Convention Financial Services
Convention Financial Services administers all gifts, registration fees, and disbursements of checks for ministry in Georgia and around the world. An audit is conducted each year by an outside accounting firm to ensure accountability and proper use of all funds entrusted to the Executive Committee.
Convention Financial Services will hold the A/R books open until January 10, 2014 for all 2013 deposits. Any checks received after January 10, 2014 will be credited to the year 2014.
Accounts Receivable/Church Gifts
State Missionary Support
Church Related Tax Services
Georgia Baptist Convention Financial Services provides the following assistance to churches:
- 501(c)(3) Tax Exempt Status (Internal Revenue Service Group Exemption Letter)
- Information regarding Property Tax, Sales & Use Tax for churches
- Information regarding Church Incorporation.
How Gifts Are Received and Disbursed by the GBC
Gifts Received by the GBC:
Gifts sent to the Convention should be accompanied by a Gift Remittance Form. We will send a supply of these forms and return envelopes for your use. The gifts should be designated on the form to ensure proper credit to your church or mission. Several blank spaces on the bottom of the form are available for special gift designations. Each time a gift is sent to the GBC, the following should be done:
- Separate checks for each gift designation are unnecessary
- Make sure the Remittance Form balances to the check(s)
- Make checks payable to Georgia Baptist Convention
- Mail the original Remittance Form and the check to ATTN.: Chief Financial Officer, in the enclosed return envelope and keep the church copy for your records.
When you need more forms, simply contact the Convention Financial Services, and a new supply of forms will be sent.
Verification of Receipts:
Annually, The Christian Index prints a detail of all churches by association and the amount of their year to date gifts. Please check your records against the figures in the index. Remember, there will be a delay from time the check is written and when it is actually received by the Convention, which may cause some differences in the church records and the Conventions. Our financial year is January 1, to December 31. Additionally, the GBC sends out a quarterly detail of gifts to each church to ensure accountability and accuracy.
You may also contact the Convention Financial Services any time to obtain a detail of the church’s giving records.
Disbursement of Gifts:
Monthly, all gifts received by the Convention are disbursed in accordance with the church’s designations. Cooperative program gifts are distributed based on the Convention approved budget and all designated gifts are distributed directly to the respective agencies. The GBC does not deduct any amounts from any gifts for administrative purposes. If there is ever a discrepancy in the church gift form and the check we make every effort to contact the church prior to processing the gift, otherwise the church will be contacted by letter for any clarification.
Procedure for Handling Designated Gifts:
If a particular congregation votes to designate a portion of its Cooperative Program allocation, the office of the Executive Director is bound by the instructions of the church.
For designations to be put into effect, the office of the Executive Director must be instructed by the church in a written communication which contains a copy of the minutes of the church conference or some other official action ordering the restriction. Once these instructions are received, no funds from that church will be distributed to that agency, institution, or budget item so designated by the church.
Churches are kindly requested to ALWAYS indicate their restriction on EACH remittance form when gifts are sent to Convention offices. This will be of great assistance in the daily opening and accounting process as gifts are received. This can be done by writing “designated” immediately above the designation for Cooperative Program gifts on the remittance form.
All Cooperative Program gifts from churches which require designations will be placed into a Designated Cooperative Program Fund and distributed at the end of each month. The percentage of the budget used to determine the designation will be that percentage of that division of the budget in effect at the beginning of each month, in accordance with the approved budget. Such a procedure is necessary since the percentages applicable to a given budget item will vary according to whether we have reached the total of the regular budget, the total of the challenge budget, or are over the total of the entire budget.
At the end of each month worksheets will be prepared to determine the amount of each designation in accordance with the gifts received from the churches making designations. The dollar amounts will be determined by the applicable budget percentages.
When the total amount of money to be designated from a particular budget entity has been determined, that amount will be deducted from the otherwise normal budget distribution for the particular agency, institution or budget item. Unless a church has given other instructions, all designated amounts will be credited to State Missions.
All designated gifts are received under that provision of the Constitution which requires that “The Convention shall receive funds for the approved work of the Convention and its expressed will and direction of the donors.” (ARTICLE IV, SECTION II) The Cooperative Program means one gift for all causes as represented in the budget; thus, all restricted gifts are designated. However, you also need to know that the Executive Committee authorized the reporting procedure used in The Christian Index quarterly reports and the statistical summary which appears in the Convention’s Minutes.
Annual Convention Messengers
In determining the number of messengers which a church may send to the annual Convention, the Constitution says:
“Each church shall be entitled to two messengers and to one additional messenger for each $800 contributed through the Cooperative Program and Convention causes but in no case shall any church be entitled to more than fifteen (15) messengers.”
Of course, this means that a church which designates its Cooperative Program gifts, to be entitled to its full complement of messengers, must at least make a minimum undesignated gift to the Cooperative Program.
Questions About Gift Receipts and Disbursements
Call: (770) 936-5354
Georgia Baptist Convention
Attn: Financial Services
6405 Sugarloaf Parkway
Duluth, GA 30097