In the coming year our ward is expecting to send two men on missions that will need a great deal of financial support from the membership. Both of these men recently transferred out of our unit and are attending the nearby students' branch. The branch president, our bishop, and myself all agree that it isn't possible for that branch to fully support even one, let alone two missionaries, and we have agreed to take on that responsibility in our ward.
Until these two leave, however, they will be contributing funds to their missionary accounts in the branch in preparation for their service. Once the submit their papers, we will likely begin collecting donations for them as well. My question is whether the Church is set up to withdraw missionary funds from two units or if I need to have the other unit write my unit a check to transfer funds into the accounts from which the Church can withdraw?
Discuss questions around local unit policies for budgeting, reconciling, etc. This forum should not contain specific financial or membership information.
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nutterb wrote:My question is whether the Church is set up to withdraw missionary funds from two units or if I need to have the other unit write my unit a check to transfer funds into the accounts from which the Church can withdraw?
I have heard of a case several years ago where such an arrangement was set up. I don't know if that is still possible. But before you attempt to set up payments this way, I would recommend that you consider alternatives.
One big problem I foresee with attempting to withdraw funds from two different units is knowing exactly what portion of the monthly payment should come from each unit. If I understand correctly, the funding prior to the beginning of missionary service will be deposited in the branch, and then also in the ward. But once the mission begins, the ongoing donations from the branch will be minimal -- the bulk will come from the ward. It seems somewhat complicated to figure out just how much should come from each unit over the course of the mission.
If that is correct, it seems like it would be much easier to have the funding responsibility come exclusively from the ward. As the missions actually begin, the branch writes a check to the ward for all the funds collected to that point. Then after that, the branch could periodically write a check to the ward for additional donated funds; this could happen every 3-6 months, depending on the amount and how the ward funds might be depleted and need an infusion from the branch.
Doing it this way would make it simpler for the Missionary Department, and I believe would actually be simpler for the ward and branch. For the branch, it's definitely simpler, since they only have to write one check every few months, rather than recording two partial payments every month. For the ward, it's also simpler, since there is no need to project donations and attempt to calculate the proportion of the expense allocated to ward and branch.
Alan_Brown wrote:...As the missions actually begin, the branch writes a check to the ward for all the funds collected to that point. Then after that, the branch could periodically write a check to the ward for additional donated funds; this could happen every 3-6 months, depending on the amount and how the ward funds might be depleted and need an infusion from the branch.
My reply depends on if the two units are in the same stake or not. If not, then unfortunately, this approach is not allowed. My ward tried doing this and received, in essence, a cease and desist letter from CHQ telling us this was not allowed.
From the MLS Help Manual, the trick comes in balancing the following:
Miscellaneous Financial Policies: Checks (p A-11)
5. Improper disbursements. Stakes and wards should not print the following kinds of checks:
...• Checks to missionaries who are on the equalized payment program. The only checks that may be written from the ward missionary fund are to help support older couples or Church-service missionaries called from the ward, when their personal funds are insufficient to cover the cost of their missions. The stake president may also direct the ward to write a check from the ward missionary fund to the stake or to another ward in the stake.
Missionary Financial Support for Wards on the Equalized Payment Program (p A-13)
...Church leaders are not to solicit funds for any purpose, including the support of missionaries, outside the boundaries of their own Church units.
See this post.
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