Frequently Asked Questions

Can I raise money for my shots, passports, and other personal expenses through InterVarsity?

No. According to IRS policy, personal expenses do not qualify as business expenses payable through InterVarsity. If you would like donors to contribute to these personal expenses, we recommend that they give these gifts directly to you.

What if the deadline arrives and I still don't have enough money?

  1. It is rare for students not to go on a program because they lack support.
  2. Talk to your director, who may be able to help you uncover financial avenues you haven’t explored.
  3. Get written pledges from donors who intend to give while you are away. Be sure to get the date that they intend to make good on their pledge and follow it up when you get back. Remember that you are responsible to see this obligation through to the end. Pledged money should be sent to InterVarsity by August 15. Have your parents or a friend send in this money (along with the proper form - the Donor Support Record) if it comes to you while you are overseas. Your director will also ask you to write a “good faith” check covering the deficit, which he or she will hold and only deposit if your funds do not come in.

What if I raise more than I'm supposed to?

Most program fees do not represent the full amount needed to run an overseas program. If your program ends up with an overage, that money is used for scholarships, next year’s programs, and administrative costs not included in the budget. Overages can also help to cover unpredictable inflation in the country you are going to, students who drop out, and unfulfilled pledges.

How should I handle cash given to me?

Ask if you could have a check instead. If not, deposit the cash in your checking account and write out a check to InterVarsity for that amount. For the Donor Support Record, indicate who the gift is from, their address, and the amount. On the check number line, write “Cash.” The person will receive a receipt for that amount. You may write one check for multiple cash gifts. Simply make sure that each donation has a separate record.

You cannot make a donation to your account on the website when you are given cash. Do not go online and change your record to the name of the donor to give a cash gift. You cannot use your credit card/debit card number to give a gift given by another person. This creates problems with the IRS.

How should I handle checks made out to me personally?

If you receive checks made out to you, ask the donor to write a new check payable to InterVarsity. InterVarsity cannot accept checks made out to you. If we receive checks made payable to you, we will return them to the donor asking them to rewrite the check. Do not cash the check and then give the funds online. Do not go online and change your record to that of the donor to give their donation. This creates problems with the IRS.

Can my donors give to me online with a credit card, instead of writing a check?

Yes, your donors may give online via our website.

Once your director has accepted you to the program, Donation Services will set up an online account for you. (Please allow a day or two for this to happen.) Then your donors can go to the donation page and type in your name in order to make a gift. Note that the 2.5% credit card fee will be charged to your account.

What if my plans change and I can't go?

Let your director know immediately or contact the GP office. In most cases, we have already put a deposit on your ticket and are incurring expenses for your participation. You are responsible to cover any expenses that we've already incurred on your behalf.

By law, it is illegal for us to refund your donations to you or your donors. We can hold them in an account for you until the next year.

When does my money need to be in?

Each director may have different financial deadlines. Check with your director. In general, you should have raised the cost of your airline ticket by the time the director purchases it for you. By your program orientation, the rest of the money should be turned in. Money not raised before the program begins needs to be turned in no later than August 15th.

Do I have to worry about security?

It is crucial to consider the sensitivity of the work that you, your team, and partnering organizations are doing, especially if you are traveling to a region that is closed or hostile to Christians. Be sure to speak with your director about what details are permissible and appropriate to share.

Other questions?

Consult your director first. If he or she is unavailable, contact the InterVarsity Global Programs office.