Automatic Payments

Discussions about the Online Donation system.
russellhltn
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Re: Automatic Payments

Postby russellhltn » Mon Jul 02, 2018 2:56 pm

johnshaw wrote:There are members of the church who believe in their heart of hearts that a recurring payment DOES NOT EQUAL a donation made in faith.

That's one theory. Another is that by policy, donations are not refundable. (See Q12 of the FAQs as well as Handbook 1: 14.4.9)

If you set up automatic payments and then have a change in income (perhaps as a result of an accident), that could compound a bad financial situation. Or consider if a member was killed, the "donations" would continue until the heirs got control of the account - even then, it may be hard for them to disable it. By requiring the person to authorize it each time it minimizes those kinds of problems. With the ability to reuse a prior donation, it's not that great of a burden. Of course, there's still the traditional way with gray envelopes and paper checks.....

Whatever the case, I'm sure the powers that be have heard the request, and for whatever reason, the answer is "no" (at least at this time).
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johnshaw
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Re: Automatic Payments

Postby johnshaw » Mon Jul 02, 2018 3:01 pm

I'm confident in my assertion - The Automatic/Recurring payments for ExPat's include automatic payments so the church takes them in that case - which is why It makes no sense other than they control this one where the other one is just using standard banking bill-pay infrastructure.
“A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom.”
― Thomas Paine, Common Sense

lajackson
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Re: Automatic Payments

Postby lajackson » Mon Jul 02, 2018 3:56 pm

Another possible reason (and I simply speculate here with no inside knowledge) is that to implement recurring donations would require the Church to maintain additional financial information about each donor. There may be some reason, privacy laws or otherwise, that they do not wish to do so.

Again, just speculation on my part. I have an alert set in my personal calendar that goes off each payday. I also get an alert from the bank when my paycheck arrives there, so I have two different reminders to help me remember.

Ricksgrad80s
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Re: Automatic Payments

Postby Ricksgrad80s » Mon Aug 06, 2018 4:15 pm

You can search back across this board and see this discussed at length many times. There are members of the church who believe in their heart of hearts that a recurring payment DOES NOT EQUAL a donation made in faith... STRONG feelings exist that an act of charity, an act of faith can't be scheduled every 2 weeks as you receive a paycheck.....

I find that sort of thinking rather strange, especially if your income each month can provide the funds needed to keep a missionary in field, or if you and/or your missionary have saved the needed funds to serve a mission in advance.

However, when I was young and before each mission cost the same, we had three missionaries serving from our family at the same time in very expensive missions. The total cost per month for the three was almost as much as my father's entire salary! Countless people chipped in and helped, the cows gave extra milk, our clothing store made a higher profit, etc. To this day one of my aunts has a notebook listing each missionary in our family and how much she donated to them each month. Without her help, and the help of countless other relatives and ward members, we simply couldn't have afforded it.

My parents started each month not knowing how they were going to make the payments for three missionaries, yet by the end of the month the money to make those payments was always there. Many, many people were blessed (and blessed us and the missionaries in our family) with their constant generosity. Those were certainly acts of faith and charity, and there's no way that my parents could have set up an automatic payment plan with no idea where the funds for it would come from each month.

However, I diligently saved all the funds for my daughter's mission before she received her mission call. So theoretically I've already made a huge act of charity by designating those funds to pay for her mission. I don't have to worry where the money for her mission will come from each month, and an automatic payment plan would be a relief.

Were automatic monthly payments for missionaries allowed, the email I'd get each month from the Church that says they've received and processed my donation would remind me of the ongoing charitable act I'm performing throughout her mission. Since I have to remember to log on to LDS.org and make each monthly payment in person, that email just makes me sigh with relief that the church has received her monthly payment. (Which in my opinion isn't a spiritual experience, but your results may vary...)

I'm very PROUD that my daughter is serving a mission, and I'm grateful that I have the means and the privilege of paying for her missionary service. I receive numerous blessings as a result, the greatest of which is a daughter whose testimony is growing as she learns many of life's tough lessons, and she'll be an even more wonderful person when she returns.

However, I doubt the blessings she and I receive thanks to her missionary service are affected in any way by the method in which her monthly dues are paid on the LDS.org website. But that's just me... ;)

chriswoodut
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Re: Automatic Payments

Postby chriswoodut » Tue Aug 14, 2018 4:01 pm

I find it funny when I have a question and search the forum only to find myself participating in a previous thread on the same subject.

In bishopric meeting it came up that with enough members now donating fast offerings online, that it isn't effective for the YM to go door to door (e.g. busy work). The Bishop says there are many other ways for the YM to serve the members of the ward. As part of the discussion about whether to stop, I raised this issue that you can't setup repeating donations using the church's system. If the YM don't knock doors, some of us that do use online donations won't remember each month. The Bishop said he pays direct to SLC and has it setup repeating (not using the online donation tool -- I'm not sure how he does it).

Not having a repeating option means, effectively, we are collecting less fast offerings from members that want to donate.

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Re: Automatic Payments

Postby lajackson » Tue Aug 14, 2018 4:42 pm

chriswoodut wrote:If the YM don't knock doors, some of us that do use online donations won't remember each month. The Bishop said he pays direct to SLC and has it setup repeating (not using the online donation tool -- I'm not sure how he does it).

I find that a little odd. I have never had a Young Man knock on my door, and I have never forgotten to contribute to the Fast Offering fund.

The bishop is probably using his bank Bill Pay service. Most of them allow repeating contributions.

The decision to allow repeating contributions (or not) at the Donations site is made by priesthood leaders at Church headquarters. If you feel strongly about the need for this feature, the best way to communicate that is through the Feedback link at LDS.org or through your bishop and stake president, who would then take the suggestion to their priesthood leaders.

It is my anecdotal understanding that the developers of the Donations site were instructed to make it as similar as possible to the actual physical process of contributing using the gray envelope and donation slip. Perhaps that is why the slip changes from white to yellow and the holes at the top remain displayed when someone submits their donation online.

That may also be a reason the site does not handle repeating contributions. In real life, you would have to fill out another donation slip and use another envelope.

chriswoodut
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Re: Automatic Payments

Postby chriswoodut » Sun Aug 19, 2018 8:42 am

lajackson wrote:
chriswoodut wrote:If the YM don't knock doors, some of us that do use online donations won't remember each month. The Bishop said he pays direct to SLC and has it setup repeating (not using the online donation tool -- I'm not sure how he does it).

I find that a little odd. I have never had a Young Man knock on my door, and I have never forgotten to contribute to the Fast Offering fund.

The bishop is probably using his bank Bill Pay service. Most of them allow repeating contributions.

The decision to allow repeating contributions (or not) at the Donations site is made by priesthood leaders at Church headquarters. If you feel strongly about the need for this feature, the best way to communicate that is through the Feedback link at LDS.org or through your bishop and stake president, who would then take the suggestion to their priesthood leaders.

It is my anecdotal understanding that the developers of the Donations site were instructed to make it as similar as possible to the actual physical process of contributing using the gray envelope and donation slip. Perhaps that is why the slip changes from white to yellow and the holes at the top remain displayed when someone submits their donation online.

That may also be a reason the site does not handle repeating contributions. In real life, you would have to fill out another donation slip and use another envelope.


Not having the repeating donation option pushes people to bill pay which is a less efficient approach in my opinion (no slip, right?). It isn't stopping people from doing repeating donation, it's just making it harder.

I already made a feedback submission.


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