Church offering envelopes and envelope books provide an organized way for church members to tithe. Donation envelopes encourage regular giving from the community and can be especially helpful to support the church or during special giving campaigns, such as building funds. Offering envelopes are also an ideal way to offer more privacy when members hand in their cash or checks.
How Soon Can Used Offering Envelopes Be Discarded?
A church is not legally bound to keep church offering envelopes after they’ve been used, however, the law does require that all cash contributions, regardless of the amount, be substantiated.
Many churches abide by the practice of keeping used contribution envelopes until the next giving statement has been distributed to members. Church leaders can determine the length of a statement period – quarterly, semiannually, or annually – and distribute a transparent statement of contributions to the community at that time. A reasonable threshold for holding onto used tithing envelopes is six months to two years. However, the timeframe before discarding offering envelopes is ultimately up to the discretion of church leaders.
Though church offering envelopes have flexibility in terms of lifespan once recorded, records that should be kept permanently for a church are as follows:
- Property records
- Tax-exemption documents
- Annual corporate filings or returns
- Tax returns submitted to the IRS or state
- Annual financial statements
- Audit reports
- Minutes to board meetings
- Corporate records
How to Manage Your Church Donations
Church leaders that properly manage tithes from the community will help contribute to overall positive management of church finances. Because records of contributions are not only required but provide insight into the healthy financial state of a church, church leaders will want to develop a useful system to help manage church donations.
Once donations have been collected, contribution report forms make it much easier to record and report tithes. If your church does not use electronic record keeping, paper reporting forms are a great option to keep donations organized and streamlined, which also helps when it’s time to mail out contribution letters to church members.
One Write Company makes tithing easier and organized for your church members. To learn more about One Write’s church offering envelopes, envelope books and contribution report forms, contact One Write or request a quote today.