Blog Archives

International Mission Board Earns Accreditation from Nation’s Premier Financial Accountability Organization

IMB Meets Highest Standards of Financial Ethics to Receive ECFA Seal of Approval

 

WINCHESTER, Va., July 30, 2013 /Christian Newswire/ — ECFA announced this week the accreditation of International Mission Board (IMB), the Richmond, Va.-based global mission arm of the Southern Baptist Convention, the nation’s largest evangelical denomination.

In receiving accreditation from ECFA (www.ecfa.org), International Mission Board has submitted its financial records to the highest level of scrutiny and met all criteria to receive the ECFA seal of financial integrity.

“With 1.7 billion people worldwide who have little or no access to the gospel, it is a privilege for ECFA to accredit IMB, one of the leading ministries making disciples of all people to fulfill the Great Commission,” said Dan Busby, ECFA president.

Founded in 1845, IMB works with Southern Baptist churches to involve members of all ages and abilities in the task of taking the message of Christ to all peoples.  Its vision is a multitude from every language, people, tribe and nation knowing and worshipping Jesus Christ as Lord.

“IMB has always been conscious of its financial responsibility to Southern Baptists, who sacrifice in order to help take the saving message of Jesus Christ to those who haven’t heard,” said IMB President Tom Elliff.  “We are pleased to add ECFA accreditation as continued assurance to our constituents that we consistently conform to the highest standards of accountability.”

Currently funding about 4,900 field personnel around the world, IMB and its overseas partners saw more than 266,000 baptisms in the most recent reporting year and more than 24,000 new churches started.

The International Mission Board budget for 2013 is $323.8 million, including a national goal of $175 million in the annual Lottie Moon Christmas offering. Ministries include evangelism, discipleship, church planting and disaster relief.

International Mission Board passed all of ECFA’s evaluation according to the ECFA Seven Standards of Responsible Stewardship™, including financial accountability, transparency, sound board governance and ethical fundraising.

“As International Mission Board recognizes that over 6,000 people groups still live with little or no access to the gospel, donors to its ministries may give with confidence of the highest financial integrity,” said Busby.

ECFA, founded in 1979, provides accreditation to leading Christian nonprofit organizations that faithfully demonstrate compliance with the ECFA standards pertaining to financial accountability, fundraising and board governance. To learn more about ECFA, including information about accreditation and a listing of ECFA-accredited members, visit www.ecfa.org or call 1-800-323-9473.

ECFA Presents Webinar on Supreme Court Historic Healthcare Ruling

ECFA

Decision’s Impact on Churches and Nonprofits

WINCHESTER, Va. –  ECFA will provide essential information for churches and nonprofit organizations regarding the impact of last week’s historic ruling by the Supreme Court in a one-hour webinar, “Impact of Supreme Court’s Decision on Healthcare,” on July 18 at 1 p.m. EDT.

“The Supreme Court decision to uphold much of the nation’s health care law clarifies many issues,” said Dan Busby, ECFA president. “After the long wait for this ruling, churches and nonprofit organizations need an immediate grasp on the key elements of healthcare reform they are facing. These issues include the impact of health care exchanges, the “pay or play” penalties and the contraceptive mandate.”

The webinar will be led by Danny Miller, a partner in the Washington, D. C., office of Conner & Winters, LLP, a Tulsa, Okla.-based law firm, and a member of the firm’s Employee Benefits Group. A graduate of Vanderbilt University School of Law, Miller has been practicing in the employee benefits area since 1974.

Registration for the healthcare webinar is open at www.ecfa.org/Events.aspx. The cost is free for ECFA members and $39 for registered users. A recording of the webinar will be available following the session through the ECFA website at no cost for ECFA members and $29 for nonmembers.

Continuing education credits are available through the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) and the National Association of Church Business Administration (NACBA).

ECFA, founded in 1979, provides accreditation to leading Christian nonprofit organizations that faithfully demonstrate compliance with the ECFA standards pertaining to financial accountability, fundraising and board governance. To learn more about ECFA, including information about accreditation and a listing of ECFA-accredited members, visit www.ecfa.org or call 1-800-323-9473.

The Wesleyan Church Accredited by ECFA

Wesleyan Church

Wesleyan Church (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

ECFA

Certification by National Financial Accountability Organization Reflects Denomination’s Commitment to Faithful Stewardship

INDIANAPOLIS, In. – The Wesleyan Church has demonstrated its commitment to faithful stewardship, financial accountability and transparency by receiving accreditation from ECFA, the national financial accountability organization announced today.

“We are pleased to include in our membership a denomination committed to offering the good news that faith in Jesus Christ makes possible a wonderful personal relationship with God, a holy life empowered by His Holy Spirit for witness and service, and assurance of eternal life in heaven,” said Dan Busby, president of ECFA.

The announcement came as church leaders met in Lexington, Ky., recently to set policy, approve legislation and elect a new general superintendent, The Rev. Dr. Jo Anne Lyon.

“As part of The Wesleyan Church’s responsibility to all people, we pledge our commitment to following faithful stewardship practices by seeking and obtaining accreditation through ECFA,” Lyon said. “The standards ECFA sets for accountability are centered in biblical teachings and Christian faith, and will help us equip and empower our churches in their mission and ministry to make disciples for Christ.”

A member of the ECFA board, Lyon, who was elected as one of three General Superintendents in 2008, is the first woman in the history of the denomination to serve in the position. Following the denomination’s vote to restructure the board, reducing the number of superintendents to one, Lyons was elected the sole General Superintendent.

ECFA accreditation is based on the ECFA Seven Standards of Responsible Stewardship™, including financial accountability, transparency, sound board governance and ethical fundraising.

The Wesleyan Church joins a growing number of Christ-centered churches and ministries across America, supported by more than 20 million donors, which have earned the right to display the ECFA seal.  When an organization is accredited by ECFA, it demonstrates its willingness to follow the model of biblical accountability.

Founded in 1968, The Wesleyan Church (www.wesleyan.org) is an evangelical, Protestant denomination.  Their ministries emphasize practical Bible teaching, uplifting worship and special programs to meet a variety of life needs.  With World Headquarters in Fishers, Ind., The Wesleyan Church has nearly 400,000 members in 5,000 churches and missions in 80 countries.  The Wesleyan Church has its roots in John Wesley‘s Methodism.

ECFA, founded in 1979, provides accreditation to leading Christian nonprofit organizations that faithfully demonstrate compliance with the ECFA Standards pertaining to financial accountability, fundraising and board governance.  For more information about ECFA, including information about accreditation and a listing of ECFA-accredited members, visit www.ECFA.org or call 1-800-323-9473.

Study Shows Giving Finally Rebounding for Majority of Churches

th Annual ‘State of the Plate’ Survey Shows Giving Increased Last Year; Budgets Up, Electronic Giving on the Rise, Greater Financial Transparency 

DENVER (March 27, 2012) — Churches suffered from plummeting donations after the recession began in 2008. But in the past year, a majority of congregations experienced giving increases because of a better economy, higher attendance and more church teaching on giving.

Trends in 2011 included higher budgets, which brought more church spending on staff salaries, missions, facilities and benevolence. Trends also included greater attention to fiscal transparency and board governance and a rise in electronic giving through technological tools, such as cell phone applications and automatic bank withdrawals.

The fourth annual “State of the Plate” constituency survey of more than 1,360 congregations revealed that 51 percent of churches saw giving increase in 2011, up from 43 percent in 2010 and 36 percent in 2009.

The survey was a collaborative research project sponsored by MAXIMUM Generosity, Christianity Today, publisher of Church Finance Today and Leadership Journal, and ECFA.  The survey asked pastors, staff and leaders of all church sizes, theological leanings and regions to report on their church giving, budgeting and generosity initiatives, as well as programs to help families negatively affected by the economy.

“Charities and churches were hit hard by the recession, but many are now beginning to see increased giving,” said Brian Kluth, author, speaker and founder of the “State of the Plate” research. “A better economy, more Bible teaching on finances and generosity and a growing number of online giving options are helping many churches rebound financially.”

Giving increases were greatest among larger churches, with more than 70 percent of megachurches — 2,000 or more in weekend attendance — experiencing giving increases last year. Heartland states saw the biggest rebound, with nearly 55 percent of churches experiencing giving increases. For three of the last four years, Pacific Coast churches continued to struggle financially.  In 2011, 38 percent experienced giving declines.

Among churches that saw giving increases, 50 percent attributed the rise to greater attendance. Forty-two percent said it was because people gave more after their church conducted financial/generosity teaching initiatives, such as sermons, classes, seminars or distributed devotionals about the subject.

Church budgets, consequently, are up, and churches are allocating the extra funds to staff pay raises (40.3 percent), missions (36.5 percent), church buildings (35.3 percent) and benevolence (31.1 percent). And the way churches receive donations has shifted from the traditional “envelope packets” toward electronic giving, such as cell phone applications, automatic bank withdrawals and lobby kiosks.

“As giving has improved for many churches nationwide, this survey shows many have made budget decisions that directly care for people,” said Matt Branaugh, director of editorial for Christianity Today’s Church Management Team, a survey sponsor. “Many churches increased their spending for missions and benevolence – two ways churches work to meet the needs of people locally and globally. And pay raises for staff and pastors were a move to care for their own, after many churches were forced to freeze or cut salaries during the recession.”

The “State of the Plate” shows a significant number of churches actively use a variety of practices and procedures to ensure financial transparency and accountability. For instance, 92 percent make their financial statements available upon request to their members; 89 percent provide copies of their annual budget to their congregation or make them available upon request.  Eighty-six percent of church boards are made up of five or more people, with at least three of those people not a pastor or staff member, or related to either.

“It is important that churches properly self-govern in financial matters,” said Dan Busby, president of ECFA. “The ‘State of the Plate’ research shows that a significant number of churches are concerned about financial integrity and accountability. Our research shows that many churches are implementing strong financial accountability practices.”

Winchester, Va.-based ECFA leads the Commission on Accountability and Policy for Religious Organizations in response to a request from Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa).

In conjunction with the “State of the Plate,” a second survey called the “View from the Pew” assesses churchgoers’ personal financial, debt and giving practices, and trends. Findings of this survey, which focuses on those who give 10 percent or more of their incomes, will be released at a later date.

“State of the Plate” online surveys were completed by 1,360 churches of varying types from all regions of the country. For an executive summary with charts, graphs and trends, visit www.STATEofthePLATE.info/media2012.htm.
About MAXMUM Generosity

In mainstream media circles, Brian Kluth (www.BrianKluth.com), founder of “State of the Plate” research and the MAXIMUMgenerosity.org website, is known as “America’s Giving Guy.” A best-selling author, speaker and media commentator, Kluth’s book “40 Day Journey to a More Generous Life,” has become a bestseller, with a half-million copies sold. Kluth is a speaker for the www.GiveWithJoy.org radio program and the www.GenerosityPledge.org movement.

About Christianity Today

Christianity Today (www.christianitytoday.org), based in Carol Stream, Ill., is a global media ministry founded in 1956 by the Rev. Billy Graham. It provides nine publications, including Christianity Today, Leadership, Church Finance Today and an award-winning website reaching more than 2.5 million unique visitors each month.
About ECFA

ECFA (www.ecfa.org), based in Winchester, Va., is an accreditation agency dedicated to helping Christian ministries earn the public’s trust through adherence to Seven Standards of Responsible Stewardship™. Founded in 1979 and now with more than 1,600 members, ECFA provides accreditation to leading Christian nonprofit organizations that faithfully demonstrate compliance with established standards for financial accountability, fundraising and board governance. Members include Christian ministries, denominations, churches, educational institutions and other tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organizations. Collectively, these organizations represent more than $20 billion in annual revenue.

ECFA to Lead CEO Dialogues Roundtable Program

WINCHESTER, Va.—CEO Dialogues, a roundtable program for ministry executives, has come under the umbrella of ECFA (Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability), which will give leadership to the program founded to help CEOs pursue biblical excellence in nonprofit service. Ed Morgan has been named program director.

The CEO Dialogues program will enrich the growing number of Christ-centered ministries and churches across America that have earned the right to display the ECFA seal, said Dan Busby, ECFA president. But leaders from all Christian nonprofits are also encouraged to participate.

“With more than 1,600 ECFA accredited members, we are eager to leverage this powerful one-day roundtable tool to further bless and equip both our member CEOs and hundreds of others CEOs from Christian organizations across the nation,” Busby said. “It is an honor for ECFA to be trusted with leadership of this program, which is open to leaders of all Christ-centered charities.”

“As the demands of this ministry continued to grow, we began looking for an organization that could take the leadership baton and make this unique program even more effective,” said Bob Andringa, co-founder and chairman of the CEO Dialogues board. “It’s a perfect fit for ECFA, and our trustees are delighted ECFA will build on the legacy of co-founder Ted Engstrom.

The dates and locations for four CEO Dialogues roundtables in 2012 are March 21 in Brea, Calif.; April 10 in Orlando, Fla.; Sept. 13 in Atlanta; and October 16 in Dallas.

Since 1993 Morgan has been president and CEO of The Bowery Mission and Kids With A Promise, based in New York City. Under Morgan’s leadership, these ministries and their parent organization, Christian Herald Association, have reorganized, focused on an outcomes-based purpose statement, built three of New York City’s most effective homelessness recovery programs and tripled their incomes.

Prior to his current post at the mission, Morgan served 20 years with General Electric. He managed communications for top GE officers, won several management awards and founded an award-winning customer magazine.

“Helping CEOs pursue biblical excellence in nonprofit service” was the vision of Engstrom, then president of World Vision, who had networked CEOs in regional one-day roundtables. Since its founding in 1992, CEO Dialogues has served almost 1,000 CEOs nationwide. Further information about its history and recent dialogues is posted at www.CEODialogues.org.

ECFA, founded in 1979, provides accreditation to leading Christian nonprofit organizations that faithfully demonstrate compliance with the ECFA standards pertaining to financial accountability, fundraising and board governance. To learn more about ECFA, including information about accreditation and a listing of ECFA-accredited members, visit www.ecfa.org or call 1-800-323-9473.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 8,287 other followers