Knowledge Center

The Knowledge Center provides you access to hundreds of documents including policies,
procedures and a wealth of research on topics such as charitable gifts, expense
reimbursements, board governance, fringe benefits and much more.
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This text is provided with the understanding that ECFA is not rendering legal, accounting, or other professional advice or service. Professional advice on specific issues should be sought from an accountant, lawyer, or other professional.
3 Questions on Integrity

Few search for wisdom and integrity from God's unfathomable reserves to establish who they are. Franklin Graham, President of Samaritan's Purse and The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, examines three questions on integrity: Who has integrity? How does one obtain integrity? What does integrity exhibit?

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Accountability for All the Wrong Reasons

A look at two aspects of accountability: submitting to accountability and holding others accountable

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Achieving Appropriate Transparency

Facing an insatiable desire for transparency, trusted ministries find the balance between being appropriately transparent while measuring privacy concerns and administrative burdens.

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Are You Ready for Your Next Crisis?

Today's cultural landscape is rife with potential landmines for your organization.

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Center Stage

When ministries lack trust, the issue that created the lack of trust is on center stage and Christ shifts to the wings.

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Christ-Centered

Trusted governance starts with spiritual leaders who deeply know God,
seek to find God’s will, and delight to obey God.

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Courage

A captain who would rather stay in port than go to sea does not engender trust.

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Doing Well

Ever get tired and want to quit? 

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Evaluation of Marketing Programs

Recommends principles and guidelines to consider when evaluating potential marketing programs for a ministry

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God Is First

Wayne Pederson shares valuable reminders to leaders of Christ-centered organizations.  He shares the wonderful quote from A.W. Tozer: “A true and safe leader has no desire to lead but is forced into a position by inward pressure of the Holy Spirit and the press of circumstances.”

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Hiring a Consultant: How to get what you need without getting burned

This article examines various levels of consultants from “local heroes” to “major league professionals.” It offers practical advice on how to find the expertise you need. One can eliminate most of the risk with a few simple safeguards. Essentially, take time to find the right fit with the right person and get it in writing.

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Honoring Giver Intent

How a ministry fulfills a giver’s intent regarding specified gifts sends a strong message about whether a ministry can be trusted.

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How Healthy Is Your Board?

Assessing your board’s performance is the first step to improving it.

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Information System Policies and Procedure Handbook

Information Systems

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Is Your Data Secure?

Keeping your congregants' and donors' personal information secure is more than a matter of integrity; it's a legal matter as well.

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Leadership During Crisis: Guiding the Ship through the Storm

No one could have imagined as we began the new year the challenges we would be facing in our ministries, in our relationships, our finances, and our personal lives caused by the “invisible enemy”—Covid-19.  However, all the news is not bad news. There is a silver lining in the midst of all of the confusion and anxiety in our culture.

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Leadership in Tough Financial Times

Tough financial times generally require tough decisions

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Level 5 Accountability – Developing a Trusted Relationship

There's a lot of confusion surrounding accountability.

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Looking Back, Looking Forward

Looking forward, the current financial crisis and economic downturn could have a very positive effect on Christian organizations.

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Management Fads: How to tell the next breakthrough innovation from a pet rock

Remember MBWA? We’ve seen plenty of management fads in the past few decades. This article highlights 25 of them. Beneath the hype, each is usually based on something that works and offers enduring management wisdom.

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Ministry Activities on the Internet

ECFA Advisory Opinion on ministry activities on the Internet

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Ministry Disrupted: How do we respond spiritually in troubled times?

A spiritual core—a call to connect with God to discover what he is wanting you to do.

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Modeling Ministry Leadership

Five fundamental opportunities for Christ-centered ministries desiring to model leadership

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Navigating Gray Areas

Trusted ministries recognize that some potential gift transactions are fraught with significant complexities and must be treated with appropriate caution.

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Not Blurring the Lines

Trusted ministries build and maintain their relationships with givers through truthfulness, transparency, and clarity.

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Paying the Leader

Trusted ministries use compensation-setting practices that model integrity.

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Peacemaking: Preserving Staff, Money and Mission

Conflict is a thief. Each year it robs ministries of valuable staff and thousands of dollars in wasted time, turnover, and legal expenses.

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Perceptions

Trusted ministries inspire positive perceptions, creating the power of a rolling ocean wave—building a tsunami of trust—and, more importantly, give the right impression of Christ our Savior!

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Perseverance

Trusted ministry leaders understand the importance of never giving up.

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Risk Navigation

Trusted ministries understand risk-taking and risk management.

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Rules

Just as individuals need a personal rule of life, so trusted ministries need biblical rules, guideposts, or railings to ensure consistent practices which glorify God.

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Serving

Trusted ministries serve boldly following the invitation and command of Jesus, who set the ultimate example.

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Seven Recent Trends in Leadership Succession

Seven trends in leadership succession

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Spiritual Discernment

Trusted governance involves leaders relying on the subtle dynamics of the Holy Spirit.

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Success Measurement

Trusted ministries are not in a race with other ministries to see who can be the greatest.
Conversely, servants keep getting bigger and bigger in God’s eyes.

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The Growing Hunger for Authenticity: Let It Fuel Your Ministry’s Mission

In an age of filtered photos and “fake news,” people are desperate for authenticity. Even so-called reality TV is not real (no shocker there!).

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The Team-Building Trap: Three critical elements in building strong teams

What is the trap? It’s putting your staff through team-building sessions that don’t produce any lasting results. Teams are not built by off-site retreats, but by men and women committed to each other and to accomplishing a lofty goal. The article explores the dynamics of forming and leading high-performing teams.

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The Tone of Trust

A ministry’s tone of trust is based on the tone at the top and throughout the team.

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The Ultimate Test of Leadership

Our actions impact the ministry decades or even centuries in the future. The ultimate tests of leadership include maintaining mission integrity, assuring visionary flexibility, building a cohesive climate, facilitating communal morale, insisting on financial discipline, encouraging institutional loyalty, and investing in organizational momentum.

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Trouble Avoidance

Trusted ministries do not borrow trouble with related-party transactions.
These transactions are minimized to avoid even the slightest appearance of impropriety
.

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Truth-Telling

God is a truth-teller. We must be truth-tellers.

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Understanding Finances

Trusted ministries acknowledge the challenges of understanding nonprofit finances.

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Verifiable Accountability

The biblical pattern for Christ-centered ministries and their leaders is based on verifiable accountability.

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Why ECFA Does Not Rate Ministries

Prospective donors occasionally ask ECFA which member organization is the "best" one to support. Our response is that ECFA does not compare, rate, or rank member organizations, but rather measures each against an independently established benchmark—the ECFA Seven Standards of Responsible StewardshipTM. Attaining and maintaining ECFA membership means an organization measures up to all of ECFA’s Standards.

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