Donation Receipt

A donation receipt, commonly referred to as a charitable contribution receipt or a tax-deductible contribution receipt, is a written document issued by a nonprofit organization to acknowledge the receipt of a donation made by an individual or a business entity. This receipt serves as evidence for the donor’s contribution and is an essential document for tax purposes. It substantiates the charitable donation and enables the donor to claim the contribution as a tax deduction, subject to compliance with relevant tax laws and regulations.


A donation receipt typically includes important information related to the donation, such as the name and address of the nonprofit organization, the donor’s details, the date and value of the donation, and a statement affirming that the donation was made without any goods or services received in return. The purpose of this statement is to ensure that the contribution qualifies as a charitable donation eligible for tax deductions.

Nonprofit organizations are responsible for providing accurate, detailed, and compliant donation receipts to their contributors. These receipts serve not only as a record of the donation but also demonstrate transparency and accountability in the organization’s financial management.


Donation receipts are crucial for both donors and nonprofits. For donors, these receipts provide the necessary documentation to claim tax benefits for their charitable contributions. To take advantage of tax deductions, donors must file an itemized tax return and include the value of their eligible donations.

Nonprofit organizations, on the other hand, rely on donation receipts to maintain transparency and build trust with their stakeholders. These receipts are essential for verifying the authenticity of the organization’s revenue and ensuring compliance with tax regulations. By providing accurate and comprehensive donation receipts, nonprofits can demonstrate their commitment to financial accountability and encourage continued support from donors.

Legal Requirements:

In the United States, donation receipts must adhere to specific legal requirements as set forth by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). To be eligible for tax deductions, donations exceeding certain thresholds need to be acknowledged with a receipt.

According to IRS guidelines, donation receipts should include:

  1. The organization’s name, address, and tax-exempt status
  2. The donor’s name and taxpayer identification number (TIN)
  3. A description of any non-cash donations, including a fair market value estimate
  4. A statement clarifying whether any goods or services were provided in exchange for the donation
  5. The donation date
  6. A statement affirming whether the organization provided any intangible religious benefits, if applicable

It is essential for nonprofit organizations to keep detailed records of donation receipts in case of audits or further inquiries. Failure to provide accurate receipts or adhere to IRS guidelines could result in penalties or the disallowance of tax deductions for the donors.


A donation receipt is a vital document that acknowledges the receipt of charitable contributions and enables donors to claim tax deductions. It serves as evidence of the donation, provides transparency for nonprofits’ financial management, and ensures compliance with tax laws. Nonprofit organizations must issue accurate and comprehensive donation receipts to maintain trust, accountability, and support from donors. In turn, donors can receive tax benefits for their philanthropic contributions, further encouraging charitable giving and support for nonprofit organizations.

This glossary is made for freelancers and owners of small businesses. If you are looking for exact definitions you can find them in accounting textbooks.

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