The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
June 11, 2012
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.
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.
Would you volunteer for this group again?
For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?
Did the organization use your time wisely?
Would you recommend this group to a friend?
When was your last experience with this nonprofit?
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?
Volunteer & Recorded donations, administered budgets, volunteered at relief projects, coordinated with other local NGOs, researched community needs, and did grunt-work volunteering in various capacities. I also recieved aid from the LDS Church.