New Online Tithing Available to All of the United States [updated]

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UPDATE 3 Sept 2015: The church has released this to all of the US. To use it go to: https://www.lds.org/donations/

Here’s the instructional video you’ll have the option to watch, the first time you visit that page:

 

Original Post Below


We don’t usually do “breaking news” type articles. In this case we’ll make an exception. A month ago I posted a screenshot and some information about a new way to pay your tithing through your LDS.org account. It’s in “invite-only-beta” status and only 1 stake (as far as we know) was using it. Though I trusted my source, and received confirmation through other channels, many of the larger LDS-news sites wouldn’t repost or reshare the information because it wasn’t officially confirmed. Fortunately a lot of you were as excited about it as we were, and spread the word by sharing and resharing it on Facebook (thanks for that).

Well, now it’s official! A few days ago, the Church quietly pushed out a new document with instructions on how to use the new online donation payment system. It confirms that it’s in Beta and only available to a few. But it also proves that our screenshot and other information was accurate.

There’s a few more interesting tidbits in the document as well, mostly in the FAQ section at the end:

  • Everything is done via EFT (ACH), no debit/credit card payments, as we said before .
  • No refunds of any kind. But if you put something in the wrong place, your Ward Clerk can correct it.
  • Fast offerings “stay” in your local unit as if you’d donated the traditional way.
  • The Bishopric can see your donations and such, just like before.
  • You can add your spouse’s name to the reports, but it’s tied to your membership record number.
  • Minimum contribution is $1.
  • You can make missionary donations to another ward/branch, but will need the unit number.
  • There are NO automatic, recurring donations. You can reuse all the same settings as a previous donation, to repeat it in a few clicks.

New LDS.org payments vs old BillPay payment methods

When we announced this a month ago, many people said “I already do that.” They were thinking of the BillPay method that we posted about years ago. Question 13 of the FAQ addresses the difference for any who might still be confused:

Q13. What is the difference between Online Donations and my bank’s bill pay?

A13. Online Donations is a way for the Church to receive donations directly from your bank account, using the online donation slip to provide your desired category breakdown. Online Donations has more categories to select. Bill pay directly to Church headquarters requires you to use your bank’s program and enter a specific payee to select one of the general donation categories. It also requires donors to manually enter their member record number, which increases the likelihood of errors occurring. Online Donations is the preferred electronic method for donating to the Church.

UPDATE: the Church officially announced the new donation system, yesterday. Here’s the screenshots they provided:

What do you think of the new screenshots? Anything unexpected here?

13 comments
  1. Any word from the rumor mill as to when this will move out of beta? Or how if the church plans on rolling it out in phases (similar to rolling out the new family search a few years back)?

    1. Unfortunately I have no indication from any sources. I don’t like rumors, so I’ll only say it if I’m fairly certain. Hopefully the publication of this documents means an official announcement will be coming soon, and give us some kind of idea on the ETA.

  2. Giving the church direct access to one’s bank account instead of using the protection of bill pay through my financial institution?……hmmmmmmmmm. No refunds?….double hmmmmmmmm. I will have to think long and hard about that one. Is this a pre-cursor to full implementation of the law of consecration?

  3. I’m sure the Church will have any risks on our/their part worked out. Have you ever seen “The Church” do anything fraudulent or risky with our money– I never have. Wow, so into the modern age!

  4. I donate electronically to salt lake now. No one in the ward knows the amount of my tithe except headquarters. Will this new method enable the clerks and bishopric to now see my donation amount?

    1. Yes, the record of the donation will be associated with your ward, just like a handwritten donation.

  5. I’m not sure why, but this announcement makes me sad. It feels like our church is becoming more worldly and “corporate” at such a rapid pace.
    What’s next? The added convenience of sacrament meetings offered via webcast? No need to have any personal contact with a real person. All of your spiritual needs at just the click of a mouse.

    1. Fred, Sacrament will never be offered via webcast. Why? Because it’s an ordinance and must be done at church. I have heard that sacrament can be offered at home for those who are sick and can’t make it to church. This isn’t going to take away the traditional way of making offerings. I suspect that a lot of members will still hand in checks and cash the old way, my mother included. She’s technophobic and unless I help her with other donations she makes online, she’s very much skiddish of new technologies available. I believe older members will still hand in checks and cash whereas those of the rising generation will do it this way. It’s a tool and doesn’t replace the spiritual needs that people find at church or the gospel for that matter. If you still wish to hand in your offerings the old way, that’s your affair as well, after all tithes and offerings are between you and the Lord.

  6. Just opened up for our ward/stake. Looks great and I’m excited. I didn’t notice when this was first posted the screenshot showing donor statements from past years.

    I don’t know how many times I’ve forgotten the check for tithing on the morning of church. I’ve been waiting for this for a while.

  7. I am excited finally I am now able to do my offerings online. I did my first fast offering online today. Takes two to three business days to clear but that’s alright that’s what it took normally for checks manually handled. However, this is going to save me purchasing checks and handing the offerings online as well as me making mistakes on my checks and having to void them and write new ones.

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