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Getting Rid of Donor Records Safely

Retaining donor records is important for both tax and legal purposes, but holding onto them for too long can end up hurting both you and your generous donors. Make sure to destroy sensitive donor information following the retention period recommended by your CPA and legal departments.

Complete destruction via shredding is the only way to ensure with confidence that no one will be able to access that information ever again. Take a look at our document destruction process outlined in the How to Dispose of Contracts to understand what a thorough, accountable and transparent donor material destruction looks like.

Suggested Retention Duration for Select Donor Records

Document Type Suggested Minimum Retention
Donor vouchers and reports 7 years
Vouchers/receipts for donations 7 years
Correspondence relating to donations 7 years
End of year tax statements Permanently
Chart of Accounts Permanently
Checks for large or important purchases Permanently
Contracts 7 years after expiration
Cancelled checks 7 years

Other Documents

To learn about suggested retention schedules for documents not related to donors, consult the similar tables provided in their corresponding section:

Important note: These lists were written as a general guideline and are not a replacement for professional advice. Consult your CPA or a New York business attorney for specific recommendations on best practices and legal compliance requirements.

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