ECFA Assembling Panels of Religious Sector, Nonprofit Representatives

May 16, 2011

Seeks Representatives of Diverse Religious and Nonprofit Groups to Give Input to Commission on Accountability and Policy for Religious Organizations

WINCHESTER, Va. – In accordance with the structural framework announced in January for the Commission on Accountability and Policy for Religious Organizations, ECFA (Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability) is assembling separate panels – a religious panel and a nonprofit panel – composed of representatives from each sector.

 “Input from these panels will be critical in helping the commission address tax policy issues – issues that could potentially impact all religious nonprofits in the United States,” said Michael Batts, commission chair. “It is also essential that the panels include representatives from a variety of faith groups and nonprofit organizations.  We are seeking top leaders from these groups to provide the most helpful input possible.”

The Panel of Religious Sector Representatives will be composed of approximately 30 representatives from a variety of faiths, including but not limited to Protestant Christianity, Roman Catholicism, Islam and Judaism, and will be appointed by Batts. Special emphasis will be placed on engaging leaders who represent large segments of their respective faith groups.

The Panel of Nonprofit Sector Representatives will consist of representatives from approximately 15 nonprofit sector organizations. Batts will appoint the panel members, generally representatives of large segments of the nonprofit sector, to facilitate the broadest possible representation.

Each panel is expected to meet twice in Washington, D.C., and engage in other appropriate communications. Religious sector panel members will be asked to submit position papers on issues taken up by the commission affecting religious organizations, while nonprofit panel members will be asked to submit papers on commission issues that do not relate exclusively to faith-based groups. Papers submitted that, at the discretion of ECFA, conform to stated format criteria will be published by ECFA on its website and possibly in other media.

The commission ( was formed following a staff report issued in January by U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley that focused on the financial practices of high-profile nonprofit organizations. After releasing the findings of his three-year inquiry of six media-based Christian ministries, the senator asked ECFA to spearhead an independent national effort to review and provide input on major accountability and policy issues affecting such organizations.

The commission also will receive input from Grassley’s staff, the Department of the Treasury – Internal Revenue Service, a panel of legal experts, position papers, ECFA members, town hall meetings and informal channels. The commission, in turn, will provide periodic updates to Sen. Grassley, the ECFA board and the public.

For information about involvement, contact Dan Busby, ECFA president (

ECFA, founded in 1979, provides accreditation to leading Christian nonprofit organizations that faithfully demonstrate compliance with the ECFA standards pertaining to financial accountability, fund-raising and board governance. For more information about ECFA, including information about accreditation and a listing of ECFA-accredited members, visit or call 1-800-323-9473.


To schedule an interview with Dan Busby or Michael Batts, contact Ty Mays at 770-256-8710 or