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WEEKLY REVIEW: Giving Increased in 2019, Whistleblowers Decline, Responding to Mississippi Floods, Shutting Down PornHub

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Giving Increases.  Last year the United States saw a 1 percent increase in off-line giving and a 6.8 percent increase inn online giving.  For the past three years, offline giving climbed about 5 percent and online donations climbed nearly 10 percent.  These data come from a survey released this week by the Blackbaud Institute, a research division of Blackbaud, which produces fundraising software.  This is the eighth consecutive year that the Blackbaud Institute’s “Charitable Giving Report” has found an increase in giving.  Blackbaud said faith-based organizations experienced an overall 2 percent increase.  The sector experiencing the biggest growth was “Animal Welfare,” which experienced a 15 percent growth over the past three years.  For more on the new data, go to https://institute.blackbaud.com/ 

Whistleblower Hotlines.  Whistleblowers are key to keeping organizations honest and accountable.  In the past two years, reform has taken place at a number of large non-profits because of the courageous actions of whistleblowers.  These organizations include The Silicon Valley Community Foundation, the American Red Cross, the Humane Society of the United States and Oxfam.  Whistleblowers are protected under federal law. But according to the 2019 Ethics & Compliance Hotline Benchmark Report from NAVEX Global, there has been a “slow but steady decrease in the median rate of anonymous reports” since 2009. In 2018, NAVEX found that 57 percent of reports were anonymous, down from 65 percent in 2009.  The study also found that a majority of nonprofits still do not have a whistleblower policy.  According to The Non-Profit Times, “the federal Form 990 asks if a charity has a whistleblower policy. A search of Form 990s in the Internal Revenue Service’s Business Masterfile showed that of the 329,225 Form 990s checked via GuideStar by Candid on behalf of The NonProfit Times, just 41 percent have a whistleblower policy and 1 percent of filers left the box blank.”  

Shutting Down PornHub.  Laila Mickelwait, of the prostitution abolitionist” organization Exodus Cry, said the website PornHub needs to be shut down.  She said sex trafficking and child rape films have been hosted on Pornhub, a video streaming website that receives tens of millions of views every day. Exodus Cry started a petition to that end that currently has 50,000 signatures. Pornhub says their site was visited 42 billion times last year, an increase of 8.5 billion from 2018, averaging 115 million visits daily and 1,200 searches per second. 

Christian Groups Help Mississippi Flood Victims.  The Billy Graham Rapid Response Team is one of a number of organizations deploying to Jackson, Miss., following historic flooding along the Pearl River.  Also working in the region is Samaritan’s Purse, along with local churches.  A state of emergency was declared last Saturday by Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves as more than 1,000 homes were expected to be impacted by the flood, which crested at 36.7 feet, the third-highest crest on record.  Springfield, Mo., based Convoy of Hope also sent teams to the area.

ECFA Membership Changes.  The following ministries have seen changes to their Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA) membership.  Removals:  Belle and Sparrows (Plano, Tex.), Voice of Calvary Ministries (Jackson, Miss.), Love Has Come (Missoula, Mont.)  Additions: Victory in Grace Ministries (Hawthorn Woods, Ill.), Daybreak Ministries (Columbia, S.C.), Hope Walks (Mechanicsburg, Penn.), Alive at Last (Frisco, Tex.), Lifeline Global Ministries (Wichita, Kan.), Eden Ministries (Goshen, Ind.), International Children’s Network (Covington, Wash.), Modesto Gospel Mission (Modesto, Calif.), SOF Missions (Tampa, Fla.) 

MinistryWatch Database Updates.  The financial information of the following ministries have been updated in the MinistryWatch database.  Click on the name of the ministry to go to the full MinistryWatch profile.  Our rating of the ministry is in parenthesis (1 to 5 stars, with 5 stars being our highest rating). If the ministry has experienced a change in its rating, that change is also noted.  Village Missions (4 Stars)Biblical Ministries Worldwide (4 Stars, down from 5 Stars.)  Voice of the Martyrs (3 Stars).  World Emergency Relief (5 Stars).  World Help (4 Stars).  World Missionary Press (3 Stars).  World Relief (3 Stars, down from 4 Stars).  World Vision (4 Stars).  Adventist Development & Relief Agency (4 Stars).  Angel Ministries (4 Stars). 


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Warren Cole Smith

Warren previously served as Vice President of WORLD News Group, publisher of WORLD Magazine, and Vice President of The Colson Center for Christian Worldview. He has more than 30 years of experience as a writer, editor, marketing professional, and entrepreneur. Before launching a career in Christian journalism 25 years ago, Smith spent more than seven years as the Marketing Director at PricewaterhouseCoopers.