Contributions designated to individuals for missions trips

by Cindy
(Cement City, MI, USA)

How should the church account for gifts given to individuals who are planning missions trips, but are not yet "sanctioned" missionaries? Are these gifts tax deductible to the donor?

Comments for Contributions designated to individuals for missions trips

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short-term missions gifts
by: Brandon

Case study: Let's say Oak Street Church is sending out a men's missions team to do construction in Guatemala. Joe Smith decides that, rather than sending out support letters, he is going to pay the $1,500 cost himself to cover the expenses associated with his flight, his registration fee with the missions agency, etc.

If Joe makes his check payable to Oak Street Church and does not designate anything on the memo line, can Joe claim his $1,500 "gift" as a tax-deductible contribution to his church?

“Recommending” and individual
by: Anonymous

If your church has an established designed fund for Missions or a specific Mission Trip a Donor can give a gift to that designed fund and on a note or letter put that they “recommend” it be used for John Doe. In this manner, the church or committee which oversees that fund still maintains full control over the gift. If the church or committee then decides that it should go to John Doe, then that is the church or committees decision.

In this scenario the Donor is completely entitled to a tax deductible contribution on their end of year statement because they simply “recommended” and the church/committee was in full control to make the determination. Hope and Pray that explains this clearly.

tax deductible donations
by: Anonymous

Just want to add that the donations need to be to a "general" fund not an individual to be deductible.

gifts designated for missions trips
by: Anonymous in NC

The church certainly could sponsor missions trips through their council minutes, their by-laws, their chartered purpose, etc. They would have donor checks made out to the church for this purpose and account for those funds with a separate general ledger account for posting daily summary totals of these monies so designated. The amounts would be posted to the contributions statements of the donors so it would be tax deductible to the donors. Fair (democratic votes or procedures)should be used to determine who qualifies to go on these mission trips as far as participating and interested church members go.

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