It is our intent to use funds entrusted to our use in the most practical way and with the highest degree of integrity. Accountability to our donors is of great importance, but beyond that, to our God, who holds us accountable for every idle word and deed.
In Touch Mission International is a member of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA). Please visit their website for more in-depth information.
The ECFA has seven standards of accountability that all members must meet.
Standard 1 – Doctrinal Statement
Every member organization shall subscribe to a written statement of faith clearly affirming its commitment to the evangelical Christian faith and shall conduct its financial and other operations in a manner which reflects those generally accepted biblical truths and practices.
Standard 2 – Board of Directors and Audit Committee
Every member organization shall be governed by a responsible board of not less than five individuals, a majority of whom shall be independent, which shall meet at least semiannually to establish policy and review its accomplishments. The board or a committee consisting of a majority of independent members shall review the annual audit and maintain direct communication between the board and the independent certified public accountants.
Standard 3 – Audited Financial Statements
Every member organization shall obtain an annual audit performed by an independent certified public accounting firm in accordance with auditing standards generally accepted in the United States of America (GAAS) with its financial statements prepared in accordance with accounting principles accepted in the United States of America (GAAP).
Standard 4 – Use of Resources
Every member organization shall exercise the management and financial controls necessary to provide reasonable assurance that all resources are used (nationally and internationally) in conformity with applicable federal and state laws and regulations to accomplish the exempt purposes for which they are intended.
Standard 5 – Financial Disclosure
Every member organization shall provide a copy of its current audited financial statements upon written request and provide other disclosures as the law may require. An organization must provide a report, on request, including financial information, on the specific project for which it is soliciting gifts.
Standard 6 – Conflicts of Interest
Every member organization shall avoid conflicts of interest. Transactions with related parties may be undertaken only if all of the following are observed: 1) a material transaction is fully disclosed in the audited financial statements of the organization; 2) the related party is excluded from the discussion and approval of such transaction; 3) a competitive bid or comparable valuation exists; and 4) the organization’s board has acted upon and demonstrated that the transaction is in the best interest of the member organization.
Standard 7 – Fund-Raising
Every member organization shall comply with each of the ECFA Standards for fund-raising:
7.1 Truthfulness in Communication
All representations of fact, description of financial condition of the organization, or narrative 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 or use of misleading photographs or any other communication which would tend to create a false impression or misunderstanding.
7.2 Communication and Donor Expectations
Fund-raising appeals must not create unrealistic donor expectations of what a donor’s gift will actually accomplish within the limits of the organization’s ministry.
7.3 Communication and Donor Intent
All statements made by the organization in its fund-raising appeals about the use of the gift must be honored by the organization. The donor’s intent is related both to what was communicated in the appeal and to any donor instructions accompanying the gift. The organization should be aware that communications made in fund-raising appeals may create a legally binding restriction.
7.4 Projects Unrelated to a Ministry’s Primary Purpose
An organization raising or receiving funds for programs that are not part of its present or prospective ministry, but are proper in accordance with its exempt purpose, must either treat them as restricted funds and channel them through an organization that can carry out the donor’s intent or return the funds to the donor.
7.5 Incentives and Premiums
Organizations making fund-raising appeals which, in exchange for a contribution, offer premiums or incentives (the value of which is not insubstantial, but is significant in relation to the amount of the donation) must advise the donor of the fair market value of the premium or incentive and that the value is not deductible for tax purposes.
7.6 Financial Advice
The representative of the organization, when dealing with persons regarding commitments on major estate assets, must seek to guide and advise donors so they have adequately considered the broad interests of the family and the various ministries they are currently supporting before they make final decisions. Donors should be encouraged to use the services of their attorneys, accountants, or other professional advisors.
7.7 Percentage Compensation for Fund-raisers
Compensation of outside fund-raising consultants or an organization’s own employees based directly or indirectly on a percentage of charitable contributions raised is not allowed.
7.8 Tax-deductible Gifts for a Named Recipient’s Personal Benefit
Tax-deductible gifts may not be used to pass money or benefits to any named individual for personal use.
7.9 Conflict of Interest on Royalties
An officer, director, or other principal of the organization must not receive royalties for any product that the organization uses for fund-raising or promotional purposes.
7.10 Acknowledgement of Gifts-in-Kind
Property or gifts-in-kind received by an organization should be acknowledged describing the property or gift accurately without a statement of the gift’s market value. It is the responsibility of the donor to determine the fair market value of the property for tax purposes. The organization may be required to provide additional information for gifts of motor vehicles, boats, and airplanes.
7.11 Acting in the Interest of the Donor
An organization must make every effort to avoid accepting a gift from or entering into a contract with a prospective donor which would knowingly place a hardship on the donor, or place the donor’s future well-being in jeopardy.