Integrity in Christian Mission
Christian Aid has led the way among evangelical organizations by setting high standards of ethical integrity and financial accountability. Here are some standards which Christian Aid has established and followed since this ministry was first begun.
1. Complete and accurate financial records shall be kept by competent staff, and reviewed by the Board of Directors.
The Christian Aid finance department keeps a close eye on all financial transactions and maintains sound accounting practices for all its books and records.
2. Accounts shall be audited by an independent Certified Public Accountant and a financial statement published.
The accounts of Christian Aid have always been audited by an outside CPA firm that provided the Board of Directors with an unqualified financial statement showing all income and expenditures and a balance sheet of assets and liabilities in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. Since 1999 the accounts of Christian Aid have been audited annually by Hantzmon, Wiebel & Company, a CPA firm with offices in Charlottesville, VA.
3. The Mission shall be governed by a responsible Board of Directors.
The Board consists of independent Christian leaders from a variety of backgrounds, in recent years has included businessmen, pastors, physicians, educators, engineers, and other professionals. The Board normally meets two times a year and more often if necessary and all financial records are reviewed carefully each year.
4. The Board shall not be a self-perpetuating body. Rather, the Directors shall be elected by the Membership of the Corporation to maintain checks and balances among those who govern the Mission.
Serious abuses occur in organizations governed by a self-perpetuating Board with absolute power. The Christian attorney who wrote the bylaws of Christian Aid was aware of this danger, so he provided that Board Members should not have power to elect and re-elect themselves. Rather, they are elected by Members of the Corporation, persons who believe in the work of the Mission and are committed to protect and preserve its mission objective, financial standards and doctrinal statement. Other than their responsibility to elect the Board of Directors, the Members have no power or authority except to make amendments to the Mission's bylaws when circumstances so require. All governing power and authority rests in the Board of Directors.
5. The Mission shall avoid waste and extravagance, making every effort to maintain low overhead costs.
Persons who visit Christian Aid headquarters are impressed with the way we handle funds entrusted to us. We run a tight ship. We exhort one another daily to avoid waste, even a sheet of paper or postage stamp. We seldom go to expensive conventions and avoid expenditures that are unnecessary. Christian Aid uses no fund-raising agencies, does little advertising, sends out few appeals.
6. No Mission finances, property or resources shall be used for the personal gain or benefit of any member of the staff or Board, other than remuneration for services rendered or reimbursement for authorized, itemized expenses. Conflicts of interest are not acceptable.
Christian Aid has always carefully followed this standard. Board members receive no compensation from the Mission; staff receive only those benefits which are approved by the Board; and all such benefits are reported to the IRS as required by law.
No individual has benefited from the Mission beyond his or her prescribed allowance. Some Board members have done business with the Mission, but only where it saved the Mission money.