Question about Funding for missionaries:
"How much of a service fee do agencies charge? What is that used for?"
The home-based service fees may pay the salary of personnel like those who record donations, send a receipt to the donor, notify the missionary of the donation, and prepare documents for the IRS. Others may help with obtaining visas and flight information.
The local service fees may pay the salary of those local personnel who work for the agency, for example a "documents coordinator" who will work with local government offices to obtain the proper papers you need you to reside and work in that country. Local staff may also assist you at customs or even with getting a driver's license, or coordinate banking and finances. All this takes time, and local personnel can save you a great deal of time and frustration.
A word of caution: agencies with low service fees may in reality be passing on the fees to the missionary who then takes it out of her/his salary. On the other hand, agencies with higher service fees may have more accurately stated the actual cost of the services. Always investigate.
Agencies should provide full financial disclosure of how they use the service fees to both the inquiring prospective missionary and their donors.
Were these answers helpful? Pass it along:
Subscribe to the AskaMissionary Newsletter
More information and a sample issue can be found on our newsletter page.