Intended use of the general Ward Missionary category

Discuss questions around local unit policies for budgeting, reconciling, etc. This forum should not contain specific financial or membership information.
cougs
New Member
Posts: 33
Joined: Wed Dec 29, 2010 5:57 pm

Intended use of the general Ward Missionary category

Postby cougs » Sat May 07, 2011 10:52 pm

I'm the new-ish finance clerk in a newly created ward and we're sending out our first missionary.

From what I understand, the equalized payment is deducted from each missionary's sub-account, and not from the general Ward Missionary category, is this correct? If so, that means I need to have $400 in each missionary sub-account for each monthly withdrawal?

Are general Ward Missionary funds intended to be used towards equalized monthly payments for a regular, single, full-time, proselyting missionary if they have insufficient funds for the monthly withdrawal? Say Elder M. only has $300 in his category, can/should I transfer in (as directed by the bishop) $100 from the general Ward Missionary fund so there are sufficient funds for the monthly withdrawal?

What is meant by this line in the wiki:

"Ward missionary funds may not be used in any way for the direct support of missionaries who are supported through equalized contributions."

russellhltn
Community Administrator
Posts: 20733
Joined: Sat Jan 20, 2007 2:53 pm
Location: U.S.

Postby russellhltn » Sun May 08, 2011 2:17 am

cougs wrote:From what I understand, the equalized payment is deducted from each missionary's sub-account, and not from the general Ward Missionary category, is this correct? If so, that means I need to have $400 in each missionary sub-account for each monthly withdrawal?


Yes and yes.

cougs wrote:Are general Ward Missionary funds intended to be used towards equalized monthly payments for a regular, single, full-time, proselyting missionary if they have insufficient funds for the monthly withdrawal? Say Elder M. only has $300 in his category, can/should I transfer in (as directed by the bishop) $100 from the general Ward Missionary fund so there are sufficient funds for the monthly withdrawal?


Yes

cougs wrote:What is meant by this line in the wiki:

"Ward missionary funds may not be used in any way for the direct support of missionaries who are supported through equalized contributions."


"Direct support" = giving/sending a check directly to the missionary.
Have you searched the Wiki?
Try using a Google search by adding "site:tech.lds.org/wiki" to the search criteria.

User avatar
aebrown
Community Administrator
Posts: 14685
Joined: Tue Nov 27, 2007 8:48 pm
Location: Sandy, Utah

Postby aebrown » Sun May 08, 2011 5:26 am

cougs wrote:From what I understand, the equalized payment is deducted from each missionary's sub-account, and not from the general Ward Missionary category, is this correct? If so, that means I need to have $400 in each missionary sub-account for each monthly withdrawal?


Yes and No. Each missionary has a subcategory, but it's misleading to call it a "sub-account." It is a category, not an account, and has no requirement for maintaining a positive balance at all times. It is true that the monthly payment will be charged to that subcategory, but it's perfectly acceptable for any missionary's subcategory to have a negative balance at various times, as long as the overall Ward Missionary category maintains a positive balance.

Section 4.6.2 of the 2010 Handbook 1 simply states that the bishop ensures that the monthly contribution is available in the ward missionary fund; it says nothing about individual subcategories, which are only an accounting convenience.

cougs wrote:Say Elder M. only has $300 in his category, can/should I transfer in (as directed by the bishop) $100 from the general Ward Missionary fund so there are sufficient funds for the monthly withdrawal?


No. That is unnecessary and will make your accounting much messier than it needs to be. I would never do that just to make sure there is $400 in the account at the time of the withdrawal. I would only transfer such funds if there is a shortfall that the bishop has determined will be a permanent shortfall (meaning the missionary, his family, and any others who made commitments to make donations on that missionary's behalf will not be making the payment at any time).

It's helpful to be able to run a report (Income and Expense Report, detail by subcategory) at any time that shows the donations and payments for a particular missionary. If you start doing these temporary transfers simply to get the balance to $400 at the time of each payment, that report will not accurately reflect the true balance for the subcategory. An accurate report helps the bishop in working with the family to remind them of their commitments.

At the conclusion of the mission, you will need to make sure the final balance is set to zero by making appropriate transfers to or from the main Ward Missionary Fund category, but there is no need to do so until then.
Questions that can benefit the larger community should be asked in a public forum, not a private message.

User avatar
aebrown
Community Administrator
Posts: 14685
Joined: Tue Nov 27, 2007 8:48 pm
Location: Sandy, Utah

Postby aebrown » Sun May 08, 2011 5:35 am

RussellHltn wrote:"Direct support" = giving/sending a check directly to the missionary.


It also includes making any purchase or payment on the missionary's behalf. For missionaries supported through equalized contributions, the only payments of any kind that can come from the Ward Missionary Fund is the monthly equalized payment.
Questions that can benefit the larger community should be asked in a public forum, not a private message.

User avatar
wrigjef
Member
Posts: 395
Joined: Sun Mar 01, 2009 8:38 am
Location: Chesapeake, Virginia
Contact:

Postby wrigjef » Sun May 22, 2011 12:17 pm

There are two separate "buckets" for missionary funds. The general fund is a bucket that lives in Salt Lake and donations made to the fund are swept each week like most other contributions. You should never have a balance in the general fund. Those funds are dispersed to support missionary efforts as the brethren see fit. The Ward Missionary bucket stays locally. This is where you put funds that are contributed for a specific missionary. Withing that bucket, are individual tracking categories for each missionary from the ward but the donations are made to and drawn from the main bucket.

We have a unit in our stake that is unable to support the missionaries that are serving. We (the stake) is contributing to the wars "ward missionary" bucket but not to any specific missionary in that ward.

User avatar
aebrown
Community Administrator
Posts: 14685
Joined: Tue Nov 27, 2007 8:48 pm
Location: Sandy, Utah

Postby aebrown » Sun May 22, 2011 5:25 pm

wrigjef wrote:There are two separate "buckets" for missionary funds. The general fund is a bucket that lives in Salt Lake and donations made to the fund are swept each week like most other contributions. You should never have a balance in the general fund. Those funds are dispersed to support missionary efforts as the brethren see fit. The Ward Missionary bucket stays locally. This is where you put funds that are contributed for a specific missionary. Withing that bucket, are individual tracking categories for each missionary from the ward but the donations are made to and drawn from the main bucket.


This thread doesn't talk about the General Missionary Fund. It only talks about the Ward Missionary fund -- what the original post called the "general" (lowercase "g") "Ward Missionary" (capital "W" and "M") fund is clearly talking about the parent Ward Missionary category. And since the post talks about making transfers within the Ward Missionary fund, it is clear that the General Missionary fund is not involved at all.
Questions that can benefit the larger community should be asked in a public forum, not a private message.

User avatar
johnshaw
Senior Member
Posts: 1834
Joined: Fri Jan 19, 2007 1:55 pm
Location: Syracuse, UT

Postby johnshaw » Mon May 23, 2011 11:22 am

Instructions we have received from the Area indicate that the Ward Missionary 'general' category should retain funds, only in the amount of 3 months reserve for each missionary serving, and beyond that the unit would send the excess funds to the Stake, who then sends excess funds to the Church. The below message is what came from the Area:

------------------------------------------Email from Area------------------------------------------
Each fall the Church distributes to Area Seventies a report entitled "Ward Missionary Excess Funds." This year the report indicates that, as of October 1, 2009, there is more than $xxxx in excess missionary funds in the wards of the North America Central Area. Funds are considered to be excess if the amount exceeds a three month reserve based on the number of missionaries serving.
The report indicates that the Liberty Missouri Stake has submitted $yyyy in excess missionary funds to the Church. However, there are still $zzzz in the local unit accounts. The three month reserve is projected at $xx with an excess of $yy. The projected amount does not include situations where members may have "prepaid" for a missionary.
Would you please visit review your bishops and branch presidents the status of their missionary funds and request that they submit excess funds to the Church? Many young members in other countries will benefit from these funds.
Thank you for your attention to this matter.
I have asked that each clerk send a check to the stake for excess missionary money, that we then cut to the Church.

russellhltn
Community Administrator
Posts: 20733
Joined: Sat Jan 20, 2007 2:53 pm
Location: U.S.

Postby russellhltn » Mon May 23, 2011 11:31 am

JohnShaw wrote:Instructions we have received from the Area indicate that the Ward Missionary 'general' category should retain funds, only in the amount of 3 months reserve for each missionary serving, and beyond that the unit would send the excess funds to the Stake, who then sends excess funds to the Church.


That's good if you're talking about the top-level category alone and not considering the sub-categories. There are cases where someone may donate for the entire mission up front. In that situation, to send everything beyond the 3 month mark would leave the ward underfunded. That's where the sub categories help keep you from making a mistake.
Have you searched the Wiki?

Try using a Google search by adding "site:tech.lds.org/wiki" to the search criteria.

User avatar
johnshaw
Senior Member
Posts: 1834
Joined: Fri Jan 19, 2007 1:55 pm
Location: Syracuse, UT

Postby johnshaw » Mon May 23, 2011 11:43 am

Of course, the note from the Area, acknowledged this situation and to account for it, and my instructions to my clerks also account for it as well. I had failed to specify each part of my instruction to the clerks, one of the other very important items, is not to just send the money if the Ward Missionary money is 3*1200 for each missionary, because if you have a missionary in the negative, that formula doesn't work....


Each ward should retain monies in these categories only for the following purposes:
1. ALL pre-paid money for a specific missionary serving from the ward (whether this is from the family or other ward members, in this case these funds should be received directly into the sub-category)

Note: It is a good idea to council with a missionary or family who would like to pre-fund the entire mission, this money is not refundable if the missionary comes home early for any reason, It is their choice, but they need to understand the implications of that choice

2. Top-level Ward Missionary category funds that equal the amount of 3 months surplus for each missionary serving from the ward (it is not necessary to keep additional general funds for a specific missionary who is already pre-paid)

funaddict
New Member
Posts: 36
Joined: Sun May 08, 2011 11:03 am

Postby funaddict » Sun May 29, 2011 11:55 am

I've never been completely comfortable with the Stake sweeping surplus "Ward Missionary" funds. When members of the ward donate to the Ward Missionary category, I feel that they have an expectation that that money is specifically going to assist missionaries (and their families who are supporting them) from their own ward. Otherwise, they would donate to the 'General Missionary" category if they want their donations to support the missionary effort in general. Many ward members donate to both categories. Why bother having two separate categories if the funds are going to be co-mingled.

Should the ward members who donate to the Ward Missionary category be informed that their donations are not going to be used as they assumed? Maybe they should be encouraged to specify a certain missionary from the ward to whom their donation should be credited to, like that missionary's parent's do when they make their monthly support payments. I know that donations to the church are voluntary and to be used at the church's discretion, but it seems that if you give the members a choice of where to donate their money, then that's where it should go.

I try to fulfill my calling, and I don't hesitate to send the surplus ward missionary funds to the Stake whenever they request them, but it just doesn't feel right to me. Please feel free to inform me if I'm looking at this the wrong way.


Return to “Local Unit Finance”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest