Over the last few years I have been doing a seminar called “Basic Accounting Principles for the Local Church” and within this seminar there is an encouragement that all churches should adopt a “Charitable Contributions Policy.” This month I would like to encourage all who read this article to consider adopting this policy. This policy was given to me in a seminar led by Gene Hill. I am using the policy with permission from him and his church, Hyde Park Baptist Church. You have permission to make it your contribution policy. If you have questions regarding any of this policy please give me a call.
Sample Contribution Policy
Gifts to the church designated for the use of a specific individual are to be discouraged. Such gifts will not be reflected on the donor’s record of contributions. However, gifts designated to the church benevolence fund, administered by the church benevolence committee, will be reflected on the donor’s record of contributions if no “strings” are attached to the gift.
- The church will accept most types of non-cash gifts such as corporate stocks, land, furniture, clothes, books, art, etc. A letter from the church will be sent to the donor, acknowledging the date of receipt and providing a brief description of the property or item donated. However, the acknowledgement letter will NOT provide an estimated fair market value of the property donated and neither will the donor’s record of contributions reflect receipt of the non-cash gift.
- To be included in a given year’s record of contributions, the contributions must be received by December 31; if mailed, then the envelope must reflect a postmark no later than December 31.
- The value of time or services contributed by an individual to the church will not be valued by the church or posted to the donor’s record of contribution.
Please call me if you have questions regarding any of the aforementioned policies. I believe that each church should place this policy within the church’s book of other policies. Including it in the policy book will keep the church from incorrectly accepting contributions. There is a name for mislabeling contributions and that name is “laundering funds.”
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