Donations - From the Trenches

MinistryPlatform is flexible, and there are several different ways to approach a topic. Here are examples of how some churches in our community handle this topic. Adapt MinistryPlatform's functionality and these ideas to fit your ministry context.
Processing donations from services
Most churches have individualized systems for this processing donations from services. However, most have the following in common:
  • Use a combination of volunteers and staff to count and stack all cash and checks. 
  • Checks are sorted into stacks of no more than 50. 
  • Checks are sorted into stacks based on designations (single designations to a specific congregation in one pile, single designations to a building campaign in another, mixed designations in another).
  • Check stacks are counted and tallied and a receipt from the calculator is attached to the stack (usually with the counter and verifiers initials on it).
  • Some sort of excel spreadsheet is filled in either on paper or computer with a listing of how many checks and the amount for each stack (include the type of stack).
  • Stacks are then scanned into the BMT as individual batches. 
  • Batches are verified using one of the Reports (most churches run the "Batch Summary Report"). 
  • Once all numbers match, the deposit is made to the bank.
 
Cash & Check Entry Best Practices
  1. Use volunteers for entry.
  2. Use a check scanner for entry.
  3. Perform entry at the location where donations are collected.
  4. Have a clear set of rules about how you batch items.  What is your target batch size (50-60 is common)?  What items are batched together for efficient entry?
  5. Create separate Batches for designated items.
  6. Create separate Batches for checks versus cash.
  7. Create separate Batches for number envelopes versus cash envelopes.
  8. Scanning and Data Entry into the Batch Manager Tool (BMT) is your second count of a Batch and it should take place immediately after the sorting and initial count takes place. Balancing the two should be sufficient.
  9. Scanning and Data Entry should be done by a different team member than initially counted the Batch.
  10. Complete entry before you take funds to the bank.
  11. In the case of joint checking accounts, credit the Donation to the person who signed the check.
  12. Record the program specific breakdown during BMT entry for donations with more than one designation. Initial, manual count should be concerned only with totals donations not sub-totals by Program (designation).
  13. Record any Donation or Donor-specific issues identified during entry in the Donation Notes field in the BMT.  Use the Selected Batch Notes report to create a task list of items to resolve later that week.
  14. Combine multiple batches into a single Deposit rather than creating many small Deposits based upon Batches.
  15. Export Deposits to the accounting system after you have confirmed deposit amounts from the bank.

Last Modified: 5/3/2018

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