Contribution Questions, Answers, and Comments

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Contributions Questions and Comments

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Archive of Contribution Q&A

The following comments, tips, and Q/A were provided by FreeChurchAccounting's generous readers:

Proper accounting of receipts for events 
We have cases where a member pays for church event related items. Have more questions? Our Ebook can help! Rather than seeking for reimbursement, …

Using Church TAX ID for cancer benefit 
A member of our church has cancer and the community is putting on a benefit to help assist with medical costs. The committee putting on the event is requesting …

Contributions 
If someone is donating funds to the church to go to a particular ministry, is that tax-deductible? This particular ministry is not affiliated with the …

allowable non-cash donation 
A member bought food for a church social event, and wants us to give her a receipt for the amount she spent on food. Is such an expense even deductible? …

Church tithe and ethics 
Our church recently decided to give 10% of our income to outreach. Well, now we are looking at a serious budget shortfall, and some people want to value …

Contibutions that exceed budget 
Members on occasion designate a portion of their offering for a supported ministry that exceeds the budget. What should happen with the excess? Seems …

Farm Commodities as gifts 
What type of contribution letter needs to be given when a farmer gives grain or livestock as a gift?

Issuing charitable donation letters do they have to be mailed if not picked up? 
Do charitable contribution letters have to be mailed to recipients if they have not picked them up at the church?

Married couple donations 
We have a married couple in our church that file their taxes individually. For this reason each one make their individual contributions to the church and …

Poinsettia Project 
We displayed poinsettia's in our church this past Christmas season. Church members wrote a check out to the church, the church then turned around and …

Should contribution receipt be issued to the name of the individual or the name of the business? 
We have several people in our congregation that give their weekly tithe/offering with a check issued from the name of their small business instead of from …

Contribution 
If a person makes a donation to the church (not a member) and does not designate to which fund the contribution is made, can we put it in any designated …

Non-Cash Donation of Equipment 
An individual has agreed to allow our church to use his outdoor stage equipment/apparatus for a community picnic at NO COST to our church if we (our church) …

Contributions 
Is it illegal to post the names and amounts that the members contribute in the church for everyone to see?

Is it a requirement to have check copies on site? 
I thought for sure that I read on IRS site that it is a compliance issue to have copies of all donor checks on site and that they should be held for a …

Mission Trip Donation or not? 
Mission trip planned with a total given all those attending sum of visa,tickets,meals,hotel,etc. Each person making the trip gets donations from,friends,church …

Mail contribution statement or make available online? 
Must a church mail a physical contribution statement to people who donated cash to the church, or will an electronic copy suffice?

Records Stolen! What can be done about year end statements? 
We had a break in and our records were stolen. Can you offer any advice on what can be done. A police report was done and we notified all of our members. …

Determining which Donation Statements at years end need to be sent. 
We are a small church and have about 350 members and visitors by the years end that have contributed money to the church. We of course keep records (Contribution …

Date for contribution  
For credit for 2012, does it have to be deposited before Dec.31?

Fund Raising monies 
How are monies from a fund raising event handled?

Contributions designated for other tax-exempt organizations 
We have members that will make a check out to our church but specify that those funds are for other local tax-exempt organizations such as a food pantry, …

3rd Party Checks 
Should a church cash or deposit checks made payable to an individual or another institution?

Payment/Reimbursement to church - NOT Contributions 
I need to know how to record certain reimbursements/"income" that the church I work at receives. I am aware that these would not be contributions. …

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Youth Camp & Parent offerings 
Our small church sends our kids & youth to camp every year. We initially pay the full amount for the camp registration. We then hold a fundraiser to …

Acknowledgement of money gifts to Foundation to be included on annual giving statement from the church 
Our church has a separate Foundation to administer funds donated to specific Trusts. It has been our practice to send out an acknowledgement and thank …

CHURCH REDIRECTS FUNDS  
Can a church take money from a giver in a church contribution envelope designated by the giver for the Church and redirect these funds by deacon vote …

Counting cash donations? 
We try to always have two church Members count the donations every week. We do this as we do not want just one person counting. 1) someone suggested …

Tithing 
Do you know where on the 1040a I put the amount I tithed to my church? Thanks Paul Ingram

Charging Overhead to Non-Profits 
We house several non-profit organizations in our facilities, and we process contributions and expenses for them. We are looking for an easy, fair, and …

entering donation for building fund on donor record 
I entered a contribution from a donor to the building fund on the donor statement to track tithes and offerings but when I enter it doesn't show the amount …

Single Contribution checks less than $250.00 
Some families turn in their offering envelopes every Sunday. Some families turn them in maybe once a month. Let's say a family only attends church …

Vehicle Loaned for Pastor's Use 
We have two members who loaned their vehicle for the pastor's use during a time when he didn't own a car. They would like to receive a contribution …

Donated Space Acknowledgment 
How do we acknowledge the contribution of donated space/utilities for a fundraiser? I have been told that a qualifying statement/disclaimer needs to …

Church Financial Statements 
Is the church allowed to show, publicly, what each individual tithed at the end of the year? Vickey's reply No. Contributions MUST be kept …

Mailing Contributions 
We have a very large church and we hand out our contribution statments. Every year we have several left over from where our members either did not want …

Discounted merchandise donation 
A local company allowed us to purchase carpet padding at a discounted price and now wants us to provide a tax deduction receipt for the difference b/w …

Gifts smaller than $250 
Our church has never kept records and issued receipts for gifts less than $250. We get somewhat regular questions from new attenders who want all …

Accounting for facility rental fees. 
Our church lets outside groups use our facility and asks for a "donation" for use of such areas, I assume to avoid unrelated business use issues. Should …

On Line Contributions 
We are a new church and want to encourage on line giving. However, all of the searching we have done has indicated a need to use a third party to make …

Do we need to keep the tithing envelopes? 
We are a small church and have small tithing envelopes that our congregation can choose to use to put their tithes in. I was told by the retiring secretary …

Federal Tax ID 
Are there any dangers for putting the church tax id on a member's contribution letter? Can the church include the Federal tax id number on the contribution …

Checks being copied 
As a new church administrative secretary I am fully aware of the worries of making sure everything we do is legitimate. I agree, keeping actual copies …

Selling a Donated Item 
We are thinking of selling the church piano. It was donated to the church over 20 years ago and the member who donated it has since passed away. Is there …

How Do You Handle Pastoral Support?  
Question regarding pastor’s love offerings: The Pastor does not receive a salary from the church, however, on a weekly basics he does receive an offering, …

Giving Your Pastor and Staff a Christmas Offering 
Question regarding different ways to give Pastor and staff a Christmas offering: In previous years we have passed envelopes out and called it Christmas …

Annual Giving Statements  
Question regarding including certain amounts on the annual giving statements. Our pastor's daughter recently graduated from high school and had now …

Recording and Acknowledging a Noncash Donation 
Regarding a noncash contribution: We were blessed to have someone gift our church a building for our church. The building was appraised at $360,000. …

Pastor's Tithes 
Question regarding Pastor's tithes. Our church of course has a pastor, however, my pastor has a pastoral covering to whom our church pays tithes off …

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Musical Instruments donated to our church 
We have in the past had members donate stuff to the church, but when they leave, they claim it back. Is there a form that we could get them to complete …

Is an annual contribution receipt required by law?  
I understand that it is a good idea for members to receive a giving receipt at the end of the year for their cash donations, but our newly started church …

MEMBERS CONTRUBTIONS LETTERS 
My family has been attending our recent church for 1 year and has faithfully been giving our tithes and offering. Should we still get a contributions statement? …

Does a receipt need to made each Sunday for a gift over $250? 
Our staff and finance people are having a debate regarding whether we need to receipt each week for the checks over $ 250 or is one receipt at the end …

Need Envelope for Cash Contributions !!! 
I have a question regarding Envelopes for Cash Contributions. My church provides envelopes for Cash offering, but some people they do not want the church …

Designated offering. 
When someone gives an offering and designates to something specific (Not on the future to do list) but you need that money to pay necessary utilities? …

Contributions designated for a missionary 
First, this is an awesome site, and I wish I had found it sooner!! My questions are about donations we receive that are designated to a missionary we …

Contributions donated by others 
Can an individual get a "donation receipt" for payment by check paid from a Travel Agency's Client Trust account (the individual is a signer on this account). …

How do I account for Gift Cards to the church? 
How do I account for a donation in the form of a gift card that is redeemable by the bearer at a specific retail store? These are being donated to support …

Minstry getting Taxed 
We started a ministry and are starting to receive substantial donations. In response to our blessing regarding growth, we got a EIN number, fictious name …

Posting Goods on Contribution Record 
I have a member who has donated material to the church for repairs. Rather than a letter acknowledging this gift, he has given me copies of the receipts …

Designated Donations 
My Church considers all designated donations to be non-deductible. I wrote two checks during 2010 to my church with a word in the memo area: "Honduras" …

CONTRIBUTION RECEIPTS 
How long do we need to keep contribution receipts that couldn't be mailed to the giver due to lack of address? There's always those visitors that will …

How do I account for donated labor? 
I am new to church accounting (and rusty on regular accounting) and we had some work done and the company did not charge us for the labor or the services. …

How long can church hold designated gifts? 
I have just become the Treasurer of a small church. We have some missions projects which are supported solely by designated contributions. The church has …

How do we record scholarship money? 
I am a church employee who was recently awarded a scholarship by an outside organization for training in Grant Writing and Quickbooks. The award committee, …

does a church member have to use a CID # for tithes? 
Does a church member have to use a CID# for tithes each week, for tax purposes? (contribution identification number ) Is this a new law? If so when does …

charitable offering or not 
We are going to have 20 volunteers to go on our annual mission trip from the church. It is going to cost $10,000 for the trip and we raised only $8,000. …

Are we required to keep offering envelopes? 
Are we required to keep offering envelopes if we document on the check each fund and amount the donation was for? We keep a copy of each check with the …

Church Revenue 
Having a program with the Treasurer of our church, what is church revenue and how is suppose to be brought in to show it as revenue? What is designated …

Receipt Numbers 
Does the IRS require receipt numbers? For instance, Good Will has receipt numbers at the top of their forms/receipts for donations. Vickey's reply

Gift to Deacon 
The chairman of deacons served as church leader in the absence of a pastor. At the end of his service, the church voted to give him a financial gift of …

what happens if you can't get the end of year statements out by January 31st 
We sent most of the statements out by the end of January; however, some statements were sent out in February and unfortunately, a few were sent out the …

Copies of offering checks 
Does a church need to make copies of all offering checks received? We record the name, amount and check number in QuickBooks. Wouldn't this be enough? …

Issue Contribution Receipts to All Members? 
Do you have to issue a contribution letter to all your members? vickey's reply You are required to record and keep track of each donor’s donation; …

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Non Cash Donations for Youth Garage Sale 
How do I handle contribution statements for non cash donations given to the youth garage sale? Answer A written receipt should be issued for …

Signing Contribution Receipts 
Should all contribution tax receipts be signed or is a letterhead with the organization's name enough? Answer That I know of there is not …

A format to give members regarding tithes and offering for tax purposes 
I need a statement that I can give to each member in order for them to use their tithes and offerings totals for their 2009 taxes. What wording can be …

Mailing Contribution Receipts ........Or Not 
Is the church required to mail a contribution receipt to someone who no longer attends our church? What is the best way to handle this? Answer

Revocable Trust Charitable Contribution  
I have a member who gave a large sum on January 4, 2010 from a Revocable Trust. He says he is able to claim this as a deduction for 2009 b/c it is from …

Giving Limit on Annual Contribution Statement 
Do we give an end of the year statement to everyone or just the people who gave over a certain limit? For example what if someone gives $40 for the whole …

Supplemental To Church Pastor's Housing Allowance 
Our pastor's Housing Allowance is insufficient in our small, rural church. So, several church members want to increase his 2010 Allowance by donating the …

Tax Receipt for Fundraiser? 
Our teens sold sheets as a fundraiser for youth trip. Should tax receipts be given to the people who bought them since they actually received "goods"? …

Contribution Limits by Individuals 
Could you please comment on whether the IRS has different accounting requirements if an individual contributes over a certain threshold, say over $10,000 …

Yearly Acknowledgement of Tithes & Pledges. 
How to write a receipt of church charitable donations? Answer Except for Form 1098-C, used for gifts of autos, boats, or airplanes, the IRS …

Tax ID on Church Receipt? 
Does a church need to give their tax ID number on the receipt? Answer No, the only required information for your church receipt is your church’s …

Giving Check for Services 
Question regarding giving restricted gifts: A person in the church pays for the tuning of the organ in the amount of $255. She pays the church this …

Contribution Statements 
Question regarding annual contribution statements: I am the Financial secretary at our church. When I took over the position I was told that if a person …

Pastor's Tithe Fund 
Question regarding Pastor’s tithes: Currently our church has a tithe fund where the pastor receives 85% as his salary. Should the pastor's tithe be …

Church Receipt for all Cash Donations? 
Is there a dollar figure for cash donations that must require the church to give a receipt? Answer No. It is the donor's responsibility to …

Pastor Discretionary Fund 
Have a sub-account for pastor discretionary fund. Funds are received from members/non-members of church as a gift/donation to the pastor of church. With …

Guidelines Trustee/Treasurer 
What are the guidelines for a church trustee giving a love offering to those in need (homeless)? Answer That depends. If you are talking about …

Donation Receipt Letters 
Who should sign annual donation receipt letter? Answer Whoever takes care of your contribution tracking. Most of the time it will be the secretary …

Non Cash Contribution of Event Space 
Question regarding non cash contribution: We recently had an event at a Wine House as a fund raiser. We are a 501 3 c. Can I issue this Wine House …

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