Jump directly to the content

The Enforcement or Return of Donors' Designated Gifts

Article summary. Church members often make "designated gifts" to their church. Such gifts specify that the donated money or property be used for a designated purpose. There are two questions that often are associated with such donations. First, do donors have a legal right to enforce their designated gifts should the church decide to ignore the designation and use the donated money or property for some other purpose? Second, under what circumstances may donors compel a church to "refund" designated contributions to them? This article addresses these important questions in the light of the most recent legal precedent.

It is common for donors to make gifts to a church that designate a specific purpose. For example, donors frequently donate funds or property to a church's building fund, missions fund, benevolence fund, or a similar project. In some cases, a church does not honor a donor's designation. ...

Join now to access this member-only content

Become a Member

Already a member? for full access.

Related ResourcesVisit Store

2020 Church & Clergy Tax Guide
2020 Church & Clergy Tax Guide
Find comprehensive help understanding United States tax laws as they relate to pastors and churches.
Talking to Your Congregation About Money
Talking to Your Congregation About Money
Helpful insights on talking about money and encouraging people to become generous givers.
Planning a Church Building Project
Planning a Church Building Project
Learn about zoning laws, property sales, church construction, financing, and more.
Charitable Contributions Bulletin Inserts
Charitable Contributions Bulletin Inserts
Help your members give more by answering their charitable giving and tax law questions.