CUBS Message Section 3.5: "Donors"

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mtbaker
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CUBS Message Section 3.5: "Donors"

Postby mtbaker » Tue Oct 12, 2010 7:38 am

This post was split from another thread as it addressed a different topic.
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Alan_Brown wrote:
I've put those documents on the wiki under Church Unit Banking Services (CUBS) (with both those steps corrected) if you want a clean copy of the instructions.


Section 3.5 of the CUBS instructions (Donors) reads as follows:

"A Husband and Wife are donating together. Can they show on the same donation?" No. Donor names may only show a single name, rather than showing a couple's names. The donor name will be the same as the full name on the membership record and cannot be changed. Donations previously made under 'Smith, John and Jane' and associated with John's membership record will show as 'Smith, John.' (Misc. donors and unit donors will still be added when needed.)"

In my ward, at least 50% of the donors in MLS are "joint donors," i.e., husband and wife. We are wondering what will actually occur when CUBS becomes the default. Will the "separate" donor database still exist with CUBS? If so, does CUBS populate it with membership-associated names, or do we have to manually add individual donors and associate them to the membership database [standard process now] to prepare for CUBS in the near future?

Further, if the legacy donor database continues to be used, we wonder about the "dead wood" in there. Obviously, the "joint donors" names will continue to exist, along with "long gone" donor's names. We already understand the process of "hiding" these to make data entry easier in MLS, but will that [hiding] process continue to be the exclusion method?

Finally, what advice do you suggest we give to members regarding filling out donation slips? The direction in the past has always been to "fill in the donor name exactly as you want it to appear on the donation". It will take some time to break the members of the habit of including "joint names," and it will require intense focus on the part of the clerk during data entry to interpret a joint-donor donation slip ("who actually donated, the husband or the wife?").
  • How do we justify the needed change to the way members write out a donation slip?
  • How do we explain what will happen with EOY summaries at tithing settlement (multiple summaries for the same donor)? Will there be fears about IRS auditors becoming confused about these multiple EOY summaries?
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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Tue Oct 12, 2010 4:14 pm

mtbaker wrote:Will the "separate" donor database still exist with CUBS?


Sort of. If I understand this correctly, the separate donor database will exist only for the miscellaneous and "other unit" donors, but not for member donors.

mtbaker wrote:If so, does CUBS populate it with membership-associated names, or do we have to manually add individual donors and associate them to the membership database [standard process now] to prepare for CUBS in the near future?


There's no reason to manually add any member donors, since separate member donor records are going away.

mtbaker wrote:Further, if the legacy donor database continues to be used, we wonder about the "dead wood" in there. Obviously, the "joint donors" names will continue to exist, along with "long gone" donor's names. We already understand the process of "hiding" these to make data entry easier in MLS, but will that [hiding] process continue to be the exclusion method?


That's not an issue. The dead wood and live wood will all go away. You may still have some "dead wood" in the miscellaneous or other unit donors, but that's typically a much smaller issue. You would clean out those obsolete records just as you do now.

mtbaker wrote:Finally, what advice do you suggest we give to members regarding filling out donation slips? The direction in the past has always been to "fill in the donor name exactly as you want it to appear on the donation". It will take some time to break the members of the habit of including "joint names," and it will require intense focus on the part of the clerk during data entry to interpret a joint-donor donation slip ("who actually donated, the husband or the wife?").


All you need to do under the new system is accurately identify the member who is donating. I don't know that it will "require intense focus"; if the member writes a joint name, just put it under the husband's name.

mtbaker wrote:How do we justify the needed change to the way members write out a donation slip?


I don't know that you need to justify it. Simply explain what the new procedure is -- that donations will be associated with each individual member.

mtbaker wrote:How do we explain what will happen with EOY summaries at tithing settlement (multiple summaries for the same donor)? Will there be fears about IRS auditors becoming confused about these multiple EOY summaries?


There won't be multiple summaries for the same donor. That's the beauty of associating all donations with a membership record number -- there can only be one per member.
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Postby mtbaker » Tue Oct 12, 2010 5:15 pm

Alan_Brown wrote:.
There won't be multiple summaries for the same donor. That's the beauty of associating all donations with a membership record number -- there can only be one per member.


OK, so how about the summary for a husband/wife who have been donating jointly all year long? Do those pre-October records just go into the husband's summary by default?

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Postby mtbaker » Tue Oct 12, 2010 5:31 pm

Alan_Brown wrote:if the member writes a joint name, just put it under the husband's name.


Right. I guess if a member writes a joint name on the slip, we can assume they know that either spouse can be recorded as the donor -- they probably don't care because they are filing jointly and use the same charitable exemption on their 1040 form. By the same token, if they're accustomed to writing their own name on a slip (not a joint name), they probably don't file jointly, so they need a summary with their name only.

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Postby mtbaker » Tue Oct 12, 2010 5:37 pm

Alan_Brown wrote:
There's no reason to manually add any member donors, since separate member donor records are going away.



So, in other words, the 2010 contributions to date will all be migrated to a membership-associated database, and the "member donor records" (i.e., the old donor database we formerly used) will be zapped, except for the miscellaneous out-of-unit donors? That's really the main point I want to know, and is not explained elsewhere.

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Postby aebrown » Tue Oct 12, 2010 6:40 pm

mtbaker wrote:OK, so how about the summary for a husband/wife who have been donating jointly all year long? Do those pre-October records just go into the husband's summary by default?


It's not "by default". All donations have already been associated with a membership record number, because every donor record of type "member" has to be associated with a record number. Otherwise you get a recurring urgent task telling you to make that association.

So the donor name may not have matched the member name exactly, particularly in the case of joint donor names. But for at least a couple of years, MLS has associated one and only one membership record number with a donor record, so all donations were already probably associated with the husband. That won't change with CUBS -- it's just that the name of the donor will now be exactly the name on the associated membership record.
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Postby aebrown » Tue Oct 12, 2010 6:42 pm

mtbaker wrote:So, in other words, the 2010 contributions to date will all be migrated to a membership-associated database, and the "member donor records" (i.e., the old donor database we formerly used) will be zapped, except for the miscellaneous out-of-unit donors? That's really the main point I want to know, and is not explained elsewhere.


That is the logical conclusion of the section you quoted at the beginning of this thread (and I have had additional discussions with the CUBS product manager at CHQ on this topic). I'll agree that it could be explained a bit more explicitly, but I think you've got the essential point correct.
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Postby allenjpl » Sat Oct 16, 2010 10:19 pm

Alan_Brown wrote:
All you need to do under the new system is accurately identify the member who is donating. I don't know that it will "require intense focus"; if the member writes a joint name, just put it under the husband's name.

I don't know that you need to justify it. Simply explain what the new procedure is -- that donations will be associated with each individual member.


This is not intended to be a policy post, by which I mean that I think I understand the reasoning behind associating every donor with a single membership record, and I think there are significant advantages in doing so.

My question is more on point to my calling as a finance clerk: How do I explain the new procedure to sisters who may see it as a slap in the face? That is, they have earned money as a family unit, donated as a family unit, but now the only name that can be associated with the donation is the husband's. Before, the family donation was at least recognized by the ability to indicate that the donation was made by "Doe, John and Jane," and that "joint-ness" showed up in the end of year summary.

As I said, I am not intending to argue the merits of the policy decision here, I am only looking for help and advice in explaining.

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Postby russellhltn » Sun Oct 17, 2010 6:50 am

LVAllen wrote:I am only looking for help and advice in explaining.


I've never been great at tact, but if I had to do it, I'd explain it as something the church did. There is no explanation for it, but all donations can only be placed in a single name. If she want to donate in her own name you'll be happy to process it that way. But if she want to donate as a family, then it can only be done under one name.

The one upside is that the church can better report on the donations they've given in other wards where they've lived (not just visited).
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Postby lajackson » Sun Oct 17, 2010 9:27 pm

LVAllen wrote:How do I explain the new procedure to sisters who may see it as a slap in the face? That is, they have earned money as a family unit, donated as a family unit, but now the only name that can be associated with the donation is the husband's.


The donation may be associated with the wife's record if that is more desirable. It does not have to be the husband's record.


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