"Anonymous" contributions to a ward missionary fund

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"Anonymous" contributions to a ward missionary fund

Postby dmiller048 » Tue Dec 15, 2015 10:05 pm

I wish to make an anonymous contribution to a ward missionary fund for a specific missionary who is not in my ward. I understand that I can make an online contribution for the missionary by selecting "Missionary in Other Ward or Branch" under the "Ward Missionary Fund" category, and then entering the Ward Number, and then selecting the specific missionary from the drop-down list. By doing it this way, the contribution is recorded under my name and as such will show up on my Donor Statement (for tax reporting purposes).

My question: Is it possible to make the contribution to the ward missionary fund anonymously such that the missionary and the missionary's family will not know that I made the contribution? And if so, will the family know the account balance so that they know not to "over" contribute to their missionary's account? If the family asks the clerk for a printout of the contributions to their missionary's account (e.g., to see if they're up to date on their payments or to see what the remaining balance is), will the printout include my name attached to my contribution (thus spoiling my anonymity)? Will the clerk know not to tell the family the name of the anonymous contributor?

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Re: "Anonymous" contributions to a ward missionary fund

Postby sbradshaw » Tue Dec 15, 2015 10:36 pm

I don't know if a printout would have your name, but it might be good to work with the clerk directly to make sure it's kept anonymous.
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Re: "Anonymous" contributions to a ward missionary fund

Postby gregwanderson » Wed Dec 16, 2015 2:10 pm

Agreed. It should be easy to find the Bishop's phone number and remind him of your privacy concerns. The clerk already shouldn't be showing any printouts to anyone which might contain information on someone else's contribution (with the exception of showing it to the specific ward leaders who can access this information on MLS anyway). The clerk should only tell the family what the current balance is in the ward missionary subcategory, There is no reason to share more detailed information about the donations/expenses that add up to that balance.

Just to be clear, it appears that you don't really want your donation to be anonymous. You simply don't want the missionary's family to know that you are contributing, But it appears that you don't object to the Ward leaders knowing who you are. In that case, you shouldn't have any concerns because what you want is already going to happen if all parties follow policies already in place. But a gentle reminder (conversation with that Bishop) wouldn't hurt.

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Re: "Anonymous" contributions to a ward missionary fund

Postby russellhltn » Wed Dec 16, 2015 2:56 pm

sbradshaw wrote:I don't know if a printout would have your name, but it might be good to work with the clerk directly to make sure it's kept anonymous.

I'd amend that to "clerks" - the Ward clerks and financial clerks to be specific.

But that is the best route for a couple of reasons. While clerks shouldn't be showing printouts, one may not realize the issue since the sub-account is "theirs". Secondly, clerks usually don't concern themselves about positive balances and may not tell the family to adjust their donation. If you try to be completely anonymous, you're not going to get the receipt the IRS wants you to have to declare donations of $250 or more.
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