How long can church hold designated gifts?

I have just become the Treasurer of a small church. We have some missions projects which are supported solely by designated contributions. The church has decided to make the monthly support checks the same irregardless of the contributions for that month since we don't want the support to be less than what was given.

At the end of this year, we will have a few hundred dollars more in the fund than we have given to the mission work. We realize that the money has to go to the mission work but are we required to do anything with the money right then?

My opinion is that we cannot "hold" any money past the end of the year but must give them a check for the difference (as a Christmas present, etc.) in order to "close" the books" for that year.

One of the deacons suggested that we hold the "overage" support for next year in case we were under the next year (we were a few hundred dollars under last year and had to make up the difference out of General Fund).

Can we hold designated contributions from one year to the next before giving it? Or is that unethical/illegal?

vickey’s reply

Yes, you can legally and ethically hold designated contributions over from one year to the next, unless it is a time-restrictedcontributions such as a trust, annuity, or term endowment where the principal of the donation is restricted for a certain term of time.

Hope this helps,

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