Donations Received via Bill Payer Service

Discuss questions around local unit policies for budgeting, reconciling, etc. This forum should not contain specific financial or membership information.
jfackerson
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Donations Received via Bill Payer Service

Postby jfackerson » Thu May 22, 2008 9:00 am

My ward has begun to receive donation checks within Bill Payer Envelopes. These envelopes don't contain any Donation Form and any allocation list is printed on check, itself.

During donation processing within Clerks' Office, at this point, we've had to stop, find a paper donation form and manually fill it in. :rolleyes:

Using an OpenOffice 4-column spreadsheet, we've generated a soft copy Donation Form, based on paper version 5/01, 31592.

This we have posted as an Excel file to News & Information (N&I) page of our Local Unit Web Site (LUWS).

We've included the following comment to accompany this downloadable form.

----- Begin N & I Post -----
Attached spreadsheet, provides an alternative to using standard 2 ply donation slip -- top white sheet, with yellow pen pressure transfer paper underneath.

After entering data within spreadsheet cells, print 2 copies, one for personal record and another copy to enclose, along with check(s), cash and coin(s), within Donation Envelope.

If using Bill Payer Service, which generates a check for delivery to Bishop via USPS, prepare a separate Donation Envelope containing this donation allocation list and give to any member of Bishopric. If available, do include Check Number and Date from on-line Bill Payer Service. Financial Clerk needs to keep a copy of what each member or family has listed as being donated.

If check from Bill Payer has an undetachable itemized listing of donations as part of check itself, then Financial Clerk and Bishopric member need to stop and hand write a copy for ward records. This slows processing of all Sunday donations. Please help by giving us a separate itemized list for Clerks' Office retention.

Thanks
----- End N & I Post -----
Attachments
Donation Form.ods
(17.48 KiB) Downloaded 227 times
Donation Form for TECH.LDS.ORG.xls
(75 KiB) Downloaded 266 times

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Thu May 22, 2008 9:21 am

H. Forth wrote:My ward has begun to receive donation checks within Bill Payer Envelopes. These envelopes don't contain any Donation Form and any allocation list is printed on check, itself.

... Using an OpenOffice 4-column spreadsheet, we've generated a soft copy Donation Form, based on paper version 5/01, 31592. This we have posted as an Excel file to News & Information (N&I) page of our Local Unit Web Site (LUWS).


A comment and a question:

First of all, for all the reasons you chose to post your form in Excel format to your LUWS, it would be a good idea to use Excel format to post spreadsheets to this forum. I personally don't have Open Office on every computer I may use to view this forum, so the .ods format is not too helpful.

Second, I'm curious how this is working out for you. I would think that the reason that many people use a bill pay service is that they can set it up and be done with it. They then don't have to remember on Sunday to write a check or fill out a form. This process that you have set up seems like a great help to the clerks, but might be perceived as a hassle by the donors. Are people actually complying with your request, or do you still get a lot of bill pay mailings from people who don't turn in a corresponding donation form?

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Mikerowaved
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Postby Mikerowaved » Thu May 22, 2008 12:54 pm

When we receive these types of donations In our clerk's office we first look at the check for comments regarding categories. 95% of them so far have the categories and donation amounts listed. We then fill out a slip for them and include it in the batch. It's not that big of a deal for us, in fact sometimes I will give them the yellow copy the following Sunday for their records.

For those without any categories noted we give them a quick phone call. If we still could not resolve it, then it all goes toward tithing per our instructions.

Once a phone call is made, the donors usually realize that either they need to make notes on the check for specific categories, or if that's not possible with their bill-pay system, then to expect it all to go toward tithing.
So we can better help you, please edit your Profile to include your general location.

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Thu May 22, 2008 1:30 pm

Mikerowaved wrote:For those without any categories noted we give them a quick phone call. If we still could not resolve it, then it all goes toward tithing per our instructions.


In this post and another post you made on this subject, you seem to be saying that there is some sort of policy that says any donation that doesn't specify distinct donation categories is to be credited entirely to Tithing. Is that a local policy your ward or stake has set, or is that according to some instructions from CHQ? If the latter, I don't recall hearing that and would appreciate it if you could let me know the source of the policy.

When I was a ward financial clerk, our policy was to make an assumption of the category if the donor had a well-established pattern. For example, Sister Jones pays $125 in Tithing around the first of each month; if we get a $125 donation from her on the 4th of May with no category specified, we assume it's Tithing. If Brother Smith donates $50 each Fast Sunday for Fast Offerings, and we get a $50 donation from him on a Fast Sunday with no category specified, we assume it's a Fast Offering. At Tithing Settlement, we would assume Tithing. Other than such clear cases, we had the bishop hold the donation until we could contact the donor. That was clearly just a local policy, but I never knew of any general policy.

jfackerson
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Donation Checks via Bill Payer Services

Postby jfackerson » Thu May 22, 2008 5:18 pm

Previous to creating this custom form, we'd seen one brother who always
recorded his donations on a neatly typed donation slip. We assume that he
still has some legacy electro-mechanical device -- typewriter.
We'd cheer to see his typed version.
Handwriting of some members often causes us to have to
stop and do some math in order to confirm certain digits.

Bill payer checks began to appear in about mid 2007.
We expect to see more.
Instead of buying a separate photocopier or scanner for Clerks' Office to duplicate
all these checks before sending to bank, we're making this appeal for
members to give us a retainable donation list.
Appeal was first made, last month, April 2008. ...No results yet to report.

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johnshaw
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Electronic Bill Pay

Postby johnshaw » Fri May 23, 2008 5:46 am

When I have a member that does this, I give them the instructions to pay directly to the Church. This lets the member make the decisions about where the donation goes, and eliminates the process friction for the clerk and counselor.

jfackerson
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Postby jfackerson » Fri May 23, 2008 11:12 am

If they make such donations, directly to CHQ, how would we ever receive for them, at end of year, a donation summary for settlement and tax statement for IRS? I know that a few do directly send to CHQ, but those are dealing in stock and land donations. Any thoughts. I'd really like to know.

When someone from another unit -- and their unit number is known to us -- gives donation during our meeting, and we record their unit number, will their donation be automatically transferred to their unit MLS or will it remain locally? We do have record of their current address, but they are only temporarily visiting. Will we need to send them a tax statement, too, although they have returned home?

russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Fri May 23, 2008 11:19 am

H. Forth wrote:If they make such donations, directly to CHQ, how would we ever receive for them, at end of year, a donation summary for settlement and tax statement for IRS?


You don't. CHQ issues the tax statement for the portion that's sent to CHQ.

jfackerson
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Postby jfackerson » Fri May 23, 2008 11:28 am

Aha! Then we should definitely encourage all users of Bill Payer Services
to donate and mail directly to CHQ.

I suppose that at end of year, with statement in hand, from CHQ, such members
would bring that to settlement. And CHQ would also send them a tax statement, too.

Wow! The time we will save will be increasing.

We'll check into finding an address for all those using Bill Payer Services
to re-direct their donations away from our Bishop.
I wonder if it's already listed within MLS?

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Fri May 23, 2008 11:50 am

H. Forth wrote:When someone from another unit -- and their unit number is known to us -- gives donation during our meeting, and we record their unit number, will their donation be automatically transferred to their unit MLS or will it remain locally? We do have record of their current address, but they are only temporarily visiting. Will be need to send them a tax statement, too, although they have returned home?


All financial records are kept at the unit where the donation is received. So if someone lives in two different wards during a year, and also makes a donation directly to Church Headquarters, they will need three separate tax statements, each issued by the unit where the donation was received.

At the end of the year, If you have a valid address for a donor who has subsequently moved out of your ward, or was never a member of your ward, you should send them a year-end tax statement. If they have not provided you an address, then it is their responsibility to contact you and request the year-end tax statement.


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