Money Matters

Invoice for a donation?

Has anyone heard of this?  I'm serving as treasurer on the BOD of a nonprofit, and their fundraising has really kicked into gear towards their goal of opening a donor milk bank in our area.  We've had several large donations (which we have already received, cash in the bank), and the director just sent me a note saying that the organizations (these are for-profit companies), are asking us to send them an "Invoice" for the donation.

In the past we've always sent receipts.  An invoice?  That's like saying they owed us some money, not that they voluntarily made a donation, right?  I don't know, to me it seems to imply that we provided a product or service and they're paying us for it.  Does this seem weird to anyone else?  I can create invoices but I don't know what to put in the "description" ... "invoice for donation received on November X, 2011"?

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Re: Invoice for a donation?

  • Couldn't you write the invoice for a pledged donation?

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  • I would phrase it as a pledge reminder letter - it's done all the time, especially for large donations.
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  • Maybe the director meant to say receipt...? I would ask for clarification.


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  • image Ashley&Scott:

    Maybe the director meant to say receipt...? I would ask for clarification.


    She said invoice...she even attached an "example" invoice for me to use.  Color me confuzzled.  Like I said it's no problem to do it logistically, I'm just concerned there are other factors here I'm not thinking of from a bookkeeping perspective.  I'm an accountant but I know jack little about non profits (which I told them up front when I started, lol).

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  • image MainelyFoolish:

    Couldn't you write the invoice for a pledged donation?

    I could do this...though we have already received it.  I could just put "Pledge donation of $XX for 2011".

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  • image MainelyFoolish:

    Couldn't you write the invoice for a pledged donation?

    I worked as an event fundraiser for a non-profit. This is pretty common. Someone might make a verbal commitment to donate XX. The "invoice" is a reminder or a form for them to fill out (with credit card info or to mail in with their check). 

    Also, many donors may just hand the form to their accountant or to the trustee of their foundation or whatever. 

    I know it may seem a little crass, but many people see it as a convenience and it is pretty common in the fundraising world. 

    ETA: Reading comprehension fail.  I have never sent an invoice after the cash was in the bank. Receipt, yes.  The only reason I can think that I would do this was if someone requested it for the accounting purposes I mentioned above. 

  • I used to Invoice our multi-year donors. So, if someone pledged $30,000 over 3 years, I would Invoice them each year for $10,000 - with a description saying Year 1 of 3. If someone was a year to year, I'd say year 1 of 1, or "annual".

    Mabe s/he just wants an Invoice for record keeping. If the donation has already be made, I'd make sure of:

    1- That this Invoice is for THIS year and has already been received. Specifically, that this isn't an Invoice for expected payment in 2012.

    2- What DATE does your organization want to use? Is today's date okay or do they want to date the Invoice before the donation was made?

    I think these are fair questions and typical follow-up to an out-of-synch request.  

    My darling daughter just turned 4 years old.
  • I'm the director of a non-profit and many businesses will ask for an invoice for their accounting departments or whomever is going to write the check.  They need something for their documentation/money trail.  This is nothing out of the ordinary.  You can use a standard invoice template or whoever does the non-profit's accounting can generate one out of their accounting software.  A template is the easiest.  A receipt is important too as it means the donation was actually received and may be used for tax purposes.  
  • image casco01:
    image MainelyFoolish:

    Couldn't you write the invoice for a pledged donation?


    ETA: Reading comprehension fail.  I have never sent an invoice after the cash was in the bank. Receipt, yes.  The only reason I can think that I would do this was if someone requested it for the accounting purposes I mentioned above. 

    oops, me too... I have sent invoices after the fact to help them with their documentation.   

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