Tuesday, November 9, 2010

How to Pay LDS Tithing Online

Here's how to pay tithing online for members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (aka Mormons or Latter-day Saints [LDS]).

If you're anything like me then you almost never use checks. The only day-to-day uses for these dinosaurs of the financial world are to pay rent and tithing. But more often than not I forget my checkbook when I go to church. After all, I don't carry it with me anywhere else! This habit has resulted in sporadic donations in which I try to figure out how many paychecks have come in since I last paid and then try to catch up.

(For those who may not know, Mormons usually pay 10% of their income to the church in the form of tithing. These funds support the growth of the church, building construction and maintenance, and other managerial things. They don't support a paid clergy (the LDS church has none at the local level) or humanitarian relief - there are separate donation avenues for helping the poor, victims of disaster, etc. Tithing does pay the administration costs of humanitarian aid so that 100% of money "given to the poor" actually goes to help the poor.)

Well I've finally found a solution. I heard a rumor that members can pay their tithing online somehow, so I fired up google and figured it out last night.

Here are directions to set up online tithing payment:

1. Download the necessary form from this website:
The Bill Payment Service Electronic Donation Information Form. (The version dated 21 May 2010 doesn't work, download and use the one dated 21 August 2008.) Fill it out on your computer and e-mail it to donations@ldschurch.org. You'll need to know your membership number, which you can get off of your temple recommend or from your ward clerk.

2. After you have e-mailed the form you'll receive a detailed response on how to set up your electronic bill payment through your bank. You'll need to figure out how exactly to configure bill pay for your bank. I use Bank of America and it was relatively easy to set up.

The e-mail you receive will provide information on how to set up separate bill payments for the following:

  • Tithing
  • Fast offerings
  • General missionary fund
  • Book of Mormon fund
  • Perpetual education fund
  • Other
Each bill payment you set up will use a different biller name. These names must be entered exactly as shown below and are case sensitive.

  • LDS-Tithing
  • LDS-Fast Offering
  • LDS-Missionary (General)
  • LDS-Book of Mormon
  • LDS-PEF
  • LDS-Other
You will be identified by your membership ID which you enter as the account number on your banking website.


Lastly, take care to enter the Pay To address and phone number correctly as shown.

A few notes on donating tithes and offerings electronically:
  • Any donations you send will go to church headquarters and will not be seen by your ward clerks or bishop - for good or for bad.
  • You can't donate to your ward missionary fund online, only to the general missionary fund.
  • The donations office can't accommodate special requests towards ward fast offerings or ward missionary funds.
  • You will receive monthly statements to verify that your payments have been successful as well as yearly tax receipts. You can receive these statements via snail mail or e-mail. If you choose to receive them via e-mail, this is what they look like:
Good luck! Hopefully this will be useful to folks like me who always forget the checkbook before church.

ORIGINAL: 3/15/10
UPDATE: 7/27/10 Updated directions to download the working Bill Payment Service Electronic Donation Information Form. Also mentioned the new ability to receive statements electronically.
UPDATE: 11/9/10 Added example image of a monthly electronic donations statement. Re-published with today's date.

22 comments:

Bran said...

Are you freakin' serious!
That's fantastic! I've been waiting for this for years?

Daniel said...

Do you know how this might effect tithing settlement?

Anonymous said...

Actually, it doesn't affect tithing settlement at all; Except that your bishop won't have an accurate dollar amount that you have paid but that isn't the point of tithing settlement anyway. I used this method to pay all last year and at tithing settlement my bishop was so surprised to hear about paying this way that he asked me for the web address so that he could investigate for himself. It really isn't common knowledge among the members yet.

Pierre said...

I just emailed my form. I am excited to try this. If I find paying tithing online good, I will just refer others to visit your site so that they can just follow your instructions. You really have a very useful information here, brother! Thanks!

Adam said...

I need some help. Your post seems to be the most current one on this topic. When I click on your link for the form that needs to be filled out: http://ldsclerks.com/index.php?title=Image:BillPay_Authorization.doc
The document that is linked to this page is blank. Does anyone have a current link or a copy of the form they can send to me?

Nickolas Pickolas said...

Adam,

It appears that the newest document version is no good - it is blank as you said. The next one down, dated 21 August 2008, seems to be fine. I'd use that one.

Nick

Mr. Tent Trash said...

The church is actually in the middle of creating a way to do this much, much easier in a way which will allow you to make local donations [fast offerings, local missionary fund, etc.] It will also have a web interface that will allow you to pay in various ways online. Very cool stuff! As a side note, this has been available for several years in japan and most parts of the EU.

bencov3 said...

Is there a place on one of the LDS websites where you can get to this email address or to the forms? How can I verify that the email address/form is valid for the church?

Not trying to be a skeptic but everyone I have talked to says this isn't available and I find it a little suspect that I cannot find this information on any LDS site.

Please help me to verify this. I did email the donations@ldschurch.org and received a response with similar paperwork attached. I am just looking for one other way to verify that the LDS Church is on the other end of that email address.

Nickolas Pickolas said...

Re: bencov3

"I am just looking for one other way to verify that the LDS Church is on the other end of that email address."

Good question - I had never considered this. I did a little research, and found out that ldschurch.org is owned by the church.

You can look this information up for yourself:

1. Go to whois.net
2. Search for ldschurch.org (the domain name for the e-mail address I have supplied)
3. You'll see listed "Registrant Name: Intellectual Reserve, Inc." which is the church's non-profit corporation that holds all of the church's intellectual property, copyrights, and trademarks.

Anonymous said...

We have been paying this way for a year now. It is definitely legit and makes it so much easier. They send me a monthly statement which I keep track of so I have it for the end of the year.

I have not gone to tithing settlement yet, but from my understanding it will be just as the same as whether you gave checks to your Bishop all year, or made them electronically. He will ask you the same questions.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

Anonymous said...

I send it through online payment to my bishop to his address and have the online check made out to The Church of Jesus Christ... with our ward on it. I put the amount and then in the memo I put my name and what goes to what.

salt lake city merchant accounts said...

Awesome! Thanks for the instructions.

Yvonne said...

THANK YOU!!!!

Adam O said...

Thank you!
http://tech.lds.org/wiki/Donations_to_Church_Headquarters

http://www.whitepages.com/business/reverse_phone?phone_number=801-240-1000

Jen said...

I filled out the form and sent it to the email donations@ldschurch.org and I got it back saying that it was an undeliverable address. Any suggestions?
Jen

Erik said...

"I send it through online payment to my bishop to his address and have the online check made out to The Church of Jesus Christ... with our ward on it. I put the amount and then in the memo I put my name and what goes to what."

The problem with this is that the clerk, by way of the Bishop, receives a Cashier's Check from the Bank and has to fill out YOUR tithing slip FOR YOU. That's an unnecessary pain for the clerk/bishop.

By donating electronically directly to church headquarters, it makes less work for ward clerks and bishopric members.

Thanks for these instructions.

It is important to keep in mind the local Fast Offerings and Ward Missionary donations should still go to your bishopric. Bishops and Stakes feela lot of pressure to care for their own unit's fast offering needs using local donations. Obviously the church fills in where local donations do not suffice, but if fast offerings are being made directly to church headquarters, it makes life more stressful for local leaders. This is a great resource for paying tithing and general donations.

I also don't think a Bishop would mind if you bring in your monthly donation statements to tithing settlement.

Steadie said...

Can you set up with a foreign banking account?

Anonymous said...

@ steadie, sounds like you want to pay tithing with your laundered money;)

Anonymous said...

We've ben posting this way for a while now but how can we change it to our ward here in the states because we lived in korea before?

Anonymous said...

Your link to the electronic payment document is wrong. It routes to ldsclerks.com. The correct address is ldsclerk.com It is singular, not plural.

Tawnie Irey said...

The bill pay form and instructions on this blog are out of date and no longer in use. For the most up to date information please contact the LDS donations department at 801-240-2554 or donations@ldschurch.org