Answers to Donors’ Questions
Thank you for supporting the work of CEO. You are an essential link in the chain. On the pages that follow, we want to address issues that you have told us are important to you. Thanks again for partnering with us in our mission to bring the Gospel of Grace!
All contributions are solicited with the understanding that Christian Educators Outreach has complete discretion and control over the use of all donated funds.
Thanks to the ECFA website:
Top 10 Year-end Giving/Receipting Issues
- If a single gift of $250 or more is given by check, a gift acknowledgement must be obtained by the donor to qualify the gift as a charitable deduction.
- A donor must obtain a gift acknowledgment for any amount of currency to qualify the gift as a charitable deduction.
- Donors providing out-of-pocket expenses relating to performing services for a church or charity must obtain a proper acknowledgment for gifts of $250 or more.
- Givers need a charitable gift acknowledgment on or before the due date of their tax return (including extensions) or the date their tax return is filed, whichever is earlier.
- For purposes of the gift acknowledgment, the donor is generally the person or entity named on the check/bank draft, or the credit card holder.
- If a check is mailed to a church or charity, the date of the postmark generally determines the year in which the gift is deductible.
- All gift acknowledgments must include a statement that no goods or services were provided in exchange for a gift (or the fair market value of the goods or services provided must be identified)
- The fair market value of donated property should not be reflected on a gift acknowledgement by a church or charity.
- When a gift of over $75 is received by a church or charity and goods or services are received by the donor in exchange, the church or charity must inform the donor of the limitation of the tax deductibility of the payment and must provide a good faith estimate of the fair market value of the goods or services provided.
- There is generally no basis to refund a charitable contribution to a donor.
CEO Executive Director, Tom Foley answers questions donors ask.
I have lost some of our receipts, how can I get a total summary of our giving for the calendar year?
Simple, just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be glad to send that out to you via email or via postal mail (or both!).
How much of my donation actually goes to the field?
This is, in my mind, one of the most important questions that a donor can ask. To answer this question I ran a report that told me how CEO has used the funds donated. This report told me that since our inception in 2000, CEO has used 92.5% of the funds donated to work on the field, that means that 7.5% of these funds are used in administration. We work hard to keep the administrative costs low and to send as many resources as possible to the the field, mainly because we want to be good stewards of the funds God has entrusted us with.
I understand that my donation is subject to a 10% administrative fee, but you said that only 7.5% goes to administration. Where does that remaining 2.5% go?
Now, this is a question I am really glad to answer. One of the things that I think sets CEO apart is our size and our commitment to caring for our partners. Part of that 2.5% goes to caring for the partners you support. I do this in person on the field and via Skype from my study in Charlottesville. I am convinced that our partners, who are working hard on the field, need to be provided with what some organizations call “member care” or “pastoral care”, I call it shepherding. Additionally, some of the funds in the 2.5% go to provide occasional gatherings for the partners on the field. Another part of those funds go toward our “ministry development fund” from which I draw to make immediate grants to ministries that I discover which fit our mission when I am on the field. You can even donate to the “ministry development fund” directly to help us with these special projects.
Why does so and so get such a long vacation?
I recently had a phone conversation with a donor to one of CEO’s partners. The donor wondered how so and so could take so many vacations in the USA most years. In fact this person wondered if they should support this partner any more.
I explained to this kind soul that I understood their quandary but went on to explain that when folks who serve overseas come home, there is much more to do than just vacation. Yes indeed, it is right and just for folks to have a vacation, everyone needs one. But when our friends who serve abroad come “home” they are often working a great deal. A very important part of their job is education: informing the folks back here of what is going on over there, there are donors to visit, churches to speak to, and there is always additional fund raising that must be done to keep these workers on the field of service. Additionally, there are visits to doctors, dentists, eye checkups and even visits with their organization leaders who require folks to visit and report about the work and answer questions.
On a personal level, please consider this as well… many families have big gatherings at Thanksgiving, Christmas and or Easter that these folks may have not been able to attend for years, so they need to make the most of these times in the USA to reconnect with relatives. This is especially important for families with children. Additionally, if a family has high schoolers, they need to make college visits as well. There is a lot that gets “crammed” into a visit to the USA, only a small portion of it could really be considered “vacation.”
So, those who you support need extended time in the USA for lots of reasons. I hope with these brief words, you have a better idea of what takes place when those you support come “home” for several weeks. Yes, to be sure, part of that time is vacation, but most of that time is work as important as the work they do on the field.
Why can’t I make an EFT directly to CEO?
As a small organization, we have to be very careful of our administrative costs. We have done research on this issue and continue to do so periodically. About once or twice a year we get this question and renew the research to make sure we are serving our donors as well as possible. Currently the fees that CEO would have to pay would mean that the convenience to the donor would cost CEO more than the donation itself. As we stated in the answer to the first question, we work hard to keep our costs low. Thus, at this time, we are not able to receive EFT donations. But many donors use their bank’s on-line bill pay service to send their donation to CEO. Another option is by making your donation through PayPal using the link on the “CONTACT/SUPPORT US” page, just click DONATE and it will take you right to our PayPal page. Finally, there is the write and mail a check method. Thanks for your support, we cannot do our work without you!
We welcome your questions and thoughts on this or any other subject. Please email me at email@example.com
CEO is now accredited by ECFA… learn more HERE