An offering is used to define a donation made to a church.
In many churches it is distinguished from the tithe, in that the tithe is taught as the minimum amount that a Christian (and specifically a member of the church) should give, with any amount above that considered an offering (the term "tithes and offerings" is commonly used). However, a non-member who decides to donate is said to have made an offering, even if the amount would constitute a tithe were the person a member.
An offering may either be "undesignated" (which means that the church can use it for any purpose) or "designated" (which means the church can legally only use it for what the donor intended). Churches frequently have designated offerings, such as for capital campaigns and associated debt reduction, missions, or other church functions.
- However, for legal purposes, the church may state that amounts in excess of that needed for the campaign will be used "for other purposes".