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To: Pastors, business managers, ParishSOFT administrators and bookkeepers
From: Susan Shirley, Parish Systems Administrator, Office of Finance
With the new calendar year upon us, it is important to begin preparation for the printing and distribution of the contribution statements (end-of-year statements for tax purposes) for your parish families. It is our archdiocesan recommendation that all donors receive acknowledgements for their financial contributions, regardless of dollar amount.
Before running the statements:
- Audit funds: Ensure that all of your funds in ParishSOFT are coded correctly regarding tax exemption status. Please remember that funds such as Mass stipends, Christmas or Easter flowers, All Souls novena, Georgia Bulletin donations, etc. ARE tax deductible. The Peter’s Pence collection, along with distributed funds from a foundation, 401(k), IRA and matching contributions are NOT tax deductible to the individual donor.
- Audit mailing information: Make sure you do not have any missing data (addresses, mailing names, zip codes) by exporting your Family List to an Excel spreadsheet and looking for any blank or improperly formatted fields. Pay close attention to the following fields as they are the ones used to fill in the address block on the mail merge that creates the statements – Mailing name, primary address, city, state and postal code. The Post Office is less likely to declare a piece of mail “undeliverable” if you have the proper abbreviations for street names (with no punctuation marks). For more information about properly formatted addresses, please visit www.usps.com and search on “street suffixes”.
- Work with your pastor and/or business manager to agree on the text message you wish to have printed on the statements. This message usually includes a “thank you” to the donors for their support of the work of the church. The form allows for up to 1,500 characters of text.
- Obtain a digital signature from your pastor, if you choose. We recommend that this signature not be a perfect replica of the signature they use to sign checks. For instance, instead of “The Reverend James R. Smith, OFM”, it might simply read “Fr. Jim”.
- Determine whether your pastor wishes to sign or write individual notes on any of the statements. At some parishes, the pastor chooses to include a note on all statements or on certain top givers. His decision will determine your print order in case you need to group the statements by contribution amount.
- Make sure that all contributions received in 2019 are posted correctly to the donor’s record and that all batches are either closed or committed.
- It is wise to run a sample Contribution Summary Report for calendar year 2019. When reviewing the data, you may find postings that were made to an improper fund (it is common to have some errant offertory postings to prior year’s funds). These should be corrected before preparing your statements.
- Remember to order sufficient quantities of #10 double-window envelopes (or single-window printed with your parish return address) and paper or stationery.
How to print detailed periodic contribution statements in ParishSOFT Family Suite:
- Log in to ParishSOFT Family Suite.
- Select the Offering tab to open the offering module.
- Click “Reports” to display the offering reports page.
- If you manage several organizations, select the desired organization from the organization list.
- Under Select Report, select Contributions from the category list. Then, select Statements from the report list.
- The report wizard presents a tabbed interface that guides you through the process of creating contributions statements. Complete the steps listed on the attachment.