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Christian Advocates Serving Evangelism

CharityWatch report issued
March 2020

B
CharityWatch Grade
Our independent grade based
on a number of factors.
 
71%
Program Percentage
Amount spent on programs
relative to overhead.
 
$27
Cost to Raise $100
Amount spent to raise
$100 of contributions.

Contact Information

Christian Advocates Serving Evangelism
PO Box 450349
Atlanta, GA 31145

Other Names

ACLJ
American Center for Law & Justice
CASE

Tax Status

501(c)3

Website

www.aclj.org

Stated Mission

To educate, promulgate, conciliate and, where necessary, litigate to ensure religious freedom and freedom of speech are protected under the law.

View similar charities
Data based on Fiscal Year Ended 12/31/2018

Program Percentage: 71%

The percentage of Christian Advocates Serving Evangelism's cash budget it spends on programs relative to overhead (fundraising, management, and general expenses).

$51,000,000

Calculated Total Expenses

(rounded)

 

Cost to Raise $100: $27

How many dollars Christian Advocates Serving Evangelism spends on fundraising to raise each $100 of contributions.

$51,000,000

Calculated Total Contributions

(rounded)

Joint Costs

Christian Advocates Serving Evangelism's rating was adjusted for Joint Costs. If you are a donor who considers direct mail, telemarketing, and other Joint Cost solicitations to be true charitable programs, the below efficiency ratios, which were not adjusted for joint costs, may better reflect your goals.

Program % Cost to Raise $100
92% $6
Accounting rules allow charities to report some telemarketing, direct mail, and other solicitation costs as Program expenses. CharityWatch believes that most donors do not consider a charity's solicitation activities to be the Programs they are intending to support with their donations. We therefore adjust such expenses out of a charity's reported Program expense and add it to Fundraising expense prior to calculating its rating.

Government Funding

0% to 24%

Percentage of cash revenue
coming from government sources

 

Financial Documents

Entity Document Type Tax ID
Christian Advocates Serving Evangelism IRS Form 990 94-3037261
Christian Advocates Serving Evangelism Audited Financial Statements 94-3037261
Entity: Christian Advocates Serving Evangelism
Document Type: IRS Form 990
Tax ID: 94-3037261
Entity: Christian Advocates Serving Evangelism
Document Type: Audited Financial Statements
Tax ID: 94-3037261

Governance & Transparency

CharityWatch evaluates certain criteria related to a charity's Governance and Transparency. Donors may want to consider a charity's willingness to be open and transparent with CharityWatch to be a good litmus test for determining its commitment to public accountability.
Christian Advocates Serving Evangelism
does not meet governance benchmarks.
 
Christian Advocates Serving Evangelism
does not meet transparency benchmarks.

CharityWatch Governance Concerns

See Analysts' Notes for Explanation
Transparency
Provides Financial Information
Audit Accessibility
Governance: Policies
Reports regularly & consistently monitoring & enforcing compliance with a written Conflict of Interest Policy
Reports required, annual disclosure by officers, directors, and key staff of interests that could give rise to conflicts
Reports having a written Whistleblower Policy
Reports having a written Document Retention and Destruction Policy
Governance: Financials
Reports providing copy of tax form to all board members prior to filing it with IRS
Reports that financial statements were audited by an independent accountant
Governance: Board of Directors
Reports at least 5 voting board members
51% or more of voting board members reported as independent
Reports documenting minutes of board and board committee meetings
Privacy Policy
Privacy Policy

  Name Title Compensation
1 Gary Sekulow CFO/COO $690,036
2 Adam Sekulow Director of Development $236,957
3 Logan Sekulow Director of Digital Services $159,547
1
Name: Gary Sekulow
Title: CFO/COO
Compensation: $690,036
2
Name: Adam Sekulow
Title: Director of Development
Compensation: $236,957
3
Name: Logan Sekulow
Title: Director of Digital Services
Compensation: $159,547

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.

According to the Christian Advocates Serving Evangelism (the Center) 2018 tax filing, there is a family relationship among four of the charity's eight board members: Jay, Logan, Jordan, and Pam Sekulow. Two of the other four board members also have a family relationship. In addition, there is a Sekulow family relationship among three of the five reported officers of the Center, with the President (Jay), the CFO/COO (Gary), & the Secretary/Treasurer (Pam). Also related is Adam Sekulow, Director of Development Services. (See IRS Form 990 Schedule O & Part VII, Section A.)


GOVERNANCE CONCERNS:
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) the existing Sekulow family relationships among 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, 2018 (Note 6(C), Related Party Transactions, Contributions and Other Services):

"During 2018 and 2017, payments related to radio and TV media agency fees with PFMS of Georgia, Inc. (PFMS) totaled $1,112,150 and $1,053,432, 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 2018 and 2017, payments related to a Master Production and Movie Contracts with Regency totaled $1,658,558 and $1,421,188, respectively..."

According to the Christian Advocates Serving Evangelism (the Center) audit of December 31, 2018 (Note 6(B), Related Party Transactions, Other Compensation):

"As of December 31, 2018 and 2017, the Chief Financial Officer's son is the Director of Development Services and received $176,908 and $170,697 in compensation, respectively. In addition, a wife of a Board Member is the Event Coordinator and received compensation of $36,085 during both years ended December 31, 2018 and 2017. Finally, the daughter of [the] Chief Financial Officer received compensation of $31,092 and $31,145 as Media Research/Assistant Producer for the years ended December 31, 2018 and December 31, 2017, respectively."

"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 2018] as follows:" President/Chief Counsel at $37,834; Chief Financial Officer at $50,112; and Board members - Sons of President at $5,782. The total of this other compensation in 2018 was $93,728.


According to the Christian Advocates Serving Evangelism (the Center) audit of December 31, 2018 (Note 6(D), Related Party Transactions, Other):

"Employer paid long term care insurance [that] has been paid as follows" for the year ended December 31, 2018: President/Chief Counsel at $11,195; Chief Financial Officer at $14,617; and Board member - Wife of the President at $11,262, for a total of $37,074 in 2018.

According to the Christian Advocates Serving Evangelism (the Center) audit of December 31, 2018 (Note 10, 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, 2018 and 2017. As of December 2018 and 2017, the payments related to these grants totaled $19,700,975 and $20,826,921, 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 $1,063,400 and $1,163,329 were incurred and paid to the affiliated organization American Center for Law and Justice - National during the years ended December 31, 2018 and 2017, 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 (tax ID #20-2487980) for the purpose of "education" in both 2018 and 2017 (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 78% of its contributions came from the Center in 2017, according to its 2017 tax filing (the most recent available).

According to the Christian Advocates Serving Evangelism (CASE) 2018 tax filing, CASE reports receiving donated in-kind airtime on which it placed a value of $1,243,370 (IRS Form 990, Schedule M).

[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 on the Our Process page.]

According to the Christian Advocates Serving Evangelism (the Center) audit of December 31, 2018 (Note 8, Note Payable -- Principal and Derivative Instrument):

"During 2016, the Center entered into a loan agreement with a commercial bank for the purchase on the new Legal and Media Center building in Tennessee. The loan amount was $9,000,000 and is unsecured. The loan includes a negative pledge on the building. In conjunction with an interest rate swap agreement the loan is set at a fixed 3.19900% rate. The swap agreement with an initial notional amount of $9,000,000 reduces each month by the required monthly principal payment of $75,000 until the termination of the loan and swap agreement on April 15, 2021.

"As of December 31, 2018 and 2017, the balance outstanding on the note payable was $6,600,000 and $7,500,000, respectively."

According to the Christian Advocates Serving Evangelism (CASE) 2018 tax filing, CASE reports reports re: Compensation, Supplemental Information (IRS Form 990, Schedule J, Part III):

Regarding nonfixed payments to officers, directors, trustees, key employees and highest compensated employees (Schedule J, Part I, Line 7):

"Three highest paid employees and directors received bonuses in 2018."


CASE reports "Bonus & incentive compensation" payments to two individuals in 2018. The amounts reported are (IRS Form 990, Schedule J, Part II):

(1) Logan Sekulow, Director of Digital Services$45,000, with reported total compensation of $159,547; and

(2) Adam Sekulow, Director of Development: $32,850, with reported total compensation of $236,957.

Gary Sekulow, CFO/COO, is the other individual reported by CASE on Schedule J, Part II. CASE's compensation reporting for Gary Sekulow includes $0 in "Bonus & incentive compensation" and $88,083 in "Other reportable compensation" in 2018. His reported total compensation is $690,036 (IRS Form 990, Schedule J, Part II).


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