One of our mission trip participants chose not to request gifts which the church could use to fund her trip. Instead, she paid all of her own expenses. She asked the church for a non-cash charitable gift acknowledgement. Should we have provided the acknowledgement to her?
Probably so. Since she participated in a church-sponsored trip subject to the oversight of the church, if all other policies of the church were met with respect to the trip, she probably qualified for a non-cash gift acknowledgement, which, by the way, she would need to claim a charitable gift deduction on Schedule A of her tax return.
Dan Busby is a certified public accountant, president of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA), and the author of the Zondervan Clergy Tax & Financial Guide.