Monday, April 28, 2014

Tiptoe tithing use

I've been looking into how the Church runs its finances a little bit lately.  I find this data very interesting.  The University of Tampa published a study offering an annual number for donations received by the Church.  The result was, and this includes tithing and other donations, 7 billion dollars annually.  (link here)

The Church has a three-year system for collecting and spending tithing money received from the members.  This is just referring to the tithing.  The first year the funds are collected, and invested.  The second year the funds remain invested while a budget and a plan are prepared for spending the tithing. The third year the original funds are spent.

During the time when the funds are first collected, they are put to use in investments or deposits which yield a return. Same for the second year.  When the third year comes and and the funds are being spent on budgeted expenses, they continue to collect interest or a return until they day they get spent.  

Here is where the Church makes a big and far reaching designation between types of money.  The amount of tithing collected in the first year is the amount designated "tithing".  This is the exact amount that is budgeted and spent in the third year. All of the return on tithing obtained from interest or return on investments is treated as and called "investment income".

In terms of things like temples, chapels, manuals and such, "tithing" money was used.  Meaning the original contributions collected.   When the church spends "investment income" that money is from the interest, return, etc. collected on the tithing money during the three year cycle from when originally collected until the time it is spent. It also includes the returns on the returns as they accumulated during this strategic plan.

So when Citi Creek Shopping center and housing development was built for around 5 billion dollars, or land purchases are made, and the Church says that "no tithing money was used"; they are saying they used only the "investment income."   

However, and this is important.  The argument could be made that the Church used nothing BUT tithing money to fund the shopping center.  They most certainly did "use" the tithing money.  

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