Automated Donation Update

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rich
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Automated Donation Update

Postby rich » Sat May 17, 2014 9:46 am

Rather than extend an already lengthy topic chain here...

I'd thought clerks would appreciate an update about what the church has made available to automate member donations in many bank (on-line) billpay systems. I couldn't find this instruction or info posted anywhere for clerks, so at the risk of duplication. The steps were straight forward to donate on-line through a bank bill pay system. Here is the way it worked for me, experimenting a bit with it...

Wells Fargo, Affinity FCU, Peapack-Gladstone Bank and I am sure many other banks have pre-populated the following payee/pay-to in their on-line billpay systems: LDS-Tithing, LDS-Fast Offering, LDS-Book of Mormon, LDS-General Missionary, LDS-Humanitarian, LDS-Perpetual Education Fund, LDS-Temple Construction, LDS-Temple Patron

Member side: 1) Select an appropriate LDS-* payee/pay-to above 2) Uses their MRN as an account number 3) Initiates a donation transaction through the bank

Clerk side: Within about 4-8 hours after the member receives confirmation from their bank the transaction has completed, the unit clerk will receive local confirmation in MLS that the member donation has been received (i.e. an MLS YTD summary of donations showed the transaction)

This will greatly reduce the amount of donation paperwork, checks and cash I have to process in the ward. Members have reported their appreciation for the simplification. It appears this will have no impact on the year-end tithing settlement process, financial audits should go much quicker as well. Thanks to the CHQ teams that made this available (tying a MRN to a billpay). Please correct if I have misrepresented anything. I don't think the banks will mind the free advertisement in this post :cool:

russellhltn
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Re: Automated Donation Update

Postby russellhltn » Sat May 17, 2014 12:54 pm

Many times, the church rolls these things out by area to avoid overwhelming the system as they work out the kinks. To hear that this is available in the US is encouraging, but since I don't think there has been a general announcement, it may not yet be available to all or ready for general use.
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Biggles
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Re: Automated Donation Update

Postby Biggles » Sat May 17, 2014 1:43 pm

Recently we were informed that for us in Europe, it would be at least 2 years away before we are likely to be able to make donations electronically!

rich
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Re: Automated Donation Update

Postby rich » Sat May 17, 2014 4:12 pm

To russellhltn:

Agreed... I should have set the context with "is starting to make available..." and that I am from a unit in NANE. Simply meant to give clerk-types a ray of hope that the church is making a significant step forward from the not so useful options discussed just 6 months ago for paying tithing online.

Underscoring your point though, even in the U.S., members in my stake report some big banks (i.e. Bank of America) don't have "LDS-*" pre-populated as a payee/pay-to. When a member shared this fact, I opened a BoA account to test manually created "LDS-*" payto transactions. BoA set a transaction deadline to clear Thu 22May. Will let folks know if it works...

To Biggles:

Now that the church is making automated ACH (billpay) available to members linked with their MRN, I think it would be quicker than 2 years for Europe. Either via an IAT (International ACH Transaction - see attached) or if the church has formal banking presence in Europe, 2 years seems on the long side. But I understand the impatience such a statement would cause, we'll hope for a more timely solution.
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Biggles
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Re: Automated Donation Update

Postby Biggles » Sat May 17, 2014 10:35 pm

Just rechecked the email sent in early March, from our LUF office and quoting "but this is a brand new program and it is probably a couple of years away from being implemented." This relates to a proposed secure web site donation payment system.

In answer to rich's statement, I personally am not impatient! Just looking forward to when and/if this system is implemented. I also acknowledge that that is not directed at me personally, but some will be impatient for any type of electronic donation system to happen sooner rather than later.

manielsen2002
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Re: Automated Donation Update

Postby manielsen2002 » Tue May 27, 2014 7:34 pm

It is my understanding that the member needs to enroll in this process first by emailing donations@ldschurch.org and receive instructions on how to enroll before this process will work properly. This way the MBR# is registered, the church then give the specifics on what info to use for billpay, even when the bank is not setup for it previously, such as Chase bank.

rich
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Re: Automated Donation Update

Postby rich » Sun Jun 01, 2014 12:12 pm

Biggles wrote:Just rechecked the email sent in early March, from our LUF office and quoting "but this is a brand new program and it is probably a couple of years away from being implemented." This relates to a proposed secure web site donation payment system.

In answer to rich's statement, I personally am not impatient! Just looking forward to when and/if this system is implemented. I also acknowledge that that is not directed at me personally, but some will be impatient for any type of electronic donation system to happen sooner rather than later.


A former bishop in the UK returned to the US recently and shared with me that the UK has a better way to automate tithing donations than what is being started through US billpay. He said the program is called "Give As You Earn" - https://www.cafonline.org/giving-as-a-company/engaging-employees/caf-give-as-you-earn.aspx%20Give%20As%20You%20Earn. While sacrificing some control of when tithing donations occur, UK donations via CAF-GAYE are pre-tax payroll debits. He indicated it was much less paperwork than what we have to deal with in the US. Apparently the church is a registered UK charity in CAF.

simonawright
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Re: Automated Donation Update

Postby simonawright » Sun Jun 01, 2014 1:50 pm

We do have a system called Gift Aid which allows charities to reclaim tax on the donation (tithing) and the church is registered as a charity.

Members have to register that they want to pay their offerings via Gift Aid. They have to be paying income tax to be able to pay via Gift Aid. This is where they link the unit and membership number to their donations.

Once you are registered you can do an electronic transfer of funds with the bank. An email is sent to church offices stating what the donations for, tithing fast offering etc.

It seems to work well, I have not had a problem.

rich
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Re: Automated Donation Update

Postby rich » Sun Jun 01, 2014 4:14 pm

simonawright wrote:We do have a system called Gift Aid which allows charities to reclaim tax on the donation (tithing) and the church is registered as a charity.

Members have to register that they want to pay their offerings via Gift Aid. They have to be paying income tax to be able to pay via Gift Aid. This is where they link the unit and membership number to their donations.

Once you are registered you can do an electronic transfer of funds with the bank. An email is sent to church offices stating what the donations for, tithing fast offering etc.

It seems to work well, I have not had a problem.


Thanks Simon for the extra info. Gift Aid appears to be 'another' donation option. The HMRC tax code defines various 'giving scheme' like:

Gift Aid - which is UK post tax reclamation
Payroll Giving - which is UK pre-tax, a feature of PAYE (Pay As You Earn)

Here is a pointer to the UK HMRC definition for the giving scheme Simon refers to: http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/individuals/giving/gift-aid.htm

I noticed in my last post, the URL was broken. Here is a proper UK-HRMC Payroll Giving scheme explanation I should have used: http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/individuals/giving/payroll.htm

GAYE (Give As You Earn) was a description a PGA (Payroll Giving Agency) was using... Looks like UK employers have to select which schemes (options) they will make available to employees.

The important distinction being this: "Some types of donation are not eligible for Gift Aid. Donations given through Pay As You Earn for example, cannot have Gift Aid claimed on them because they are taken from your salary pre-tax and therefore are already tax-effective."

I barely understand US tax code that apply to me, let alone the UK giving schemes :confused: But with Simon's insight, I guess there are multiple options available to UK church members to automate charitable giving. I was in no way endorsing CAF in my earlier post.


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