Fast offerings are donations given by members to help the poor and the needy. Aaronic Priesthood holders assist in the collection of fast offerings once a month on Fast Sunday. Financial clerks play an important role in processing fast offering donations and, under the direction of the bishop, preparing payments to those in need using fast offering funds.
Fast offering donations
Fast offerings are sometimes collected by members of the Aaronic Priesthood by going door to door in pairs and handing out fast-offering envelopes. Each envelope contains a Tithing and Other Offerings slip. A donor may record the amount of his or her fast offering and place the slip and money in the fast offering envelope while the two Aaronic Priesthood holders wait. These envelopes are handed to a member of the bishopric, who includes them with other donations when recording donations on Sunday. Only fast offerings may be gathered in this manner.
Fast offering guidelines
Fast Offering expenses are processed like most other expenses with a few additional procedures:
- Each check written for fast offering purposes must specify a recipient.
- Fast offering checks may not be signed by the recipient.
- Fast offering assistance for bishops requires approval from the stake president.
- If there is a need for an emergency fast offering check and MLS is not working, handwrite checks on your MLS check stock. See Emergency check writing procedures.
Fast offering recipients
Each recipient of fast offering payments (direct or indirect) must be entered in MLS so that the expense can be connected to the recipient. There is no barrier to adding a fast offering recipient who is not even a member of the ward.
To add a recipient, do the following:
- In MLS on the Finances page, go to Add/Update Recipients under Fast Offering.
- Click Add.
- You will be asked "Is the new fast offering recipient a member of your unit?" If the recipient is a member of your ward, answer Yes even if you do not yet have the membership record.
- You will be presented a list of ward members. If you don't have the records for the recipient yet, you won't find them on the list, so click Individual not found.
- Enter the recipient's name and any other address information.
- Click Add, and the recipient will be in place, and you can issue checks with them as the recipient.
- If the recipient's membership record was not originally available, when it does arrive, go back to Add/Update Recipients. Click on that member's name. To associate the recipient record with the membership record, click Select. Select that member from the list.
Fast offering reporting and analysis
A ward financial clerk can assist the bishop in tracking and analyzing Fast Offering donations and expenses by running various reports from MLS.
- The Recipient Report shows all expenditures for a given time period. The report can be sorted by recipient
- Under View/Update Expenses, reports can show Details or Summary by Category, selecting one of the Fast Offering subcategories; or Details or Summary by Payee to show certain specific payees, such as a landlord that received rent payments throughout the year.
- An Income and Expense Report can be run using Details by Sub-Category and choosing Fast Offering as the category. This will show all donations by donor and date. Sorting by Donor will at least group the donations by donor, although any summing of totals per donor would have to be done manually.
At the stake level, the Stake Financial Summary provides details on fast offering expenditures by ward, as well as a monthly and year-to-date accounting of the surplus or deficit of each ward's donations versus expenditures. In the UK the reports that provide this information are called the Stake/District Fast Offering Analysis and the Fast Offering Recipient Report.
- Fast Offering Report.xls: A spreadsheet for summarizing and analyzing all Fast Offering donations and expenses for the year
Fast offering collection
In most wards and branches, the territory of the ward is divided into Fast Offering collection routes. Ward clerks can assist in this effort in several ways:
- Maintain an accurate map of the ward
- Use geo codes to group household addresses geographically, which can aid in the analysis of ward geography necessary for designing collection routes
- Notify those in charge of fast offering collection routes when there are new move-ins or when people leave the ward so that the routes can be updated and new fast offering envelopes prepared
- Fast Offering Tracking.doc: A table for tracking fast offering collection routes
- MLS Help File, Fast-Offering Donations