Top Ten Questions About Support
We believe it is a miracle that people willingly and joyfully send financial support for a missionary month in and month out over many years. But that is our goal: a long-term relationship, satisfying to you and to the missionaries you support.
Top Ten Questions about Your Missionary Support Commitment
What is "committed support"?
WorldVenture is a faith mission with no central funding. Therefore, each missionary is responsible to raise their own support from churches, family, businesses, organizations, and friends. Commitments are registered with WorldVenture via a commitment form indicating annual amount, frequency and start date. When commitments equal the support level set by WorldVenture's overseas fields (based on cost of living and ministry needs), the missionary receives final clearance for departure. Such commitments, though not a legal contract, are almost always fulfilled. Seldom does WorldVenture have to bring a missionary home because of lapsed commitments. Praise God!
How long am I expected to continue support commitments?
It varies. Support commitments from both churches and individuals have continued for the entire career of some missionaries--as long as 30 or 40 years. For practical reasons, WorldVenture suggests that support commitments continue for at least one full term, usually four years. At the conclusion of each term, missionaries return to the U.S. for what is called "home assignment," an extended time in the States to report to support partners, gain new support, renew relationships with extended family and take additional training. WorldVenture understands that changes in church or family situations may force some commitments to be dropped or changed.
What happens if there is shortfall in committed support?
The short answer is, "Ministry effectiveness is compromised." One unique feature of missionary support is that it includes funds for the work (ministry) in the field on which each missionary serves as well as funds to support the family. Thus, a shortfall in support affects both. A significant shortfall makes it difficult to continue ministering and living overseas, and a trip to the States or an extension of home assignment may be necessary to find additional support. If support does not come in for new missionaries, they cannot begin ministry overseas.
What missionary and mission services are covered under committed support?
Monthly support includes all of the items that your budget at home might cover-and then some. For example, food, clothing, shelter, transportation, salary, social security, utilities, applicable income taxes, health and life insurance and retirement. Committed support also includes overseas cost of living adjustments, travel, children's education, transportation, ministry funds, etc. Sixteen percent of total support goes for missionary and mission care including operating the mission, prayer letters, publications, overseas supervision, administration in the U.S., recruiting and deploying new missionaries, research and planning, training, counseling, board meetings and medical emergencies.
How do partners send their support?
Like many people pay their bills, missionary support is received monthly, quarterly, semi-annually or annually, via check, credit cards, electronic funds transfer, money order, stocks and bonds, and even cash. Gifts and commitments can be made online using our online giving or commitment forms. Also, gifts can be made by mail. More information is available about making donations via electronic transfer, and donating appreciated stocks, bonds and mutual funds (link to C.3.3 Giving Appreciated Stock). It is WorldVenture's policy to send a receipt for every gift received. For example, monthly givers will receive 12 receipts over the period of a year.
What should I expect from the missionaries I support?
In a word - "partnership." As a partner in ministry you should expect enough information, communication and relationship to assure you that your financial, time and prayer support are producing the kind of results that you pray for and expect. This usually includes prayer letters, e-mail, personal letters, notes, phone calls, visits and reports of ministry results. We also know that missionaries are inclined to pray for your needs, hopes, dreams and plans as they become aware of them.
Can I make personal non-tax-deductible gifts to missionaries I support?
Yes! It is very common for support partners to give personal gifts on special occasions such as birthdays, anniversaries, and Christmas. WorldVenture processes these gifts and sends them on to the recipient. Personal gifts are not tax-deductible. Should you decide to give a personal gift, simply jot an explanatory note on the response portion of the receipt, clearly marked with your intention. For example, "Please forward $50 to Tom Missionary as our personal Christmas gift." The word "personal" is a signal to us that this will not be a tax-deductible gift.
Does my commitment mean I will receive a lot of mail from WorldVenture?
The choice is yours. Prayer letters and other communication from your missionary partner come to you directly. WorldVenture's website, worldventure.com, is increasingly a primary source of information about mission ministry. You will also receive Impact, a magazine about the ministries of WorldVenture. In addition, you will receive invitations to give to four annual mission-wide projects--usually international church planting, humanitarian aid, literature, and frontier ministry. We hope you will appreciate these mailings and the exciting opportunities they represent. If you don't, let us know and we will see that you do not receive them in the future.
Whom can I contact with questions?
WorldVenture has donor relations personnel whose goal is to act as your advocate to the mission. We believe it is a miracle that people willingly and joyfully send financial support for a missionary month in and month out over many years. Our goal is a long-term relationship, satisfying to you and to the WorldVenture missionaries you support. Please contact us if we can be of service to you in any way: WorldVenture, 1501 W. Mineral Avenue, Littleton, CO 80120-5612, 720-283-2000.
Why do people make support commitments?
There are many reasons. Most churches make such commitments out of a sense of vision and mission to accomplish The Great Commission. For individuals, it usually starts with the word "relationship." Many partners also give out of a sense of gratitude to God for what He has done for them through Christ. Many partners also give out of a sense of obedience to the call in I Corinthians 4:1 to fulfill our stewardship of the Gospel. And, many partners have a strong sense of passion to see the gospel spread among certain people groups or through certain types of ministry. We welcome your partnership with us as together we expand the harvest.