Church Financial Statements

by Stan
(Lakeland, FL)

Handling Contributions

Handling Contributions

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 strictly confidential.

Excerpt from Church Contributions...

Confidentiality is so important when it comes to contributions. Some churches have their counters and staff sign written statements of confidentiality before they can even begin their duties.

That is up to the individual churches; however, confidentiality of information—especially individual contributions—must be stressed regarding its importance.

Some well-meaning individuals may not think twice about telling their spouse about so-and-so’s wonderful gift to the church. Then the spouse—not bound to the same confidentiality rules—may tell others and then the ethical boundaries of confidentiality have been unintentionally crossed.

So written or oral, confidentiality must be discussed with all staff—volunteers or paid.

See the chapter on "Confidentiality" in my ebook: Handling Contributions

Comments for Church Financial Statements

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Oct 22, 2010
What about the Senior Pastor knowing?
by: Bryan

I understand your remarks about members knowing other members contribution amounts. But what about the Senior Pastor? Does he have the right to review the contribution records? Or is it strictly as allowed by the specific denomination?

Oct 22, 2010
Pastor's Right to the Contribution Records
by: Vickey

I believe that is up to individual churches. Many pastors do not want to know, but most have the right to look at the contribution records.

Apr 20, 2011
Pastor's access to contribution records
by: Anonymous

The only person(s) allowed unrestricted access to contribution records is the treasurer. Others on the finance committee so designated may have limited access to the contribution records. Under no circumstances should the Pastor of a church be allowed to have unrestricted access to contribution records.

May 09, 2011
Pastor's Access
by: Nazman

I disagree with Anonymous. At least in my denomination, the bylaws specifically state that the Senior Pastor has access to all records of the church - that includes individual giving. Having been both a pastor and a treasurer, that kind of access is often necessary for the pastor to adequately administer the church.

Feb 05, 2012
by: Anonymous

Vickey, I defintely agree that all contributions of individuals must be kept confidential. Can you point me to the IRS publication that contains this information?

Jan 09, 2013
Confidential giving
by: Anonymous

What about certain churches that publish in their bulletin the donations from individuals. My parents church does this. I do not believe that there is any IRS code that states this as charitable organizations are open to inspection.

Feb 04, 2017
personal tithes & Offering
by: ken

Is there a federal Law or church by law that say that the church financial offers are allowed to publish in year end report all individual giving amount by checks so other members can see who give more or less?. Thanks

Feb 04, 2017
Contribution Confidentiality
by: Vickey

I don't know of any IRS regs that state you have to keep your donors and their donations confidential, but for the sake of your donors and staff...I believe that every church or nonprofit organization should have a confidentiality policy in place.

You should require your staff, board members, and volunteers read that policy and sign a confidentiality policy agreement.

I would also recommend putting a statement on your online giving sites or forms that state something like: "Information about donors and donations is handled with respect and confidentiality".

May 26, 2018
pastor has access to church auxiliaries reports
by: Anonymous

Should the Pastor have access to the financial reports of the auxiliaries of the church?

May 30, 2018
Church Auxiliaries Reports
by: Vickey

Personally I believe the Pastor should have access to all of the church's financial records, but again I believe that falls under each individual church's policies...

but...someone better have access to the church auxiliaries reports and maintaining proper internal controls.

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