CharityWatch Analysts perform an in-depth analysis of charities' audited financial statements and IRS tax filings, and often review other documents such as state filings, annual reports, and fundraising contracts during their evaluations. Below are select notes that CharityWatch believes may be of interest to donors.
Any time an Analysts' Note refers to a charity's Audited Financial Statements or IRS tax form, CharityWatch encourages interested donors to obtain a copy of the referenced documents so that they may view the information in context. Please contact the charity directly to request a copy of any referenced document. Charity tax forms and audits may also be obtained from a number of online databases. For a list of sources, please visit our LINKS page.
|According to the Christian Advocates Serving Evangelism (the Center) 2016 tax filing, there is a family relationship among all four of the charity's board members: Jay, Logan, Jordan, and Pam Sekulow. There is also a Sekulow family relationship among three of the four officers of the Center, with the President (Jay), the CFO/COO (Gary), & the Secretary (Pam). Also related is Adam Sekulow, Director of Development Services. (See IRS Form 990 Schedule O & Part VII, Section A.)|
Christian Advocates Serving Evangelism (the Center) responded "Yes" on its IRS Form 990 filing to the questions asking if it has a written conflict of interest policy and regularly and consistently monitors and enforces compliance with that policy. However, a conflict of interest policy would have limited effect and be difficult for the Center to properly enforce given: (1) its lack of an independent board of directors and the existing family relationships among the board members and officers, as described above; and (2) its existing related party transactions, as described in separate Analysts' Notes below.
|According to the Christian Advocates Serving Evangelism (the Center) audit of December 31, 2016 (Note 11, Grants to Affiliated Organizations):|
"The Center paid grants to the affiliated organization American Center for Law and Justice - National [or ACLJ - National] during the years ended December 31, 2016 and 2015. At December 2016 and 2015, the payments related to these grants totaled $17,092,098 and $16,817,013, respectively. Grants to affiliated organizations and contributions are allocated to legal services and supporting services based upon information provided to the Center by the affiliated organizations and recipients. ...In addition, reimbursed expenses of $1,121,975 and $1,272,500 were incurred and paid to the affiliated organization American Center for Law and Justice - National during the years ended December 31, 2016 and 2015, respectively."
Additionally, according to the Christian Advocates Serving Evangelism (the Center) tax filings, the Center made a cash grant in the amount of $500,000 to the Law & Justice Institute for the purpose of "education" in both 2016 and 2015 (IRS Form 990, Schedule I). Jay Sekulow, President of the Center, is also the President of the Law & Justice Institute. The Institute reports having zero employees or volunteers, and over 75% of its contributions came from the Center in 2015, according to its tax filing.
|According to the Christian Advocates Serving Evangelism (the Center) audit of December 31, 2016 (Note 5(C), Related Party Transactions, Contributions and Other Services):|
"During 2016 and 2015, payments related to radio agency fees with PFMS of Georgia, Inc. (PFMS) totaled $916,372 and $777,400, respectively. The spouse of the Chief Financial Officer of the Center owns PFMS."
"...The president of the Center owns Regency [Regency Productions, Inc., media production services]. During 2016 and 2015, payments related to a Master Production Contract with Regency totaled $745,680 and $717,000, respectively. Also, during 2016 and 2015, the Center entered into a movie production contract with Regency that totaled $457,600 and $440,000, respectively. Included in income for the years ending December 31, 2016 and 2015, is $70,000 and $115,000, respectively, for book royalties and for a portion of rental income associated with Regency..."
|According to the Christian Advocates Serving Evangelism (the Center) audit of December 31, 2016 (Note 5(B), Related Party Transactions, Other Compensation):|
"At December 31, 2016 and 2015, the Chief Financial Officer's son is the Director of Development Services and received $162,775 and $137,726 in compensation, respectively. In addition, a wife of a Board Member is the Event Coordinator and received compensation of $36,085 and $36,080 during December 31, 2016 and 2015, respectively. Finally, the daughter of [the] Chief Financial Officer received compensation of $30,639 as Media Research/Assistant Producer for the year ended December 31, 2016."
"Insurance, personal travel related expenses, and other non-cash compensation were incurred for the year ended December 31, and have been included as other compensation [in 2016] as follows:" President/Chief Counsel at $66,938; Chief Financial Officer at $86,493; and Board members - Sons of President at $8,507. The total of this other compensation in 2016 was $161,938.
|According to the Christian Advocates Serving Evangelism (the Center) audit of December 31, 2016 (Note 1, Donated Equipment, Material, Supplies and Services):|
"...The Center received donated television airtime in the amount of $1,272,700 and $1,248,000, respectively, for the years ended December 31, 2016 and 2015."
[Note: CharityWatch generally excludes the value of in-kind (non-cash) donations of goods and services from its calculations of Program % and Cost to Raise $100. More information on how grades are calculated and the treatment of in-kind donations can be found by clicking on "About CharityWatch" from the navigation bar and then clicking on "Criteria & Methodology".]