The full report as to why Gospel for Asia was terminated from the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability is rather harrowing. Read the report yourself and draw your own conclusions. I’m sure you can contact the ECFA to verify these findings as the document shows. It is available here.
Document dated: September 2, 2015
Some brief highlights of this sad report of Gospel for Asia’s financial offenses. Donor be wise.
Terminated for failure to comply with:
- Standard 3 Financial Oversight,
- Standard 4 Use of Resources,
- Standard 6 Compensation-Setting and Related-Party Transactions,
- Standard 7.1 Truthfulness in Communications, and
- Standard 7.2 Giver Expectations and Intent
View the ECFA website for listing of former members and a listing of reasons for termination.
*After termination, members are removed from website after three years.
The ECFA letter reported that GFA used $19.8 million in restricted donations to build its headquarters in Wills Point, Texas, just outside of Dallas.
Those donations were intended for missions work. Instead, the money was sent overseas to one of GFA’s affiliates. The affiliate then returned the money to the United States, without the knowledge of GFA’s board of directors or donors.
GFA leaders also tried to conceal the source of those funds. The $19.8 million was listed in GFA’s 2013 audit as an anonymous donation. Earlier this year, GFA admitted that restricted donations for missions work had been used for the building.
The ministry also solicited millions of dollars in donations, claiming urgent needs, while its overseas affiliates held onto huge cash balances—nearly $250 million in 2014.
The ECFA letter (dated September 2, 2015) was the result of a four-month investigation into GFA’s finances. Soon after the report was issued, ECFA expelled GFA from its membership.
Excerpt from ECFA Termination Letter to Gospel for Asia
8. Use of funds restricted for the field for other purposes. On June 3, ECFA discussed GFA’s claim that 100 percent of field funds are sent and used in the field. GFA staff confirmed that this was accurate.
On August 24, ECFA was informed that GFA India made a gift to GFA of $19,778,613 in 2013 to complete GFA’s new office. On August 27, GFA’s staff confirmed that the funds relating to this donation were originally received by GFA as gifts restricted for the field and GFA transferred to field partners to fulfill donor restrictions.
Two important issues are raised:
A. Reallocating gifts donated for field purposes and using them to pay for headquarters construction appears to be a violation of ECFA’s Standards 7.2. GFA staff stated in a recorded GFA staff meeting that you approached the field partner and explained that GFA could borrow the funds in the U.S., at less than desirable terms, for the headquarters construction. However, a gift from the field partner, in lieu of GFA borrowing the funds, would allow GFA to complete the new headquarters and thereby save interest. Therefore, GFA would be able to send more money to the field in future years.
ECFA believes that the potential savings resulting from the GFA India gift is an inadequate basis to reallocate gifts donated for field purposes.
B. Reallocating gifts donated for field purposes contradicts GFA’s claim that 100 percent of funds are sent to the field. In fact, a significant amount of donations restricted for the field made a circuitous trip back to GFA and were used for the headquarters construction, as though they had never gone to the field. This appears to be a violation of Standard 7.1.
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In a GFA staff meeting, GFA indicated the field partner took out a loan to cover the use of the $19,778,613 gift and GFA staff confirmed on August 27 that India-generated income was used to repay the loan.
Our review of the board minutes did not indicate the GFA board had approved, or even been notified, of the $19,778,613 reallocation of donor-restricted gifts.