Donations through Billpay

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wrpdmd
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Donations through Billpay

Postby wrpdmd » Thu Jan 06, 2011 6:10 pm

By sending an email to donations@ldschurch.org, I got set up to make tithing and fast offering donations through my banks billpay feature.

There were forms to fill out, and instructions on how to enter the information into the banks website.

I use this, and I'm sure there are others who might enjoy using this as well. (Quick, no check involved for me or my ward, and I assume anonymous.)

I state this, because I noted that the wiki sections on "Donations by bill payment service" and "Donations to Church Headquarters" don't mention this.

Is this because the church doesn't want a lot of people doing this, or is it new (I started only recently,) or some other reason?

I didn't feel my writing and knowledge were good enough to start editing wiki's without some discussion.

Thanks for your time.

allenjpl
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Postby allenjpl » Thu Jan 06, 2011 6:36 pm

Is it a true "online" payment? That is, you you actually pay electronically to the church?

The way my bank's billpay (and I believe most bank's as well) is that although you don't cut a check, a physical check *is* cut and sent in the mail. The physical check, which does not include any of your own bank information, simply says "for your customer's account" in a note area, and is mailed to the Bishop. Which leads me to my second question: Are you paying directly to CHQ, or does the information you input include your Bishop's address?

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Thu Jan 06, 2011 6:40 pm

wrpdmd wrote:Is this because the church doesn't want a lot of people doing this, or is it new (I started only recently,) or some other reason?


The Church is not set up to handle BillPay directly to CHQ (electronically) on any significant scale, so this is not an option for regular members for convenience. It is reserved for those (such as perhaps members in the military overseas) who don't have other reasonable ways to make donations. I get the impression that the nice people at the Donations Department have a hard time saying no to people, but I've been assured by managers there that they really can't handle large numbers of BillPay donors at this point.

But there are indications that a different way of doing this will be available in the future, so just be patient.
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imcurtis
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Postby imcurtis » Thu Jan 06, 2011 10:34 pm

It is good to know about this option.

I can think of two examples other than the one aebrown mentioned.
1) If your donations are large. For example do you think that the very wealthy want to donate to their local ward? How would the assistant clerk over finances handle the regular (monthly) tithing check that is coming from one of his ward members that amounts to his annual salary? There is great temptation there. What I mean is what if the asst. clerk has an annual salary of 100k and he processes a check each month from member X that is 300k. How does he handle this? How long did it take you to calculate how much member X must be earning a year to donate that much? Then how tempting would it be to tell his wife or best friend what member X is making a year? This and other tempations are easily avoided if member X donates directly to the CHQ.
2) I have known people who don’t trust their ward clerks, for various reasons. But a couple of them have been the victim of gossip and the whole ward knowing how much they donate and they don’t make any more that others in their ward. You might think that is a one off experience but I have seen people walk up and congratulate someone in the hall at church for a bonus and raise that they had told no one about. The only way that information could have gotten out was if the clerk noticed the donation and talked about it.

So there are good reasons to donate directly to CHQ but I would think the number of people who do this is small. With the prevelance of online banking growing I would expect that there will be enough pressure that there will be a system in place before long.

I know in our ward we get bank checks from people every week. They are donating directly from an online bank or bill pay system. I started doing it after I became ward clerk just so see how it worked. We have even had some people send themselves checks from online bill pay then donate them like other checks. So there are several ways to make this work. Some are just more [font=Calibri]convenient than others.[/font]

Curtis

lajackson
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Postby lajackson » Thu Jan 06, 2011 10:45 pm

imcurtis wrote:It is good to know about this option.


In either of the situations you mentioned, the clerk would not be functioning as a clerk the following week around here if he was not able to keep confidential information confidential.

Nevertheless, we have been reminded by CHQ that each donation is manually processed and they are not staffed to handle electronic donations from the general membership.

Many have suggested that those using a bank bill pay service write the check to the ward and mail it to themselves (preferred, in my opinion) or the bishop, and then the clerks deposit it using the normal procedures.

I am also aware that in many countries personal checks no longer exist, and members must contribute electronically.

I personally believe it will not be long before systems will be in place where that will be possible in the US. In the meantime, I write one check a month -- to the ward. Within a few months, my bank account will no longer allow the writing of checks, and at that point, if they do nothing sooner, CHQ will have one more donation to process manually on a regular basis.

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Postby imcurtis » Thu Jan 06, 2011 11:55 pm

Yes, clerks can be released but the damage is done.

Most banks that stop allowing personal checks have a means to send a check to a non-electronic vendor. So just set your bishop of as a vendor and send your checks to him. To make it easy on the clerks send each donation seperate and make sure to note the category. So sent a check (payment) for tithing with tithing in the memo then another check for fast offering with fast in the memo, and so on. That way when the clerk opens the envelope the check will tell him how to classify the donation. Different checks insure the categories are kept seperate. Combining them will work but you have to have the same guys counting. If you have the one guy that doesn't count that often the whole check might end up in tithing.

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Postby russellhltn » Fri Jan 07, 2011 1:38 am

imcurtis wrote:So just set your bishop of as a vendor and send your checks to him. To make it easy on the clerks send each donation seperate and make sure to note the category.


Or, just have it mailed to yourself and you turn it in with a donation slip just like everyone else.
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marianomarini
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Postby marianomarini » Fri Jan 07, 2011 3:41 am

Yes, clerks can be released but the damage is done.

Is clerk come from Mars or was he known before his calling? Who make that call?
This kind of argumentation leed easily to try to find out a way to "prevent mistakes", and this is not a Gospel way!
I'll support better a bad reputation once in a while than an ever untrust to my leaders. (What to say to HT or VT? Personal interview, ecc., or only money MUST be "secret"?).
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Life is a endless lesson of humility (Anonimous).

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Fri Jan 07, 2011 5:40 am

imcurtis wrote:So there are good reasons to donate directly to CHQ but I would think the number of people who do this is small. With the prevelance of online banking growing I would expect that there will be enough pressure that there will be a system in place before long.


There are already other methods for donating directly to CHQ for those exceptional circumstances that do not use a BillPay mechanism. See the wiki article Donations to Church Headquarters.

As for the BillPay donations, it's not a matter of "enough pressure." Believe me, the Donations Department feels the pressure. The efforts are well underway to get the new system in place. But there are a lot of pieces to the puzzle. The new CUBS system was one step along the way, but there are other elements still to be developed. So again, please be patient. Nothing anyone can do at this point in terms of pressure will speed up the process. It is indeed a priority.
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marianomarini
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Postby marianomarini » Fri Jan 07, 2011 7:13 am

Did you think that that system wil bee world wide worthing? Just curious to know if this will change our actual practice.
La vita è una lezione interminabile di umiltà (Anonimo).
Life is a endless lesson of humility (Anonimous).


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