Finance

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Trinity an "Endowed" church?

Where does the money I pledge go?

How much money goes beyond our walls?

How is my pledge accounted for?

How can I help make my statement accurate?

What is the "Week / Month / Year" thing on the pledge card for?

What is the Abington Bank Affinity Program?

Why are certain contributions not listed on my statement? 

How do I get a receipt for a major donation? 

Can I pay off last year's pledge once the new year is started?

What audit systems does Trinity use?

How do I get reimbursed for money I spent on the church's behalf?

Is money I spent on or at the Carnival tax deductible? 

Are donations to the Rummage Sales tax deductible? 

Other FAQ's -
Being Episcopal
PDF Brochures- 
The Episcopal Church
History of the Church in England
Welcome to Trinity Church
Outreach Program at Trinity
Stewardship of Life
Servant Ministries at Trinity
History of Trinity Church (3meg)
Keeping God's People Safe (Sexual Abuse Prevention)
Reports Page
Trinity Memorial Garden
 

Is Trinity an "Endowed" church?
Yes and no. Trinity has a small endowment that provides for Roughly, 1/4 to 1/3 of our operating expense.  For the other 2/3 to 3/4 of our budget, we rely on the stewardship of our parishioners. Trinity would not last long without the support of our congregation. 

Where does the money I pledge go?
Each year, Trinity releases an annual report. In that report there is a pie chart that shows how each dollar received was spent. The nature of the chart varies from year to year, but any contributing member of Trinity can request a copy of the report. Major portions of that chart include Building Repairs, Utilities, Staff, Education, Mission & Outreach, Diocesan Support, and Music. 

How much money goes beyond our walls?
Funding for projects that go beyond Trinity happen in various ways and vary from year to year. Each year, a portion of the general budget gets set aside for Mission and Outreach. In addition, several fund raising events generate funds for M & O programs as well. The best example of this is the Carnival. Also, we pay money to the Diocese for their projects as well.  Our Mission and Outreach does not stop there. Each summer, the Middle School Youth Group endeavors on a Summer Service Camp to help with projects outside of our church. (The last two years have been spent helping the less fortunate in Chester.)  The average expenditures over the last two years have exceeded $30,000.00 per year.  Trinity also is part of the Episcopal Youth Mission, which has it's own fund raising efforts for yearly mission trips to the far reaches of the US.

How is my pledge accounted for?
The weekly offering, once blessed, goes to a group of volunteers called Tellers. The tellers open each envelope and write on the outside of the envelope what they found inside. The money is then deposited. During the following week, the envelopes are then entered into a computer which generates your quarterly contribution statement. In order to receive a statement, you must have at one point filled out a Pledge Card so that you are in our system. (The pledge card has provisions for those who wish to contribute but do not want to make a pledge.) In addition, the total deposit each week is entered into our accounting system, which is separate from the system that produces your statement.  The reason there are two systems is that individual contribution data is not made public, but our general accounting information is available to any member on request, and is published in our annual report. 

How can I help make my statement accurate?
The simplest way is to use our envelope system for making contributions, and to clearly write the amount on that envelope. Without the envelope, the tellers may mistake your contribution as a "loose offering." This is the loose money found in the plate each week. This money is reported by the tellers as a total only, and is not recorded in our parishioner contribution database. If you did not bring an envelope to church, write your envelope number in the memo field on your check. This is not a foolproof system, but it will help the tellers notice that you have a contribution account. 

What is the "Week / Month / Year" thing on the pledge card for?
Some people pay their entire year off with one check. Others may only write one check a month. Most people use the weekly system. When you receive your contribution statement, the totals will be compared to the whole year, or prorated to the month or the week depending on what you checked off. If in doubt, use the "weekly" option.

What is the Abington Bank Affinity Program?
Trinity has an affinity program set up at Abington Bank. Basically, if you have an account or are opening an account at Abington Bank, Trinity may be eligible to receive a small donation from Abington based on the total dollars of all parishioners who bank there. There is no cost to you whatsoever. To read more click here. You can print out the document and receive $25 for opening an account at the bank. 

Why are certain contributions not listed on my statement? 
At times, Trinity will collect funds for outside organizations. If this is the case, you should ask the organization for any receipt you may need for tax purposes. (Examples of this: Ambler Food Cupboard, Interfaith, Etc.)  Also, any fees or dues collected, or payments for purchases would not show up on your statement. Special collections, and flower donations will be listed on your statement, but not under the "pledge" heading. Sometimes, a parishioner may make a donation of goods or services and ask for this to be reflected on their statement. This can be done, but will appear on your statement in the "Other" category, and not the pledge contributions portion. Collections made on Good Friday are forwarded to the Diocese and are not part of Church income. Therefore, Good Friday collections do not appear on your statement. Please Note: Effective 1/1/06, contributions to the Episcopal Youth Mission Group are now applied to your contribution statement as "other contributions." Goods and Services, such as the Mother's Day Plant Sale, are not tax deductible and will not appear on contribution statements. 

How do I get a receipt for a major donation? 
Simply put, ask. We will write you a letter indicating the nature and date of your donation. Note: The IRS will not let us establish a value for this type of gift. Donations to events such as our Rummage Sales may also be tax deductible. Simply contact the event organizer for a donation receipt. Once again, we cannot appraise the value of used goods, but we can indicate they were donated to the church. To assess the value of your donation, please contact your accountant or consult IRS publication # 561.

Can I pay off last year's pledge once the new year is started?
Two answers: Yes you can, and Thank You!  But... The IRS will not let you use the deduction for the prior year. Once December 31 comes and goes, a new contribution year starts. The money will be listed on your current year statement in the "Other" section.

What audit systems does Trinity use?
There are many internal and external audit systems used by the church. Here is an overview: Our tellers are audited in two fashions, the first is on the tellers worksheet. The totals of all types of contributions received must match the totals of the cash and checks deposited. The bank deposit as reported by the bank must equal the total on the tellers worksheet. Our data entry is then audited in two reconciliation formats, The numbers entered in our parishioner database must equal the numbers entered from the worksheet in our accounting database. These numbers must then reconcile against our monthly bank statements. Money the church spends must also be reconciled and audited. We laser print our checks directly from our accounting software. The numbers in our system must match the detailed bank statements each month. Once a year, an independent professional auditor then audits our accounts as well as our business practices and reports to the diocese. 

How do I get reimbursed for money I spent on the church's behalf?
First, and above all else, you must have received approval to spend the money on the church's behalf! Department heads of budgeted departments must give this authorization. You can submit a Request for Reimbursement, or Request a Check for a vendor online by using these forms. Please fill out all fields. There are three accounts we write checks from listed on the top of the form. 1) General Checking (This is most likely the one you need.)  2) Mission and Outreach, and 3) Episcopal Youth Mission. Your department head must sign for your check when you pick it up and you must supply a receipt for all out of pocket expenses.  You cannot request a check for yourself! The person signing or authorizing a check must be different then the name on the check! If are a department head and need personal reimbursement, you must have a warden or the rector authorize your request.  (These are rules from our auditor and exceptions cannot be made.) 

Is money I spent on or at the Carnival tax deductible?
Money spent at the Carnival is not tax deductible, it is entertainment. Money spent on required preparation for the carnival is reimbursable by the church (see above.) If you make donations to one of the events, such as gifts for the Parson's Porch, you may be able to deduct these on your personal income tax filing. In this case, ask the person running the event for a receipt showing the goods donated. We are not allowed to assess a value on any gifts given. If you purchased something new, keep your original store receipt and staple it to your gift receipt for when you file your taxes. 

Are donations to the Rummage Sales tax deductible? 
Yes. You may be able to deduct these on your personal income tax filing. When you donate goods ask the person running the event for a receipt. We are not allowed to assess a value on any gifts given. To assess the value of your used donation, please contact your accountant or consult IRS publication # 561. If you purchased something new, keep your original store receipt and staple it to your gift receipt for when you file your taxes.