The Pontifical Mission Society of the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas provides much needed financial support to several foreign Catholic entities. The Society was established to assist missionary bishops of Africa, Asia, Latin America and the far Pacific in the gathering of funds to support the work of the Universal Church. The Society operates under its own 501 (c) (3) designation and complies with IRS tax contribution guidelines, as well as offers transparency for gifts received.
Several parishes throughout the Archdiocese are involved in direct foreign financial support programs, some through supporting sister parishes (twinning) or through one-time second offertory collections. Although one can not dismiss the importance of these programs, it is necessary to remain mindful of the continued need for transparency and adequate compliance with IRS guidelines. Parishes conducting fundraising efforts to benefit non-domestic entities are sometimes exposed to several risks that often are overlooked. Such as:
- Lack of transparency.
- Failure to comply with IRS requirements regarding tax deductions for charitable giving (contributions given directly to a foreign entity are not tax deductible).
- Uncertainty that the destination of such funds is received in whole by the intended party.
- Funds are not distributed in accordance with the Archbishop’s approval.
The Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas recommends that the Pontifical Mission Society be the exclusive conduit for all foreign financial giving. The Co-op is able to accurately document all such gifts. Its 501 (c) (3) designation allows all contributions allocated for a foreign entity to be deducted for tax purposes in accordance with IRS guidelines. The co-op can also verify that funds are in fact received by the intended party and that the organization receiving the funding is approved by the Archbishop of Kansas City in Kansas.
Procedures for using the Pontifical Mission Society for foreign mission giving:
- Any new potential foreign benefactors need to first be approved by the Pontifical Mission Society office before any funds are solicited, donated, or collected by the parish or parishioners.
- Existing programs already in place, but not utilizing the Pontifical Mission Society should deposit all funds with the parish’s local bank.
- Normal parish count procedures must be used for all collections.
- Individual contributions should be recorded promptly in the parish offertory accounting system.
- The parish accounting system should note the income appropriately to the proper General Ledger revenue account.
- A single check made payable to the “Pontifical Mission Society” for all contributions received should be generated and mailed or delivered to the Archdiocese Pontifical Mission Society offices. Include mailing or wire transfer information necessary to send or transmit the money collected.
- The parish accounting system should note the disbursement appropriately to the proper General Ledger expense account.
- The foreign entity contribution should be included on the Annual Report to the Archdiocese in the Extra Parochial Collections (Note 1).
For additional information, or questions, regarding the Pontifical Mission Society of the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas please contact the Mission Co-op’s director at the Chancery Offices.