Donations for Haiti relief...

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brdrider-p40
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Donations for Haiti relief...

Postby brdrider-p40 » Mon Jan 18, 2010 2:49 pm

We had several donations for Haiti relief. Some were written out in the "other" space on the donation slip and others in the Humanitarian Aid space with "Haiti relief" on the slip.

Is there a way to designate a Humanitarian Aid donation for a specific cause?

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mfmohlma
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Postby mfmohlma » Mon Jan 18, 2010 3:17 pm

brdrider wrote:Is there a way to designate a Humanitarian Aid donation for a specific cause?


No. Please see jdlessley's answer after mine.

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Postby jdlessley » Mon Jan 18, 2010 3:30 pm

brdrider wrote:We had several donations for Haiti relief. Some were written out in the "other" space on the donation slip and others in the Humanitarian Aid space with "Haiti relief" on the slip.

Is there a way to designate a Humanitarian Aid donation for a specific cause?
The Church has not yet set up provisions to contribute specifically to the Haiti relief effort. For now the only way to contribute through the Church is to make donations to Humanitarian Aid.

Funds contributed to Humanitarian Aid are used for any disaster relief worldwide as directed by the Church Welfare Services Department. Contributions to this fund cannot be specified for a specific disaster.

For the two situations mentioned you need to do nothing for the one that wrote in Haiti relief. You may want to tell them how humanitarian aid donations are handled. For the ones with donations in the Other category you should confirm with the donors that the appropriate designation is to Humanitarian Aid and then either have them fill out a new replacement slip -the preferred method. Or if they are not willing to fill out a new slip you can make the changes on the original donation slip and make the changes in MLS if necessary.

For more information see the wiki article Donation Categories.
JD Lessley
Have you tried finding your answer on the LDS.org Help Center page or the LDSTech wiki?

nutterb
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Postby nutterb » Tue Jan 19, 2010 12:20 pm

LDS Philanthropies can collect donations via the internet as well. You could leave a note indicating that you want the money to go to Haiti, but there's no real guarantee.

Donations through LDS Philanthropies

Truth be told, donating to the Humanitarian effort has some great merits. For instance, while there are still people and organizations putting together fundraisers to raise money for relief efforts, the Church has already sent 80 tons of relief supplies. The first shipment was delivered last Thursday. The Church can do this because it raise funds, purchases supplies, and prepares them for shipment well in advance of a disaster.

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mfmohlma
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Postby mfmohlma » Fri Jan 22, 2010 3:34 pm

jdlessley wrote:The Church has not yet set up provisions to contribute specifically to the Haiti relief effort. For now the only way to contribute through the Church is to make donations to Humanitarian Aid.

Funds contributed to Humanitarian Aid are used for any disaster relief worldwide as directed by the Church Welfare Services Department. Contributions to this fund cannot be specified for a specific disaster.


It's worth noting that the First Presidency has just issued a statement regarding the disaster in Haiti. The accompanying news release states "Church members and others wishing to contribute to the aid efforts may do so by using the Donation Slip they normally use for Church donations or by logging onto lds.org and clicking on Humanitarian Services Emergency Response."

As far as I know, there is no additional category being added to our donation slip (or MLS), so I'll personally be inclined to attribute any donations marked as "Haiti", whether in the Humanitarian Aid line or Other line, as a Humanitarian Aid donation. It would have been nice for the news release to be explicit on that fact, but I digress.

As an aside, you'll note that on the ldsphilanthropies.org donation page, there are indeed numerous subcategories of Humanitarian Aid, so if someone is really worried about their donation going to the right place, they can certainly donate that way. However, I'm personally confident that the money will go exactly where it is needed and will take my auditing lumps if my assumption above is incorrect.

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Postby jbh001 » Sat Jan 23, 2010 8:36 am

I seem to recall that there were instructions given as to how to do this when the Church first started offering this option. That was back when it was the 1984 Ethiopian famine. But I also seem to recall those instructions were repeated for the 2004 Indonesian Tsunami relief, and for Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

It seems the members remember the process better than the clerks do. I certainly don't remeber the instructions for processing the local donations slips, But I do remember seeing instructions to ward clerks related to the disasters.

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Postby aebrown » Sat Jan 23, 2010 9:38 am

oregonmatt wrote:As an aside, you'll note that on the ldsphilanthropies.org donation page, there are indeed numerous subcategories of Humanitarian Aid, so if someone is really worried about their donation going to the right place, they can certainly donate that way. However, I'm personally confident that the money will go exactly where it is needed and will take my auditing lumps if my assumption above is incorrect.


I can understand why people want to have confidence that their money is going to the right place, but really, there's no need for any concern. I'm confident that the Church is giving aid to Haiti that far exceeds whatever amount will be raised in the next few weeks by people giving targeted donations. Thus any donor can be sure that their money is indeed helping people in Haiti.

Even the LDS Philanthropies page has no category for Haiti -- it's just Humanitarian Aid-Emergency Relief. But again, it's going to help people in Haiti. I share your confidence that the money will go where it's needed.

As for auditing, I don't think any auditor would have a problem with a contribution listed as Other:Haiti going to Humanitarian Aid, given that Humanitarian Aid is the only currently documented way of sending money to help in Haiti.

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Postby russellhltn » Sat Jan 23, 2010 11:13 am

Alan_Brown wrote:I can understand why people want to have confidence that their money is going to the right place, but really, there's no need for any concern. I'm confident that the Church is giving aid to Haiti that far exceeds whatever amount will be raised in the next few weeks by people giving targeted donations. Thus any donor can be sure that their money is indeed helping people in Haiti.


One possible reason it's not specific may be to avoid one of the problems with 9/11 - the donations exceeded the needs. If the money given doesn't go to Haiti, or restock the aid sent to Haiti, it can be used for the next deserving need. I think we can be confident that the church will spend it wisely. I don't think we have any concern it will end up in the wrong place. ;)


Alan_Brown wrote:As for auditing, I don't think any auditor would have a problem with a contribution listed as Other:Haiti going to Humanitarian Aid, given that Humanitarian Aid is the only currently documented way of sending money to help in Haiti.


Just to be clear, you're talking about changing the donor's category. Making an actual deposit to "Other" isn't likely to show up in the year-end tax statement. (I say that because I mis-read your statement the first time.)
Have you searched the Wiki?
Try using a Google search by adding "site:tech.lds.org/wiki" to the search criteria.

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Postby Freedom55 » Sat Jan 23, 2010 2:40 pm

Chiming in as a stake auditor, the donations should go to Humanitarian Relief as already mentioned. If the donation is credited to Other, the donor will not only lose the tax refund eligibility but will force the ward clerk to either transfer (change category) later or cut a check to CHQ to clear out the Other category.

As already mentioned, we don't have to worry about the money going to the wrong place (is there a wrong place for humanitarian relief?) since the need worldwide is so great.

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Postby jbh001 » Sat Jan 23, 2010 4:31 pm

Freedom55 wrote:If the donation is credited to Other, the donor will not only lose the tax refund eligibility but will force the ward clerk to either transfer (change category) later or cut a check to CHQ to clear out the Other category.
That doesn't sound quite right to me. My understanding is that only tithing and fast offerings show up in the MLS-printed tax statement as being tax deductible, BUT that does not preclude donations to the"Other" account from being be tax deductible--it is just the member's responsibility to keep track of that status, not MLS's. And example of such a tax deductible donation to the "Other" account might be donations made for BSA camp. If this is incorrect, please let me know.

I also don't recall donations to general or ward missionary funds, Book of Mormon fund, Humanitarian Aid, -- or anything but tithing and fast offerings -- show up on the MLS-printed tax statement. Maybe I've just been missing it all this time.


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