Tax time is coming up on the calendar once again. Your congregation has been giving faithfully all year; now it’s your job to issue receipts!
If your church uses an online donation platform like Sunergo, sending donation receipts is a simple and straightforward process. Issuing receipts properly and in a timely manner is one way to serve your people well, and to show appreciation for everyone’s generosity. Here are some tips to smooth the process:
Canadian Tax Dates
The Canada Revenue Agency suggests that registered charities issue receipts by February 28 to give people plenty of time to prepare and file their taxes by April 30.
Speaking of the CRA, remember that charities are required to keep copies of receipts issued electronically, so you may want to print copies for your church accounting records.
Sunergo follows all of the CRA’s guidelines for donation receipts which saves you the extra work of exporting financial data to create receipts manually or using another program. Sunergo’s data storage is physically located in Canada so you can be confident that everyone’s financial information is kept safely to CRA standards.
Nowadays, most givers prefer to receive their receipt digitally, which is good news for administrators. Issuing receipts electronically is faster and easier, and e-receipts contain all the same information that physical receipts do.
Sending receipts by email is more time-efficient than printing, folding, and stuffing envelopes, nevermind the time it takes to deliver them by hand or post. Plus, e-receipting reduces environmental impact, and church printing and supply costs.
Also, issuing e-receipts increases the reliability of delivery since Sunergo allows administrators to monitor who has received and downloaded their receipt.
Preparation Makes Perfect
Thorough prep work makes any process smoother, so it is a good idea to take time for the following tasks before you begin issuing receipts.
Make sure people’s email addresses, mailing address and other contact information, are up to date in their contact profile. If your organization has Sunergo Connect, people can log in to Sunergo and update their profiles themselves; all they need is a reminder from you!
While they are in Sunergo Connect, they can also download their giving statement, review their giving history and anticipate their receiptable donations for the year.
Sunergo Connect is also a place where donors can download their past receipts, eliminating the need for administrators to re-print receipts that have been misplaced or lost.
Lastly, make sure any open batches of donations have been posted ahead of time to ensure they are included in the receipts. Performing these steps first will save you time later when it comes to tasks like follow-up, cancelling, or resending receipts.
Appreciation Warms Hearts
Consider crafting a lovely thank you letter to remind people how much their donations are appreciated.
Include warm memories of important giving projects from the previous year. This reminder of the good things everyone contributed to together helps people build relationships with each other, and feel more connected with your church. Positive feelings about past giving also fosters future generosity.
Sunergo recommends posting the letter to your website where everyone can see it, and including a link in the body of the receipt email. For an extra-personal feel, ask the Treasurer, or a Board Member who often communicates with people about money, if you can sign the letter with their name.
Encourage Online Giving
Tax time is a great time to remind people that your church receives online donations. Giving trends continue to show a year-over-year increase in online giving. Giving on mobile devices in particular is becoming more popular and easy to do, and it engages younger generations of donors as well.
Sunergo’s online giving platform includes the option to set up recurring payments via most credit cards, and you can even invite donors to contribute via text message. Visitors to your church can give in-person on a designated tablet set up anywhere in your building. Contact us for more information on how to set up a giving station in your church.