General Evaluation Criteria
Information was evaluated from approximately the fall of 2007 to the fall of 2008; however, there was not a hard and fast evaluation date.
Ministries with a trend of openness and transparency where included and those ministries providing more than a token amount of infor- mation where evaluated greater than someone grudgingly providing a minimum of information, because they "had to" Organizations with a trend of pushing emotional buttons in a hard sales approach in fundraising persuasion where excluded Any indication of an organization obscuring critical information from scrutiny was eliminated
(2) Truth Claims
All the ministers on the list have at some point been verified as an IRS tax-exempt entity, and donations are tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law Any organization with indications of a problem with their IRS tax-exempt status would be excluded Any organization that had a matter of fact in dispute (from a credible source), about what they have said, or actually do, would be ex- cluded
♦ ♦ ♦
Ministries that were unashamed of being identified as an evangelical Christian ministry were included Any organization that may hedge on its "Christian" identity would be excluded It was our desire to include those ministries that were "Christian" more than in name only, not just marketing to Christians as a market segment for "Christian donor money", but ministries that had theological underpinnings and Biblical values that determined their actions Organizations that relied more on a secular motivation and means were excluded as well as those “ministries” that seem to view the or- ganization as their own vehicle as a business to make money rather than a love to maximize ministry to others Any organization with real controversial extra-Biblical dogmas would be excluded Any organization that may waver on a pro-life stance would be excluded
(4) Sectors ♦ A factor also included getting a sampling of various sectors, or functions of ministry, such as Relief and Development, Evangelism, Chris- tian Growth, etc.
(5) Resourcefulness ♦ If there were a couple organizations in the same sector, doing similar work, how efficient they were could be a tie breaking factor ; how- ever, a high MinistryWatch.com Financial Efficiency Rating was not a driving factor for inclusion on this particular list, although most do have good ratings. Any organization that looked like a perpetual foundation that could live on investments for years would be excluded Any organization that looked like it was more talk than actually doing things would be excluded Ministries that seemed to be doing the right thing before God and man, even when no one is watching, were moved above others that seemed enamored with riches and where not maximizing the ministry at every opportunity Any ministry with an overly complicated organization structure with lots of separate entities, that resulted in more than one salary for the same people, and that was difficult to understand would be excluded ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦
(6) Red Flag Issues ♦ Any unexplained odd aspects of a ministry would be reason to exclude it
(7) Consultation ♦ There could not be any critical internal disagreement among those familiar with the ministries
Help us improve the process for next year. Please send your suggestions and criticisms. Not only on the methodology and areas examined,
but ministries to apply the criteria for 2009. Please send an email to:
firstname.lastname@example.org, addressed to Rod Pitzer