The Top 10 Year-end Giving/Receipting Issues, thanks to the ECFA website:
- If a single gift of $250 or more is given by check, a gift acknowledgement must be obtained by the donor to qualify the gift as a charitable deduction.
- A donor must obtain a gift acknowledgment for any amount of currency to qualify the gift as a charitable deduction.
- Donors providing out-of-pocket expenses relating to performing services for a church or charity must obtain a proper acknowledgment for gifts of $250 or more.
- Givers need a charitable gift acknowledgment on or before the due date of their tax return (including extensions) or the date their tax return is filed, whichever is earlier.
- For purposes of the gift acknowledgment, the donor is generally the person or entity named on the check/bank draft, or the credit card holder.
- If a check is mailed to a church or charity, the date of the postmark generally determines the year in which the gift is deductible.
- All gift acknowledgments must include a statement that no goods or services were provided in exchange for a gift (or the fair market value of the goods or services provided must be identified)
- The fair market value of donated property should not be reflected on a gift acknowledgement by a church or charity.
- When a gift of over $75 is received by a church or charity and goods or services are received by the donor in exchange, the church or charity must inform the donor of the limitation of the tax deductibility of the payment and must provide a good faith estimate of the fair market value of the goods or services provided.
- There is generally no basis to refund a charitable contribution to a donor.
Answers questions donors often ask
I have lost some of our receipts, how can I get a total summary of our giving for the calendar year?
Simple, just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be glad to send that out to you via email or via postal mail (or both!).
How much of my donation actually goes to the field?
This is, in my mind, one of the most important questions that a donor can ask. To answer this question I ran a report that told me how CEO has used the funds donated. This report told me that since our inception in 2000, CEO has used 92.5% of the funds donated to work on the field, that means that 7.5% of these funds are used in administration. We work hard to keep the administrative costs low and to send as many resources as possible to the the field, mainly because we want to be good stewards of the funds God has entrusted us with.
I understand that my donation is subject to a 10% administrative fee, but you said that only 7.5% goes to administration. Where does that remaining 2.5% go?
Now, this is a question I am really glad to answer. One of the things that I think sets CEO apart is our size and our commitment to caring for our partners. Part of that 2.5% goes to caring for the partners you support. I do this in person on the field and via Skype from my study in Charlottesville. I am convinced that our partners, who are working hard on the field, need to be provided with what some organizations call “member care” or “pastoral care”, I call it shepherding. Additionally, some of the funds in the 2.5% go to provide occasional gatherings for the partners on the field. Another part of those funds go toward our “ministry development fund” from which I draw to make immediate grants to ministries that I discover which fit our mission when I am on the field. You can even donate to the “ministry development fund” directly to help us with these special projects.
Can I make an EFT to CEO?
As a small organization, we have to be very careful of our administrative costs. Currently, the most efficient means for processing EFTs is through our Online Giving Portal. Alternatively, many donors also use their bank’s online bill pay service to send their donation to CEO.
Thank you for your support.