LDSTech

Handling Tithes and Offerings vs. AMFA funds

Discuss questions around local unit policies for budgeting, reconciling, etc. This forum should not contain specific financial or membership information.

Moderator: pricerd

Handling Tithes and Offerings vs. AMFA funds

#1Postby allenjpl » Tue Mar 27, 2012 2:08 pm

Question: Handbook 1, 14.6.1 describes handling Tithing and Other Offerings, which are generally non-refundable donations. May others handle funds that are not donations to the Church? For example, may the Scout Committee collect the Scout Camp payments before turning them over to the ward? I can think of several excellent reasons why they should avoid the practice (most notably, the ability to account for and *track* the funds if for any reason there is a dispute about what has been paid, and the protection offered by double custody), but I'm looking for anything that indicates that these funds must be received directly by a member of the bishopric. Handbook 1, 14.6.1 contains a strongly-worded prohibition against others receiving tithing and other offerings (with the limited exception of fast offerings), but unless AMFA contributions are included in "other offerings," and given the discussion on tithes and other offerings in Handbook 1, 14.4.9, I don't think they are, I haven't seen anything directly on point. Your thoughts?
allenjpl
Member
 
Posts: 258
Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2009 8:26 am
Location: Las Vegas, NV, USA

#2Postby daveywest » Tue Mar 27, 2012 3:59 pm

You can find the answers you are seeking in the wiki at https://tech.lds.org/wiki/Other_category

"If ... the funds were not used for the intended purpose, you can either: Return the leftover funds to the member by printing a check payable to the member from the applicable "Other" subcategory. Or obtain permission from the member to change the category of the donation from "Other" to a charitable category such as Fast Offering or Humanitarian Aid."

The wiki also has provisions for remitting excess funds to the finance dept. if they can't be properly returned to the donor.
Bro. West
Assistant Stake Clerk - Finance (2 years)
Former Assistant Ward Clerk - Finance (3 years)
daveywest
Member
 
Posts: 68
Joined: Mon Dec 28, 2009 2:19 pm
Location: Mesquite, Nevada, United States

#3Postby allenjpl » Tue Mar 27, 2012 9:24 pm

daveywest wrote:You can find the answers you are seeking in the wiki at https://tech.lds.org/wiki/Other_category

"If ... the funds were not used for the intended purpose, you can either: Return the leftover funds to the member by printing a check payable to the member from the applicable "Other" subcategory. Or obtain permission from the member to change the category of the donation from "Other" to a charitable category such as Fast Offering or Humanitarian Aid."

The wiki also has provisions for remitting excess funds to the finance dept. if they can't be properly returned to the donor.


Thanks for your response. Maybe my question could have been better phrased:

For tithes and offerings, there is only one acceptable *path* for them to take: Member --> Member of the bishopric. The exception is fast offerings, which may go Member --> Aaronic Priesthood holder --> Member of the bishopric. It seems that AMFA funds, not being either tithes or offerings, may not have to follow this path. e.g., Scout --> Scout Committee Treasurer --> Member of the bishopric. That is, rather than have a scout track down a member of the bishopric to make his scheduled contribution towards the annual camp, the committee could support the unit by taking on this task. As I said before, I can think of several good reasons against this practice, but it seems neither Handbook 1 or Handbook 2 address handling AMFA funds.
allenjpl
Member
 
Posts: 258
Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2009 8:26 am
Location: Las Vegas, NV, USA

#4Postby aebrown » Tue Mar 27, 2012 9:41 pm

In the online lesson on Processing Weekly Donations, on slide 23, it says "Only the bishop and his counselors may receive donations."

Now you may think that this just leads right back to your original question, since one could substitute "donations" for "tithes and offerings" and the question would be the same. However, that lesson refers to "donations" whenever it talks about money received and processed. It never uses any other term, which implies quite strongly that the process that is being documented is one that applies to all funds received. So I think it is safe to conclude that these principles apply to all money that is handled, whether it be tithing, or missionary funds, or camp payments.

You raise a good point when you say, "For example, may the Scout Committee collect the Scout Camp payments before turning them over to the ward? I can think of several excellent reasons why they should avoid the practice...." My stake presidency has taken the position that all the principles that lead us to safeguard tithing should be followed in handling any moneys given to the Church. All such donations/payments/whatever should be given to a member of the bishopric in a sealed envelope, and processed with the regular donation batch. That safeguards everyone involved in the process.

I wish the documentation were clearer, but it is my personal opinion that the references to "donations" and "offerings" do indeed apply to all funds handled by the ward and stake. And my stake presidency agrees. I can imagine that other stakes might have a more relaxed policy, which is within the authority of those stake presidents to decide.
Many questions are already answered on the LDSTech wiki. Check it out!
User avatar
aebrown
Community Administrator
 
Posts: 12745
Joined: Tue Nov 27, 2007 8:48 pm
Location: Sandy, Utah

#5Postby johnshaw » Wed Mar 28, 2012 8:01 am

aebrown,

I concur with your stake presidency's decision and have worked over the last couple of years on the issue in our own stake. It became very near to my heart when my wife was called as a Stake Camp Director, during one of the meetings in my home, I was in and out of the area, I overheard them discussing the financial situation of several families in our stake. I was very surprised, and being a younger father with younger kids, haven't yet been in the collecting for Scout Camp or Girls camp stuff until then. It greatly concerned me that people outside of a Bishopric would even KNOW a families ability to contribute, yet alone be discussed by a local unit camp director and a stake camp director. I lobbied for and got changed this process where a Bishopric through the Financial clerk tracks these donations, etc... it is now handled as you've stated above. The Privacy of that family can be quite critical to their long-term viability as members and potential church leaders. What does it matter that at some point in their lives, they were struggling, if it is widely known, people will talk.
User avatar
johnshaw
Senior Member
 
Posts: 1384
Joined: Fri Jan 19, 2007 1:55 pm
Location: Kansas City (Liberty), Missouri

#6Postby nutterb » Wed Mar 28, 2012 9:39 am

Something you might consider would be having tithing envelopes and donations slips available at the scout meetings. When boys or parents are ready to submit payment, the treasurer can instruct the person how to fill out the donation slip properly. Presumably, there is a member of the bishopric at mutual activities, and he could stop by to collect the envelopes at some point in the meeting.
nutterb
Member
 
Posts: 256
Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2009 7:06 am
Location: Shaker Heights, OH, USA

#7Postby johnshaw » Wed Mar 28, 2012 11:35 am

A great idea!
User avatar
johnshaw
Senior Member
 
Posts: 1384
Joined: Fri Jan 19, 2007 1:55 pm
Location: Kansas City (Liberty), Missouri

#8Postby sammythesm » Mon Apr 16, 2012 6:38 am

One other consideration my auditor-wife always brings up with church finances is the weakness of fraud controls at the local level. If you have boys collecting cash from members, handing it over to a member of the scout committee who then hands it over to a member of the bishopric, you have introduced two new layers of potential cash fraud - likely without any receipts or traceability. Even though we'd all like to think everyone is honest, it's not always the case. In my opinion, it's always better to have members submit AMFA funds directly to the Bishopric via the usual donation method.
sammythesm
Member
 
Posts: 213
Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2010 2:50 pm
Location: North Texas, United States

#9Postby wrigjef » Wed Apr 18, 2012 6:11 pm

My understanding has always been that if the funds are to be deposited into a church account, they need to be handed to a bishopric member.
User avatar
wrigjef
Member
 
Posts: 310
Joined: Sun Mar 01, 2009 8:38 am
Location: Summerville, South Carolina, USA

#10Postby mrrad » Wed Apr 18, 2012 9:01 pm

Since the Bishop is ultimately responsible for that account, I would think any Bishop would want that money to be handled only by the Bishopric anyway.
User avatar
mrrad
Senior Member
 
Posts: 536
Joined: Thu Apr 15, 2010 9:34 pm
Location: Huntsville, UT, USA

Next

Return to Local Unit Finance

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests