Jump directly to the content
When Two Churches Become One
When Two Churches Become One
The legal ins and outs of church mergers, acquisitions, and donations/dissolutions.

With the economy still going through rough patches, Congress repeatedly evaluating whether to limit the deductibility of charitable donations, and the rate of charitable contributions flat or slowly increasing, some churches find it hard to cover their operating expenses and keep their doors open. Many churches of various sizes and types are becoming increasingly interested in whether their church can—or should—merge with another church, acquire another church, or dissolve their church and donate the assets to another church (collectively referred to herein as "transactions").

These transactions have long been common in the business world, but interest in them has grown rapidly recently within the nonprofit sector. A few years ago, The Chronicle of Philanthropy reported "charity leaders are looking at mergers and acquisitions as a potential strategy to ride out the turbulent economy … [t]he troubled economy has put merging with or acquiring another organization front and center on the radar for the senior managers of many struggling nonprofits." The article indicated the rate of transactions among nonprofits was nearly identical to that of for-profit businesses.

The very phrase "mergers and acquisitions" or the concept of these types of transactions can evoke many different images. Some may envision a hostile corporate takeover. Others may picture a fluid joining of two distinct bodies of believers and, as a result, becoming one church community. Still others may think of a resource-rich church with declining membership partnering with a vibrant church with few financial resources. No matter what image this phrase evokes, there is little question that the idea of two church communities merging is a relevant and pressing issue in the church world today.

Log In For Full Access

Interested in becoming a member? Learn more.

View All
from our store
Your Guide To Employee Handbooks

Your Guide To Employee Handbooks

If updated regularly, an employee handbook can offer valuable legal protection against civil court claims made by disgruntled staff members.
Understanding Labor Laws

Understanding Labor Laws

Best practices for complying with regulations that pertain to hiring, firing, paying, disciplining, and supervising ministry employees.
Safe Hiring Practices for Ministries

Safe Hiring Practices for Ministries

Essential items to consider before you bring new clergy or staff on board.
Immigration & the Church

Immigration & the Church

Keep your church safe and legal and as you strive to serve the immigrant communities in your context.

ChurchSalary

ChurchSalary

Experience a whole new way to set compensation. Eliminate the guesswork – get access to detailed compensation reports in just minutes.