My husband and I have a small foundation and want to make a grant to our church for our at-risk youth mentor program. The pastor says I can’t specify where the money is to be used. Is that true?
There is no federal tax reason you can’t specify the use of your grant. Foundations do that all the time.
The church may have its own internal policy against accepting restricted grants, but you don’t have to make the gift if you aren’t satisfied that it will be used for the charitable purpose you desire. That’s the other “golden rule.”
If others are involved with church governance, you ought to talk with them. The pastor may not have the last word on the subject, or may be convinced to change the position if others agree that the money would be valuable for an existing program.