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16 Reviews
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June 23, 2014
4 people found this review helpful

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June 23, 2014
4 people found this review helpful

Bill Gates has done more for education with his donations to the UNCF than the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints ever will. And when Lakota people were dying in the Dakotas for lack of propane this past winter, the church was spending money to build condominiums in Philadelphia. The Maya children of Guatemala suffer malnourishment as high as 80%. What did the LDS church do? It built a multibillion dollar mall in Salt Lake City for the wealthy to shop in. Think about how much of a difference that money would have made in helping the Maya peoples instead of a shopping center in Utah. Other nonprofits do far more to help make the world better.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Revoke their tax exempt status throughout the world and require full financial transparency.

More feedback...

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

No

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Some

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

November 8, 2013
4 people found this review helpful

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November 8, 2013
4 people found this review helpful

I worked for over15 years in South Asia and East Asia with various government agencies and NGOs and I have always been impressed by the LDS Church's charitable relief efforts. When disaster strikes, they are among first ones in - and they come with appropriate aid.

For example, we
watched as container after container of LDS aid arrived in Indonesia after the big 2004 tsunami, and again after a big earthquake in a different part of the country the next year. We were in China following the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake in Sichuan and again the LDS were busily bringing in supplies. I can't remember a typhoon in the Philippines in the last 10 years where I haven't run into LDS relief efforts.

I was discussing the LDS with some of my classmates who work in the US and they tell me they regularly see hundreds of LDS volunteers (sometimes called Mormons) in yellow vests working in the aftermath of disasters in the US like hurricanes Sandy and Katrina.

One of the things that impresses me most about the LDS church's relief efforts is their attitude. They don't try to limit their aid to their own adherents, they are willing to help where help is needed, regardless of religion. It doesn't even matter to them whether they get "credit" for their efforts - only that the aid gets to those in need.
For example, in Pakistan after the 2005 Kashmir earthquake there were problems with local officials who were very opposed to their people finding out that relief supplies were coming from Christians (to the point that the officials were blocking shipments to starving people), so the LDS simply had their supplies repacked to remove any mention of the church so they could get through. One LDS leader told me "It's only important that the hungry are fed and the homeless are sheltered, not that we get our names in the papers". I heard a similar story from a colleague that the LDS have been quietly shipping food to North Koreans on the same "no name" basis - politics don't matter, only hungry children matter.

I saw criticism of the LDS church several years ago for a "lack of transparency" (echoed in some other reviews on this site) and I did some research of my own.
Apparently the LDS church doesn't file the same financial disclosure documents with the US IRS that big US charities do (like Red Cross), but I learned that most US churches aren't required to file them and therefore don't file either. I also learned that the LDS church has a modern internal audit department and that one of the major public accounting firms (currently Deloitte) audits the church and its internal processes and auditors.

I looked into the governing board overseeing LDS charities and it is quite impressive (and a bit eclectic, which I like), including a Stanford business school professor, several university presidents, a state supreme court judge, and even the former chief pilot of Lufthansa, All serve as unpaid volunteers.

LDS charities distribute 100% of funds donated for relief. An LDS church leader told me that their charitable relief funds are separated from the church's other funds (like their tithing program) by a one-way gate. The church can use other funds to support relief efforts (like paying for all the overhead of the relief program), but no relief funds can be used for anything other than relief aid.

Given what I have seen and experienced personally and what I have learned about them, I would be very comfortable recommending The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints as a worthy charity.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

be more active in getting the efforts known.

More feedback...

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

September 9, 2013
4 people found this review helpful

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September 9, 2013
4 people found this review helpful

When my husband lost his job and we were struggling financially for several months the LDS church offered to help us by sending us to a place called the bishop's storehouse to receive food. When we arrived I was surprised to find dozens of families like ourselves filling their shopping carts with food and necessities. I have since learned that the LDS church offers this all across the world and they do so through their members donations and investments in cattle ranches and such. We receive meats, dairy, and canned goods during the time my husband was un-employed. Everytime we visited the store house it was full of people receiving help. I'm thankful for the help we received in a time of stress and need. Thank you to all who make this charity possible.

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How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

July 23, 2013
2 people found this review helpful

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July 23, 2013
2 people found this review helpful

Interesting set of reviews. Either ex-members rate the Church with one star (anonymously) or Church members and other active donors rate it highly.

I spent 18 months as a senior missionary and was intimately involved in administering Church funds. I am thrilled to say that the donations go
to the needed recipients and every effort is made that donations are both sustainable and that there is no graft or corruption. I gladly donate to the Church.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Expand the "member short-term projects" and other "area initiatives."

More feedback...

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

February 12, 2013
4 people found this review helpful

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February 12, 2013
4 people found this review helpful

Spent more than 25 years as a voluntary member of this organization. After I left (voluntarily), I was shunned by members of this organization. I was told that I was not good enough for them and many of them cut off contact with me due to the teachings of this organization.

This
organization also took thousands of dollars from me with the promise of my life getting better, but like many organizations who claim this, it didn't happen. It is also a very homophobic and misogynist organization which routinely gets involved with politics (gay marriage) and I believe that it's tax-exempt status should be revoked because of that.

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Did the organization use your time wisely?

Badly

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

No

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

December 3, 2012
8 people found this review helpful

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December 3, 2012
8 people found this review helpful

I have donated thousands of dollars to and spent two years as a volunteer missionary for the Mormon church. Unfortunately, those two years in a third world country were spent almost exclusively recruiting new members for the organization and doing very little substantive service for the poor people around me. I loved the experiences I had there, but I very much wish the Church would train its missionaries to be less like salesmen. The Church is guarded about its financial practices. It is estimated that it has a net worth of at least $40 billion, with annual revenue of $8 billion (http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2012-07-10/how-the-mormons-make-money#p1). Members of the church are told that payment of tithing (10% of income) is a requirement for admission to heaven, and they will be denied access to Mormon temples if they fail to pay. Growing up I was led to believe that the Church spends millions of dollars each year on humanitarian aid projects around the globe, but these figures are never made public, a fact I now find disturbing. This is especially troubling because the Church recently funded the building of an enormous shopping mall in Salt Lake City (at least $2 billion). The Church owns 928,000 acres of land in North America, is the largest ranch land owner in Wyoming, is the 2nd largest land owner in Nebraska, has the largest cattle ranch in 48 states (adjacent to Disneyworld in Florida), is the largest foreign landowner in UK. The LDS Church owns several businesses, numerous radio and television stations, its own insurance company, and is rumored to be the largest single producer of commercial beef in the USA . They own enormous properties in Hawaii including a Marriott hotel franchise and the Polynesian Cultural Center, which is the most visited tourist attraction in Hawaii (http://mormonthink.com/tithing.htm). As an organization claiming it is God's "one true church," these business enterprises and lack of financial transparency are disconcerting to say the least. This is all important information people should consider before donating their, time, money, or any other resources to this organization.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Unlikely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Some

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Somewhat badly

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

No

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

November 9, 2012
1 person found this review helpful

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November 9, 2012
1 person found this review helpful

I think it's so wonderful that the LDS Church is usually the first organization to arrive at the scene of a disaster, sometimes even before the Red Cross gets there. We learn to "serve one another" from the scriptures and so volunteering is serving. Members can either volunteer and help at disasters or can help by donating to the Humanitarian aid on an Offerings slip at church. I haven't been able to volunteer at a disaster, but have helped by donating. The church helps people throughout the world, not just the U.S.

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Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

October 31, 2012
4 people found this review helpful

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October 31, 2012
4 people found this review helpful

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or "LDS" or "Mormon" for short, is run completely by non-paid clergy, including those at the highest point of leadership (They are compensated for travel and other church related expenses if they are unable to pay with their own funds). ALL the non-paid clergy to the highest level continue paying tithing voluntarily as well. The biggest expenses of the Church are building chapels and temples world-wide including upkeep and maintenance, and maintaining missions throughout the world. Members when paying tithing, which money is used for these and related eccesiastical matters, also have options to donate additional moneys for disasters, humanitarian aid, education scholarships for less developed countries, etc., and contrary to the norm, all the money goes to help since church volunteers are paid nothing to do so. It is due to lack of understanding that some write negatively about the money controlled by the church, since they do not know the facts - that help given to disasters, etc. is directly donated by members voluntarily for that express purpose, and is distributed by the church free of overhead. I prefer donating this way since I know that every penny I give will go to help those in need.

More feedback...

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

September 14, 2012
3 people found this review helpful

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September 14, 2012
3 people found this review helpful

It is reassuring that the church gives out 100% of its humanitarian aid contributions, which is very uncommon in so many charities today. The church often stays for extended periods helping in areas that have had natural disasters, long after other relief agencies have left the scene. The Church specializes in small items that are often overlooked by larger agencies such as hygiene kits. The LDS Church also has an extensive welfare system which is separate from its humanitarian aid program. This program is primarily for the relief of its members and is administered on a local level. Members of the church fast each month and donate the money they would have used on meals to assist the poor. This program should not be confused with humanitarian aid. To learn more about the LDS Church's humanitarian aid program visit www.mormon.org/humanitarian-aid

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

None

More feedback...

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

What specific problem, purpose, priority, or project prompted your gift?

Confidence that the money is used where it is needed.

What would you tell others about this organization?

You can have confidence that this organization will be honest, effective, and efficient.

June 11, 2012
3 people found this review helpful

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June 11, 2012
3 people found this review helpful

I've been a donor, volunteer, adviser, and dispenser of both human resources and finances for the LDS Church. I think it deserves high marks, particularly since almost everyone is an untrained volunteer. Collections are done in person, online, or through the mail, and receipts are kept by the donor, local group, and headquarters. Every year the donor confirms their receipts with the organizations to make sure nobody tried to skim anything, and in all my years I've never encountered a problem. The primary donations are tithing, which is taught as a biblical principle and duty, and those funds cover all the operations of the Church, it's facilities, staff, equipment, etc. Other funds, such as the humanitarian relief fund, are 100% load-free-- all the donated money goes directly toward the recipients, because administrative burden is paid for already by tithing. Because of it's size and spread, the LDS Church has people on the ground all over the place, and the local administration of relief funds increases their effectiveness IMO. I have been on both the giving and receiving end, and the human face makes the help more meaningful. The LDS Church also excels at gathering volunteers, has a well-developed transport and distribution network, and even owns farms and food-processing facilities, so each dollar tends to have far more than a typical dollar's impact at another aid organization. Internal audits are conducted by Deloitte, a top accounting firm, and double checked by an independent in-house team. Totals aren't released, which keeps the focus on the goal rather than the money, and local administrators have access to their precincts' funds and records, and it's all very orderly. Overall, it's tough to beat a no-admin-load charity with well-developed networks and reputable history. The religion's adherents' tithing donations provide facilities and staff and keeps the ball rolling, so anyone else's donation goes straight to the particular cause. My favorite funds are the education-loan fund and the disaster relief fund. They are LDS specialties. I expect that LDS philanthropies will continue to improve in coming years, and it's been a joy to be a part of.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Food aid, disaster relief, and education are probably the top LDS specialties right now. Career centers and community clean up are also strong points. They divested their healthcare system decades ago.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

make it easier for people to understand. There seems to be a large understanding gap between the public and people familiar with of affiliated with the LDS Church. More public outreach, particularly in humanitarian and not-religion-specific projects, would be helpful. Seems to be improving with time.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Okay

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

What one change could this group make that would improve your volunteer experience?

I'm sure there's something, but I can't think of it. Given the conditions and available personnel, I think it went quite well.

Did your volunteer experience have an effect on you? (teaching you a new skill, or introducing new friends, etc.)

Yes, all of the above.

How did this volunteer experience make you feel?

Good

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