All posts from “donors”

$600,000 Stolen from Joel Osteen's Church

March 13, 2014 11:15 AM

An online story this week on ChristianityToday.com reports that "an estimated $600,000 was stolen from Joel Osteen's Lakewood Church." A statement from the church said the theft includes "cash, checks and envelopes containing written credit card information, and it...

Q&A: Hosting a Music Group at Church

December 12, 2013 8:00 AM

Q: I'm a pastor of a local church and have some questions about groups and individuals that come to the church to do musical performances. I'd like to know what our requirements are as a church regarding the legal...

Q&A: Is Donated Parking Space Tax Deductible?

October 31, 2013 8:00 AM

Q: A church member allows us to park our buses at his business. We used to pay $200 a month for this service. In the past we have given this church member a letter indicating a donation of $2,400...

Churches: The IRS is Substantially Closed, But Your Obligations Remain

October 2, 2013 8:00 AM

Editor's Note (10/17/2013): Congress passed a bill last night that ended the shutdown. President Obama signed the bill ahead of the default deadline that loomed at 11:59 p.m. Due to the lapse in federal government appropriations (the so-called "government...

Surprise! Labor Department Says U.S. Households' Religious Giving Went Up

September 12, 2013 8:00 AM

An interesting stat surfaced Tuesday via The Wall Street Journal: A new Labor Department report on consumer spending showed U.S. households spent $51,442 on average in 2012, which surpassed the prior peak of $50,486 reached in 2008. Interestingly enough,...

Q&A: Donated Goods and Charitable Statements

September 5, 2013 8:00 AM

Q: I occasionally have a church member who donates something the church needs. The member then gives me a receipt for the item purchased and asks me to put it on their giving statement. Is this allowed? A: No, it...

Who's the Most Influential Teacher on Giving?

August 29, 2013 8:00 AM

Churchgoers learn to be generous throughout their lives. Most develop the habit of generous giving when they're young, according to results from our latest State of the Plate research. We combined results from this and the previous four years of...

Protecting the Church Offering

July 30, 2013 8:00 AM

Earlier this month, an entire offering from an evening church service was stolen when the church board member counting it momentarily stepped away, according to NewsChannel 3. It's reported that he heard a door slam and then discovered the...

Mixing Donations and Technology

July 25, 2013 8:15 AM

When I stand in line at my favorite coffee shop, I notice many people don't grab a wallet to pay anymore. Instead, they pull out a smartphone and present a phone app to the cashier to pay. Each year, technology...

Five Ways to Survive Summer with a Balanced Church Budget

May 23, 2013 8:00 AM

Churches have historically dreaded summer due to one thing: giving. That's because activities and costs peak with summer missions trips, camps, and Vacation Bible School just as regular weekly contributions wane. The challenge for every church leader is to...

The Ways People Give at Church

May 21, 2013 8:00 AM

This year's annual State of the Plate research combined results from this and the past four years to create a composite view of tithers--people who give 10 percent or more of their income. As the infographic below shows, most people...

Church Giving: Up, Down, or Flat?

May 14, 2013 6:00 AM

Each year for the past five years, Christianity Today has surveyed church leaders to see which direction the trend line is moving for church giving: up, down, or staying flat. In this year's State of the Plate survey, which we...

The "Shape" of Your Fundraising Requests Matters

May 8, 2013 9:35 AM

An interesting tidbit today from Taylor and Francis Online via the Harvard Business Review: The physical shape of flyers appealing for funds or donations matters to potential donors. A heart-shaped flyer, for instance, generated 50 percent more support for a...

How Much is a Volunteer's Time Worth?

May 2, 2013 8:00 AM

How much is a volunteer's time worth? About $22.14 an hour, according to a new Independent Sector calculation. The organization uses Bureau of Labor Statistics information, looking at payroll averages of nonfarm, nonsupervisory labor and adding a percentage for benefits....

Survey: Most Churches Provide No Estate Planning

March 25, 2013 8:00 AM

According to a new study by LifeWay Research, the majority of Southern Baptist churches believe that Christians should provide for their church in their will, but 86 percent of churches provide no help or assistance for estate planning. In fact,...

Are Designated Gifts for Individuals Tax Deductible?

February 14, 2013 8:00 AM

It's a common scenario at local churches across the country: A member faces a significant medical condition, racking up major debt in the process. Others at the church learn of this challenge and wish to help. Can they donate to...

"Fiscal Cliff" Law Temporarily Extends Certain Donations for 2012

January 8, 2013 10:53 AM

The so-called “fiscal cliff” law just passed by Congress and signed by President Obama, formally known as the “American Taxpayer Relief Act” (the Act), includes a little-publicized provision providing a very short window of opportunity for eligible taxpayers to make...

Q&A: Is a Love Offering Tax Deductible for the Donor?

December 4, 2012 8:00 AM

Q: I realize love offerings need to be included in a pastor’s taxable income, however, should an individual receive tax-deductible credit for their gift if the church board authorized the collection? Also, what if an individual gives a love gift...

Four Ways to Boost Year-End Giving

November 13, 2012 8:00 AM

Many churches look forward to a year-end giving bump to help make up for a budget shortfall. In the annual State of the Plate survey we co-sponsor, we know churches consistently count on December to boost total giving figures for...

Properly Documenting Donors' Contributions

August 16, 2012 8:00 AM

In the August 2012 edition of Church Finance Today, Richard Hammar examines a recent, high-profile case involving a couple whose substantial contributions to a church were denied tax deductibility by the Internal Revenue Service: A married couple (the “taxpayers”) timely...

How Churches Collect Their Donations

June 26, 2012 8:00 AM

The graphic above, which appears in the July edition of Church Finance Today, shows the ways that people give to their churches, based on results from the 2012 State of the Plate giving survey sponsored by Christianity Today, Maximum...

Giving Rebounded for Many Churches in 2011

March 27, 2012 9:35 AM

A majority of churches reported giving increases in 2011, the first such occurrence in three years, according to results released today from the 2012 State of the Plate report. The constituency survey of more than 1,360 pastors and leaders...

Safely Depositing Weekly Collections

November 10, 2011 8:00 AM

A church in Centralia, Washington, lost nearly $7,000 from its weekly collections recently when a staff member accidentally left the bag containing the collected funds on top of her car and headed to the bank. Fortunately, a man driving...

Can Banks Ask Churches for Donor Records?

October 20, 2011 8:00 AM

A national bank recently subpoenaed an Iowa church’s financial records, seeking information about donations made by a man whose business defaulted on a $650,000 loan. The financial institution wants to know about cash and property given to the church...

The Proposed Charitable Deduction Change

July 21, 2011 8:00 AM

The president has proposed a 2012 budget that will decrease the value of itemized tax deductions, including deductions for charitable contributions, for individuals making $200,000 or more and families making $250,000 or more per year. Also in the proposed budget...

Letters to Potential Donors of Mission Trips

July 14, 2011 8:00 AM

In the excitement of planning a mission trip, it’s possible to overlook the importance of carefully worded support letters that meet IRS guidance. The IRS indicates what would be helpful to include in letters requesting charitable contributions, according to...

Should the Jobless Tithe on Their Unemployment Benefits?

May 17, 2011 8:00 AM

In the March edition of Christianity Today, three men with backgrounds in church and personal finances were asked whether the jobless should tithe on their unemployment benefits. Read their answers, then share how your church has (or hasn't) addressed...

More Stats on Church Giving and the Recession

April 26, 2011 1:00 PM

More data about church giving last year in the United States has emerged since the release of the 2011 State of the Plate survey results. The "Holy Toll," based on the 2010 Faith Communities Today research conducted with 11,000...

CNN: Is Tithing Optional?

April 14, 2011 8:00 AM

Results of a survey given by the National Association of Evangelicals to its 100-member board of directors show a minority--42 percent--believe the Bible requires tithing, while the rest do not. Leith Anderson, pastor of Wooddale Church and president of...

Would a Change to Charitable Contributions Rules Hurt Churches?

April 5, 2011 8:00 AM

One angle covered by secular media during the recent release of the 2011 State of the Plate survey results: The possible affects of a current "federal proposal to reduce tax deductions for charitable donations among wealthy Americans," as CNN.com reported...

Church Giving Begins to Rebound?

March 30, 2011 9:30 AM

Since the recession in 2008, many U.S. churches have seen a decline in giving. But the tide may be changing. The third annual State of the Plate constituency survey of 1,507 churches revealed that 43% of these churches experienced...

When the Bank Says No

March 17, 2011 8:00 AM

Rejection is no fun under any circumstance. It can be especially disheartening for a church when a lender rejects its initial loan application for a capital construction project. But the first "no" does not necessarily doom your chances to...

Evangelicals and Money: Stingy, Generous, or Just Right?

February 14, 2011 8:00 AM

Last week, we pointed to research data highlighted by our sister magazine Christianity Today regarding average tithing levels among Christians. This week, we point to a series of short quotes obtained by Christianity Today from a variety of evangelical...

When Tithe Doesn't Mean Tenth

February 8, 2011 8:00 AM

Our sister publication Christianity Today magazine published some interesting new data from church giving research in its February issue. Specifically, the average percentage of income given to churches appears on the decline, measuring 2.43 percent in 2008 (compared to...

Should Churches Accept Credit Cards for Tithing?

January 6, 2011 8:00 AM

As more churches embrace electronic giving for their congregations, a number find themselves asking an intriguing question: Should they use e-giving options that allow people to tithe with credit cards? We asked a number of church leaders whether credit...

TheYourChurchBlog.com's Top 5 Posts of 2010

December 30, 2010 8:30 AM

Last week, we took a moment to highlight the Top 10 most-read articles from Your Church magazine's website, YourChurch.net. As we continue to count down the days to 2011, we now offer the Top 5 most-read posts from TheYourChurchBlog.com...

7 Reasons Churches Should Offer Electronic Giving Options

December 17, 2010 8:00 AM

For many years, churches pondered (and even debated) whether to collect offerings by placing a box in the back of the sanctuary or by passing the plate. Today there is a much more important issue that is transforming how...

Giving at Churches—How Will 2010 End?

December 7, 2010 8:00 AM

Our friends at the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability recently released a report showing charitable giving to its members has remained steady, especially among its largest members, despite the recession. But there were signs of challenge for ECFA members...

What You Should Know about Year-end Giving and Receipts

December 2, 2010 8:00 AM

Michael Batts and Dan Busby, two members of our Editorial Advisory Board, will co-present a 60-minute webinar on Tuesday, December 7, about the ins and outs of year-end giving and receipts. Batts is managing partner with the CPA firm Batts...

Giving Debit Its Due

November 23, 2010 8:00 AM

Bryce Collman started a business to help churches save money on electronic payment processing. Rather than use the bundled rates many larger processors charge to process payments by credit and debit cards, he offered interchange rates, which can save...

Finding Grants for Church Building Campaigns

November 4, 2010 8:00 AM

Are there corporate or foundation grants available to fund your church building campaign? There may be, depending on who you serve and how church facilities are used. Your best chance of securing this kind of funding is if your...

Determining Which Ministry Gets What

September 30, 2010 10:45 AM

"Pastor, we don't have a budget. We just do what the Lord leads us to do." These words were spoken to me soon after I agreed to be the preacher at a small rural congregation, which used seminary students...

Can Finance People Be Ministry Minded?

September 14, 2010 8:00 AM

Why do committees so often act in a way that seems indifferent to and sometimes impedes ministry? The following practices may explain much of the problem: —People making financial decisions are removed from firsthand involvement in ministry. —People who are...

How Churches Can Re-think Money and Giving

July 22, 2010 8:00 AM

I recently posed four questions about organizational theory, leadership—and how those influence church giving—to Mike Bonem, executive pastor at West University Baptist Church in Houston and co-author of Leading from the Second Chair. Here is what he shared with...

Should Churches Increase 2011 Budgets?

July 20, 2010 8:30 AM

Christianity Today, our sister publication, recently asked several financial advisers, researchers, and other observers to weigh in on whether churches should increase their operating budgets next year. Here are their responses: "What we see is cautious optimism on the part...

Don't Forget the Check

May 4, 2010 8:00 AM

The buzz surrounding electronic giving options continues to grow as online donation capabilities improve and text-messaging campaigns take hold. The American Red Cross, for instance, says it raised $35 million within 48 hours of the January earthquake in Haiti,...

Loss of a Church's Financial Records

April 6, 2010 9:00 AM

Follow Richard on YouTube.com: http://www.youtube.com/richardrhammar Learn more about Protecting Electronic Data at ChurchSafety.com. Manage your church's finances year-round with The Essential Guide to Church Finance....

Family Money Matters: A Look at Christian Household Finances

February 25, 2010 8:30 AM

What really matters in an economy is not what the media says, but what people’s personal wallets say. As part of the second annual “State of the Plate,” 750 Christian households provided an inside look into their income, employment,...

To E-Give or Not to E-Give

January 12, 2010 9:00 AM

I stopped tithing a few months ago. Okay, no scandal here. I got married in September, and my husband and I moved to a new area and wanted to find a church. As we slowly combined our finances, it...

You Want to Donate What?

October 29, 2009 8:02 AM

Join us on Tuesday, November 10, 2009, for a live webinar event with nonprofit CPA, Elaine Sommerville titled, "You Want to Donate What? How to Handle All Types of Charitable Contributions" (Click on "You Want to Donate What? on...

Facing a Financial Crisis: Three Experts Weigh In

October 22, 2009 4:25 PM

A headline I read earlier this week from the newswire service United Press International gave me pause: “More Churches Face Foreclosure.” Upon reading the piece, I quickly understood why: While the rate of foreclosed church properties continues to climb,...

Study: Donations Grow 42% With Face-to-Face Time

October 8, 2009 10:00 AM

A new study about the best ways to secure larger gifts from donors strongly reinforces the central theme of “Asking for Big Gifts,” an article in the current issue of Your Church: face-to-face time matters. A lot. In fact,...