fraternal year as well as the first half of the next year. All reporting and safe environment requirements must be met. SP-7s still must be filed by June 30th . File early so that you have time to make corrections if your SP-7 is not accepted by Supreme! In addition, councils will still receive 2020-21 credit for Supreme per-capita if they achieve Star Council this fraternal year, in addition to the above waiver.
    • A Supreme webinar on these changes was held on Thursday, April 30th. You can watch it here: Supreme Webinar on Star Council Changes
    • Star Council Changes Webinar Slides (PDF)
    • There is a Frequently Asked Questions PDF.
       
  • Changes for 2020-21:
    • Star Council requirements for the next fraternal year will be discussed in a webinar on June 25th.
    • Specific Supreme programs including the Marian Icon and Silver Rose have adjustments that you should review related to the pandemic. 
    • The Supreme convention will be virtual on August 4-5, 2020.
    • Council Financial Secretaries are being mailed three copies of the new Fraternal Planner. You can download a PDF here.
    • The form 365 on appointed offices in councils will be due 8/1 and the semi-annual audit on 8/15. If the Audit Committee cannot meet in-person to conduct the audit do so virtually. Many tools allow computer screens to be shared so data can be viewed by all committee members simultaneously. If necessary, the material can be emailed to committee members prior to the meeting. Be flexible and use common sense to complete the audit. Once each committee member provides confirmation that they agree with the data entered on the form, the audit can be submitted with the names of the committee typed into the signature lines.
    • Officer installations should be held virtually. Contact your District Deputy to arrange this. 

Supreme Training Website Changing:

The Supreme Council has discontinued the use of the SABA Learning Management Platform and will be hosting training resources directly on KofC.org. The new web page is now ready. There is a video introduction you can watch.

Updates to the For Members pages will provide the up to date and current resources for your officer role. Content will continue to be added through the start of the new fraternal year and council officers will receive further guidance and instructions. Should you have any questions or concerns, please contact fraternaltraining@kofc.org.

Use of Credit and Debit Cards:

Supreme has issued a memorandum on changes to the By-Laws of the order and councils on the proper use of credit and debit cards by councils.

Further information and updates will be forthcoming.