LDS "Mormon" Philanthropies

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Mormon charities

As early as 1955, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints recognized the need and the desire of Church membership to establish a fund for philanthropic causes. Since that time, the single fund has evolved into an organization managing several institutions and charities.

LDS Philanthropies is a department of the Office of the Presiding Bishopric of the LDS Church. It is important to note that 100 percent of all donations go to help those in need. No administrative costs are deducted by LDS Philanthropies or their affiliated charities. Among the institutions and charities administered by LDS Philanthropies are:

• Brigham Young University • BYU-Hawaii • BYU-Idaho • LDS Business College • Polynesian Cultural Center • Latter-day Saint Charities (Humanitarian Services) • Church History • FamilySearch.org • Missionary Fund • Mormon Tabernacle Choir • Perpetual Education Fund • Temple Patron and Construction Funds

Church members voluntarily give what they can in addition to the 10 percent of their income in tithing, [1] either generally or specifically to one of these areas. Like the widow’s mites (see Mark 12:42-44), however small the donations, they are regarded as sacred and will not be misused.

In addition, LDS Philanthropies specialists work with individual members on planned giving, estates, wills, and trusts. These donations are used for a whole gamut of causes from providing a wheelchair for a young boy in Haiti to subsidizing tuition at Brigham Young University for a talented organ student from Chile.

In 2011/2012 much attention is being focused on the LDS Church because of the so-called “Mormon Moment.” Although Jon Huntsman has pulled out of the presidential race, his and Mitt Romney’s candidacy have highlighted http://www.mormon.org The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints] in a way not seen since the 2002 Winter Olympics.

In general, members of the Church are not comfortable trumpeting their charitable giving. As the donations are regarded as sacred by those administering and receiving them, so too the making of those contributions is done for the most part silently and in confidence. However, the LDS Philanthropies website [2] has many heart-warming stories of the impact of these donations.

On 23rd January, 2012, Mitt Romney released his tax returns. In an estimate of his 2011 taxes, Romney is reported to have donated $2.6 million to the LDS Church. [3] Part of this would be tithing, but the rest would be donations through LDS Philanthropies, either specifically designated to projects within the institutions or charities listed above, or generally disseminated. It is again worth noting that none of the money given through LDS Philanthropies would have gone to administration.

Anyone who has used familysearch.org to search for their ancestors, visited the Polynesian Cultural Center, or listened to the Weekly Mormon Tabernacle Choir broadcast has benefited from the funds administered by LDS Philanthropies and donated by members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

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