Pay FO online or have deacons come collect?

Discussions about the Online Donation system.
AndrewsenLA
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Pay FO online or have deacons come collect?

Postby AndrewsenLA » Wed Jan 25, 2017 10:05 am

We are wondering if there is any counsel about whether to pay fast offerings online along with our tithing and other donations or keep letting the deacons come collect it each month. Some argue that if everyone paid online the deacons wouldn't have anything to do and that is their responsibility to collect FO. Others suggest it is fine to pay FO online because the deacons still have other responsibilities to do.

Any suggestions? Have any of the Brethren or Church announcements touched on this topic?

russellhltn
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Re: Pay FO online or have deacons come collect?

Postby russellhltn » Wed Jan 25, 2017 11:17 am

I'd suggest starting with Handbook 2: 8.5.
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Try using a Google search by adding "site:tech.lds.org/wiki" to the search criteria.

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aebrown
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Re: Pay FO online or have deacons come collect?

Postby aebrown » Wed Jan 25, 2017 8:46 pm

AndrewsenLA wrote:Some argue that if everyone paid online the deacons wouldn't have anything to do and that is their responsibility to collect FO. Others suggest it is fine to pay FO online because the deacons still have other responsibilities to do.

The handbook section referenced by RussellHltn makes it clear that the bishop's directs how fast offerings are collected. In our ward, the bishop chose to give no encouragement either way. Those who choose to pay their fast offerings online simply communicated their preference and were removed from the fast offering collection routes. I would note that the thought that "everyone" might pay online is only theoretical; in our ward, far less than half of the members pay online. We also have many less-active members who may not come to meetings (and are unlikely to visit LDS.org) but are generous souls who are happy to help the needy. So there are plenty of people for the deacons to visit.

russellhltn
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Re: Pay FO online or have deacons come collect?

Postby russellhltn » Wed Jan 25, 2017 9:19 pm

I'd note that there are not two choices, but 3. There's still the in-person/mail-in donation slip.
Have you searched the Wiki?

Try using a Google search by adding "site:tech.lds.org/wiki" to the search criteria.

AndrewsenLA
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Re: Pay FO online or have deacons come collect?

Postby AndrewsenLA » Thu Jan 26, 2017 8:05 am

Thank you for your replies. I understand the Handbook and appreciate that your bishop doesn't say one way or the other; however, as I mentioned some are paying via deacons because they think that is the "right" way to do it. Without letting them know that it is perfectly acceptable to go online and have their name taken off the route listing, they will continue paying deacons. I guess we are (perhaps incorrectly) assuming that having the functionality available to those who can and want to use it is what we should be doing. To me, it is similar to whether one requests a hardcopy priesthood manual vs. using LDS Library or LDS.org to use an electronic version. In this case, we have been instructed to encourage members to use the electronic version, which saves sacred funds by reducing printing costs. The root of my question is whether there has been any similar Church encouragement to use the electronic online FO payments instead of the "manual" methods. The Church has made great strides to free up administrative work, including that done by finance clerks on Sundays. Just wondered.........

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aebrown
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Re: Pay FO online or have deacons come collect?

Postby aebrown » Thu Jan 26, 2017 9:13 am

AndrewsenLA wrote:Thank you for your replies. I understand the Handbook and appreciate that your bishop doesn't say one way or the other; however, as I mentioned some are paying via deacons because they think that is the "right" way to do it.

As I reread what I wrote, I can see I wasn't clear. Our bishop specifically addressed the issue and told members that it was totally fine to pay fast offerings online, via a donation envelope, or to the deacons. No one who heard him could think that paying via the deacons was the only right way to make these donations. Any of the ways of donating are right; it's just a matter of personal preference.

I'm unaware of any guidance from the Church that would indicate any preference for how donations are made. It seems to me that all the documentation about the online donations system makes it clear that this a donation method that members are welcome to use, but by no means are required or even encouraged to use. It's just simply one possible option.

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sbradshaw
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Re: Pay FO online or have deacons come collect?

Postby sbradshaw » Thu Jan 26, 2017 6:26 pm

aebrown wrote:I would note that the thought that "everyone" might pay online is only theoretical; in our ward, far less than half of the members pay online.

One of the wards in our stake only had to process one person's donations manually during the last audit period – everyone else paid online. Student YSA stake, of course (I think the one who paid manually was an international student who didn't have a U.S. bank account). :)
Samuel Bradshaw • Interested in church apps and sites, creative recordkeeping, clerk support, YSA wards and stakes, LDS music, Vineyard at BYU, and online service.


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