How to handle collecting money for an event

by Juli Thomas
(Quakertown, PA)

The senior adults in our church attend annually a senior luncheon. This is a District event and the cost varies each year. This event is not paid through the District and they require one check not multiple checks.

The one lady in our church has already told people to write the check out to the church and has asked me (the treasurer) to write one check to pay for the luncheon. My opinion is this shouldn't be done this way, but do you have any suggestions or assistance for this situation. Thanks for your help.

The lady already advised me that she doesn't have that kind of money to put out to cover for this luncheon. My suggestion to her was to have everyone write a check out to her directly and she deposit it into her account and write one check out. She is not happy about this, but since this really isn't an event in our budget etc., I didn't think the church checking account she be utilized as a pass through for this event.

Comments for How to handle collecting money for an event

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Always awkard
by: Sam M

I have always found these situations can become complicated, and the treasurer bears the burden of the process.

On the surface, compiling money for an event is not complicated. 15 people at $10 each is $150. But then one or two forget to pay, another promised to pay next time they are at church, and 4-5 pay with cash.

Then the treasurer becomes the enforcer/collection agency. After going thru the cycle a couple of times, the treasurer wants to halt everything and who can blame them?

The answer, is to let the church deposit the funds, write the one check, and leave open the possibility that there is going to be uncollected funds on the event. If there are more funds than the event, that is also a complication.

Keeping things simple and being merciful if the ingredients to keeping a gathering peaceful, along with open communications.

Clearing Account
by: MarcusNTexas

Kathy is correct. What she describes is a "clearing" account that at year end should have a zero balance.

Don't post to Giving records
by: Kathy

In situations like this we DO NOT post the check to the member's giving record because they are not "giving" anything. We keep a list of the checks and cash received for the event and post the lump sum collected each Sunday to a separate fund (account) category which is used for in-and-out transactions...the funds come in for a specific, non-giving, purpose and a church check is written to "pay" for that purpose.

Agree with other commentors
by: Monica

There is nothing wrong with the Seniors making their checks out to the church with luncheon in the memo and the treasurer depositing the checks and one check being wrote out for the luncheon. Its a district church function.
You just setup an event account in your accounting software or in your paper ledger. You can put the debits and credits under one expense account, for some people that may confuse you. But really its a wash in wash out. Just keep the paper trail.
In this day and time many church organizations have debit cards or credit cards that can be used and paid off each month. It makes the bookkeeping end of the checkbook much easier. We use a credit card that earns cash on each transaction and a Credit Union.

Can be Proccessed thru Church Account
by: Vickey

I agree with Lewis. This type of event happens regularly with most churches. It is proper and correct to run it thru the church, just be aware that the participant's payments would not be tax deductible even though their checks are made out to the church. So make sure that the donations are properly identified as nondeductible in the donor's giving records.

Collecting money for event
by: MarcusNTexas

I agree with Lewis. There is no reason why this cannot be handled through the church's bank account. As treasurer of our church, I would gladly handle it in this manner. Church treasurers need to be as service oriented as possible, especially when dealing with the senior adults of the church.

Handle collecting money for a
by: Lewis in NC

If this is a church district event, it seems very plausible to me to handle it with the church pass-through accounting procedure. To me it makes no sense for the money to go through the ladies personal account as this seems very clearly a church business transaction.

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