Left over mission money

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tylerlybb
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Left over mission money

Postby tylerlybb » Fri Jan 29, 2016 4:02 pm

I have an older couple that moved into my ward a couple years ago. They served a mission before moving. After finishing their mission, they still had a large amount of money left in their mission account. When they moved, they apparently asked their previous bishop to move the money down to our ward because they thought they might be going on another mission. This is what they are telling me. Now, they have decided they'd rather just donate that money to someone else that might need it - someone in our ward. But when I look at our ward missionary accounts, I don't even see an account for this couple. I'm sure I am completely lost on this. Clerk finances is not something I'm very experienced with. Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks,
Tyler

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aebrown
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Re: Left over mission money

Postby aebrown » Fri Jan 29, 2016 4:17 pm

tylerlyb wrote:I have an older couple that moved into my ward a couple years ago. They served a mission before moving. After finishing their mission, they still had a large amount of money left in their mission account. When they moved, they apparently asked their previous bishop to move the money down to our ward because they thought they might be going on another mission. This is what they are telling me. Now, they have decided they'd rather just donate that money to someone else that might need it - someone in our ward. But when I look at our ward missionary accounts, I don't even see an account for this couple. I'm sure I am completely lost on this. Clerk finances is not something I'm very experienced with. Any help would be appreciated.

First of all, if they never served from your ward, then there will certainly not be any account in your ward with their name. So if there is any money that got transferred to your ward, it would most likely be in the top-level Ward Missionary account.

To determine if the money is really there, you would need to look back at the transactions around the time when the funds were supposedly moved to your ward. You can run an Income and Expense report in MLS, using the report type "Details by Subcategory", specifying the top-level Ward Missionary category, and specify a custom date range (either All Dates, or if you are confident in a narrower date range, specify that). If it is indeed a large amount, it should be easy to find, since most donations would be considerably smaller.

If the money is really there, then you don't have to do anything except perhaps to transfer the funds from the Ward Missionary category to the subcategory of the other missionary in need. If the money is not there, there would need to be some discussion with the other ward to determine if they still have the money so that it could be transferred to your ward.

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gregwanderson
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Re: Left over mission money

Postby gregwanderson » Fri Jan 29, 2016 4:45 pm

tylerlyb wrote:But when I look at our ward missionary accounts, I don't even see an account for this couple. I'm sure I am completely lost on this. Clerk finances is not something I'm very experienced with.


A LOT of folks don't understand how the ward missionary accounts work, so you're not alone. But the most basic thing is this: The ward is ultimately responsible for financial contributions to support the missionaries serving from that ward. For the younger missionaries, the families of those missionaries usually donate the $400 per month which church headquarters takes from the ward. But if the family can't and/or won't keep up their donations then the ward still covers that $400 expense.

When a family moves to another ward while they have a son or daughter serving as a full time missionary, the financial responsibility (say, $400 per month) does NOT move to the new ward unless and until the Bishops of the wards communicate and agree to transfer that responsibility. Then they contact church headquarters to make the change official (and this can be retroactive if the change didn't take place right on time). Church headquarters can then transfer money in and out of the ward missionary subcategory to reflect the correct responsibility.

Now, in the case of this senior couple, it makes sense that there would be no subcategory for them in your ward's missionary accounts because their service was finished before they went to your ward. Any excess funds would remain in their previous ward and Church Headquarters would probably not agree to set up a subcategory in your ward if the couple is no longer serving and/or is not scheduled to serve as full time missionaries.

My suspicion is that the money is still in the previous ward's missionary accounts. Perhaps the previous Bishop has already found a use for it there. And it would be easier to deal with this situation if the donor agreed to just let the previous Bishop find a use for that money in his own ward (meaning that you wouldn't have to do anything else about it). But it would be nice to know for sure what has happened. Again, it makes perfect sense to me that the money may never have been "transferred" to your ward. However, as aebrown stated, if it did come into your ward's missionary fund it might have been put into the "ward mission fund" rather than any sub-category with a person's name on it, so that's a good place to look first.

russellhltn
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Re: Left over mission money

Postby russellhltn » Fri Jan 29, 2016 4:55 pm

I'd be curious to know if a transfer outside of a serving missionary is even possible. The only way I can think of it happening is if the first ward cut a check. But given all the restrictions on what Ward Missionary account can be spent on, I'm not 100% sure that MLS would even allow a check to be cut.
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tylerlybb
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Re: Left over mission money

Postby tylerlybb » Fri Jan 29, 2016 4:56 pm

Thanks to both of you! Very helpful.

rontilby
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Re: Left over mission money

Postby rontilby » Fri Jan 29, 2016 5:50 pm

To quote the bottom of the donation slip: "All donations to the Church's missionary fund become the property of the Church to be used at the Church's sole discretion in its missionary program." So it doesn't make sense to me for a member to request that their donation be "transferred" to their new ward. It is also worth noting that excess ward missionary funds should be sent to the stake to be reallocated to wards within the stake that are experiencing a shortage in their ward missionary fund. If the stake has excess missionary funds they should send the funds to church headquarters.

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gregwanderson
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Re: Left over mission money

Postby gregwanderson » Sat Jan 30, 2016 7:50 am

This is another example to show that donors shouldn't treat the ward missionary fund as some kind of savings account for themselves. Clerks should help the members understand that large donations in advance are a bad idea. They cannot be returned to the donor when unforseen developments prevent the money to be used for its originally intended purpose. At best, the excess balance shouldn't be more than enough to cover an extra month or so. The rest should stay in the member's personal savings until there's a need to donate it to the church.


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