Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability Terminates Gospel for Asia’s Membership

Just today the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability posted notice that they have terminated Gospel for Asia from ECFA membership due to failure to comply with multiple ECFA standards.  GFA was a charter member of the ECFA, having joined in 1982.

The reasons for termination are listed on the ECFA former member page:

ECFADropsGFA

This is a major development in this story and represents enforcement action one rarely sees from the ECFA.

GFA told Mark Woods at Christian Today that the ECFA review of GFA would be done sometime in October and that GFA would then answer all outstanding questions.

The lack of compliance involves the following ECFA standards:

Standard 2 – Governance

Every organization shall be governed by a responsible board of not less than five individuals, a majority of whom shall be independent, who shall meet at least semiannually to establish policy and review its accomplishments.

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Standard 3 – Financial Oversight

Every organization shall prepare complete and accurate financial statements. The board or a committee consisting of a majority of independent members shall approve the engagement of an independent certified public accountant, review the annual financial statements, and maintain appropriate communication with the independent certified public accountant. The board shall be apprised of any material weaknesses in internal control or other significant risks.

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Standard 4 – Use of Resources and Compliance with Laws

Every organization shall exercise the appropriate management and controls necessary to provide reasonable assurance that all of the organization’s operations are carried out and resources are used in a responsible manner and in conformity with applicable laws and regulations, such conformity taking into account biblical mandates.

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Standard 7 – Stewardship of Charitable Gifts

7.1 Truthfulness in Communications

In securing charitable gifts, all representations of fact, descriptions of the financial condition of the organization, or narratives about events must be current, complete, and accurate. References to past activities or events must be appropriately dated. There must be no material omissions or exaggerations of fact, use of misleading photographs, or any other communication which would tend to create a false impression or misunderstanding.

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7.2 Giver Expectations and Intent

Statements made about the use of gifts by an organization in its charitable gift appeals must be honored. A giver’s intent relates both to what was communicated in the appeal and to any instructions accompanying the gift, if accepted by the organization. Appeals for charitable gifts must not create unrealistic expectations of what a gift will actually accomplish.

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I am surprised that Standard 5 was not also mentioned since GFA has not produced an audited financial statement for 2014.
Additional Information:

GFA’s charter member profile on ECFA’s website (Google cache)

GFA’s characterization of the meaning of ECFA membership (Google cache):

The ECFA seal is tangible evidence to donors that a ministry is complying with the highest standards of Christian ethics in its governance, fundraising and financial accounting and reporting.

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