June 1, 2012
After having established a sound and stable ministry and financial foundation over the past 2 ½ years, Capitol Commision felt it was time to make application to the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA). Our April 27 application was quickly approved on May 16. We are thankful to all who have helped with this process. Our membership entitles us to display the ECFA seal.
Many of you may be familiar with what this organization represents, but for those who are not, ECFA is an accreditation agency dedicated to helping Christian ministries earn the public’s trust through adherence to Seven Standards of Responsible Stewardship™, which focus on board governance, financial transparency, integrity in fundraising, and proper use of charity resources.
Early in the 1970s there was growing public and political concern over an increase of questionable fundraising practices in the nonprofit sector. In addition, donors and governmental agencies expressed concern over the management of their donations to achieve publicly stated objectives as presented in fundraising appeals. Donors had no source for an objective assessment of the financial integrity of Christian organizations desiring their support.
In the late 1970s, Senator Mark Hatfield addressed a group of key Christian leaders and challenged them to police their own mission agencies as a "Christian Better Business Bureau" or face the potential of government intervention. Consequently, in 1979, ECFA was formed, standards were established, and a chartering process was initiated for applicant ministries.
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 nearly $20 billion in annual revenue.
Each of the more than 1,600 members of ECFA is in compliance with ECFA's Standards and has functioned for at least 12 months after receiving its 501(c)(3) ruling letter from the IRS. Members have received revenues of more than $50,000 during its last fiscal year and have obtained financial statements prepared by an independent CPA.
Over its history, the reaction of the public to the existence of ECFA has been gratifying. The fact that ECFA requires full financial disclosure satisfies many donors because they know that financial information is available when and if they want it. The ECFA seal is tangible evidence to donors that ECFA member organizations adhere to the highest standards of financial integrity and Christian ethics.
Capitol Commission is committed to ECFA’s Seven Standards of Responsible Stewardship™ that convey God-honoring ethical practices. Our Board of Directors are in full support of honoring and submitting to these standards. Our membership in ECFA will be maintained and your gifts will be used for the advancement of the Gospel and for the glory of God.
Thank you for partnering with us. To God be the glory, great things he has done.
State Director, Arkansas