Fast Offerings

Discuss questions around local unit policies for budgeting, reconciling, etc. This forum should not contain specific financial or membership information.
drepouille
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Fast Offerings

Postby drepouille » Sun Jan 20, 2013 12:38 pm

Rookie question here. I thought all tithing and fast offering deposits were immediately skimmed by Church HQ. Therefore, there is no such thing as a ward fast offering fund, account, or balance.

A bishop just sent this to me:
"I sure hope HQ doesn't skim excess Fast Offerings as we are finally ahead on that account."
Dana Repouille, Plattsmouth, Nebraska

eblood66
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Re: Fast Offerings

Postby eblood66 » Sun Jan 20, 2013 12:55 pm

drepouille wrote:Rookie question here. I thought all tithing and fast offering deposits were immediately skimmed by Church HQ. Therefore, there is no such thing as a ward fast offering fund, account, or balance.

A bishop just sent this to me:
"I sure hope HQ doesn't skim excess Fast Offerings as we are finally ahead on that account."

You are correct. Any deposits to Fast Offering are immediately transferred out and fund are transferred in to cover checks as they are written. The ward Fast Offering account always stays at 0.

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johnshaw
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Re: Fast Offerings

Postby johnshaw » Sun Jan 20, 2013 1:35 pm

For FO, a Ward/Branch needs to understand that this is NOT their account, Other, Ward Missionary, and Budget are their accounts, anything else is a Church pass through.... What MLS shows is the amount of Income and amount of Expense associated with that account. if a Bishop wants to keep track of this percentage income/Expense they can do so in their accounts, but remember, all FO checks are covered by an account at CHQ, not a local account.
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gregwanderson
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Re: Fast Offerings

Postby gregwanderson » Sun Jan 20, 2013 4:33 pm

There seems to be a widely-held notion that a ward cannot "spend" more on Fast Offerings than it takes in. Maybe this is based on an outdated policy? Why do so many people want to keep tabs on this?

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Re: Fast Offerings

Postby lajackson » Sun Jan 20, 2013 4:48 pm

mrrad wrote:There seems to be a widely-held notion that a ward cannot "spend" more on Fast Offerings than it takes in. Maybe this is based on an outdated policy? Why do so many people want to keep tabs on this?

The notion that a ward should be self-sufficient in Fast Offerings is long-standing, but still just a notion. However, when a ward spends more than it receives, the stake president will normally work with the bishop to see that he is following proper procedures when it comes to using Fast Offering funds. And if the bishop is doing as he should, that will be the end of it.

When a stake spends more in Fast Offering funds that it receives, the stake president usually will be asked by his Area Seventy to make sure the bishops have been properly trained in
the doctrines, principles, and blessings related to spiritual and temporal welfare and the use of Fast Offering funds. It will probably also be suggested that it is time for some increased teaching in sacrament and other meetings on living the Law of the Fast, how Fast Offerings are used to assist the poor and needy, and other doctrines, principles, and blessings of self-reliance.

Many stake presidents will ask bishops to teach their members these things proactively.

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aebrown
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Re: Fast Offerings

Postby aebrown » Sun Jan 20, 2013 5:21 pm

mrrad wrote:There seems to be a widely-held notion that a ward cannot "spend" more on Fast Offerings than it takes in.

That is definitely not the policy. In the 2009 Worldwide Leadership Training: Basic Principles of Welfare and Self-Reliance, Bishop Burton taught (page 9):
Bishop H. David Burton wrote:There is no requirement, however, that fast-offering expenditures within the ward and stake remain in balance with fast-offering contributions.


mrrad wrote:Maybe this is based on an outdated policy? Why do so many people want to keep tabs on this?

However, even though there is no requirement that expenditures and donations remain in balance, the stake bishops' welfare council does have a responsibility (see HB 1, 5.3) to review trends in donations and assistance. So there is a responsibility to "keep tabs" on expenditures and donations in this area.

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gregwanderson
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Re: Fast Offerings

Postby gregwanderson » Sun Jan 20, 2013 10:21 pm

I wouldn't want anyone to think that the only time a Bishop's fast offering spending is checked is when it's more than the fast offering income. (So if you happen to have a few very generous donors in the ward then high expenditures will never raise a red flag.) According to how I see the Handbook, the Bishops and Stake President regularly discuss welfare needs. So whether or not the wards are receiving "enough" donations there shouldn't be any surprises about how much is being spent.

And, no, I've found nothing to indicate that either the ward or stake is responsible for receiving as much in fast offering donations as they disperse. (...so I wonder why an Area Seventy would bring it up as if it were required.) The only requirement is to follow guidelines on how to give welfare assistance. They encourage members to live the law of the fast, but I see no instruction on telling people to "be more generous because our stake needs to be more self-reliant in our fast offering expenditures." If Stake Presidents are somehow making the Bishops believe that they need to bring in as much as they disperse then it seems to me that they're giving the wrong message. I wonder how the fine Bishop in Nebraska came to this conclusion.

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Re: Fast Offerings

Postby russellhltn » Mon Jan 21, 2013 1:45 am

mrrad wrote:And, no, I've found nothing to indicate that either the ward or stake is responsible for receiving as much in fast offering donations as they disperse. (...so I wonder why an Area Seventy would bring it up as if it were required.)


Sounds like a mix of the "telephone game" and perhaps some spin. As a church I can certainly see where the brethren would want to see a net cash positive in first-world countries. Usually stakes cover a large enough area that there should be some diversity in economic status. So having a net negative at the stake level is likely to trigger some attention. That's not the same as saying it's a requirement. Not unless the stake leaders are afraid of attention.
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Re: Fast Offerings

Postby dannykos » Mon Jan 21, 2013 8:41 am

Well in my ward I have made a personal decision to aim to be self sufficient in both fast offerings, and ward missionary funding. That's not to say that I will alter my decision making in respect of any particular need - it's just something I would like the ward to be able to achieve, to look after our own.

Having said that - we're looking at having up to 11 full time missionaries serving from the ward this year, so that will be particularly challenging!


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