Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA) Admonishes GuideStar for SPLC “Hate Group” Label of Leading Christian Nonprofit Organizations

The Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA) recently sent a letter to GuideStar reprimanding them for their recent labeling of Liberty Counsel and certain other nonprofit organizations as “hate groups” at the recommendation of the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).

ECFA President Dan Busby wrote: “The practice by GuideStar of labeling any 501(c)(3) organization as a hate group undermines GuideStar’s credibility among nonprofit leaders as a neutral, objective source of information about the nonprofit sector.”
The ECFA provides accreditation to leading Christian nonprofit organizations that faithfully demonstrate compliance with established standards for financial accountability, transparency, fundraising, and board governance. The Christ-centered ministries accredited by ECFA include more than 2,150 tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organizations, many of which, as well as their donors, have used GuideStar as a resource for obtaining objective, fact-based information about specific exempt organizations and the nonprofit sector as a whole.
Forty-one nonprofit organizations previously sent a letter to GuideStar to express strong disagreement with its policy that labeled 46 American organizations as “hate groups” based on determinations made by the SPLC. After receiving the letter, GuideStar issued a statement and temporarily removed the label from the pages of the nonprofit groups. However, the statement said that GuideStar would continue to provide the SPLC “hate group” information upon request and further declared that GuideStar is considering other ways to provide the information to the public.
The ECFA is very clear that GuideStar has undermined its credibility by attaching the Southern Poverty Law Center ‘hate’ label to certain pro-family organizations and is no longer a neutral, objective source of information,” said Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel. “GuideStar can now be viewed as another advocacy group since it introduced this subjective component and embraced a partnership with the SPLC. The ECFA recognizes the detriment of this harmful ‘hate’ rhetoric, which causes financial and reputational injury to Liberty Counsel and other nonprofit organizations,” said Staver.
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