Commission FAQs

In January 2011, ECFA established the Commission on Accountability and Policy for Religious Organizations ("the Commission").

The purpose of the Commission was to facilitate responses to Senator Charles Grassley, a member of the Senate Finance Committee, on issues related to accountability and policy for religious organizations.

  • When did Senator Grassley’s office contact ECFA concerning the facilitation of responses from the religious sector regarding certain issues raised by the Senator’s staff?
    ECFA was first contacted by the Senator’s office in late December 2010.

  • To whom did the Commission report?
    The Commission’s report was made directly to Senator Grassley.

  • How many of the six ministries investigated by Senator Grassley from 2007 until January 2011 are ECFA members today?
    Only Joyce Meyer Ministries, Fenton, MO (joined in March 2009).

  • How were members of the Commission determined?
    They were appointed by the Commission Chair.

  • When were Commission members named, in addition to Michael Batts, the Chair and ex-officio members, Dan Busby, ECFA president and Mark Holbrook, ECFA board chair?
    The additional members were named on April 13, 2011.

  • How did the Commission reach out to the broader religious community?
    The Panel of Religious Sector Representatives included individuals who represented a variety of religious faiths which included, but were not necessarily limited to, Protestant Christianity, Roman Catholicism, Judaism, and Islam. Special emphasis was placed on engaging leaders who represented large segments of their respective faith groups.

  • Did the Commission establish a budget for its work?
    The Commission’s budget called for a funding requirement of approximately $600,000 per year for three years.

  • Was the work of the Commission funded in any way by the Government?
    No. The Commission’s work was entirely funded by ECFA. Since the Commission expenses were an “off-budget” item, ECFA accepted gifts to help defray the Commission costs.

  • Were Commission members compensated for their work, and if so, how and how much?
    Commission members were not compensated for their work. 

  • Where was the Commission office based?
    The Commission’s activities were conducted out of ECFA’s office in Winchester, VA.

  • When were the members appointed to the Panel of Legal Experts, the Panel of Religious Organization Representatives, and the Panel of Nonprofit Organization Representatives?
    The members were appointed on September 8, 2011.