We get asked about Contribution Statements (AKA Giving Statements) on almost a daily basis. The question about whether or not ministries have to provide them comes up a lot. Here's what you need to know:
A contribution statement is a document generated by an organization after receiving a donation, listing the details of the donation, and given to the donor for their financial records.
According to IRS Publication 1771, churches are not required to produce these documents unless there is an exchange of goods or services after receiving a donation of $75 or more. Outside of that scenario, there is no penalty for not providing a contribution statement in the US.
However, it is highly recommended that churches provide these statements to their donors for a few reasons:
Fun Fact: Providing this document also helps create and maintain a healthy, reciprocal relationship with your donors. A simple acknowledgment of their offering can go a long way in letting them know you appreciate them and their contribution. While such documentation may seem boring and bureaucratic, it can surprisingly foster a deeper connection between a donor and the organization. What’s not to like about that?
Donations and accounting are crucial topics for any church, big or small. Despite their importance, most church leaders did not get into ministry because they really love fundraising or maintaining financial records in case of an IRS audit. I know, what a shock!
There are more ways to create a contribution statement than there are to cook an egg!
You can type up a word doc, download spreadsheet templates online, or use a church finance tool made specifically for generating statements. If you're providing statements to more than a handful of families, you'll find that a dedicated program geared towards church finance is going to save you a significant amount of time. The last thing you want to do is spend hours in Excel or MS Word copying and pasting every single donation given to your church....
ChurchTrac makes it easy to record your donations and generate giving statements. Other features include Online Giving, Pledge Campaigns, and more. Your entire process of receiving donations and sending statements to donors can be as easy and seamless as you want it to be!
Going beyond the Standard account, ChurchTrac Plus offers a comprehensive suite of accounting tools made for ministry. Things like creating budgets, fund accounting, and generating financial reports are now fast, easy, and automated. All of these are features that would benefit a church of any size.
ChurchTrac makes it easy to import your church's giving and generate year-end statements for all of your donors. Start your free 30-Day trial and see why 10,000+ churches have already made the switch and simplified their ministries.