Tithing/Fast Offering Direct Deposit to Church HQ

Discussions about the Online Donation system.
BaDD1981
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Tithing/Fast Offering Direct Deposit to Church HQ

Postby BaDD1981 » Sun Jul 13, 2014 1:52 pm

I found information online about paying tithing and fast offerings directly to Church Headquarters. I am our ward's financial clerk. Our family personally pays directly to church headquarters. I see differing opinions online as to whether this is allowable for overall church membership. When I called the donations department they said they would welcome other ward members paying directly to church HQ, but, to not broadcast it to the ward.

I see a lot of upside to this method: everything's electronic, less human effort needed, less potential for human error.

I get a monthly emailed report from Church HQ with all my donations. I also have the option to have my donations be visible or not to my local unit.

Does anyone else have any more information on this subject or whether they've had any success in encouraging other "technologically minded" ward members to adopt this method.

Thank you

Church HQ Contact Info:

If you are currently or are interested in paying your tithing through this method, please contact the Church Donations Department by calling 801-240-2554 or emailing donations@ldschurch.org to see if you can continue/start using this method.

russellhltn
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Re: Tithing/Fast Offering Direct Deposit to Church HQ

Postby russellhltn » Sun Jul 13, 2014 2:12 pm

BaDD1981 wrote:When I called the donations department they said they would welcome other ward members paying directly to church HQ, but, to not broadcast it to the ward.


They told you not to broadcast it, but encouraging others is OK?
Have you searched the Wiki?
Try using a Google search by adding "site:tech.lds.org/wiki" to the search criteria.

lajackson
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Re: Tithing/Fast Offering Direct Deposit to Church HQ

Postby lajackson » Sun Jul 13, 2014 3:15 pm

russellhltn wrote:
BaDD1981 wrote:When I called the donations department they said they would welcome other ward members paying directly to church HQ, but, to not broadcast it to the ward.


They told you not to broadcast it, and here you are trying to encourage others?

I believe the Donation Department is willing to establish electronic bill pay for those who ask, but I do not believe they are ready to handle an influx of tens of thousands of members at once requesting the service.

It is available only to members with US funds at United States banking institutions. You cannot donate to the Ward Missionary Fund, but you can donate to almost every other category.

The process requires that the Donation Department set up a member in a database (just as any company payee would give you an account number to pay your mortgage or electric bill). If the member uses a bank that the Church has not worked with, the Donation Department would also need to contact that bank to set up the proper information for receiving the contribution electronically. To the bank, the Church is just another business being paid, but the bank needs the proper account number and information to send the payment to the Church.

The process also requires that the member set up the bill pay payees at their bank exactly according to the instructions so that the contribution will process electronically without human intervention. The Donation Department is inundated with paper checks from banks for members who have not followed the instructions as they should.

When I emailed and said I needed to order new checks and the only reason I needed them was to make contributions to the Church, I specifically said I was more than willing to order the checks and give my donations to the bishopric each Sunday as at present if that was the preferred donation method.

I received an email in return requesting the information the Church needed from me to set up donations using a bank bill pay system.

The email I received says, "You may pass along this form to others but please do not pass along the instructions since they are unique to you."

I submitted the information on Tuesday and it was processed that day by the Donations Department. By return email, I received detailed instruction on how to set up the bill pay payees at my bank. I was specifically told NOT to share that information. It is different for each bank and for each member.

At my bank, I set my first contribution to pay Friday, and the ward clerk showed me the batch report today, two days later, with my contribution. The entire donation processed electronically.

For this program to work properly, the member must contact the Donations Department first, they must make certain everything is set up properly in the database, and then the member must enter the Payee information properly at the bank so that the bank recognizes the Church and will send the payment electronically.

When all that happens, I think the Donation Department is perfectly fine with the process. They gave no indication to me at all that I should do anything else.

The entire setup process was handled by email and they said, "Please let us know if you need any further assistance" all along the way.

I would not announce it in sacrament meeting, and I didn't post the required information here. You would have to IM me for that.

But the process is in place and it works. Just don't everybody ask at once.

lajackson
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Re: Tithing/Fast Offering Direct Deposit to Church HQ

Postby lajackson » Sun Jul 13, 2014 3:20 pm

BaDD1981 wrote:I also have the option to have my donations be visible or not to my local unit.

This option was not made available to me. I was told, "Your bishop and ward clerk will be able to see your donations and you should attend tithing settlement as normal."

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johnshaw
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Re: Tithing/Fast Offering Direct Deposit to Church HQ

Postby johnshaw » Mon Jul 14, 2014 6:35 am

lajackson,

You can request to have the donations visible or not visible, the default provision is to pass the data through to the ward.
“A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom.”
― Thomas Paine, Common Sense

lajackson
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Re: Tithing/Fast Offering Direct Deposit to Church HQ

Postby lajackson » Mon Jul 14, 2014 9:24 am

johnshaw wrote:You can request to have the donations visible or not visible, the default provision is to pass the data through to the ward.

As I said, I was not given that option. I was specifically told that the "bishop and ward clerk will be able to see your donations."

If the option is available, they are not advertising it.

charles.r.douglas
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Re: Tithing/Fast Offering Direct Deposit to Church HQ

Postby charles.r.douglas » Sun Aug 03, 2014 12:46 pm

This is a great option for paying tithing. I had several members of my ward who were military using this option. I've been doing it for several years now. The only issue you will see (by default) is your donations will not show up on the ward information, so when you go into Tithing settlement you would want to bring the monthly statements the church sends to you that shows you made contributions.

lajackson
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Re: Tithing/Fast Offering Direct Deposit to Church HQ

Postby lajackson » Sun Aug 03, 2014 9:20 pm

charles.r.douglas wrote:The only issue you will see (by default) is your donations will not show up on the ward information, so when you go into Tithing settlement you would want to bring the monthly statements the church sends to you that shows you made contributions.

This is no longer the default. I was informed that my bishop and clerk would see my donations, and they do.

Each donation I make automatically generates a batch in the local unit MLS just as if my ward had done it. The donations show up on my year to date contribution listing, and the batches show up with an indication that they were generated by Church headquarters based on bill pay.

This may be new. I can see where the feedback to the wards might not have been possible when the system was first set up for exactly the reason you mention, service members serving in areas where they are not able to write checks and pay tithing.

Earlier posters have said they were given the option not to inform the local unit of their donations.

But the default now (and I was not given an option) is that my donations flow back to the local unit and become a part of my donation record in MLS.

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johnshaw
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Re: Tithing/Fast Offering Direct Deposit to Church HQ

Postby johnshaw » Wed Aug 27, 2014 5:56 am

charles.r.douglas wrote:The only issue you will see (by default) is your donations will not show up on the ward information, so when you go into Tithing settlement you would want to bring the monthly statements the church sends to you that shows you made contributions.


I've never known this to be a requirement for tithing settlement, there is a question and then there is an answer to the question.
“A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom.”

― Thomas Paine, Common Sense

mschaum
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Re: Tithing/Fast Offering Direct Deposit to Church HQ

Postby mschaum » Sun Sep 07, 2014 9:30 pm

I believe the purpose in bringing your statements to tithing settlement (if that information is not available to your ward) may be so they could give an accurate signed statement to you for tax purposes.


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