Help/FAQ

For Givers

How does it work?

  1. Find missionaries. Search or browse by several criteria (location, organization, missionary name, type of gift, keyword).
  2. Learn. Read missionaries’ mission statements, recent updates, and gift lists to get to know them. 
  3. Select. Choose something or many things you want to give. 
  4. Encourage. Share your name and email address with the missionary or remain anonymous either way add a personal message of encouragement to your gift which will be in the missionaries notification of your gift. Missionaries are encouraged to respond back to you (even if you give anonymously). 
  5. Remember. Remember to pray for the missionary, the gift, and who it might be impacted by it.

Where does my money go?

Into the forafriend merchant account to be distributed to the missionaries as they request it. Once a missionary requests funds we transfer 100% of the money to the missionary via Chase Quickpay, Amazon Payments, or an otherwise specified route, specified by the missionary.

If 100% of the money goes to the missionary how does forafriend keep working?

Forafriend operates on donations only. You can support us on our profile or donate 5%, 10% or 20% each time you give. These small donations pay for our credit card processing, web hosting and other expenses we may have.  You can also donate to us under the "Give" menu.

How will I know my gift has been used?

Each missionary must maintain a certain level of accountability with the gifts they receive, but at minimum they have to mark off the gifts they’ve used on their profiles and then forafriend will send to givers of those gifts a notification that the gift was used. Missionaries can also write a personal message back to the giver through forafriend if they wish.

Could I jeopardise a missionary’s identity in a closed country?

We understand that many missionaries have important security concerns and we've had these in mind while creating forafriend. We are dedicated to make this site a blessing to those who those who can be open about what they're doing and those who can't.  We take many precautions for the missionaries, which you can read about in the "Security" section.  Specifically related to your gifts we filter words out of your emails that might possibly create suspicion if thier emails are being monitored

You must also take your own precautions to help everyone:

  • Don’t use their real name (if you know it) in your notes to them.
  • Don’t link their profile or copy their info to other web sites without their permissions.
  • Don't post anything publicly on the internet tying their real name to forafriend.com or the word "missionary".

Please contact us (under the "Help" menu) if you have concerns or questions.

Are forafriend gifts tax-deductible?

Yes, forafriend is a 501(c)(3) organization and sends tax receipts at the end of the year to the email address you supplied with your gifts and/or user account.

What are Lists?

Forafriend lists are a way for forafriend users to organize lists of missionaries on forafriend.

Creating Lists

You need to be a logged in user to create a list.  If you already have an account, sign in.  If you don't, sign up for an account.  It's simple.  When you're logged in, you'll see a "Lists" link when you hover over your name at the top right of each page.  That link takes you to the lists page.  On the lists page, just click "+ New List", give it a name and description.

Public vs. Private

Private lists are only viewable by the logged-in user who created them.  These are useful for keeping track of missionaries you've connected with or like to give to, or whatever other use you can come up with.  

Public lists can be viewed by anyone.  When you create a public list, the name you give it become part of the url, and you can share that url with anyone.  Public lists are useful for a church or other group creating a shareable list of all the missionaries they support on forafriend.  Because public lists are public and shareable any missionaries you want to add will need to approve your request before they appear on your list.  This is to protect their security and associations.

Adding Missionaries

You can add missionaries to a list either on your lists page or from anywhere you see a missionary on forafriend.com.  On the lists page, just use the search box on the appropriate list to find the missionary you want to add to that list.  Anywhere else you see a missionary on forafriend (for example after doing a search, or when looking at a missionary's profile), you can click on the list icon to the right of the missionary's name in the header.  From there you see all of your lists.  You can click "Add" next to any of your lists to add that missionary.  You can also see whether that missionary has already been added or requested.

Again, if you add a missionary to a public list, the missionary will be sent a request to be added to your list.  Not until the missionary accepts that request will they be visible on your lists's page.

Editing Lists

You can change the name and description of any of your lists and you can change the members, all on the "Your Lists" page.  You can't change whether the list is public or private at this time.  To change the list's name or description, just click the pencil icon under the list's name.  Add missionaries the same way describe above.  Remove them by clicking the trash icon next to their name.

Public Lists

There are a few caveats when changing public lists, since it affects the information associated with missionaries on forafriend, whose privacy and security we want to protect.

  • If you change the name or description of a public list, all missionaries on it will be moved back to the pending status, and sent a  request for reapproval.  Until they reapprove they will not appear on the public list page.
  • If you want to change the name of a public list, you will be warned because that changes the url.  If you've already shared the url with a lot of people or posted it on social media, you're probably better off not changing it.

We plan on add more useful lists features in the future.

 

Please don't hesitate to contact us with any questions or suggestions on this feature.

Didn't find what you were looking for?

Please contact us and we'll be glad to answer any questions you have.

For Missionaries

How can having a forafriend profile help me?

Having a forafriend profile helps you in many way’s. It gives you a quick and effective way of staying in contact with friends and family around the world while at the same time opening your self up to coming into contact with many you don’t know. Forafriends key functionality is the giving of relational gifts. This functions gives you the opportunity to highlight and receive support for your relational ministry possibly even expand it. As a team we work to promote you and your work leading many first time givers your way at the same time your own promotion of your profile will bring givers the chance to see many other missionary workers around the world.

Do I qualify for a forafriend profile?

Yes, if you are a Christian who’s vocationally a full time missionary with a relational ministry. Please note your primary work does not need to be relational ministry but your forafriend profile is to highlight and promote your relational ministry and not raise general financial support. You must be working through an organization through which we can verify your status.  At this time we can only transfer money to US bank accounts, so you or your organization must have a US bank account to which we can send the money you receive.

How do I make a profile?

We'd love to have you join us on forafriend.com!

First, use the "Sign Up" link at the top and complete your missionary application. This application helps us screen missionaries. We desire to include any Christian missionary and to ensure the integrity of these missionaries we ask that they belong to a Christian sending organization and give us references. It should take you about 20 to 45 minutes to complete the application, and you can save it and finish later if you'd like. Once you have submitted your application, our support team will review it and will approve confirmed applicants. Approval takes 1 to 3 days in most cases.

Once I've been approved, what do I need to do?

When you’ve been approved you’ll receive a email with a link to your new profile. You’ll notice that we’ve used some of the info from your application to fill in some of your profile for you. But you are in control of the info on your profile so please change and create your profile how you want it. Our hope is you can use your profile page as a great place for people to follow what you are doing in your work for the Kingdom. There are 5 sections to a good profile:

  • My mission: This is where you tell your main story of what you are doing in your ministry.
  • Recent updates: This is a feed where you can give small periodic updates. You can hook it up to your facebook, twitter, blog... so others read your most recent post on what is going on no matter where it comes from.
  • Info: Put your name, organization, country, e-mail address so others can find you, this is what our search engine in our site looks at so others could find your profile. (if you are in a closed country remember that anyone can see this info so if you need to make up an alias name or don’t want some of that info to show leave it blank)
  • Links: add anything other web link here you think might help someone know more about you like your blog, facebook, twitter, ministry website, etc...
  • Partner with me: This is where you put what you need and use in your ministry so others can partner financially with you. Here are some gift ideas for relational ministry from some of our other missionaries but be creative for we know God does not work the same in all areas:
    • coffee, tea, lunch, other food idea
    • golf, baseball, cricket, other sports to hang out together
    • bible, books, clothes, other small gifts to give away
    Please make your prices in US dollars as accurate as possible. We know exchange rates makes this hard but don't just round to the closest dollar.

Is forafriend safe to use?

It is as safe as it can be, and we're always looking for ways to make it safer. Look through our security features in the "Security" section of this page and if you still don’t feel comfortable using the site please email us what would help you be comfortable with using it and we’ll do our best to accommodate.

How do I receive funds for my gifts?

At any point after you have received gifts on forafriend, you can easily request funds in this way:

  • Navigate to your profile.
  • Hover over "Gifts" in the menu and clicking "Receive Funds".  
  • If you haven't yet set up a way to get paid, you will be taken to a page where you can do that, using Chase QuickPay or by setting up another custom way.
  • Check/uncheck the gifts you want to receive the funds for.
  • Click "Send me the funds"

At this point, forafriend support staff has received your request.  We generally process requests within 24 hours.  Your payment method may take additional time.

What are lists and why am I being requested to be on them?

Lists on forafriend are a way for users to group missionaries together on a page on forafriend and have a url to share with others.  We envision lists being used by churches and other groups.  To understand more from the point of view of a list creator, see this related article.  From a missionary's perspective, they can be a great way to connect with more people.

You are probably here because you got a request to be added to a list and you're not sure what that means.

Why am I getting requests?

Any time a user wants to add a missionary to a public list, a request is sent to the missionary requiring their approval.  We want you to remain in control of all of the information displayed about you on forafriend, and that includes the name and description of lists you're in.  If you really don't care who adds you to what list, feel free to check the "Automatically approve future list invitations and changes?" box on the "Lists You're In" page.

Should I approve?

Click on the link in the email to the list to see it's name, description, and owner.  If you are ok with being included in a list with all of these attributes, then please approve.  If you're ok with almost everything, feel free to click the link to email the owner.  If you don't want to be in the list at this time, feel free to decline.  If you don't respond at all, you'll get reminders periodically.

Is it secure?

Being in a list changes nothing about the information shared about you on forafriend except that it associates you with that list name, description, and owner.  If those things are a security concern for a particular list, please decline the request.   Urls for lists will be shared publicly but your profile page will only be indexable by search engines according to your profile settings.

What lists am I in?

When you're logged into forafriend, you can hover over your name in the upper left, click 'Lists', and then click "Lists You're In" on the left.  It shows all the lists you're in, any pending requests, and any list requests you've declined.

What if something changes?

If a list owner changes the name or description of their list, all missionaries will be removed from it until they re-approve.  This makes sure you always know exactly what the list is saying about you.

If you decide later that you want to join a list you previously declined or opt-out of one you previously joined, you can easily do that on the "Lists You're In" page.

 

If you have any questions or suggestions related to this feature, please contact us.

Didn't find what you were looking for?

Please contact us and we'll be glad to answer any questions you have.

Security

Why are you worried about security?

Some missionaries have missionary visas so the government knows they're missionaries and all their friends know they're missionaries so they aren't concerned about security. But that's not the case for most missionaries. Many missionaries are in countries that don't give missionary visas or don't want to be known as a "missionary" among the people God's called them to for a variety of reasons. We understand, respect, and honor these concerns. You should too.

What do we do to respect missionaries' concerns?

We've had missionaries' security concerns in mind while creating forafriend. We are dedicating to make this site a blessing to those who can be open about what they're doing and those who can't.

If you're a missionary who has security concerns because of your location or the nature of the work you're doing, here's what we'll do to keep you secure:

  • Force your browser to request all pages of our website using https encryption
  • Prevent search engines from indexing your profile page and therefore linking your name with forafriend
  • Only showing information you've chosen to make public
  • Give you the ability to take your profile offline with one click.
  • Filter words out of your emails that might possibly create suspicion if your emails are being monitored

You must also take your own precautions according to your needs which can include:

  • Using a fake name for your public name OR
  • Only posting your continent and not your country
  • Not posting any info you want to keep private (such as email addresses, photos, mailing address, etc)
  • Keeping your profile non-indexable by search engines (which it already is by default)

What should non-missionary forafriend users know?

We do everything we can to respect missionaries' security concerns, but there's a few things you should keep in mind:

  • On forafriend, missionaries who have told us they have security concerns are indicated by a little lock icon. Assume the others don't want the whole world to know everything about them either.
  • Never post anything on the internet about a missionary without their permission - even if you found it on the internet originally. This includes forafriend profiles. They are not searchable, but if you copy info to another site that is searchable, that's a problem.
  • If you know more about a missionary than they're publicly listing, keep it to yourself. There's a good reason they haven't made it public.
  • Pray for the missionaries on forafriend, especially those who are concerned about their security.

Didn't find what you were looking for?

Please contact us and we'll be glad to answer any questions you have.