Receipts & Written Acknowledgements
Donors are ultimately responsible for ensuring they have proof of their donation. There also are situations when a written acknowledgement/receipt from the donating organization is required for the donor to claim a tax-deductible contribution.
Use the Acknowledgement of Donation Received form (Link opens in new window) (PDF, 200K) form as a receipt, which includes instructions for how and when to use it. This form can be signed by any member of the community service team on behalf of the chapter.
Written acknowledgement should be provided when:
- The donor issues their donation(s) to the chapter.
- Any donor makes a payment to the chapter in excess of $75 partly as a contribution and partly for goods and services they receive (this is required by law). See Contributions of Value Are Received in Return for complete details.
- Any donor makes a donation valued at $250 or more. See Contributions of $250 for complete details.
- An item of property is donated to the chapter (e.g., someone donates a gift basket or flat screen television for a silent auction). This receipt must include a reasonably detailed description of the donated item of property.
It is recommended that service teams:
- Have Acknowledgement of Donation Received forms on hand so they are prepared to provide receipts.
- Ask donors if they'd like a written acknowledgement for all donations of less than $25.
- Provide written acknowledgement for all donations of $25 or more made to the chapter. This is a best practice to ensure donors have the documentation they need, and should reduce the likelihood of your board being asked for this information months later.
Financial directors are encouraged to make a copy of each check included in a deposit or keep a written record of all donors, date of donation and amount of donation. This will be helpful to verify a "request for receipt" the donor asks for a receipt after the donation was made.
Donations Not Issued to the Chapter
If the donor issues a check to an organization or group that is co-hosting the activity with the Thrivent community service team, the receipt is issued by the recipient of the check (the co-hosting group or organization), unless the check recipient signs the check over to the chapter on behalf of the donor. Following, are some additional examples of situations you may run into:
- Scenario 1: A donor issues a check to the YMCA at a fund-raiser co-hosted by ABC Chapter and the YMCA.
- The YMCA deposits the check into its checking account. In this case, the YMCA is responsible for issuing the written acknowledgement/receipt.
- Scenario 2: A donor issues a check to ABC Chapter as a donation to the fund-raiser being conducted.
- The service team should issue a written acknowledgement/receipt.
- Scenario 3: A donor issues a check to the YMCA at an event co-hosted by ABC Chapter and the YMCA.
- The YMCA signs that check over to ABC Chapter because in this case, all checks were issued to the chapter. The board deposits the check into the chapter checking account. The chapter is responsible for issuing a written acknowledgement/receipt.
Contributions of Value Are Received in Return
Special handling is required by the donor and by the board for contributions made at a Thrivent chapter fund-raising activity where the donor (an individual) receives something of value in return.
If the donor receives a benefit as a result of making a contribution, the donor can deduct only the amount of the contribution that is more than the value of the benefit provided by the chapter.
If the donor receives goods or services in exchange for a single payment of more than $75 to the chapter, the chapter is legally required to provide a written disclosure to the donor:
- If the contribution exceeds the fair market value of the goods or services received, and
- When the donor's check is made payable to the chapter.
This is a requirement of all charitable organizations, such as Thrivent Financial chapters.
Note: If another organization is working with the chapter and the donor (an individual) writes the check to that organization, the chapter is not required to provide a receipt/written acknowledgement, unless the check is signed over to the chapter on behalf of the donor. For example:
- Scenario 1: At a silent auction hosted by a Thrivent community service team, Mark pays $80 for a radio that has a fair market value of $55.
- In this situation, the chapter must provide an Acknowledgement of Donation Received form to Mark.
- Scenario 2: At a silent auction co-hosted by ABC Chapter and XYZ organization, Trudy makes out a $100 check payable to XYZ organization for an item with a fair market value of $50.
- In this case, the chapter does not need to provide a written acknowledgement/receipt because the check was made payable to XYZ organization.
Contributions of $250 or More
Special Reporting Required
To claim a deduction for a donation of $250 or more issued to the chapter, the donor is required to have a written acknowledgement/receipt from the chapter. Special reporting and record keeping is required by the community service team and board for these donations:
- Information about each item or freewill offering valued at $250 or more, which is given to the chapter by a donor who receives nothing of value in return, must be recorded on a Donation Tracking form (Link opens in new window) (PDF, 223K).
- The community service team must enter the required information for each donated item and return the completed Donation Tracking form to the board along with all receipts related to the activity.
- The board then reports these donations when they enter final activity results online. Access "Record/Update Donations" in Chapter Leadership Administration.