Our church solicits money from the members to compile a Christmas gift for staff and the pastor. The checks are made out to the church. Is their donation tax deductible?
This is the fourth question in our Week of Great Nonprofit Questions - December 18-22
Generally gifts to charitable organizations, even when restricted for specific charitable purposes, are deductible by the donor. In a case such as this, so long as the church (or any other charitable organization) retains the authority to determine how the fund will be distributed among the members of the staff and there are no specific earmarks of specific amounts for specific individuals, the gifts for payment of staff salaries and bonuses should be deductible. Reasonable compensation of staff is a permissible (and necessary) charitable activity.