If you have filed for a 501c3 designation, but have not yet been approved, you can still accept donations. According to the Internal Revenue Service rules, however, the donations must be in a tangible form, such as cash or cash equivalent donations, or donations of goods. Organizations with pending 501c3 designations cannot accept payments in the form of volunteer time or other intangible donations. Donations must be made in the name of the organization as well, rather than an individual name.

Ask donors to write a check or make a cash donation. You can accept donations as a check made out to the business or the organization that coordinates with the name of the business or organization on the checking account.

Write a donation receipt. You can use a pre-made donation receipt form or create your own donation form on your computer or with a pen and piece of paper. Write the name of the organization accepting the donation, the donor name, the donation amount, the date of the donation and the form of donation—check or cash. Sign the receipt as acknowledgement of the donation.

Make a copy of the donation check and the receipt. File this paperwork away for tax purposes.

Deposit the funds into the business or bank checking account. Deposit the money into the organization or business checking account and file a copy of the bank statement away for future tax purposes as well.


If the donation is a product or item, such as a computer or copy machine for the organization to use to achieve its mission, then list the value and type of product accepted as the donation instead of the cash donation amount and the form of payment.