Ministry monitor Wall Watchers has issued a list of 45 Christian organizations it says "have failed to demonstrate transparency with regard to their finances." The organizations named may reap consequences from donors, the U.S. government, and accountability organizations.
The MinistryWatch Transparency Guide, says Wall Watchers founder and president Rusty Leonard, "seeks to inform donors about which ministries are failing to provide us with information about their finances. Obviously this is a red flag for donors and should be a central factor in whether a ministry is worthy of their hard-earned dollars."
Over the last 12 months, Wall Watchers has asked all of the 475 organizations in its MinistryWatch database for copies of their financial statements. Three weeks after sending a written letter, MinistryWatch says it followed up with a phone call or e-mail message, then followed up again four weeks after that. After another four weeks, MinistryWatch assigned a letter grade based on the number of requests it took to receive the information and the extent of the ministry's financial disclosure. Most organizations, 337, received an A grade. Another 32 received Bs, 9 Cs, 1 D, and 44 Fs. MinistryWatch is still assessing the remaining 52 organizations in the database.
All of the 45 organizations on the Transparency Watch list — those receiving F and D grades — did not send MinistryWatch financial information, says Wall Watchers president Chris Hempe. "I should emphasize that a low transparency grade is simply a reflection of how the ministry responded to our requests for financial information" over the last 12 months, he said. "It is not necessarily an indication that the ministry is doing anything wrong, illegal, or even inefficient. ...1
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