The church functions through the tithes and offerings of its members and project donors. Keeping track of these donations is priority of the church. The procedure of recording, whether it be by hand, spreadsheets, word docs or software is not of importance, but the information each receipt or contribution statement is.
Whether you receipt each gift as they are given, monthly, quarterly or annually is not regulated, but it must have the following information:
- Name of Charity/Organization
- Donor’s Name
- Date of the Contribution
- Amount of the Contribution
- Statement (stating whether any goods or services were provided for contribution)
If your church issues annual statements, it is best practice to have them available by January 31st to your donors. Donors need this statement to claim their contributions as a deduction. The IRS states: A donor may not claim a deduction for any contribution of cash, a check, or other monetary gift made on or after January 1, 2007, unless the donor maintains a record of the contribution in the form of either a bank record (such as a cancelled check) or a written communication from the charity (such as a receipt or a letter).
Maintaining contribution records need not be an overwhelming task. Using proper software to track contributions, can help streamline records, provide customized reporting and reduce error. Some contribution software will be combined with church database, financials or both. If records are done by hand and needing a budget friendly option, QuickBooks Online is a great software choice to track financials and contributions. Tithe.ly is also a great option to add to this setup for free online giving. Should you want to track contributions, but also more information on your church members, attendance and events, Breeze is a great web-based option. Breeze includes its own online giving platform within its monthly subscription.
Good practices to have in working with contributions:
- Offering counted by 2 people
- Balancing offering deposit with envelope records
- Entering contributions weekly
Not sure if your contributions are being kept up with properly? Contact Professional Support Staff today @ (865) 272-6550 for your free consultation!