Churches have always been a source of relief for those in crisis. It is both our Christian duty and our duty as registered Canadian charities to ease the burdens of poverty, tragedy, warfare, and disaster. Efforts to help those in need are commendable.
Fundraising and Management of Funds
A charitable donation receipt may be provided for donations if CRA regulations governing charitable donation receipts are followed:
- The donation or gift must be given freely to the charity.
- There must be a transfer of property (cash, equipment, etc.) to the charity. Receipting for services or time is never permitted.
- The donor cannot receive an advantage or benefit.
- The gift cannot be directed to a specific person or family.
- The donor relinquishes control over use of the funds.
- The charity must be able to reallocate donated funds within the program as it deems appropriate.
Registered Canadian charities are restricted to public benevolence. Charities cannot engage in private benevolence, no matter how worthwhile the beneficiary. Funds directed to a family or individual identified by name, through pictures, or otherwise cannot be handled by the congregation, including gifts to a pastor.
Consistent with best practices in managing all congregational funds, it is important that funds be managed by the congregational treasurer rather than maintained in a separate bank account with different signing authorities. This ensures the congregation’s usual internal controls (e.g. two counters for offerings, approval of expenses prior to payment, submission of receipts, two signing officers for cheques, etc.) are in place for donation receipting and payment of expenses. Furthermore, keeping these funds under congregational control avoids potential conflict with CRA regulations that prohibit charities from transferring funds to another group that is not a registered charity.
Funds available to Saskatchewan Synod faith communities
Saskatchewan Synod congregations and ministries are encouraged to apply for these funds to advance the ministry of our Church.
Is your congregation or ministry considering a project to alleviate poverty or support compassionate justice initiatives? A small amount of funding is available annually to support these projects thanks to CLWR and the national church. Application deadline is May 1, though late submissions may be accepted if funds have not been fully disbursed.
Mission Initiative Fund
Is your congregation or ministry considering a project that would enhance the mission of the church in your community? Funds are available to assist a congregation or ministry in initiating a short-term project or to provide ‘seed funds’ to begin a project that could be supported by the congregation once it ‘got off the ground’.
Indigenous Ministry Fund
Is there a project that your congregation or ministry is considering with the indigenous community? Funding is available to congregations and ministries to support initiatives for indigenous ministry in southern Saskatchewan (approximately south of the 52 parallel).
Annual Reporting Form
Please use the following form to annually report on the use of funds received.
Best Practices for Working with Other Churches
If your congregation is working with other churches, the following guidelines apply:
- All parties should be registered Canadian charities. Record the registered charitable numbers of the other churches involved.
- Canadian charities can send money among themselves, as long as the funds support their charitable work.
- Funds sent to other charities (called “qualified donees”) are reported on the charitable tax filing with Canada Revenue Agency form T1236. Funds received from other charities are reported separately in the income section of the T3010.
- Each church should pass a motion ensuring that they have “owned” the project as their own charitable work, linked to their charitable purpose.