FAQ’s regarding financial needs

Please note this page was last updated in 2016 but most of the data is still true.

Why is your monthly amount so much higher then a monthly salary? Aren’t things cheaper in Africa?

Our monthly support need of $9,140/ month probably sounds like a lot for a family of six living primarily in a tent or mud hut in Africa. This amount is considerably more than our family lives on in the U.S. BUT , as international expats, we have some additional expensive items in our budget. Currently 70% of our budget relate to items unique to serving  overseas, not a salary. These items are things such as health insurance, including medical evacuation, which costs our family $1,025/ month plus deductibles and co-pays. Our budget also includes  some funds in our budget for increased housing expenses when we return to the US on home assignment.

There is also the cost of actual living in South Sudan. We will save a lot on housing compared the US but this is really the only savings. Food is comparable to that of the US and built into our budget is the cost of airfare to and from South Sudan and Kenya. This is currently 20% of our monthly budget. Chartering a private plane, or flying on a humanitarian plane  is the only means of accessing this area of South Sudan as there are no roads for access. Another huge part of our expenses is visa costs. Visas are very expensive for South Sudan and Kenya residency visas are less but still an expense. For a more detailed account of our budget breakdown please see our financial needs page.

Will we receive a tax deductible receipt when we give you support?

Yes! Ministry and support funds are both tax deductible. A tax deductible receipt will be sent from SIM

How do I know which account to give to?

See the “Our Accounts Explained” page.

When will you go on support?

We began going on Support in October 2012 when we started our full time cross cultural training.

How long does it take for you to receive my gift? It can take us up to a month from the time you give for us to know that you have given. This is because your gifts are all processed through our organization (which is why they are tax deductible) and so alot depends on their processing times and the time it takes us to “sync” our database with theirs.

Do you get notes I write on my donation? Yes! Our donor care department emails us those right away so we often see your notes before our database sees your gifts!

What information should I include? Important information for us includes prayer requests you may have (which you can also email us directly) as well as whether your gift is a one time or a pledged donation. We keep track of our pledged gifts (meaning what you, in good faith will try and give on any type of regular basis, monthly, quarterly, yearly) this helps us know if we are projected to meet our budgets and are ready for the field. If you plan on donating more then once don’t be shy email, call us, or write in information letting us know this helps us know what additional funds we need to raise before our departure 🙂

What kind of fees are incurred with automated giving? Who Pays them? Is it safe?

The service fees generated from our support requirement help defray the costs involved in supporting online, as well as mailed in check donations. Our website is secure and compliant with the latest security standards for electronic giving.

Why are the Support Services costs so high?

They are not. The support figures are comparable to other agencies and include many valuable services to us, and our financial supporters. These figures include:

1) Financial accountability. We have an independent accounting firm audit our finances every year. These are available to the public. We also undergo internal audit’s every couple of years and are a part of the ECFA. This accountability ensures our financial partners that we are using money in the way it ought to be used for our work in South Sudan.

2) Our organization places a very high value on taking care of it’s members. This includes office space, computers, communication systems, paper and more to keep track of aspects of our mental, emotional, relational, spiritual and physical well being.  The USA office has an entire department devoted to “member care” which are staff to help through crisis and daily challenges to ensure that we are doing ministry in a healthy and affective way. These type of ministries often take place on the field as well so you know that we have the resources that we need to be healthy workers on the field.

3) In addition to the member care they provide they offer valuable financial resources and assists us with visas, passports and immunization requirements so we are medically, financially and spiritually prepared when we reach the field.

4) Because we are being sent from the USA office, we are a part of a large administrative structure. We are sent to South Sudan office which is a small structure. This smaller structure means there are less missionaries to carry the costs of administrative expenses such as having and running a field office, or hiring national help, hosting needed visitors (such as mission leaders to offer pastoral care or professionals to facilitate team development).  Part of the administrative figure is ensuring our team in South Sudan is equipped to function as a unified team through our smaller field office.

What if I am interested in giving a one-time gift?

Until we have 100% of our needed monthly support, all one-time gifts go toward the lack in our monthly support.  Thus, one-time gifts continue to be deeply appreciated! In the event we have full monthly support these gifts will placed in our ministry fund to be directly used to help support and provide resources for our work.

How can we help you with extra expenses that you will have on the field?

We have two separate accounts that are used to help us financially. The most important of which is our support account. There are some expenses related to our ministry that we incur that can be reimbursed (such as gas for a vehicle used only for ministry purposes). Deposits can be made into this account to help with approved missions related expenses.

How much support should we provide?

Please prayerfully consider what a good amount would be for you. We have some needs based on our financial goals that you can see by clicking on our updated finance page.

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