The level of giving to Christian ministries in 2014 was up 5 percent from the previous year, the Nonprofit Times reports, totaling $12 billion in cash donations. Though still not hitting pre-recession numbers, the amount is up from 2013’s $11.4 billion and is the highest reported since 2008’s $12.19 billion. The statistics appear in the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability’s annual State of Giving Report, which compiles data from audited financial statements of 1766 of its more than 2000 members (organizations accredited in the last two years are not included). Non-cash donations were up 2.2 percent at $2.9 billion, for a combined total of $15 billion in giving.
The members of North Point Community Church donated $4.8 million to benefit the church’s local mission partners this November as part of its “Be Rich” campaign, a three-part initiative aimed at giving back to the community. The first week, members were encouraged to donate $39.95 to help the church’s nonprofit partners. The second week, members were asked to donate their time to volunteer with the partners. The third week, members were encouraged to love others by serving them in a thoughtful way. One hundred fifty nonprofit organizations and 28 churches participated in the drive, Christian Post reports.
An originally confidential letter from the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA) to Gospel for Asia (GFA) was recently published by blogger Warren Throckmorton that incriminates GFA for the misuse of donations, which in turn caused GFA to lose its membership with ECFA. The primary transgression named in the letter, given to Throckmorton by former GFA board member Gayle Erwin and dated Sept. 2, 2015, is the use of $19.8 million in restricted donations to build GFA’s headquarters in Carrollton, Texas. The funds were intended for missions work but were instead transferred overseas to one of GFA’s affiliates, then returned to the U.S. without the knowledge of the organization’s board members or donors. Several other types of financial misconduct and lack of required disclosures were noted in the letter and other documents unveiled by Erwin, according to Christianity Today.
ChildFund International, based outside Richmond, Va., was recently recognized by Sierra Leone’s President Ernest Bai Koroma for its commitment to aiding in the fight against the Ebola epidemic over the last two years. ChildFund’s Billy Abimilla, national director of the organization’s offices in Sierra Leone, accepted an award for the efforts in Freetown in December. During 2014 and 2015, 3,955 people died from Ebola in Sierra Leone. ChildFund operated Observation Interim Care Centers in West Africa where children who had lost one or both parents to Ebola could stay for the 21-day quarantine period and be cared for by trained health workers, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reports, as well as made food and other donations to the community.
The Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) Airs Superbook on ABC Family With Simultaneous On-Demand Streaming
ABC Family signed on to air six episodes of the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN)’s animated series Superbook, which tells several stories from the Bible alongside an interactive app. The app will also stream the episodes and includes a full Bible, videos, images and interactive games. The Emmy-nominated series began in Japan in 1981 as a mission to bring the Gospel to the country. The Bible later became Japan’s best-selling book. Episodes aired on ABC Family from Dec. 24-Jan. 1, according to the news release.