How to Properly Prepare Donor Contribution Statements

Contributions - Donor Statements

Do you know that if your church does not properly prepare donor contribution statements it can cost those who have made financial contributions to your church thousands of dollars?

Over the years we have repeatedly stressed to students enrolled and attending our trainings what must be on all contribution statements. Failing to do so can render donations not tax deductible, which has been a cause of shock and financial hardship to many donors.

Do you know when a donor lists donations made to your church as tax deductible, but the IRS later informs a donor that his or her contribution has been ruled not tax-deductible because the contribution statement is invalid, that donor has to pay penalties and taxes on the donation?

Does your church properly inform its members that for any donation of $250 or more they must wait to receive their contribution statement prior to filing their taxes? This is extremely important, because the IRS disallows the donations if the taxes are filed prior to receipt of a properly formatted contribution statement.

Members have been enraged and lost confidence in their churches’ administrative capabilities, and some have even left their churches because of such errors that resulted in them having to pay thousands of dollars in taxes and penalties on donations they made to their churches.

Start in December notifying members about their contribution statements:

  • Last day for donations for the calendar year is December 31. They must be received by that date or postmarked by that date to be included in the current calendar year
  • Do not file taxes until contribution statement is received
  • Notify donors how they will receive the statements (i.e, via mail or email, and on what date). NOTE: If your church has a policy that statements are made available in the church’s vestibule, you still need to ensure that you mail any statements that are not picked up.

Click the image below to watch excerpts from one of our online trainings on contrtibution statements. Contribution Statements 450x336 (If you are using a mobile device (Android or iPad click the other image)








Viewing with Mobile device? Click the image belowContributions - Donor Statements Excerpts







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2 Responses to How to Properly Prepare Donor Contribution Statements

  1. Travis says:

    Have I got this correct?

    churches must provide a contribution statement containing proper wording and information ONLY for single contributions of $250 or more.

    thereby any contributions less than $250 can be verified by cancelled checks provided by the individual.

    Thanks for all this great help,

    • Church should provide contribution statements for donations. The IRS guidelines require that any single contribution of $250 MUST be accompanied by a written contemporaneous acknowledgement of the contribution from the church.
      Any contributions less than $250 may be substantiated by supporting documentation such as contribution statement from the church, or any contemporaneous written records (such as cancelled checks) that include the name of the church, the date and amount of the contribution.

      Keep in mind that if a donor donates $100 cash, the church should be kind enough to provide the donor a record of the donation since the donor will not have a cancelled check or credit card receipt to substantiate the donation.

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