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LawTalk
LawTalk, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 37683
Experience:  I am a practicing attorney with more than 3 decades of experience in the legal field.
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My question is this....We have started a Pledge campaign at

Customer Question

My question is this....We have started a Pledge campaign at our church and formed a committee to keep the momentum going. The issue is that the committee wants to be able to show "Appreciation" to certain members that have reached goals in their pledge giving. I am a Trustee of the church and I feel that this is private information and should not disclosed to non-Trustee members.
JA: The Lawyer will need to help you with this. Have you consulted a lawyer yet?
Customer: no
JA: Please tell me everything you can about this issue so the Lawyer can help you best. Is there anything else the Lawyer should be aware of?
Customer: All the other contributions of the church are confidential, such as tithes, offerings, etc. I feel that singling people out could also have the opposite effect and cause members to stop contributing due to their finances may not be equal to others. What a person Gives is between then and God.
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Lawyer about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  LawTalk replied 1 year ago.

Good afternoon,

I'm Doug, and I'm very sorry to hear of the situation. My goal is to provide you with excellent service today. In order to give you a clear and concise answer, I will need some additional information about the circumstances, please.

1. What can I assist you with? I don't see where you have asked a question.

Doug

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Can we disclose members personal givings to the church to a committee , other than Trustee Committee who is bound by confidentiality? What kind of liabilties can we be sujected to?
Expert:  LawTalk replied 1 year ago.

Good afternoon Janice,

Thanks for the clarification. There is no criminal law preventing a church from disclosing the gifts made to the church from individual congregants. However, disclosure without seeking prior permission of the congregants would be foolish and might result in the church being sued for invasion of privacy. It might also result in a backlash from congregants whose privacy had been violated.

All in all the suggestion is a really bad idea----UNLESS the fact that there is a "contest" and members may have their gift disclosed to others to provide for the possible "Appreciation" that will be given in advance so that each person can decide whether they want to risk that their giving might be disclosed.

You may reply back to me using the Reply link and I will be happy to continue to assist you until I am able to address your concerns, to your satisfaction.

I hope that I have been able to fully answer your question. Please be so kind as to rate my service to you. That is the only way I am credited for assisting you.

I wish you and yours the best in 2016,

Doug

Expert:  LawTalk replied 1 year ago.

Good afternoon,

Do you have any additional questions that you would like me to address for you? In case you would like a phone call to further discuss these issues you have raised, I will make that offer to you. You are certainly not obligated to accept a call offer, but many people do find it helpful for clarification purposes, as well as to allow them to ask additional questions.

If I have provided you with the information you were seeking, would you please now rate my service to you?

Thanks in advance,

Doug