What the Ambassador Program?
The Ambassador Program is a fundraising support program for volunteers and interns to raise tax-deductible financial support through World Relief's 501(c)3 status. This program enables volunteers and interns to utilize World Relief’s capacity to market, track and expense funds raised in order to ease what can be a time-consuming and overwhelming fundraising process.
Historically, many volunteers and interns have raised their financial support through their home churches. Through issuing receipts for all donated funds, building a budget prior to departure to the field and tracking volunteer and intern expenses World Relief’s Ambassador Program relieves the sending church from what can be a time consuming administrative process.
What are the benefits?
- One of the main benefits of the Ambassador Program is that financial donations are tax exempt. Tax deductible receipts are provided to each individual donor by World Relief.
- Ambassadors have access to World Relief marketing tools.
- Health care and medical evacuation can also be purchased through World Relief, which can be budgeted as additional funds to be raised by the Ambassador.
- World Relief disburses the raised funds to the volunteer, ensuring that funds are safely transferred to the field locations.
- There are no income tax liabilities. If there are any funds over the course of a volunteer’s placement, which cannot be documented as legitimate expenses, a 1099 form will be filed by World Relief to the IRS as income.
How does it work?
- Once a program, placement and length of stay is decided, Ambassadors work with World Relief to create a budget for their expected expenses. Expenses include but are not limited to, food, housing, transportation and insurance.
- The Ambassador’s budget includes a 10% overhead charge to World Relief. This fee covers the cost of processing donated funds, managing the Ambassador’s account, management and logistical support at HQ and on the field.
- The Ambassador must account for expenses and produce a monthly expense report, including receipts, which are submitted to World Relief. Any difference between cash advance and expense is accounted as income to the volunteer that will be documented on a 1099 form.
- It is very important that all supporters understand that they are giving to the Ambassador Program and not to any individual. All funds received are used at the discretion of World Relief. World Relief, in compliance with donor guidelines established by the Evangelical Council of Financial Accountability and IRS regulations, must maintain control over the use of all donated funds.
Ambassador Program FAQs
Who are World Relief Ambassadors?
WR ambassadors are self supported volunteers and interns serving domestically and internationally.
What does self supported mean? Does World Relief pay for any of my trip?
No, World Relief internships and volunteer opportunities are unpaid. Ambassadors raise funds for their trip, typically through their churches, friends and sometimes through their universities.
I can only commit to a two month volunteer opportunity. Can I still be an Ambassador?
Yes! Any World Relief volunteer or intern can be an Ambassador, whether they are serving short term or long term.
What’s the difference between short-term and long-term service?
Short-term service is a commitment up to six months and all funds must be raised in full prior to departure. Long-term service is a commitment of more than six months; funds for the first 6 months must be raised prior to departure, the next six months must be raised before the first 6 months have been completed.
How do I create a budget for my trip?
Once placement and length of stay is determined, Ambassadors work with World Relief to create a budget for their expected expenses. Expenses include but are not limited to, food, housing, transportation, insurance and indirect cost recovery.
What is Indirect Cost Recovery?
Indirect Cost Recovery (ICR ), is the fee World Relief has in order to enable us to cover the costs for processing donated funds, managing the Ambassador’s account, & management and logistical support at HQ and on the field. For the Ambassador program, the ICR fee is 10% of your total trip budget.
Are donations from my supporters tax exempt?
Yes, all financial donations are tax exempt. World Relief will issue tax deductible receipts for your supporters.
What do the raised funds cover?
The raised funds cover all budgeted expenses during the time of your internship or volunteer service, as well as any expenses associated with training prior to departure.
I do not have health care insurance, is there another option?
Yes, health care and medical evacuation insurance can be purchased through World Relief. The cost can be included in the budget and covered by the Ambassador’s raised funds.
What is an expense report?
An expense report shows all expenses documented by the Ambassador while serving with World Relief. Expenses include food, housing, transportation, and personal necessities. Ambassadors must account for all expenses and produce monthly expense reports, including their receipts that are submitted to World Relief HQ.
What happens if I loose a receipt and cannot report an expense?
If there are any expenses over the course of a volunteer placement which cannot be documented as legitimate expenses through a receipt, they will be counted as income for the Ambassador and filed on a 1099 form issued by World Relief
What is a 1099 form?
The 1099 form is used to report earned income by an individual who is not a regular employee of World Relief. A 1099 form is only used when there is a difference between the money that you have raised verses the amount that you have expensed for your trip. Any raised funds that you have spent and cannot report as an expense needed specifically for your trip must be counted as income and reported on a 1099 form.
I have funds left over at the end of my trip, what happens to the money?
Any funds left over at the end of the trip remain in the Ambassador Program to cover any unexpected expenses or for program needs. IRS guidelines state that in order for funds to be tax deductible, funding must be used at the discretion of World Relief. In order for us to stay compliant with these guidelines, it is critical that all of your supporters understand that they are giving to the program and not the person; therefore any funds left over at the end of a trip cannot be given directly back to the Ambassador.
Can donors contribute funds directly to Ambassadors?
Yes, your supporters can give you funds directly. However, in order to receive a tax deductible receipt, donors must contribute through the Ambassador Program. IRS regulations state that World Relief can only provide tax deductible receipts for donations that are contributed to the program not the individual.
Once in country, can I use an ATM card to access my raised funds?
If you are in a country where ATM cards are of use and can access your personal bank account, then that is possible.