Best Practices for Acknowledging Charitable Contributions

Does your San Diego nonprofit accept donations from the general public? If so, you may be wondering how you should acknowledge their generous gifts. Luckily, the Semanchik Law Group is here to provide you with all the information you need to know.

Acknowledging Donations – IRS Guidance

The IRS states that nonprofit organizations should provide written acknowledgments to donors who make charitable contributions of $250 or more. These acknowledgments should contain the following information:

  • The name of the nonprofit
  • The dollar value of any cash contributions
  • A brief description (but not a valuation) of any non-cash contributions
  • A brief description and good faith valuation of the goods or services provided in return for the charitable contribution or a statement that no goods or services were provided by the nonprofit, and
  • A statement that the goods or services provided in return for the contribution consisted entirely of intangible religious benefits (if that was the case)

These written acknowledgments make it much easier for donors to claim charitable contribution deductions on their federal taxes at the end of the year. Donors generally expect to receive their paperwork within a few days of making their contribution.

It is usually wise to speak with a California nonprofit lawyer before your organization issues its first acknowledgment letter. They can help you ensure the document adheres to the IRS guidelines.

Acknowledging Donations – Additional Options

Beyond issuing an IRS-approved letter, there are lots of ways San Diego nonprofit organizations can acknowledge charitable contributions, such as:

  • Phone Calls: Donors love receiving phone calls to thank them for their contributions and let them know how their money will help the nonprofit achieve its goals.
  • Social Media Posts: Many nonprofits find Facebook and Instagram posts to be the best ways to thank their donors publically.
  • Thank You Cards: IRS-approved acknowledgment letters can feel quite impersonal. As such, nonprofits that want to go the extra mile to show their donors how much they truly appreciate their contributions often mail out personalized, handwritten thank you cards.
  • Website Acknowledgments: Many nonprofits publish a list of their donors alongside a heartfelt “thank you” message on their website.
  • Arrange Office Tours: For high-value donors, there is perhaps no better “thank you” than a tour of a nonprofit’s facility and a chance to meet the employees and volunteers.

Organizations that take these extra steps to thank their donors are more likely to receive repeat contributions than those that do the bare minimum.

Your Knowledgeable San Diego Nonprofit Attorney

Do you need an experienced California charity lawyer to help you compose an acknowledgment letter for your donors? If so, please do not hesitate to reach out to the team at the Semanchik Law Group. We have been working with San Diego nonprofits for years, and we would love to add your name to our long list of satisfied clients.

To set up a consultation with a member of our team, all you need to do is fill in our short online contact form or give us a call at (619) 535-1811. We look forward to hearing from you!