Supplementing a love offering

by Robin H.
(Virginia)

Every year our church takes up a love offering as a Christmas gift for the pastor. In the past, this offering has reached a certain amount and so for this year we are only at about a fourth of that amount. It has been suggested that we use congregational care money (i.e. money that is set aside from the offering for families in need). I think this use of the money is wrong for several reasons 1) At this point it's like we're asking the congregation to supplement the pastor's bonus, 2) Members have received a tax credit for money that has gone into the congregation care fund and now that money is being used in a way that is not tax deductible, 3) This is using congregational care money for a purpose for which it was not intended, 4) This "supplemental" amount is not being taxed as a normal bonus would. What are your thoughts?

Comments for Supplementing a love offering

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Dec 19, 2013
Supplementing a love offering Comment
by: Ken

The money that you would take out to Supplement your Pastor's gift is taxable income to the Pastor, so there is no problem using money that has received and tax credit given.

I believe it would be Board decision to use some of the balance of your fund as gifts to the Church should be given with the understanding the funds will ultimately be use at the discretion of the Board.

Dec 19, 2013
use of designated funds
by: Sandi

It depends on what is in your written policy for who qualifies for the "needy family funds" the IRS has a great pub to help on this.
To just move money from designated to other should never be done lightly, and not at all if the churches written policy doesn't allow it.
donors are giving to a mission they believe in and have voted for board members that they believe will be good stewards of those funds, if the board does not take this serious they have the potential to lose future donations... and maybe even members...
If the pastor truly meets the requirements of "needy" and all other area's (private benefit/inurment etc.) are not being violated, the board has the right to use them...

Prayers!

Dec 19, 2013
Love Offerings to Pastors
by: MarcusNTexas

Another thing to consider is that perhaps the shortfall in the love offering is an indication of the level of satisfaction / dissatisfaction with the pastor by the congregation, so supplementing the offering with funds designated for other purposes could upset those who fall into the dissatisfied group, assuming that there is such a group. Having 100% of the congregation fully satisfied with the pastor is an unlikely situation. In any case, it would seem that the entire amount given, including the love offering and other funds, should be taxable to the pastor since it is for services he has rendered to the church.

May 07, 2014
A new pastor committee member
by: Anonymous

Good morning
I'm a new pastor committee member my question is who suppose to count the pastor love offering given,on anniversary,and other special occasion,and every 1st Sunday?it is now being counted by a pastor committee member,and a Trustee, when it is happening is this a correct procedure,for we on the committee want to do the right thing,however I'm told only the pastor by law is to count his love offering,and he is to file on his taxes,is this true?

May 07, 2014
Taxable nature of love offerings
by: MarcusNTexas

If the love offerings equals or exceeds $600 for any year it should be considered taxable income to whoever the person is who is receiving the offering, especially if the pastor is the recipient since the love offering is part of his payment for services rendered. This would be especially true if the money is given at the end of the year as a bonus of some type to the pastor or to any other member of the church staff. Good internal control over receipts of the church through offerings of any type would dictate that two persons process the offering, including preparing it for deposit into the church's bank account. In my opinion, no pastor worth his / her "salt" would ever want to be responsible for counting any offering. If the pastor says he is supposed to do that, it may be time to look for another pastor.

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