Monday, April 29, 2019

Hey Fletch … Two years ago we launched a building campaign for our church, but we fell short of our goals. Now the board has decided not to expand the building, but rather to use the gifts to cover deferred maintenance on our facilities. Are there any issues here?

DRF—There are so many questions floating out there about restricted gifts to churches. I’ve consulted with my friend Dan Busby, President of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability. Here are his thoughts:

Dan—The answer to this question likely turns on donor communication prior to and at the time the gifts were made. Did the communications with donors provide for the potential of an under-funded project? If so, were the communications adequate to allow the redirection of gifts for facilities maintenance? If not, the church likely needs to seek legal counsel to consider options.  

To learn more about designated (restricted) gifts, get free access to more resources at: or by getting a copy of The Guide to Charitable Giving for Churches and Ministries or the smaller booklet, Charitable Giving Guide for Giver-Restricted Gifts.