How to process anonymous donations?

Discuss questions around local unit policies for budgeting, reconciling, etc. This forum should not contain specific financial or membership information.
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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Mon Jan 03, 2011 5:37 am

daveywest wrote:You should never have annonymous donations.


I don't know how you can make sure you never have anonymous donations. The whole question on this thread is what to do when an anonymous donation is received -- it will happen, and because it is anonymous, you can't really stop it from happening. The Donations wiki article does describe what to do when a donor name is not specified (and I would note that the section of that article that covers this particular topic was written by a Church employee with responsibility for documentation in this area). Why would a procedure for handling such donations be documented if it should never happen?

daveywest wrote:The online training provides for listing a donation coming from an "unknown" donor.


The online training doesn't say anything about this situation. I think you're confusing the online training with the wiki.

daveywest wrote:There are specific instructions to not accept anonymous tithing donations due to tithing being a part of temple worthiness.


What is your reference for this claim? I can't find any documentation that says anything like this in the Handbook, online training, or any other written materials. To the contrary, we are specifically told in the wiki article both you and I referenced how to handle anonymous donations, and the category of tithing is specifically noted as the category to use when a category was not specified and the donor cannot be determined.

daveywest wrote:According to the Handbook of instructions, members who have been excommunicated may not pay tithing or other offerings.


That is indeed true. If the bishop has reason to suspect that an excommunicated member is doing this, he should counsel with that individual.

daveywest wrote:If you have unknown donors, the bishop should announce from the pulpit that the church cannot accept those donations and avoid doing so in the future.


Again, what is your reference? I've never heard this, and since I don't believe that anonymous donations cannot be accepted, I don't see how it can be appropriate to make such an announcement.
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daveywest
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Postby daveywest » Mon Jan 03, 2011 2:14 pm

My claim that you should not have anonymous donations is based on two sources. First, the wiki specifically states to use "unknown" and not anonymous. I apologize if that wasn't from the online training. It is unfortunate the wiki does not have reference sources. I believe we are instructed to not use anonymous because the church is repeatedly commanded to keep a [accurate] record. "Unknown" implies we as clerks are still attempting to identify the source of the contribution.

Should a member wish to donate privately, there are processes in place to make that donation directly to HQ while still meeting that scriptural directive.

My temple worthiness comment is based on my interpretation of the guidelines for excommunicated members found in the handbook. I have personally encountered a situation where an excomunicated member was attempting to make anonymous donations to the church. Your suggestion that the Bishop speak with that person and return the contribution in private is the best solution when possible. Making a simple announcement in priesthood meeting or sacrament meeting is the quickest way to instruct and correct – especially in light of the principles discussed in the Nov. training about incorrect or unnecessary traditions.
Bro. West
Assistant Stake Clerk - Finance (2 years)
Former Assistant Ward Clerk - Finance (3 years)

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Mon Jan 03, 2011 7:09 pm

daveywest wrote:the wiki specifically states to use "unknown" and not anonymous.


That's a reasonable point, but in many cases in this thread the word "anonymous" was used simply as an adjective to describe a donation whose donor was not known. It is indeed better to use the donor name "Unknown", but when you said that anonymous donations should not be allowed, I incorrectly interpreted your statement as saying that no anonymous donations would be allowed, even if the donor name was "Unknown", when really you were only saying that "Anonymous" was not the recommended donor name for such cases.
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