From The Encyclopedia of Mormonism
Author: Smith, Robert J.
A ward budget is the fund from which local congregations (wards) finance their activities. Historically, the ward budget was raised through voluntary donations. Since January 1, 1990, ward and stake budgets in the United States and Canada are funded entirely from general tithing without additional local contributions. (Before 1990, bishops and ward members agreed privately on voluntary annual contributions. Wards sometimes organized supplementary fundraising activities.) Building operation and maintenance costs are reimbursed from Church headquarters. The quarterly allowance for each stake and ward is based on average meeting attendance. Additional fund raising is discouraged, and expenditures are carefully monitored. Donations are not solicited in worship services.
In parts of the world other than the United States and Canada, some local costs are still financed by voluntary contributions, although building rentals, maintenance, and some other expenses are reimbursed from central funds.
The ward budget continues to cover costs of general operations, materials, and activities of the wards and stakes. Each unit of the ward organization prepares annually a detailed estimate of needs, which the bishopric then uses to develop a ward budget proposal. The bishop presents this for a sustaining vote of the ward membership at a special meeting, and then submits the proposal to the stake, from which it goes to Church headquarters. ROBERT J. SMITH