I just received a pretty detailed financial report from my local parish. It included how much money the parish took in and how it was spent. As an LDS I paid my 10 percent and never had any idea how much the local ward received or how much it spent. I never had any clue what Salt Lake City did with my money. It’s nice to have some accountability from the local parish – something I never received as a Latter-day Saint. It also included a budget for the coming year.
Yup. I never received anything either from SLC. I’m glad to know that my Parish also sends financial reports!! We know what philanthropic things our Parishes are doing.
Nothing kept in secret is good IMO
After reading this, I asked my girlfriend if she’s ever seen anything like a financial report during her LDS years. She says no, not in the sense that a Catholic parish or diocese publishes an annual report in great detail. I remember asking her about this a couple of years ago, in a time that I was under the impression that the LDS church is awash in money from millions of tithers. Based on what I’ve read lately, there may not be as many active Mormons as the LDS HQ claims, and of those, there may not be all that many full tithers. Could be, LDS church is fairly impoverished, such that a revealing financial report would help contradict their claims to be the world’s fastest growing religion.
they have plenty of money. I have good reason to believe that they are definitely not “impoverished”. They may not want folks to know where the money goes.
I think they want their members to think all the tithing goes for charity and humanitarian purposes. If the members got a report, it would show that their money instead goes to real estate like cattle ranches, buying dowtown shopping malls for a billion dollars (I’d link the SL Tribune article, but it was archived), etc.
I know my husband was quite impressed with the first financial report he saw. Heck, he’s even impressed that the bulletin lists how much the collection is.
Yeah, I received one for my parish and the diocese published theirs. I haven’t seen any national-type accounting, but I haven’t tried searching for this kind of report.
I’m always a bit apprehensive about reading these kinds of financial reports since church accounting has some nuances that I’m not familiar with; not the same as typical business accounting. It’s more like charitable reporting.
I have never seen a national financial report for CC either. However, our concern is how our money is spent at parish and diocese level. It shows salaries, all operating expenses and funds given as charity. I’d say it is all inclusive. Ours also said how much went out to pay lawsuits in the “scandal”.
Love and peace
Mom of 5
My protestant church has their financial report hosted on our website and confirmed by Ernst and Young accounting firm. This is important not only to the church/members but for the government to prevent fraud as well. Becoz we have so many business man giving million dollars of tithing to the church, thus i believe they would like to know how their money was use to serve the Lord
I would also like to know why the Mormon church does not give a thorough accounting of its finances to its members. Considering the members are required (not suggested) to contribute 10 percent of their gross income to the church, you would think there would be an accounting for what is spent and where. What would be the harm in that?
Especially considering what seems to me to be a VERY high number of accountants in Mormonism. I don’t know if this is a widespread thing, but locally an awful lot of Mormons are accountants. There are two in my girlfriend’s family alone. One local firm is populated by all Mormon accountants.
Having been the financial clerk and ward clerk, I can tell you something about this. There are financial reports prepared at the ward and stake level. A stake is made up of 4 to 8 wards. Any discuss of finances, especially for a church which is dependent on member contributions, must respect the privacy of the individuals that donate.
The poor are administered to from the fast offering which is monies collected from a monthly fast. You give up eating for a day and the money you save is donated to the local ward and administered by the bishop. If the ward is well heeled and generous, it’s good for the poor. On the other hand, if they’re poor or stingy, the poor suffer.
Monies collected for missionary work are added to the local fund and accumulate until they are needed to support a missionary that particular ward is sponsoring. Usually, the families or individual missionary support them but in the case of want, the ward missionary fund is used.
Tithing is collected and sent to Salt Lake. I don’t know how the buildings are financed though. The ward budget, which is money for running the various programs (youth, scouts, etc.) is giving based on meeting attendance.
The LDS church is very conservative financially. Tithing that is collected in one year is not handed out until the following year. There’s never any loans taken out for buildings. It doesn’t sound like this is happening in your parish but sometimes a church that has a large loan out will distribute a financial report as a “gentle reminder” to contribute generously.
I actually wonder about the wisdom of making such reports public. Most of the money any church has is from private donations. How would you feel going to a historically stingy parish? What if it turns out that Protestants are really much more generous than Catholics? Just publishing a list of names and phone numbers can be a big problem with all the privacy issues involved. It can be managed but you need to be careful.
The financial statements that parishes and dioceses provide to parishioners do not list the names or amounts given by individuals. All that is shown is the “intake and out-go”. My parish has 22,000 families, so a published list would be mightly long; move that to the diocesan level and it would be as long as the Congressional Record.