How to pay tithing online?

Discuss questions around local unit policies for budgeting, reconciling, etc. This forum should not contain specific financial or membership information.
jdlessley
Community Moderators
Posts: 8720
Joined: Mon Mar 17, 2008 12:30 am
Location: USA, TX

Re: How to pay tithing online?

#91

Post by jdlessley »

aaronklapheck wrote:But I will choose to do it in the way that minimizes the error associated with the human handling of funds.
It is interesting that you say that because electronic donations that are processed in the Donations Department involve human processing to link the donation to the member.
JD Lessley
Have you tried finding your answer on the ChurchofJesusChrist.org Help Center?
russellhltn
Community Administrator
Posts: 31317
Joined: Sat Jan 20, 2007 2:53 pm
Location: U.S.

Re: How to pay tithing online?

#92

Post by russellhltn »

aaronklapheck wrote:Method 1: Pay through local ward.
a. Transaction from member to ward
i. $ (about $1 gas + $2 time) - transportation costs (if forgot checkbook, which happens to me all the time, and had to go and get it. Some wards have deacons pick up fast offering/tithing)
ii. Time, Reoccurring (about $0.5) - must hand enter all information, no automation possible (looked for a digital version and found nothing).
iii. Time, Reoccurring (about $1) - error handling. There are inevitably one or two slips that are not filled out correctly which waste time or cause problems later on.
b. Transaction from ward to HQ
i. Time Reoccurring (about $0.5)- Information from tithing slip must be entered by hand into church system.
ii. $ (time: $1, stamp/gas: $0.4) - transportation costs (money/check has to be driven or mailed to a location where it can be deposited or sent to HQ - fuzzy on this process but seems very time intensive)
Just about all of that is at no cost to the church. It's either all handled by the member or members acting in their calling. The only cost is the cost of the banking system to process the check.

I don't know how it works in business account, but if someone were to write me a check for $100 and give it to me, $100 would go from his account to mine. I pay nothing for that. The check writer may not pay anything either. It depends on if the bank charges to have checks printed. So long as both of us keep sufficient balance in the accounts, neither of us pays anything for the transaction. That's a far cry from a 2-3% hit on everything.

The church has high-level financial types. They know far more then all of us combined.

aaronklapheck wrote:But don't discourage others from trying to do things the best way possible.
We will do what the church tells us we should do. (See public position statement in prior post.)
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.
Gary_Miller
Senior Member
Posts: 1222
Joined: Thu Dec 08, 2011 10:42 am
Location: Emmett, Idaho

Re: How to pay tithing online?

#93

Post by Gary_Miller »

It takes me the most 2 hours to process donations using the current system. Thats opening envelopes, entering the data into the system, counting the money, preparing the donation and taking it to the bank. Even if the church payed by $20 the total cost would only be $80 per batch at the most. That a lot less that what paypal would recieve.
However considering that my time is free as I'm a volunteer it cost nothing.

The costs that aaronklapheck plugged in is way overboard when it comes to processing the donations. You cannot count costs to the individual for delivering or sending the donation to the bishop. You can only count the actual costs to the church of handling and processing, which is very little even if you considered electricity and equipment costs.
User avatar
aebrown
Community Administrator
Posts: 15127
Joined: Tue Nov 27, 2007 8:48 pm
Location: Sandy, Utah

Re: How to pay tithing online?

#94

Post by aebrown »

aaronklapheck wrote:But don't discourage others from trying to do things the best way possible.
I would never discourage anyone from doing things the best way possible. But what you describe as "the best way possible" is your opinion. I would be wary of encouraging people to act in ways that are contrary to the public position of the Donations Department. All I am doing is reminding people of that public position, which is:

The preferred method for making donations continues to be through the local ward unit. Those who have questions about electronic bill pay donations may call the LDS Donations Department at 801-240-2554 or email donations@ldschurch.org. Thank you.
Last edited by aebrown on Thu Jun 13, 2013 10:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: simplify
lajackson
Community Moderators
Posts: 10359
Joined: Mon Mar 17, 2008 10:27 pm
Location: US

Re: How to pay tithing online?

#95

Post by lajackson »

aaronklapheck wrote:You can do it that way if you like. But I will choose to do it in the way that minimizes the error associated with the human handling of funds. Every transaction introduces additional sources of error, which costs the church time and money. If you don't want to believe that then so be it. But don't discourage others from trying to do things the best way possible.
Your agency is yours to do with as you please, and you may certainly choose to exercise it in the way you see fit. Your enthusiasm is contageous. You have suggested what you consider to be the best way possible.

I suggest from my own personal experience that the best way possible is to follow the counsel of our leaders.

Our military servicemembers in far-flung parts of the world appreciate the wonderful workers who handle their contributions. There are others who need the system in place at the Donations Department to be able to pay their tithes and other offerings. The Church goes to great length to make it possible for them to contribute that way.

Your financial benefit analysis is a bit faulty for reasons others have mentioned, and because you have omitted consideration of hundreds of steps required at Church Headquarters to process member donations on a general scale. You have not considered that Fast Offering needs to be returned to the member's unit so that both they and the bishop may fulfill the Lord's scriptural mandate.

I do not see under your analysis where ward missionary fund contributions are returned to the units and credited where the need is greatest under the direction of the bishop and stake president.

I believe it may take you a little longer than an hour to set up a financial payment system that meets the banking requirements of hundreds of countries around the world, where donations from members in one country cannot legally be transfered outside of the country and must be placed in national bank accounts according to local country law, which are violated even if the donation goes to Salt Lake and is returned to its legal location.

I believe two other things for the purpose of this post. First, all of this can be automated, and if the Church wanted to automate it, they would do so. Second, those blessings you jokingly speak of missing are pretty important to me, because they are very real. In fact, they have been spiritually lifesaving. I would not be here without them.

And perhaps that is why the Church does things the way they do.

I know. I know. Sacrifice didn't make sense to Adam, either. At first.
Gary_Miller
Senior Member
Posts: 1222
Joined: Thu Dec 08, 2011 10:42 am
Location: Emmett, Idaho

Re: How to pay tithing online?

#96

Post by Gary_Miller »

I was given this more thought and came up with this.

The banking system the church uses is the best and cheapest system available anywhere.

Every Stake, Ward, and Branch in the church has their own Bank Tellers who have the up-most honesty and integrity who strive for protection in their responsibilities. The best part is they ask for no monetary compensation at all. And the even better part is they get all kinds of compensation by the way of blessing from our Father in Heaven.

It cannot be duplicated in any other organization anywhere in the world.

It does not get any better than that.
User avatar
marianomarini
Senior Member
Posts: 619
Joined: Sat Jan 19, 2008 3:13 am
Location: Vicenza. Italy

Re: How to pay tithing online?

#97

Post by marianomarini »

Maybe it's time for a resume!
Church financial lay on Bank system. As you can read in other post, around the world there are Bank system that allow processing on line transaction without cost for sender or receiver. In this countries Church use electronic system. All funds goes in the right place with no human involve.
This doesn't absolve members to write down the slip, with tranfer receipt, for ward leader. Clerk still has to insert funds ammount in MLS.
The idea is not to prevent clerk service but money circulation.
The benefit for member is the ability to Pay during the week, at whatever time, and then report to leaders what they have done.
So I think that church is doing the best being this the real world!
aaronklapheck
New Member
Posts: 19
Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2012 10:06 pm

Re: How to pay tithing online?

#98

Post by aaronklapheck »

Thank you all of your feedback. I now see my blanket statement of sending funds to HQ being the best way is not always true. If any of the money that would go in the tithing slip is for local purposes (mission fund, local fast offering, etc.) then sending the money locally is best.
Last year I noticed that when I payed fast offering and tithing, the money was all grouped together and was listed as tithing. I spoke with the bishop about this who said in the grand scheme of things it doesn't really matter. In fact, he said that having all the different types of local funding schemes in place was causing them a big headache. It is my personal belief that if you send all money to church HQ it will be distributed in the best way possible - under the direction of the Lord through his servants. I almost feel it sacrilegious to specify where the money I send to the church ends up; as if I am saying "I don't trust the Lord to know where this money should go, so I will be the one telling Him how He should spend it." ;) - A bit overdramatic, but that is just the way I feel. Because of this I lump all the money I send to the church for tithing, FO, missionary funds, etc under the label "tithing." - Definitely NOT an official recommendation of the church, but it is all going to be used in the way the Lord sees fit, which is good enough for me.

I know I speak of church bureaucrats in a not-always-right manner, but I have to say the overall process is the best I have ever witnessed. Regardless of the details in which transactions "should" occur, the way the church handles funds through volunteer efforts is The Best, even if the transaction-to-transaction process is not optimized. In short, I think whether you donate to the church (through HQ or locally), your money is going to the right place.
Gary_Miller
Senior Member
Posts: 1222
Joined: Thu Dec 08, 2011 10:42 am
Location: Emmett, Idaho

Re: How to pay tithing online?

#99

Post by Gary_Miller »

aaronklapheck wrote:Last year I noticed that when I payed fast offering and tithing, the money was all grouped together and was listed as tithing. I spoke with the bishop about this who said in the grand scheme of things it doesn't really matter. In fact, he said that having all the different types of local funding schemes in place was causing them a big headache. It is my personal belief that if you send all money to church HQ it will be distributed in the best way possible - under the direction of the Lord through his servants. I almost feel it sacrilegious to specify where the money I send to the church ends up; as if I am saying "I don't trust the Lord to know where this money should go, so I will be the one telling Him how He should spend it." ;) - A bit over-dramatic, but that is just the way I feel. Because of this I lump all the money I send to the church for tithing, FO, missionary funds, etc under the label "tithing." - Definitely NOT an official recommendation of the church, but it is all going to be used in the way the Lord sees fit, which is good enough for me.
This is not correct Each of the different categories on a donation slip are different areas where the money is allocated. For example FO money and tithing money is used for a different purpose. FO money is used strictly for welfare system where tithing is used for operations of the church. So they are not grouped together as your bishop suggests.

One other clarification FO funds are transferred directly to CHQ and is not a local fund source like Ward Mission or the Other account. However, local leaders are encouraged to not spend more FO money than what the members of their ward donate although they could if it was needed.
User avatar
aebrown
Community Administrator
Posts: 15127
Joined: Tue Nov 27, 2007 8:48 pm
Location: Sandy, Utah

Re: How to pay tithing online?

#100

Post by aebrown »

Gary_Miller wrote:However, local leaders are encouraged to not spend more FO money than what the members of their ward donate...
I'm not sure who is doing that encouraging for your ward, but that is not current Church policy. See this post.

However, if anyone wants to discuss this point further, please do so in the topic I linked to -- that point is not particularly germane to this topic.
Post Reply

Return to “Local Unit Finance”