An Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability has been organized here to promote voluntary financial disclosure among evangelical agencies and acceptance of uniform standards.
Organizers of the new group said that more than 1,100 evangelical charitable organizations with a combined annual income approaching $1 billion will subscribe to the principles laid down by the new council.
Formation of the new agency was announced by George Wilson, executive vice president of the Billy Graham evangelistic Association, and Dr. Stanley Mooneyham, president of World Vision International.
They said they believe Christian agencies should be accountable for the funds donated to them. They also believe ECFA will promote responsible financial practices among established agencies while helping smaller and newer Christian charities to comply with its minimum standards.
In the past, some sell-known evangelical agencies have failed to meet the standards for approval of the Council of Better Business Bureaus. Some have maintained that the BBB standards are unrealistic.
Evangelical agencies that meet the ECFA standards will be authorized to display a "seal of approval" in their advertising and promotional efforts. Mooneyham and Wilson commented that "while membership in the ECFA is strictly voluntary, we believe that publicity by members and the media will help educate the public to question the absence of the seal in any solicitation for funds."
ECFA members will be required to have annual audits by public accounting firms and make audited financial statements available on request, destablish an audit committee of nonemployes, have a governing board which meets at least semiannually, and have "a clearly defined statement of faith, consistent with the evangelical Christian perspective."
Ted W. Engstrom, executive vice president of World Vision International, Monrovia, Calif., was named chairman of a temporary board of directors of ECFA until a permanent board is elected in September.
Also named to the board were Joel Aarsvold of the Graham Association, Jerry Bridges of the Navigators, Richard Capin of Capin and Krause, Bradt Gustavson of Moody Bible Institute, Gordon Loux of Prison Fellowship, Stan Long of Tom Skinner Associates, Lloyd Olson of Campus Crusade for Christ, and Eldon Howard of the Sudan Interior Mission.