Is there a way to get addresses of former ward members?

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studentclerk-p40
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Is there a way to get addresses of former ward members?

Postby studentclerk-p40 » Tue Jan 13, 2009 5:46 pm

I have recently run into a few circumstances where I need addresses of members that have moved out of our ward, for giving tax statements, as well as talk to them about outstanding checks. Is there a way to get their new addresses/phone numbers from MLS/the church?

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russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Tue Jan 13, 2009 6:47 pm

That's more effort than is required of you. File them away and if the member wants it, they'll contact you.
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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Tue Jan 13, 2009 7:04 pm

studentclerk wrote:I have recently run into a few circumstances where I need addresses of members that have moved out of our ward, for giving tax statements, as well as talk to them about outstanding checks. Is there a way to get their new addresses/phone numbers from MLS/the church?


The simple answer is no. I suppose if there were an important reason for a bishop to locate a member, he could ask the Church for help. But MLS definitely provides no means for this, and the Church would not give such information to a clerk.

But you can use all the normal ways of finding lost members, such as those detailed here: http://www.ldsclerks.com/index.php?title=Locating_Members

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Postby lajackson » Tue Jan 13, 2009 9:05 pm

RussellHltn wrote:That's more effort than is required of you.


True for the year-end statements. But you do need to contact them about the outstanding checks. Try the suggestions in Alan's link.

And if they have moved within the last six months, send them a letter, Return Service Requested, as shown in the list of suggestions.

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Postby Mikerowaved » Wed Jan 14, 2009 12:33 am

For those just needing tax statements, I would suggest mailing it to their old address without RETURN SERVICE REQUESTED visible on the letter. Then the Post Office will forward it to their new address, IF it's on file with them, and you'll never see it again. If you get it back as undeliverable, THEN you can file it for the required time period. In fact, this is how I mail ALL of our left over tax statements, after passing out as many as I can on Sundays.

One year I forgot to black those words out on our bishop's pre-printed envelopes and ended up wasting more postage re-mailing many of them out again.
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Postby greggo » Wed Jan 14, 2009 7:14 am

studentclerk wrote:I have recently run into a few circumstances where I need addresses of members that have moved out of our ward...


I'm no longer a membership ckerk, but back in the MIS days, it was for reasons such as this that I was a proponent of keeping paper copies of all the transmission reports (now with MLS, you can keep .pdf copies). Then, at least in cases where records were moved out to a known address, a record of the address would exist.

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Postby RossEvans » Wed Jan 14, 2009 7:34 am

Mikerowaved wrote:For those just needing tax statements, I would suggest mailing it to their old address without RETURN SERVICE REQUESTED visible on the letter. Then the Post Office will forward it to their new address, IF it's on file with them, and you'll never see it again. If you get it back as undeliverable, THEN you can file it for the required time period. In fact, this is how I mail ALL of our left over tax statements, after passing out as many as I can on Sundays.


I think that's a good idea if you are mailing to a new address you have for someone who has moved out of the ward, but for everyone elese I always favor using the postal endorsement. I never want to miss the opportunity to collect intelligence on addresses. Even some active or semi-active members can move -- within the ward or out of the ward -- without remembering to notify the clerk.

BTW, for those who have not yet printed their 2008 tax statements, remember that MLS will allow you to print as separate batches the donors who are officially ward members at year-end, and those who are not. For the first batch, you can print mailing labels.

Then, after your best efforts to distribute the envelopes by hand, you can easily mail the remainder of the in-the-ward list. The out-of-ward list can be eyeballed for donors for whom you have an address, and those can be mailed. The rest are required to be filed.

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Postby RossEvans » Wed Jan 14, 2009 7:56 am

Greggo wrote:I'm no longer a membership ckerk, but back in the MIS days, it was for reasons such as this that I was a proponent of keeping paper copies of all the transmission reports (now with MLS, you can keep .pdf copies). Then, at least in cases where records were moved out to a known address, a record of the address would exist.


The PDF idea is interesting. I worry about how workable it would be to train all the clerks and bishopric members always to take the extra step of printing and archiving to PDF during the send-receive process, and then resetting the printer default in MLS so the next user isn't sandbagged. Then, I presume, the clerks would cull out the ordinance summaries from the archive rather than having them sit in unsecured folders. Then finding something in that document storage would best be done with some text-retrieval software. Doable, but messy and unreliable.

It seems that if the Church wants us to do all that, the Church would provide more straightforward tools within MLS, such as a revolving table of move-outs with their new addresses. But since no such tools are provided, and CHQ won't even disclose new addresses to clerks after the fact, I wonder if we should even try to build such an archive.

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Postby mkmurray » Wed Jan 14, 2009 8:53 am

boomerbubba wrote:The PDF idea is interesting. I worry about how workable it would be to train all the clerks and bishopric members always to take the extra step of printing and archiving to PDF during the send-receive process, and then resetting the printer default in MLS so the next user isn't sandbagged. Then, I presume, the clerks would cull out the ordinance summaries from the archive rather than having them sit in unsecured folders. Then finding something in that document storage would best be done with some text-retrieval software. Doable, but messy and unreliable.

It seems that if the Church wants us to do all that, the Church would provide more straightforward tools within MLS, such as a revolving table of move-outs with their new addresses. But since no such tools are provided, and CHQ won't even disclose new addresses to clerks after the fact, I wonder if we should even try to build such an archive.

We file every Transaction Report, Membership Update batch, and Membership Record that MLS offers to print during Send/Receives into a 5-foot tall filing cabinet. Currently we have filed all of these reports back to the inception of the ward 3-4 years ago. As the membership clerk, I have one drawer dedicated to filing all of this and believe me, it is plenty of room (and we are a really busy ward as far as move-ins, move-outs, ordinances, and other membership updates). I assume at some point in the next year or two, we will begin shredding those outdated year folders in favor of drawer space. But for now, having that thorough of a paper record has been helpful in quite a few circumstances.

As for any security concerns, it's quite simple. Our clerk's office is set to be locked at all times, so that only those with a key would be able to get in. There are many auxiliaries that have keys to that office, so we have a filing cabinet with a key lock on it as well, and the number of people who have that key is significantly less (I believe only bishopric members, including all the secretaries and clerks). I think that's sufficiently secure enough.

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Postby RossEvans » Wed Jan 14, 2009 9:05 am

mkmurray wrote:We file every Transaction Report, Membership Update batch, and Membership Record that MLS offers to print during Send/Receives into a 5-foot tall filing cabinet. Currently we have filed all of these reports back to the inception of the ward 3-4 years ago. As the membership clerk, I have one drawer dedicated to filing all of this and believe me, it is plenty of room (and we are a really busy ward as far as move-ins, move-outs, ordinances, and other membership updates.


That is is good process, even if it is paper-bound. I used to do something similar with the old MIS system in another ward, keeping the chronological printouts in a binder. I wish our membership clerk today followed your practice. We'd be hard-pressed to find him a file drawer, though. That's why I was interested in the PDF idea, but I think it would be hard to make it work.


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