Solutions: What about Designated Gifts?

Or a pipe organ? Maybe it is something that does not fit into the building plan without major additional costs because the plans would have to be drastically altered. Or the labor cost for the stained glass installation is prohibitive due to the limited project budget.

We could cite many examples. But the primary question is whether an individual donor`s contribution can control what the church is going to do without any consensus of the will of the people. This issue surfaces frequently in the churches. Does an autocratic pastor have the liberty to place something in the building that someone has contributed without consulting the church officers or congregation? Maybe it is a set of drums to place where the organ was located until the pastor decided to give the organ away!

If your church practices congregational government, the voting membership of the church should be given the privilege of exercising their right of franchise. The pastor and church are not obligated to do anything underwritten by an individual donor; any donation must be limited to a suggested designation with the ultimate
destiny of the donation being controlled by the church for that donor`s contribution to be considered tax deductible.

Designated gifts to a fund established by the church, such as a building fund, are a different matter. The church should not take the liberty to redirect gifts designated to the building fund to another purpose without the consent of the contributor. However, donating to the building fund controlled by the church is different than donating a stained glass window to the building. Avoid losing control of the building project by having designated components eliminate the ability to complete the basic building project due to insufficient money in the building fund.