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Faith-based Financial Accountability Organization Launches Salary Comparison Tool on Web

Will Benefit All Nonprofit Ministries and Churches


'Salaries Certainly Not Excessive'


Contact: Alex Coffin, 704-364-2049, ACoffin@InChristCommunications.com; Note to Editors:  To locate ECFA members in your area, go to www.ECFA.org, find "Member Search," enter your state, and click "Search."


WINCHESTER, Va., Oct. 15 /Christian Newswire/ -- The Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA), an oversight and accreditation organization with more than 2,000 Christian nonprofit organization members, today announced the launch of a powerful nonprofit executive salary comparison tool available on its website.      


The data, available at no cost at www.ECFA.org (see "Compensation Data" icon), can be highly valuable to churches and nonprofits looking for guidelines in salary setting and in seeking to comply with IRS regulations, said Ken Behr, ECFA president.


Because the data comes from statements audited by certified public accountants, it is much more accurate than a random survey, Behr said. 


"Our membership data shows the average salaries of the largest and best-run evangelical organizations are certainly not excessive," said Behr.  "If anything, we continue to see that evangelical nonprofit boards are very conservative in setting salaries of pastors and other leaders." 


ECFA salary information is updated daily from annual data submitted by members to maintain their accreditation status.  It shows the average compensation of the top evangelical nonprofit pastors and other leaders in organizations with $50 million or more in annual revenue is approximately $211,000 annually, compared with more than $300,000, as reported in a survey of 250 of the largest nonprofit groups in the United States conducted by "The Chronicle of Philanthropy" newspaper.


The ECFA data may be the most reliable information anywhere regarding nonprofit salaries, said Behr.  It is constantly being verified by field reviews conducted by ECFA CPAs, he said. 


The new data allows users to view comparative salary information across the United States. The data is available by four geographic regions of the U.S. – by type of organization, by position and by revenue.


The positions covered are the top position at each organization or church, such as senior pastor, president, chief executive officer, executive director, chief financial officer, chief development officer or similar positions.


"We are very excited about this new technology for two reasons," Behr said. "First, the salary search is a report of actual data comparison based on information submitted by our members and verified by our field review staff.  Second, this tool is especially timely, as the Internal Revenue Service continues to aggressively audit nonprofits organizations for excessive compensation."


Earlier this year, the IRS released the results of its study of nonprofit compensation. The three key factors reviewed by the IRS were: independent approval of a leader's pay, proper documentation of the compensation and a determination of comparative compensation.


"The ECFA salary search tool is designed to determine comparative compensation," said Behr.


ECFA, founded in 1979, provides accreditation to evangelical Christian nonprofit organizations that faithfully demonstrate compliance with established standards for financial accountability, fund-raising and board governance.  ECFA's 2,000-plus members collectively receive more than $16 billion per year in income from their ministry efforts, and represent nearly $26 billion in assets.