Missionary Donation Deficit

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davishope4us
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Missionary Donation Deficit

Postby davishope4us » Wed Jun 17, 2015 4:11 pm

Missionary funds were taken from our Ward, but the missionary family moved, so there is a deficit. The donations were in the families new unit. How do I balance the deficit.

russellhltn
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Re: Missionary Donation Deficit

Postby russellhltn » Wed Jun 17, 2015 4:33 pm

See Transferring missionary funding to another ward. That can be done retroactively. And when that's done, they will "refund" the funds that were taken out.
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eblood66
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Re: Missionary Donation Deficit

Postby eblood66 » Wed Jun 17, 2015 4:36 pm

davishope4us wrote:Missionary funds were taken from our Ward, but the missionary family moved, so there is a deficit. The donations were in the families new unit. How do I balance the deficit.

Your bishop needs to contact the bishop of the family's new ward and ask that ward to take financial responsibility for the missionary. Financial responsibility doesn't transfer automatically when the records move. The bishops should also agree on a date when the change will be effective. The effective date should be at some point after the family last made a payment in your ward and when your account was zero (before it started going negative).

Then someone in one of the two units needs to call Local Unit Support and let them know that the bishops have agreed to transfer responsibility and the effective date for the transfer. LUS will make the change and also automatically make a transfer based on that effective date so that your account will be zero again.

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Re: Missionary Donation Deficit

Postby russellhltn » Wed Jun 17, 2015 4:47 pm

eblood66 wrote:Then someone in one of the two units needs to call Local Unit Support and let them know that the bishops have agreed to transfer responsibility and the effective date for the transfer.

I believe this would go more smoothly if it was the new unit that called. I believe you can accept responsibility, but attempting to transfer responsibility to someone else requires them to verify that the new ward will accept it.
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eblood66
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Re: Missionary Donation Deficit

Postby eblood66 » Wed Jun 17, 2015 6:11 pm

russellhltn wrote:
eblood66 wrote:Then someone in one of the two units needs to call Local Unit Support and let them know that the bishops have agreed to transfer responsibility and the effective date for the transfer.

I believe this would go more smoothly if it was the new unit that called. I believe you can accept responsibility, but attempting to transfer responsibility to someone else requires them to verify that the new ward will accept it.

I don't know how things are nowadays, but the couple times I did it several years ago it went fine when I (as the old unit) called. They believed me when I said the bishops had talked and agreed. The time I relied on the other unit to call it took about 6 months before things were resolved correctly. Although the other bishop agreed readily, the clerk in the new ward took several reminders before he took care of it.

But I've heard of cases where LUS was stricter about making sure the new bishop accepted responsibility.

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gregwanderson
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Re: Missionary Donation Deficit

Postby gregwanderson » Thu Jun 18, 2015 7:59 am

I keep harping on this but I think the clerks really need to treat the Ward Missionary Fund like the "Other" pass-through categories. Any time there's a donation that isn't going to a specific sub-category (a.k.a. to support a specific missionary) just take a moment to think about it. If it's $5 here or $20 there it might not be a big deal but if it's $400 then, yes, it probably should go to a specific missionary and you should find out which one. (Whenever a member donates even small amounts to the Ward Mission Fund and not a specific sub-category the chances are high that the money will eventually not be used in that ward's mission funding. Do members know this?)

So, when a new family moves into the ward and they donate $400 for the Ward Missionary Fund then, yes, you should immediately find out what it's really for (and not wait for their previous ward to ask you to take over financial responsibility for a specific missionary).

Bottom line: I think there should be some additional and/or emphasized training about the Ward Missionary Fund. When you know a family is moving away and there's a missionary attached to that family, the Bishop and finance clerk should take a quick look at the missionary fund and determine if that family is donating the full $400 per month or if it's coming from different sources. If it's a typical situation, then gently remind the family that "Hey, when you get to your new ward, be sure to tell them you're going to be donating to their mission fund and they should request that your son/daughter's mission fund is transferred to their ward." By the same token, when a family moves into your ward and you find out they have a missionary, the Bishop can discretely say "So, that usually means that we'll have people start donating missionary support funds to our ward. Should we make that change now?" The Bishop has the right/duty to ask the nosy questions.

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Re: Missionary Donation Deficit

Postby eblood66 » Thu Jun 18, 2015 8:27 am

mrrad wrote:Bottom line: I think there should be some additional and/or emphasized training about the Ward Missionary Fund.

I agree completely. Unfortunately, I think there is a general perception among missionary families and many clerks that the ward where the missionary's records are will be the ward that gets charged for the missionary and that this will transfer automatically.

Some additional training in the Help Center might help some. It would probably be even better if CHQ would send a message to both units involved when a missionary's record is moved and remind them that they need to consider whether the financial responsibility should change.

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johnshaw
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Re: Missionary Donation Deficit

Postby johnshaw » Thu Jun 18, 2015 9:31 am

This process was the BANE of my existence when I was a stake clerk - If a clerk and Bishop are not on top of these these accounts it is very easy to let them slip and have big trouble brewing (BTW, wouldn't it be nice to know if a family might be falling behind? Maybe an indicator of something else going? I think there should be some kind of missionary reconciliation done MONTHLY. Validate all monies went to the correct place, review move-in and move-out families... Review ++ balances, Review -- balances, etc.. Now there are other complications like senior missionaries, and a sharp uptick in missionaries serving....

This is an easy process to be proactive about. But with the absolute zero training (at least in my 20 years of experience) that Bishops get about this process. And the zero training clerks get around this as well. The last time I looked at the document at the clerksupport.lds.org site it was very minimalistic and didn't cover all the scenarios. I corresponded with the people who published it who mentioned that it was so hard to get something published, and translated that it wasn't worth the effort to re-do :(

In the future, when the church rolls out new stuff, there needs to be accompanying notification, training, and a sense of urgency among ecclesiastical leaders that record-keeping was important.
“A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom.”
― Thomas Paine, Common Sense

drepouille
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Re: Missionary Donation Deficit

Postby drepouille » Thu Jun 18, 2015 11:13 am

The bishops and ward clerks in my stake will be relieved when I am released. During the second week of each month, I print the combined financial statement for the stake, and review all ward missionary fund balances and all Fast Offering disbursements. I mark up a copy of the statement for the stake president to use during his PPIs with the bishops. I send e-mails to each bishop and ward clerk if I find an excess or deficit in the ward missionary fund. I do this each month because our Area Seventy has repeatedly asked us to send excess funds to HQ. As stated in previous posts, I also bird-dog any movements of mission funding into or out of the stake, ensuring both bishops communicate and resolve any issues. I also ensure the missionary accounts for each returned missionary are zeroed out.

I know others on this forum have said they really hate to have their stake leaders nag them about these things each month. I'm just trying to do my part to ensure nothing gets dropped. I have found that many bishops and clerks think that all they need to do is to sign the monthly financial statement -- they totally ignore the part where they are to read, review, and understand the statement.
Dana Repouille, Plattsmouth, Nebraska

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johnshaw
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Re: Missionary Donation Deficit

Postby johnshaw » Thu Jun 18, 2015 11:27 am

Dana,

While the process was a BANE for me, I, like you, was a BANE of my Bishops and Clerks. However, I took another route and started doing clerk training alongside the Bishopric training. I was not very successful in my efforts, even though training was attended, we were very direct with how things should be done, it just wasn't coming from the Bishops. I believe that the biggest issue was that my SP and I didn't see eye-to-eye about the process. He saw me as someone that managed the ward clerks, like the clerks were an auxiliary who's president was the stake clerk. I figured the handbook was pretty clear that Bishops have the role to train and task the ward clerks.... unfortunately, I never did figure it out until the personal interview I had with my SP when I was released so I think he was sending signals that I wasn't getting to Bishops, I'd love to have that one as a do-over.
“A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom.”

― Thomas Paine, Common Sense


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