Are contributions for associate pastor compensation tax-deductible?

A local church receives donations to provide for an associate pastor in the future. Are these tax-deductible?

A local church used a limited-term grant to hire an associate pastor. It has been determined that sufficient reserves must be in place for the church to continue having an associate pastor after the original contract expires (approximately one year from now). Are donations designated for this purpose tax-deductible?

-- Donors receive no personal benefit, other than being part of the congregation which benefits from the pastoral ministry which is provided to the whole.
-- Donors will tend to give in hopes that the associate pastor currently in position will be able to remain, but this outcome is not guaranteed or promised.
-- The governing board would likely use these reserves funds to offer a new contract to the person currently in place, but it is understood that the board could also choose someone different for this role. (The board also would have full control to use the funds for something different, but would be quite unlikely to do so.)

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