ECFA Fund Raising Ethics

August 23, 2014 by  
Filed under Fundraising Information

The Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA) was organized in 1979 with the goal to necessitate the highest standards of financial responsibility and disclosure by nonprofit organizations to government, donors, and other interested individuals. ECFA gives a seal of membership to organizations who qualify, and they provide constant services, information, and consultation to its member.

To be able to encourage ethics and consistence in public fund raising appeals, the ECFA developed a brochure titled Standards of Responsible Stewardship which serves as their fund raising ethics. These fund raising ethics are directly applicable to church clients as well as other nonprofit organizations who raise their main support from the public sector. Here is a summary of the ECFA fund raising ethics or Standards of responsible Stewardship:

Fund Raising Ethics on Doctrinal Statement All member organization will organize a written statement of faith clearly declaring its pledge to the evangelical Christian faith.

Fund Raising Ethics on Board of Directors All member organization shall be administered by a group of not less than five people, not related to management or employed, to create policy and review its achievements.

Fund Raising Ethics on Audited Financial Statements All member organization will get hold of an annual audit performed in accordance with normally accepted auditing standards (GAAS) guaranteeing that financial statements are presented according to generally established accounting principles (GAAP).

Fund Raising Ethics on Audit Review Committee All member organization will have a functioning committee chosen by the board with the purpose of evaluating the audit report and its findings and recommendations and provide logical assurance that all funds are used to achieve the purposes for which it was intended.

Fund Raising Ethics on Financial Disclosure All member organization will fulfill with the following fund raising standards:

Truthfulness in Communication, which means factual descriptions of the ministry without overstatement.

Communication and Donor Expectations, appeals must create realistic expectations and must be obtainable within the limits of the ministries organization.

Communication and Donor Intent, use of gifts must be consistent with the appeals of the organization and donor instructions about the gifts must be followed.

Unrelated Projects to Primary Purpose, submits that raised funds for projects that are not part of the main purpose should be treated as restricted funds.

Incentives and Premiums, if provided, the fair market value must be disclosed.

Statement on Directed Gifts means that gifts received for private benefit of a named person are not solicited or received.

Gifts of Kind, a property received must be recognized with letter describing the gift or property precisely without establishing value.

Acting in the Interest of the Donor, means that gifts shall not be received if aware that it will place hardship on the donor or place the future of the donor in jeopardy.

Financial Advice, donors are to be encouraged to look for financial advice from their attorneys, accountants, or other advisors.