Churches Report Better Protection Against Fraud and Scams Than Nonprofits

February 1, 2016

WINCHESTER, Va., Jan. 28, 2016— According to the Church Financial Management Survey, a new report by the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA), almost 90 percent of churches surveyed have annual fraud prevention protocols in place. According to their responses, participants of this survey are more prepared than respondents of ECFA’s Nonprofit Financial Management Survey, commissioned last August, which found that nearly 40 percent of financial management teams lack annual fraud prevention procedures, checklists and reviews.

“Through the survey analysis, we hope to provide all churches—both ECFA members and non-members—with information and best practices that will increase effectiveness and help them further their mission,” said ECFA President Dan Busby.

The Church Financial Management Survey, the first ever conducted by ECFA, provides churches with advice on how to use the findings with their pastors and boards to better position their church for growth. The executive summary includes the top-10 findings and can be downloaded here.

It also provides insight on other characteristics of American churches, including:

  • They have measurable goals. The survey found that 65 percent of respondents have measurable goals that senior pastors or supervisors have affirmed for the current fiscal year.
  • Measurable goals are focused on the churches’ community and global impact. The survey found that 72 percent of church financial administrators agree their board is focused on measuring mission impact.
  • More churches support organizations abroad than at home. The survey indicated that of the 10 percent of the churches’ revenues donated outside their own ministries, 37 percent went to domestic ministries and 63 percent went to international missions.
  • Many churches budget wisely. Tithers and donors to churches should know that 74 percent of churches surveyed reported budgeting for cash reserves.

ECFA, founded in 1979, provides accreditation to leading Christian nonprofit organizations that faithfully demonstrate compliance with the ECFA standards pertaining to financial accountability, fundraising and board governance. For more information about ECFA, including information about accreditation and a listing of ECFA-accredited members, visit ECFA.org or call 800.323.9473.


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