Non-Bishopric members receiving Fundraiser funds

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tilaloz
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Non-Bishopric members receiving Fundraiser funds

Postby tilaloz » Sun Jul 21, 2013 6:20 am

The handbook is pretty clear that Tithing and Offerings from members are to be given only to Bishopric members. So I guess my question is: are fundraiser funds considered to be an offering and therefore should be given only to a Bishopric member?

I'm leaning towards no as they are not considered tax-deductible and are supposed remain in the Other account for the purpose they were received (i.e., annual camp expenses).

Any thoughts?

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gregwanderson
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Re: Non-Bishopric members receiving Fundraiser funds

Postby gregwanderson » Sun Jul 21, 2013 12:34 pm

My first thought is: ask the Bishop how he would like the money to be handled. In the end, the persons responsible for this money are those who put their initials and signatures on the paperwork. That would be clerks and members of the Bishopric, whether it's a charitable donation or not. There is no policy nor "paper trail" making the Young Men President responsible if there is a problem. Meanwhile, the clerks and Bishopric have specific training, procedures and habits when it comes to handling money. They are far less likely to do something that would violate policy and/or put the money at risk.

Does this mean a Bishopric member has to stay at the cash register and accept every payment at a bake sale fundraiser? Or can the Young Women leadership handle it all until the very end and then give a bag of cash to someone in the Bishopric? The best answer might depend on the nature of the fundraiser and exactly how the money is given to "the event." But I say the money needs to go to the Bishopric member as early as possible in the process.

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Mikerowaved
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Re: Non-Bishopric members receiving Fundraiser funds

Postby Mikerowaved » Sun Jul 21, 2013 2:01 pm

I agree 100% with Greg. It doesn't matter whether they are tax deductible or not, if it gets deposited in the church's bank account, the ward is responsible for the funds. Get it into the hands of the bishopric as early as practical in the process. Besides removing temptation, the opening and counting will be done by 2 authorized brethren that have strict procedures to follow in case of discrepancies.
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funaddict
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Re: Non-Bishopric members receiving Fundraiser funds

Postby funaddict » Sun Jul 21, 2013 2:15 pm

I personally don't consider fundraiser funds or other camp, high adventure, etc. funds to be "sacred funds". IMHO, the clerks/bishopric's responsibility for those funds begins when the money is turned over to them. Before that point the money is likely to pass through various people's hands including the youth earning/raising the money, parents, leaders and counsellors, committee members, etc. For example if a scout is selling US flags as a fundraiser for scout camp, I don't think it's practical to have a member of the bishopric accompany him door to door in case anyone buys a flag and hands over some money or a check.

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Mikerowaved
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Re: Non-Bishopric members receiving Fundraiser funds

Postby Mikerowaved » Sun Jul 21, 2013 2:27 pm

funaddict wrote:I personally don't consider fundraiser funds or other camp, high adventure, etc. funds to be "sacred funds".

Sacred or not, there is still responsibility and accountability in accepting and storing the funds until they are used.

funaddict wrote:IMHO, the clerks/bishopric's responsibility for those funds begins when the money is turned over to them. Before that point the money is likely to pass through various people's hands including the youth earning/raising the money, parents, leaders and counsellors, committee members, etc. For example if a scout is selling US flags as a fundraiser for scout camp, I don't think it's practical to have a member of the bishopric accompany him door to door in case anyone buys a flag and hands over some money or a check.

I don't disagree with you at all. I just believe it would be best to get the funds into the hands of a bishopric member sooner, rather than later.
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funaddict
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Re: Non-Bishopric members receiving Fundraiser funds

Postby funaddict » Sun Jul 21, 2013 2:57 pm

When I was a ward finance clerk, the scoutmaster and I were going over the proceeds of the scout camp fundraiser and preparing them to be turned in to the bishop, and someone from the other ward that shares the building (and clerk's office) chastised us for handling money without a bishopric member present. I expressed my view that these were not necessarily sacred funds, especially since they had not even been turned in yet. They had been in the Scoutmasters possession for several weeks and he was asking me how the various donations should be submitted eg. a separate slip for each, or one massive "anonymous" donation. I was helping him prepare the slip, and was debating whether we needed to have a bishopric member there or if two clerks could process the fundraiser funds as a separate batch, separate from the normal tithing and offerings donation that day. We ended up processing as a separate batch with a bishopric member present, but I don't know that we "had" to.

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Re: Non-Bishopric members receiving Fundraiser funds

Postby lajackson » Sun Jul 21, 2013 3:08 pm

funaddict wrote:We ended up processing as a separate batch with a bishopric member present, but I don't know that we "had" to.

I have not tested it, but I suspect that today you will have to have a bishopric member present. I think MLS has been coded so that two clerks cannot authorize a batch.

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Re: Non-Bishopric members receiving Fundraiser funds

Postby Mikerowaved » Sun Jul 21, 2013 4:02 pm

funaddict wrote:They had been in the Scoutmasters possession for several weeks and he was asking me how the various donations should be submitted eg. a separate slip for each, or one massive "anonymous" donation.

In my first year of being a finance clerk I struggled with this question too and decided to enter it all as a "lump" donation. Everything was good until... 1) A couple of checks bounced and finding out WHICH of the bazillion $20 checks in the batch were the actual ones that bounced was NOT trivial. This was before CUBS, so maybe it's easier now, I don't know. 2) After issuing to the members their YTD donation statements prior to tithing settlement, we had a couple of people ask why the scout funds they sent in were not included on the statement, even in the non-taxable column. I didn't have a good answer. Nor could anyone really verify that their particular cash funds were actually deposited. All traceability for cash was gone.

Ever since then, we created individual donation slips for each person's contribution. We relied solely on the records kept by the people doing the fundraising (e.g. Scoutmaster), but it gave us much better traceability, especially for all the cash donations. Yes, it DOES take more time, but I was motivated NOT to put myself in that position again.
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