You are here:

Nonprofit Law/Church Missionary Fund


Hi Mr. Mechanic,

Could you point me to a resource or two that I could get my hands on quickly that would cover the basics of how to set up and administer a church missionary fund?  Say, for example, a church wished to send a few individuals to a foreign country and wished to collect funds to facilitate these individuals in pursuit of the purpose under which the 501c3 church was chartered.  I'm looking for information on how to set this up accounting-wise so that it is in compliance with IRS regulations.

Thank you very much

As to charitable deductions:
See IRS Publication 526 "Charitable Donations"

on page 6 where the IRS lists as not deductible "Contributions to
individuals who are needy or worthy. This includes contributions to
a qualified organization if you indicate that your contribution is
for a specific person."

starting in the middle of page 18 as to missionary programs
down to the end, on page 26.  The approved program starts on page
--- Start of Excerpt ---
The funds collected go to a commingled general fund. The
organization then distributes the funds to each mission where it is
used as needed. By using this system, the parents and relatives
will be donating more or less than the actual expenses of their son
or daughter. They are donating to the missionary effort the average
cost of supporting a missionary worldwide rather than the actual
cost of supporting their child.
---End of Excerpt---

Harvey Mechanic, Attorney at Law -

P.S. This response is intended to be a general statement of law, should not be relied upon as legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship.  

Nonprofit Law

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Harvey Mechanic


DO NOT GIVE ME INFORMATION THAT YOU WANT KEPT CONFIDENTIAL. I am an attorney and I volunteer time to answer general questions about U.S. Federal income tax issues of nonprofit 501(c)(3) public charities only. Those questions could be about establishing and maintaining legal requirements for such non-profit organizations in the United States, including Internal Revenue service filings and requirements. I will not be working on this free forum to answer questions about Nonprofit's possible unrelated or for-profit businesses or how to fill out forms. This forum is only for general questions about federal tax law, not as the law applies to your specific situation. If you do not make your question public then I will not be spending much of my donated time on answers that would not benefit the public. If you have other questions, please contact me at I will reply from my email. In any case, do not reveal confidential information to me until after I have contracted with you to provide personal legal services. My responses on this forum are intended to be general statements of law, should not be relied upon as legal advice, and do not create an attorney/client relationship. For me to consider your individual situation and how the law applies, I would need to gather extensive information about the situation. To search my previous answers you can do a Google search by "" without the quotes and then add your search terms before hitting enter.


I have been practicing law and especially the law of nonprofit organizations since 1990 when I was admitted to the New York Bar and I have maintained my status with the Bar since that time.


B.S. Columbia University in New York City, 1970

J.D. (Law Degree) Brooklyn Law School, 1990 -- Cum Laude.

©2017 All rights reserved.