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BOBBY - Why Doesn't the Church allow Fundraising on Church premises in our days but were doing so before the budgets were given to Wards? is there any Doctrine or is it just modern revelation?

JOEL - I remember the days of the ward budget dinners we used to have. We would go to the church and the finance clerk would be sitting at a table accepting donations for the ward budget and then we would eat a steak and corn on the cob dinner. I used to wonder if the money collected was even enough to cover the cost of the dinner :-)

The ward budget donation and fund-raisers served their purpose for a time, but the system was a little unfair to those wards which did not have much affluence among the members. It meant they would have to do without some activities compared to wards that had wealthier members. I thought it was great when the news came that we would no longer have to provide this extra donation to maintain the ward house and ward activities. It meant that members of the church were paying enough tithing so we no longer needed to add ward budget to our donations.

There really is no doctrine involved; just changing policy to keep with the times and condition of the latter-day church. By allocating budget money based on Sacrament meeting attendence (current policy), all wards have an equal opportunity to obtain funds for ward activities, regardless of how wealthy or poor the genearal membership of a particular ward might be. If you want more money in your budget, just get more people to come to Sacrament meeting. So the main reason we don't do much fund-raising now is that we simply don't need to anymore.

The current Church Handbook states the following under Fund-raising:
"Fund-raising activities are not usually approved because expenses for stake and ward activities are paid with budget funds. As an exception, a stake president or bishop may authorize one group fund-raising activity each year."

So there are still a few allowed situations where fundraising can occur. For example if the Boy Scout troop needs to raise money for equipment or camp fees, etc. a fund raiser event can be used to raise the needed funds, beyond the budget which is already allocated for the ward Young Mens organization. This and similar situations would be an exception to the policy which would need both Bishop and Stake President's approvals.

Besides this there are legal and ethical reasons for not allowing other types of fundraising activities on church premises, including commercial or political activities which might jeopardize the Church's tax exempt status. In the past when wards used to have ward budget fundraisers it was to directly pay for the cost of building maintainence and ward religious activities. They were therefore not in violation of the laws for tax exemption.

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