Church Acting as Agency for Missionary - leftover funds

by PattyLU
(OR)

We have a missionary doing fundraising for her own mission trip. We are managing the donations received for her mission trip. Checks are payable to our church name with the designation of the mission trip say "Mexico Mission" for example. If the missionary is soliciting the donations and we are managing them, what is the proper action if more donations are given than necessary? Like if she only needed $20,000 but received $30,000 what should we do with the remaining $10,000? Who does that money belong to legally?

Comments for Church Acting as Agency for Missionary - leftover funds

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Sep 01, 2012
Church Acting as Agency for Missionary
by: Anonymous in NC

The key to the correct answer here is in your phrase "Checks are payable to our church name with the designation of the mission trip say 'Mexico Mission' for example".

When church funds are designated for a specific purpose, then that is where they must go. Now, if ALL contributions had been paid by checks (which I doubt), then donors could be contacted and asked what to do with the leftover money. If the church acts as agent for a missionary again (I'm sure you will), now you have learned to clear this dilemma up ahead of time.

However, there is no nicer dilemma to have. Your church decided to help in a worthy mission; now you are helping that mission in a bigger way. May God bless the giver and the receiver.

Sep 01, 2012
reply to NC
by: Anonymous

Thank you NC! Yes, all donations were given by check and/or via PayPal so we do have all donor info. So I'm thinking the "right" thing to do is to ask the donor if they would like their funds to be returned to them or if they would like to support the church "wherever needed"?

Sep 01, 2012
Acting as Agency for missionary leftover funds
by: Anonymous in NC

Since you can identify all donors, my next advice would be to put your solution on the Admin. Council agenda as an action item to see if council wants them to be contacted, but I'm sure you had already tought of that. Good Luck.

Sep 01, 2012
reply to NC
by: PattyLU

I appreciate your assumptions but no, I had not considered that. I did not know it was up to the church to decide if the donors should be contacted. It seems the right thing to do is to ask the donors but from your answer it sounds like it's up to the church. I'll see if any others weigh in and do a little more research in the meantime. I Appreciate your knowledge ~

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