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Southern Baptist Foundation scores well on compliance review

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–The Southern Baptist Foundation is in full compliance with the standards of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability, according to ECFA Vice President Dan Busby.

The Southern Baptist Foundation, an ECFA member, was randomly selected for a field audit by the organization, which is based in Winchester, Va.

Upon completion of his Aug. 4 visit, which included a conversation with the Southern Baptist Foundation’s outside accounting firm, Busby provided his written commendation of the SBF for no violations of –- and full compliance with — ECFA standards.

ECFA is an accreditation agency dedicated to helping Christian ministries earn the public’s trust through adherence to its seven “Standards of Responsible Stewardship.” Founded in 1979, the ECFA encompasses more than 1,100 charitable, religious, missionary, social and educational tax-exempt, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organizations. Candidates for membership in ECFA are thoroughly evaluated before membership is granted; members are then held accountable to the ECFA’s strict financial and ethical standards.

“When we evaluated the worth of membership with ECFA, we were impressed with their compliance standards for members,” Southern Baptist Foundation President Mike Weeks said. “Now, with the completion of an on-site review, we are even more convinced that they are a valuable partner in ministry. We are encouraged by Mr. Busby’s findings of no exceptions regarding our policies and standards.

“Our staff has a long established reputation of trust and respect among Southern Baptists,” Weeks said, “and we will continue to work hard to maintain their confidence.”

Compliance with ECFA’s standards is monitored in three ways.

First, all ECFA members annually submit membership review information, including audited financial statements, IRS Form 990 (if applicable), salary information, fundraising appeals, board membership and changes in organizing documents.

Second, ECFA conducts on-site field reviews at more than 10 percent of its members each year. These field reviews serve to verify the information submitted in the annual membership review, confirm compliance with the ECFA membership standards and give support to the member organizations. To date, approximately 750 organizations have received an on-site review.

Third, ECFA receives and responds to complaints against member organizations. All such complaints are investigated in order to determine possible noncompliance with the standards.

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