Principles & Policies for Tax Deductible Donations to Fellowship of Evangelical Churches, Inc. (“FEC”)
To maximize the positive impact of FEC’s ministry accomplished with all donations.
To be knowledgeable of, and adequately compliant with, IRS rules and regulations, and known best practices to support the tax deductibility of donations entrusted to FEC by donors.
To consider restrictions and preferences expressed by donors to the extent allowable and practicable.
Standard Statement and Reference. The following statement will be used on all relevant FEC Donations and Fundraising Materials: The religious activities of FEC are the basis for its tax-exempt status and the basis for allowing tax deductions to donors. No goods or services are provided in exchange for the gift(s) other than intangible religious benefits.
Qualified Charity. FEC is a non-profit corporation and has been determined by the Internal Revenue Service to be tax-exempt as a 501(c)(3) organization.
Unrestricted and Restricted Donations. FEC gratefully accepts contributions to support our overall ministry and also recognizes the desire by some donors for FEC to restrict the use of their donations to specified purposes, such as particular mission trips, staff support, relief efforts, or other important causes. Restricted donations are used to support the purpose for which they were originally intended until that purpose has been satisfied, after which any excess funds are used for other purposes consistent with FEC’s ministry.
Designated Gifts. The religious activities of the Fellowship of Evangelical Churches are the basis for its tax-exempt status under Section 501 (C) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code, as well as the basis for allowing tax deductions to donors for the gifts to FEC. Significant problems can arise, however, for FEC and its donors in connection with so-called “designated gifts.” Specifically, funds donated to FEC with the restriction from the donor that such funds be used for the benefit of a private individual (even if that individual is engaged in religious activities, such as a missionary) are not deductible and should not be accepted by FEC. In these situations, FEC does not have the required “control and discretion” over the use of the funds. In order to comply with these principles (and hopefully avoid problems for FEC and its contributors), the General Board of FEC has adopted the following guidelines:
Gifts which are intended to go to another charitable organization including FEC affiliates should not be given to FEC. Such gifts should be made directly to the other charitable organization rather than using FEC as a “conduit.”
From time to time, the General Board may designate a specific fund for a specific charitable purpose. In these situations, gifts designated for the specific fund or individual faith-supported Christian worker are encouraged.
Gifts designated for a category or person included in the FEC budget will be applied to the budgeted amount.
Gifts for specific individuals should be avoided. In situations where a name appears in regard to a gift, unless clearly designated otherwise, such gift will be accepted with the understanding that the donor was making a non-binding suggestion only. Such gifts will be utilized as the FEC General Board deems advisable (exercising its discretion and control) and not necessarily as suggested by the donor.
Gifts that are clearly designated for and limited to the benefit of a particular individual (such as when the gift is accompanied by notations like “use for,” “funds for,” “only for,” “limited to,” etc. a specific fund or individual) cannot be accepted and will be returned to the donor.
Gifts designated for specific individuals and designated as “Christmas” or “birthday,” etc. will be passed directly to the designated individual, but no receipt will be issued.
Donations Irrevocable When Made. Tax deductible contributions must be irrevocable; therefore, all donations are non-refundable and non-transferable.
Reporting to Donors. Donors will receive acknowledgements during the year confirming the amounts, donation accounts and date of gift, as well as calendar year-end tax receipts documenting such gifts as deductible contributions for income tax purposes in the United States. Each donor is advised to consult your personal income tax advisor for the applicability of such contributions in your own circumstances.
Tax Deductions for Short-Term Trip Payments. It is not unusual for missions organizations to not provide tax receipts for very short-term trips (such as a week or less) where a church or an individual makes payments for the missions organization to lead the trip and to pay a certain portion of the expenses, but with the participant or participating church paying certain of the expenses directly such as airfares or other transportation costs. FEC and reputable authorities believe, however, that individual taxpayers should be able to take tax deductions for payments to FEC for their participation in such trips because we lead them in a manner to be consistent with our tax-exempt purposes. Also, we believe a taxpayer may claim a charitable contribution deduction for travel expenses necessarily incurred directly by them while away from home performing charitable services in connection with such FEC trips if there is no significant element of personal pleasure, recreation, or vacation in such travel. The deduction should not be denied simply because the taxpayer enjoys providing such services. Therefore, FEC will provide calendar year-end receipts for payments made to FEC by such donor/participants. Obviously, FEC does not have information related to payments made directly by participants and cannot provide either tax receipts or information regarding any element of personal pleasure, recreation, or vacation related to such payments made directly by participants.