Like any business, a church takes in money in the form of collections and donations and pays monthly bills. A checking account is needed to help process these transactions, but many people are unsure precisely how a church or other non-profit organization goes about getting an account.
Call or visit the websites of local banks to obtain information about the types of accounts they open for churches or non-profits. Be sure to obtain information about monthly fees, interest rates and any other pertinent information.
Conduct a meeting with the church's officers or decision-making body, if necessary. Present the findings, and vote upon a course of action.
Decide who will sign for the account during the meeting. Plan a day and time when all signers can travel to the bank to open the account.
Gather necessary documentation, such as the church's EIN number as well as the 501c3 tax-exempt status certificate to prove the non-profit's existence. All signers may be asked for photo identification, so be sure to advise them all to bring one along.
Prepare a brief statement on the church's letterhead listing the officers of the church by name and position. Bring it along in case it is needed.
Gather the funds for the initial deposit. Be sure to inquire with the bank for the necessary amount.
Meet at the bank and open the account.
Sign the necessary signature cards and account documents. Order checks, and make the initial deposit.
Items you will need
501c3 certificate or other proof of non-profit
Photo Identification for all signers
List of officers
Other services may be available to the church such as debit cards, direct debit of parishioners tithes and night depository services. During your visit to the bank, feel free to inquire about these other services.
Consider adding dual controls to the account by requiring two signatures for all transactions. This reduces the risk of theft and also helps control spending.