Churches that solicit funds for designated projects face difficult choices when they abandon a project and are left with the task of disposing of funds that were donated for that project. These problems can be avoided if the church simply includes a statement similar to the following when soliciting funds for a specific project:
By contributing to this project, donors acknowledge that the church has full authority to apply contributions designated for this project to other purposes in the event the project is canceled or oversubscribed.
Such a statement should be printed on special offering envelopes used for the project, or on any other materials, so long as they provide adequate notice to donors of the policy and reflect donors’ consent to it.
For more on this topic, see this case analysis by Richard Hammar.