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Donation categories

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Using the donation categories on the “Tithing and Other Offerings” slip, members can designate one or more purposes for their donations to the Church. The Enter Donations screen in MLS is configured to match these same donation categories.

The characteristics and purposes of these donation categories are described below.

  • The Charitable? column indicates whether donations to that category are considered a charitable donation to the Church. Only donations to charitable categories are tax deductible. Note that receipts for the purchase of goods or services or for the return of unused budget funds are not donations and are not considered charitable or tax deductible.
  • The Automatically Transferred? column indicates whether donations to that category stay in the local unit or are automatically transferred (aka "swept") to CHQ. Automatically transferred categories always appear on the Unit Financial Statement with a zero balance.

Donation Category Charitable? Automatically Transferred? Description
Tithing Yes Yes Tithing is "one-tenth of all a member's interest annually," which is understood to mean income. Tithing is used for buildings, utilities, stake and ward budgets, and more to help build the kingdom of God.
Fast Offering Yes Yes Fast offerings, at a minimum, should be the equivalent value of the two meals not eaten during the fast. Members should give more if they are able. Bishops may use fast-offering funds to provide, food, clothing, shelter, medical assistance, or other life-sustaining aid for the needy, following the guidelines found in Church Handbook 1.[1] Bishops should pay only the provider of goods or services, not the recipient of the assistance.
Ward Missionary Yes No Funds contributed to Ward Missionary are used to support full-time missionaries called from the ward through equalized payments in the Church unit checking account. These contributions are non-refundable. They are not to be used for any other purpose. All local stake and ward missionary activities are to be funded from the budget allowance. Wards and stakes are authorized to maintain a two- to three- month surplus in the Ward Missionary fund considering current and prospective missionary service funding needs. Ward surplus funds beyond the authorized surplus should be remitted by check to the stake.

Missionary couples, non-proselyting missionaries, and Church-service missionaries are responsible to pay their own expenses directly from their own resources. These missionaries (including their immediate family members) may not donate to the Ward Missionary fund for their own missions. If missionary couples and non-proselyting sister missionaries over the age of 39 do not have adequate means to provide their own support, the bishop may assist them through the Ward Missionary fund (if funds are available).

General Missionary Yes Yes Funds contributed to General Missionary are used to support full-time missionaries worldwide, not missionaries called from the home ward or stake. This fund is generally used for missionaries from impoverished areas whose families cannot support their full-time missions.
Book of Mormon Yes Yes Funds contributed to the Book of Mormon category are used to publish copies of the Book of Mormon for use by missionaries worldwide in their proselyting efforts. Wards and stakes that desire to have a local Book of Mormon activity should not collect member contributions for it, but should use budget funds (not Ward Missionary funds) to purchase the books. Also, copies of the Book of Mormon should not be given directly to full-time missionaries; missionaries are to obtain copies of the Book of Mormon exclusively from their mission office. There is no authorization for a local Book of Mormon fund.
Humanitarian Aid Yes Yes Funds contributed to Humanitarian Aid are used for any disaster relief worldwide as directed by the Church Welfare Services Department. Commodities and assistance provided with these funds go to populations that have suffered disasters and calamities and are temporarily unable to help themselves. This relief is given regardless of religious affiliation and is based on need. Contributions to this fund cannot be specified for a specific disaster. There is no authorization for a local Humanitarian Aid fund.
Temple Construction Yes Yes Funds contributed to Temple Construction are used only for the building of temples; funds contributed to this category cannot be specified for a particular temple. There is no authorization for a local Temple Construction fund.
Perpetual Education Yes Yes Funds contributed to Perpetual Education are used to provide low-interest loans for the purpose of education and training to returned missionaries and other members in impoverished areas. These loans are later paid back to the Church by the recipients. They are administered by application to local institute directors in the disadvantaged area. There is no authorization for a local Perpetual Education fund.
Temple Patron Assistance Yes Yes Funds contributed to Temple Patron Assistance are used only as authorized by Area Presidencies to assist temple worthy patrons who otherwise could not afford to go to the temple to receive their own ordinances. There is no authorization for a local Temple Patron Assistance fund.
Temple (Specific) Yes No This category no longer exists after the conversion to CUBS (in the US this occurred after 17 Oct 2010). Accumulated funds contributed to Temple (Specific) prior to the CUBS conversion should be donated to the Ward's general 'Temple Construction' category, by writing and depositing a check from the 'Temple (specific)' category if necessary. The former procedure of writing checks to Church headquarters is no longer appropriate (the check will be voided and the instructions above will be sent back to you).

If donations to this category prior to the CUBS conversion have been recategorized by the conversion as non-charitable donations, a clerk should change the donation category to be "Temple Construction" so that they will be considered to be charitable on the Official Tax Statement.

Other:Authorized Member Financed Activities No No The Other category is used for local pass-through funds paid by members and others for specific goods, services, and authorized activities, such as money for an adult temple trip or for optional enrichment activities. Add a subcategory for any new authorized local fund purpose. Use only subcategories (not "Other:Authorized Member Financed Activities") to receipt and disburse funds. Fund-raising and budget guidelines found in the Church Handbooks should be followed carefully when using the "Other" category[2]. Other category receipts are not considered charitable contributions and will not appear on the member's annual Official Tax Statement, but will appear on the other donor statements.
Priesthood Restoration Site Yes Yes Funds contributed to Priesthood Restoration Site are used to restore the site in Susquehanna, Pennsylvania where Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery received the Aaronic Priesthood and later the Melchizedek Priesthood. All funds should be recorded in the "Priesthood Restoration Site" subcategory under "Other." There is no need to create this subcategory. It was downloaded to MLS from Church headquarters and is ready to use.
Budget No Varies by unit The budget allowance is from general Church funds and is used to pay for stake and ward activities. The administrative office allocates budget funds based upon the following: sacrament meeting attendance, youth attendance in Sunday meetings and young single adult enrollment[3].

Stakes provide budget allocations to wards based upon the criteria determined by the stake president through his budget committee and clerks. Stake presidents are encouraged to provide an annual budget allocation to wards to allow for activities planned for the coming year. Wards then provide budget allocations to the various quorums and auxiliary organizations. Budget allocations can be recorded in the Budget panel of MLS. Using the Budget Report from MLS regularly will assist the stake president, bishop, clerks, and organization leaders in monitoring their budgets. All budget expenses must be recorded using budget subcategories.

Members are not authorized to contribute to stake or ward budgets but should instead be directed to contribute to the authorized charitable funds. When deposits are made to the Budget category for the return of unused funds from an advance, such payments are not considered to be charitable.

See also


  1. Handbook 1, Chapter 5
  2. Handbook 2, 13.6.8
  3. Handbook 1, section 14.7.2