Policy on Charitable Contributions

Effective August 1, 2020

Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.

2 Corinthians 9:7-8

Introduction

Tenth Presbyterian Church depends on the regular giving of its members and regular attenders to cover ministry expenses, benevolence, and the proclamation of the gospel in Philadelphia and the world.  Tenth is a qualified charitable organization exempt from federal income taxes under IRS Sec 501(c)(3). Contributions to the church are deductible for federal income tax purposes subject to the rules and regulations established by the Internal Revenue Code. 

Types of Contributions

Donors may decide what Tenth ministries they want to support by designating their gifts.  A gift may be designated to an unrestricted fund, which supports the general operations of the church.  Or a gift may be made to a restricted fund, which supports approved funds or projects of the church and may only be used for the specified purpose.  Restricted gifts may or may not be part of the annual budget. 

  • Designation – A donor may designate how he wants his gift to be used by making a designation to any of several restricted and unrestricted funds that support the mission of the church.   A designation can be selected in the online giving portal, or by indicating a ministry fund on the memo line of a check or shown on a giving envelope.  The following section contains a list of Tenth funds and descriptions.
  • Unrestricted Gift – A gift that is given to support the general operations of the church.  Any gift that is designated to the Church Ministry Fund or does not contain a designation will be unrestricted. 
  • Restricted Gift – A gift that is designated by the donor to a specific fund.  Restricted gifts may only be used for the purpose of the fund to which the gift is designated.   Designated giving will be accepted only for specific funds that have been approved by Session.

Description of Funds

The following three funds are used to carry on the ministry of Tenth Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia and the world.  Donors should prioritize giving to these funds.

  1. Church Ministry Fund – The Church Ministry Fund covers the general operating expenses of the church, including all pastoral and administrative salaries. Giving to this fund is guided by the annual budget.  About 75% of the Tenth’s giving is used for church ministry.   Gifts which do not contain a designation are generally used for church ministry.  The Church Ministry Fund is unrestricted.
  2. Outreach Fund – The Outreach Fund (also known as Global Outreach) is used to support global and local ministry partners.  The annual outreach budget is approved by the congregation and highlights specific partners that this fund supports.  About 20% of the church’s budget goes to support Outreach.  Giving to the Outreach fund is restricted.
  3. Building Improvement Fund – The Building Improvement Fund is used for major repairs, major remodeling, expansion, or construction.  The annual building improvement budget is approved by the congregation and specifies projects to be funded.  Actual spending on projects is subject recommendations from the Building Committee and approval by Session.  The Building Improvement Fund is restricted.

The following restricted funds allow donors to give to specific ministries.

  • Deacons’ Fund – The Deacons’ Fund is used to care for the material needs of those in our congregation.  It is not budgeted and is administered on a confidential basis by the Diaconate.
  • Capital Campaign Fund – Session may authorize a capital campaign fund for major purchases or construction projects.  Capital Campaigns are for a limited duration, usually several years.
  • Easter Sacrificial Offering * – The Outreach Commission recommends ministries to be funded by this offering.  The list of organizations that will receive funds is approved by Session.
  • Thanksgiving Offering * – The Thanksgiving Offering is approved by Session and is used to help a needy cause.  For example, in the past a Thanksgiving Offering was collected to provide hurricane relief.  
  • Short Term Missions Trips * – Maranatha (youth ministry) and Tenth Outreach go on missions related trips which donors may contribute to. 
  • Project of the Month – The project of the month is approved by Session and gives the congregation an opportunity to directly support a specific ministry or need.
  • Special Offering ** – A special offering may be taken at a Tenth concert or other event.  The designated purpose of the offering will be clearly announced or included in the bulletin.
  • Tenth Children’s Ministries (a separate fund for each)
    • Summer camp scholarships *
    • WOW (Wide Open World) contributions to support missions projects *
  • MCO/SMI Medical Campus Outreach and Summer Medical Institute disciple medical professionals in Philadelphia.
  • Nigeria Relief – Designations sent to a specific church in Nigeria to provide relief for those suffering persecution.
  • Music Worship Special Gifts *** – Exists to a. Proclamation: To joyfully share the gospel of Jesus Christ through music b. Outreach: To welcome and engage people from our community c.  Discipleship: To give Tenth members with musical gifts a means to develop and use their talents for the Lord’s kingdom.)

* These funds are seasonal. For example, the Thanksgiving Offering will only be available in November. 

** A special offering may be collected at a Tenth concert or other special event in order to help offset related expenses.  

*** Gifts to this fund support music initiatives which are not included in the annual budget. As such, donors are encouraged to tithe first to the three main church budgets—Church Ministry, Outreach, and Building. 

Giving Policies

  1. The church accepts gifts online or by cash or check deposited in the offering plates or the oak boxes located in the church.  Checks may be mailed to 1701 Delancey Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103 to the attention of Accounting. 
  2. Gifts of publicly traded stock can be accepted.  Donors should contact Tenth’s senior accounting at 215-735-7688 for instructions on how to give stock.
  3. Gifts in kind may be accepted subject to review for suitability.  To arrange for a  gift in kind call the church office at 215-735-7688 and ask for the administrator or email [email protected]
  4. The church encourages bequests.  To arrange for a bequest contact [email protected].
  5. The church requests that members who want to support a non-Tenth ministry or partner give directly to their organization.  Almost all Tenth ministry partners have a 501c3 and will issue a receipt for the contribution.  Therefore, the church will not accept gifts that are designated to non-Tenth ministries.
  6. Tenth is unable to accept gifts designated to a specific individual because they do not qualify as charitable contributions under IRS regulations. For an explanation of how this relates to giving to missions trips, see item #7 below. 
  7. Gifts indicating the name of an individual to cover mission trip expenses are considered tax deductible as long as the donor’s intent is to benefit the overall ministry and he also acknowledges that the church has complete discretion and control over the donated funds.  Refunds will not be given even if the indicated individual does not participate in the trip. 
  8. The church does not accept contributions by credit or debit card, but will allow the use of Visa or Mastercard for the payment of conference or other event fees.
  9. The congregation approves giving priorities by voting on the Church Ministry, Outreach, and Building Improvement budgets at a congregational meeting.  Therefore, Tenth will only accept designated gifts to funds highlighted in this policy. 
  10. Congregation-wide requests for donations (including in the church bulletin) involving individuals or mission teams are discouraged. Needs of this kind should be communicated by word of mouth or support letters to the team member’s network of contacts.
  11. Any additions or changes in accepted designations must be approved by Session.

Other Giving

  1. Financial assistance is often provided for conferences and other events to assist those for whom the full fee would present a financial hardship.  In order to fund this assistance, participants may choose to pay a fee that is higher than the suggested event fee.  The church does not provide a tax deductible receipts for events or conferences, which includes any additional fee amounts intended to cover financial assistance. 
  2. The church will, on a case by case basis, consider the request of the family of a deceased member to designate memorial gifts for a specific purpose.  Inquiries should be directed to the church administrator or [email protected]

Contribution Statements

The church will provide an annual statement to donors which contains a record of cash, check and online contributions received in accordance with rules and regulations required by the IRS. Non-cash gifts will be acknowledged by letter as described above, in compliance with IRS rules and regulations.

Conclusion

This policy was approved by the Session of Tenth Presbyterian Church and provides opportunities for giving that support the mission of the church.  Please email [email protected] for clarification or questions.