WINCHESTER, Va. – With a sluggish U.S. economy and fears of an impending “fiscal cliff,” donors identify “trust” as a top priority in selecting Christian ministries and nonprofit endeavors for their year-end giving.
With no shortage of organizations seeking donations, particularly at year-end, the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA) is providing potential donors essential tools to help determine the most reputable non-profits and specific projects for their gifts.
“Now more than ever, Christ-centered organizations must earn the trust of their donors by consistent adherence to the highest standards of financial integrity and accountability,” said Dan Busby, ECFA president.
Churches and Christian nonprofits entitled to bear the ECFA seal have willingly opened their records to the utmost level of scrutiny and are held to the highest standards of accountability with respect to governance, financial management, stewardship and fundraising. ECFA-accredited organizations operate by the Seven Standards of Responsible Stewardship™ drawn from scripture. To ensure continued compliance, each member organization must complete an annual accreditation review.
Beyond ECFA’s enhancement of trust in accredited member organizations, tools are available at www.ecfa.org to assist donors in making critical year-end giving decisions.
“Six Things Every Giver Should Know” recommends that donors educate themselves on aspects such as specific details about the project to which they are giving and the level of accountability of the charity.
Donors should make informed giving decisions. Knowing that an organization is accredited by ECFA provides sufficient confidence for some givers. Others may want to see information about financial matters and additional activities. Donors should evaluate the charity’s response or lack of response in making wise giving decisions. Simply put, according to ECFA, “Know the organizations you support.”
ECFA’s ServantMatch® allows donors to search participating ECFA-accredited organizations by category, keyword, geographic location or ministry interest as specific as a safe home for pregnant girls in Kenya, relief aid for victims of Super Storm Sandy, sewing machines for Guatemalan women and many more.
“Good Charities Willingly Answer Tough Questions” empowers donors to ask hard questions that trustworthy organizations should be eager to answer. Donors have the right to know if the organization has a strong, clear commitment to a defined mission objective, according to Busby. ECFA-accredited members willingly offer financial and other information about any project to which a person has donated.
To find a trusted ECFA-accredited organization for year-end giving, visit www.ecfa.org/MemberSearch.aspx._ÑŒ_ÑŒ
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 (800) 323-9473.