Frequently Asked Money Questions
How is my ministry through CORD financed?
Each missionary is responsible to determine their financial needs, in consultation with those already in their area of ministry. They are individually responsible to establish a team of financial partners who support their ministry.
Who owns the funds sent in to Cord?
Donations given to Cord legally become the property of Cord or they cannot be tax deductible to the donor. Funds are held as designated funds and Cord tries to fulfill its moral obligation to see the funds are used as the donor requested.
Who gives oversight to CORD missionaries and projects?
CORD missionaries are given oversight within the context and culture that they are ministering. While CORD does have a legal and ethical responsibility to its donors to ensure that CORD missionaries are on track and aligned with their mission; direct oversight of daily operations, annual planning, and other relevant work related activities are conducted by on-site leadership. CORD missionaries with FCF Thailand will always be directly accountable to FCF leadership. FCF will then work to report back to CORD regarding relevant information. CORD is here to empower ministry to FCF, not manage it. Missionaries and projects in other countries have similar local structures.
When can I start raising funds through CORD?
After you have been accepted through the CORD application process and received an official letter/email of intent from CORD, you may begin raising funds. The funds raised before you leave for the mission field may be for fundraising expenses, for income while you are in the fundraising process, or they may be held in your account until your departure.
How do funds get transferred to a missionary or project after being processed?
CORD will establish a Direct Deposit to a bank account in the USA, or in some cases, set up a wire to foreign accounts. The frequency and amount of this deposit will be worked out with Cord operations. You may receive funds on a cyclical calendar date, as requested, or when your account reaches a certain limit. Additional requests may be made via phone or by email.
What expenses can my CORD ministry funds be used for?
The funds you raise for ministry can be used as you wish, in accordance with IRS guidelines. These expenses generally fall within the following categories.
- Outgoing and returning (including resettlement) expenses.
- Living Expenses - 'The necessary expense test is defined as expenses that are necessary to provide for a taxpayer's (and his or her family's) health and welfare and/or production of income.' - IRS Basically, just about anything legal and moral.
- Ministry (Business) Expenses - Any business or ministry expense under the vision and purpose of CORD as defined by our tax deductable status. You will need to document these expenses as business expenses and be prepared to show them to the IRS in order for them to be tax deductible.
Who can access my funds raised through CORD?
Cord must retain 'control', as defined by the IRS, of all funds processed, but has set in place conflict of interest and financial handling policies that ensure that each missionary can request and designate funds under the CORD umbrella. At any time you can make a request for donor reports or request explanation of a report you have received. Transparency is a core pillar of CORD culture and we work hard to uphold that.
Is CORD a recognized 501(c)3 non-profit in the USA?
CORD's tax exempt recognition application was submitted in Dec. 2012. According to the IRS Cord is recognized as a 501(c)3 charity. INSERT LINK, Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to get more information.
As a CORD missionary, what will my 'Employment Status' be in the US?
CORD missionaries are independent contractors and as such you will receive a 1099 form in January of each year. As an independent contractor, you will be asked to report about your ministry activities to Cord on a periodic basis. Usually this done by including Cord in any email or mail communication with donors and prayer partners.
As a CORD missionary, what are my responsibilities to the IRS?
Each year, you will be required by the IRS to file taxes as an independent contractor. You will need to keep records for any business expenses (ministry funds), including mileage, that you wish to deduct. You will also need to pay quarterly Estimated Taxes. The estimated taxes will include what is known as “Self-Employment Tax” which is equivalent of paying your Social security withholding and what an employer might contribute.
Does CORD withhold a fee for its services?
Yes. In order for CORD to adequately provide administrative support for its missionaries, it withholds 10% of missionary support funds processed and 5% of project funds. The majority of Cord’s costs is postage, printing, processing donations, website development, maintenance, and employee pay. This 10% withheld is not recorded as income to the missionary, so taxes will not be paid on that portion. Only what is distributed to you is put on your 1099.
What other expenses may be covered from the 10% administrative fee?
It is necessary for Cord to consult with and get services from lawyers and CPAs. Even though Cord is tax exempt there are periodic fees required by the IRS and state governments.
Does CORD provide medical insurance?
No, because of your Self-Employed status, medical insurance is the responsibility of each missionary. Missionaries sent to Thailand to work with FCF may be eligible to apply for international health insurance under a group policy held by FCF. Contact email@example.com directly for more information. The director of Cord can also recommend several other options that you may find helpful.
Does CORD have a retirement plan?
No, each missionary is encouraged to plan for his/her own retirement. By keeping services such as
these to a minimum, CORD is able to maintain lower administration fee deductions.
Ultimately, CORD is charged with making sure its funds are used in an ethical and legal way and will only determine the use of funds as needed by these obligations. We suggest that the best way to understand what this might look like is to contact us and start building a relationship. Cord is very flexible and willing to try to tailor relationships with missionaries, workers, and projects to meet the specific needs and settings. Cord is here to serve!