Processing Love Offerings
We've had a question arise concerning love offerings. I understand the basic rationale for the offering being non-deductible for the giver, but also not being taxable compensation to the recipient, but my question is this:
If an individual writes a check payable to the church, but designated as a love offering to the pastor (or other person), the church does not consider it a charitable contribution and merely processes the check through the church's bank account and then writes a single check for the love gift. On your website you made the following comment:
"Another example of this is when the church takes up a love offering for the pastor. If the love offering is given directly to the pastor and is not processed through the church's contribution records, then the contributors are not going to be able to deduct their donation. The love offering is a non-taxable personal gift to the pastor by the church members."
So, I am wondering what it actually means to have a love offering "processed through the church's contribution records?"
If the church merely acts as a conduit, has no control over the gift since it is designated to a specific individual, does not treat the gift as a charitable donation (and communicates this to the giver), would the gift still be considered as being "processed through the church's contribution records?"
Of course, the church could just require love offerings to be only in cash or checks payable directly to the recipient, but the church prefers to not have the recipient know the names and amounts of specific givers. So, we're trying to find a way to keep the love offering details private, but still have it treated as a non-taxable gift vs. taxable compensation.
Thanks for any advice.