Tithing Electronic Payments to SLC not showing in local report

Discussions around using and interfacing with the Church MLS program.
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JeffTurgeon
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Tithing Electronic Payments to SLC not showing in local report

Postby JeffTurgeon » Sun Jan 15, 2012 3:48 pm

We have members that basically do everything electronically; they no longer use checks. As such they now contribute directly to SLC through electronic transfers.

The problem is that MLS is not showing that they have ever made a donation.

The belief was that these transfers would eventually show up at the end of the year for tithing settlement, but that hasn't happened. Our statement reports are showing zero contributions. They got a couple of electronic statements throughout the year that showing contributions being made through November, but the computer still reports zero.

Is there something that needs to be updated in MLS to get these donations to show up?

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BellMR
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Postby BellMR » Sun Jan 15, 2012 5:19 pm

Those donations will not show up in MLS under the current system, SLC will send a statement directly to the member.

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gregwanderson
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Postby gregwanderson » Sun Jan 15, 2012 5:24 pm

I think you have to look at this the way you would if the members had donated to a different ward. Your MLS records simply will not show donations made to a different unit. In this case, that unit is at church headquarters. The donor should request any statements from the entity they're dealing with and, in this case, that's not your ward.

I'm not sure if the donors misunderstood the arrangement or if you, in the Bishopric or ward clerk capacity, have misunderstood. But, in my experience, your belief that "these transfers would eventually show up" were a misunderstanding. I still think it's nothing for YOU to worry about. This is between the donor and the other entity in Salt Lake.

We used to have three different ward members who donated "in kind" directly to church headquarters. Their donations were in the form of stocks and bonds, I think. But the specifics of what was donated and what it was worth was essentially none of our business on the ward level. Those donors reported themselves as full tithe payers despite our records showing zero for donations. I doubt the Bishop ever asked them to report the numbers to him, just as a Bishop is unlikely to ask a member who moved in mid-year to declare to him the exact amount they donated to their previous ward.

The only exception, in my experience, was when one of the "in kind" donors had a family member serving as a full-time missionary. In that case, we received a letter from HQ informing us that a specific dollar amount was transfered by headquarters into our Ward Missionary account to cover our ward's resposibility for that missionary. There was still nothing on our ward computer to show the member had donated anything. We merely received a letter from HQ to explain why the money appeared in our account.

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Postby russellhltn » Sun Jan 15, 2012 5:56 pm

mrrad wrote:But, in my experience, your belief that "these transfers would eventually show up" were a misunderstanding. I still think it's nothing for YOU to worry about. This is between the donor and the other entity in Salt Lake.


I think there's been some indication that we're headed that way, but we're not there yet.

I agree we shouldn't worry about it until we learn that it is working.
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greggo
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Postby greggo » Mon Jan 16, 2012 11:34 am

My experience is the same as mrrad's. I assume electronic donations to CHQ are handled the same as "in kind" donations. In this case, the only donations that will "show up" in ward records are donations to ward missionary, and they won't indicate where they came from.

In regards to the annual donations status report, it's my opinion (not required by MLS) that a full or part-tithe declaration with a zero amount in the tithing category should also include a comment to explain it (such as "donated directly to church headquarters" in this case).

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Mon Jan 16, 2012 1:58 pm

RussellHltn wrote:I think there's been some indication that we're headed that way, but we're not there yet.

I agree we shouldn't worry about it until we learn that it is working.


I haven't seen any such indication. There has been discussion of a consolidated statement being sent to members who donate to more than one unit (and in this context, Church headquarters would be another unit). But everything I've seen on this topic very clearly states that any details on donations made directly to Church headquarters will not be made available to the local unit (unless part of the donation goes to a locally managed category such as Ward Missionary). Information about such donations goes directly from CHQ to the member, and I don't think that will change (I'm sure there are plenty of people who sincerely hope it doesn't change).
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