“Church Fund-raising Office Has New Title,” Ensign, Jan. 1983, 78
The First Presidency has announced that the Development Office, the Church’s fund-raising arm, will now be known as LDS Foundation.
Headquartered on the Brigham Young University campus, the organization will continue to operate according to its established goals and purposes. “We will continue to encourage and facilitate voluntary philanthropic contributions to the Church and its related organizations and activities,” said Donald T. Nelson, foundation director. He added that the foundation would also continue to emphasize higher education, “in which the need for financial assistance goes beyond the availability of tithing funds.”
Brother Nelson pointed out that “LDS Foundation normally does not receive tithes or other contributions intended for local wards and stakes. It does, however, receive many other kinds of contributions, including gifts in kind (such as equipment, livestock, and art work); real estate; stocks and bonds; and cash. Many different kinds of trusts can be established through LDS Foundation which permit donors to receive an income for life. The corpora [principal] of these trusts go to charity—the Church or one of its institutions—after the donors die.” He added that because of federal and state tax laws, individuals who make such gifts receive important benefits in return, such as special tax deductions, exclusions, and exemptions. “These benefits lower the taxes that otherwise would be paid by them or their estates,” he said.
Since the establishment of the fund-raising organization, millions of dollars in direct and deferred gifts have been raised. “About half the contributions,” said Brother Nelson, “have come from nonmembers who are impressed with the power of Church programs to improve mankind’s spiritual and physical condition.”
J. Alan Blodgett, managing director of investments for the Church, will serve as chairman of the foundation’s board of directors. He will be assisted by Dee F. Andersen, coordinator of the Office of Church Planning; Henry B. Eyring, Church commissioner of education; Bruce C. Hafen, president of Ricks College; Jeffrey R. Holland, president of Brigham Young University; Donald T. Nelson, foundation director; and Harold F. Western, associate commissioner of education-finance.
The organization began in 1966 as the Office of University Development; its primary purpose was to raise funds for Brigham Young University. Then in 1971 the First Presidency created Church Education Development to direct and correlate fund raising for all Church schools. In 1973 the First Presidency again expanded the organization’s charter and changed its name to the Development Office. Finally, in January of 1981, the office was placed under the direction of the Presiding Bishopric.