Community Benefit

Pastoral Care Programs

Please Take Note: The information provided does not constitute legal or tax advice. The material is provided for informational/educational purposes only. Please consult with counsel regarding your organization's particular circumstances.

Question: Could you provide further guidance on counting "Community-based pastoral and spiritual care programs."

Recommendation: We recommend not reporting as community benefit routine (day to day) spiritual care and pastoral care programs that are part of your organization's patient care. This care is central to good, holistic care and therefore is part of the cost of providing care to patients/residents.

We recommend the following be reported as community benefit as long as it is provided in response to a community need:

  • Pastoral outreach programs (report as Health Care Support Service, category A3)
  • Community-based pastoral and spiritual care programs (report as Health Care Support Service, category A3)
  • Providing a clinical setting and other educational costs for educating pastoral care/spiritual care/chaplaincy students, leading to a degree or other professional credential (report as Health Professional Education, Category B3)

Therefore, we recommend not reporting the cost of spiritual care to patients being treated by your organization. However, activities outside of your organization, such as helping with a disaster or crisis in your community or offering classes or support to community members, could be reported as community benefit.

(August 2009)