Is it appropriate to encourage online payment of fast offerings and tithing if possible?

Discuss questions around local unit policies for budgeting, reconciling, etc. This forum should not contain specific financial or membership information.
rogerpark2112
New Member
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Mar 01, 2020 8:01 am

Is it appropriate to encourage online payment of fast offerings and tithing if possible?

Postby rogerpark2112 » Sun Mar 01, 2020 8:42 am

It would sure be more efficient if everyone who could donate online did so - tithing and fast offerings.
A common voiced opinion when discussing going online with fast offerings is that the Deacons get benefit from the service of donation collection.
From a bishopric standpoint it sure would be nice if those who could pay fast offerings online did so.

Benefits:
Church would get access to the money faster
Much more efficient
Less chance for clerical error
Less chance of money being lost or stolen
Free up time for bishopric members and financial clerks
Better record keeping with online donations
Less possibility of theft/lost money, etc.

Cons:
Some may forget to pay fast offerings if the ward isn't canvassed by the Deacons - potential for decreased money brought in
Nice for deacons to interact with members at their homes

Can't find any church policy regarding this.
Anyone know if the church would rather people use online donations - actual statements or other?

waltbristow
New Member
Posts: 39
Joined: Fri Jan 19, 2007 3:49 pm
Location: Lynchburg, VA, USA

Re: Is it appropriate to encourage online payment of fast offerings and tithing if possible?

Postby waltbristow » Sun Mar 01, 2020 12:50 pm

Sounds like one of those many things where local leadership must decide what is best for their own members.

russellhltn
Community Administrator
Posts: 28825
Joined: Sat Jan 20, 2007 2:53 pm
Location: U.S.

Re: Is it appropriate to encourage online payment of fast offerings and tithing if possible?

Postby russellhltn » Sun Mar 01, 2020 12:58 pm

Keep in mind that a member has to have a checking or savings account (at least in the US) that works with the system. Not to mention having a computer. As such, it will never be 100%.
Have you searched the Help Center? Try doing a Google search and adding "site:churchofjesuschrist.org/help" to the search criteria.

So we can better help you, please edit your Profile to include your general location.

davesudweeks
Senior Member
Posts: 1828
Joined: Sun May 09, 2010 8:16 pm
Location: Oklahoma, USA

Re: Is it appropriate to encourage online payment of fast offerings and tithing if possible?

Postby davesudweeks » Sun Mar 01, 2020 8:26 pm

Our ward has a pretty average mix of families (old, young, everything in-between). I have been released as clerk, but last year it was rare to have more then 5 envelopes on a Sunday. Some Sunday's there were none. Most were from children who didn't have their own bank account.

We did not "encourage" use of online donations, but did tell members that option was available if they wanted to use it. I made up a handout on how to access it that we kept available in case anyone had questions. I have attached that document (prints on 1 page, double-sided). It was made before the changes to the church web site so has the old reference (lds.org), but anyone is welcome to use it if you want to.
Attachments
Online donations and reimbursements.pdf
(510.46 KiB) Downloaded 31 times

BrianEdwards
Member
Posts: 64
Joined: Sun Oct 30, 2016 9:42 pm
Location: Michigan

Re: Is it appropriate to encourage online payment of fast offerings and tithing if possible?

Postby BrianEdwards » Tue Mar 03, 2020 9:56 am

Based on GHB 34.4.2, your Bishop has full discretion as to how to proceed regarding whether or not to collect fast offerings.
Is the issue that the Deacons are visiting members who are unable to come to church regularly and collecting fast offerings from them, and if these home-bound members started donating online, there wouldn't be anyone for the Deacons to collect fast offerings from? Even before online donations, I've been in wards where there really wasn't enough home-bound members to collect fast offerings from, based on the number of Deacons. In those cases, often the Bishop asked certain members if it was ok for the Deacons to collect the offerings, instead of the member handing the envelope at church to the Bishopric. And as it states in the Handbook, even those members who don't regularly give, "priesthood holders should continue to give them the opportunity to do so."
So if encouraging members to donate online pushes your ward into that area where there's not enough members for the Deacons to visit and collect fast offerings, there's still options.

rogerpark2112
New Member
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Mar 01, 2020 8:01 am

Re: Is it appropriate to encourage online payment of fast offerings and tithing if possible?

Postby rogerpark2112 » Tue Mar 03, 2020 12:40 pm

Appreciate the feed back. Great points brought up.

To clarify for some responders, I'm in Utah, which is a totally different membership density situation from everywhere else in the world, and the deacons actually have a fast offering envelope for every family in the ward, and they go out on Sunday to all the households in the ward and collect fast offerings in person.

Some people have said that they want to pay online and we remove their envelope.

lajackson
Community Moderators
Posts: 9577
Joined: Mon Mar 17, 2008 9:27 pm
Location: US

Re: Is it appropriate to encourage online payment of fast offerings and tithing if possible?

Postby lajackson » Tue Mar 03, 2020 1:26 pm

rogerpark2112 wrote:Some people have said that they want to pay online and we remove their envelope.

That sounds as if it is a good way to deal with it in your area. Everybody wins.

Not following the rules, my Mom used to write a check every month to give to the deacons who faithfully collected fast offerings. The check also included her tithing and other offerings. She had prepared an accurate donation slip in advance, and swapped it out with the new one each month so that she could do the same thing the following month

The bishopric knew what was happening, but I do not believe the deacons ever knew. Toward the end, she was homebound. I am sure she would have donated online, but she was not computer savvy enough to do so.

chriswoodut
Member
Posts: 348
Joined: Mon Jul 25, 2011 8:42 am
Location: Utah

Re: Is it appropriate to encourage online payment of fast offerings and tithing if possible?

Postby chriswoodut » Mon Mar 09, 2020 3:36 pm

We are in a Utah ward and no longer have deacons go around to houses. We encourage online donation or in person donation to a bishopric member. Having members already doing online donations made it really easy to adjust to electronic reimbursements. I know some bishops worry about taking away a deacon responsibility but our Bishop says he will put the deacons to work doing other things.

We have tracked FO donations for the past 18 months to see if we've had a drop off in donations. We have seen about a 5% decrease with no email reminders or deacons. Looking back 3 years, our largest FO month is actually the month that has tithing settlement -- it seems some people pay a FO for the year at tithing settlement. To try to address the overall decrease, this year we are trying 1 email reminder a quarter. I don't think it will take much to bump it back.

ALSO, when evaluating who is donating online vs in person, it does not seem to be a single age group paying in person. Many seniors are comfortable paying online. Those paying in person tend to be youth that can't pay online and then a mix of ages of adults. Because of our encouragement to online donations, a typical Sunday may have 3-5 envelopes and maybe 10 on a fast Sunday.

waynecooke
Member
Posts: 143
Joined: Wed Oct 27, 2010 11:05 am
Location: Kalama, Washington

Re: Is it appropriate to encourage online payment of fast offerings and tithing if possible?

Postby waynecooke » Sun Sep 20, 2020 8:29 pm

Interesting I should see this now. Our new Bishop (three weeks) came into the office today and wanted to know if our FO donations are constant. We looked at the past three years. Admittedly we didn't do a 'deep dive' into the numbers like chriswoodut did, but they seemed to be fairly consistent. It was interesting how in 2019 we collected about the same rate as so far this year but last year we didn't collect enough to cover our expenses, however this year we are way ahead in donations over expenses. Expenses can vary. Incidentally we have slightly over 90% of our donations (by dollar amount) by online donation for all categories. Also, it took the deacons and average of an hour to an hour and a half (including 30-45 miles) to collect fast offerings from six households each.
BTW, we don't live in Utah.

chriswoodut
Member
Posts: 348
Joined: Mon Jul 25, 2011 8:42 am
Location: Utah

Re: Is it appropriate to encourage online payment of fast offerings and tithing if possible?

Postby chriswoodut » Sun Sep 20, 2020 9:17 pm

waynecooke wrote:Interesting I should see this now. Our new Bishop (three weeks) came into the office today and wanted to know if our FO donations are constant. We looked at the past three years. Admittedly we didn't do a 'deep dive' into the numbers like chriswoodut did, but they seemed to be fairly consistent. It was interesting how in 2019 we collected about the same rate as so far this year but last year we didn't collect enough to cover our expenses, however this year we are way ahead in donations over expenses. Expenses can vary. Incidentally we have slightly over 90% of our donations (by dollar amount) by online donation for all categories. Also, it took the deacons and average of an hour to an hour and a half (including 30-45 miles) to collect fast offerings from six households each.
BTW, we don't live in Utah.


Wow, that's dedication to make that drive!

I just recently updated my analysis to see if covid-19 is impacting this year's donations. Our numbers confirmed what President Nelson publicly stated -- fast offering donations are up.


Return to “Local Unit Finance”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests