Financial Principles, Policies and Practices
Bridge Builders International is a faith-based Christian charity/mission. BBI is able to conduct ministry because of the contributions of individuals, churches, businesses and foundations. BBI does not receive government or denominational funding.
Tax-deductible receipts are issued for every gift received that does not represent an exchange for the provision of goods or service. Bridge Builders International is very careful when handling contributions. Donors are encouraged to clearly designate the purpose of each gift, which is used precisely for the purpose given.
All donors are provided with a detailed year-end statement of their contributions by the end of every January.
Please know that if you intend to donate to one of BBI’s partner ministries with a credit card, BBI will reduce the amount of the donation by 4% in order to pay for the credit card processing fees. This reduction is over and above the standard 10% administrative fee that BBI withholds for non-credit card donations to partner ministries.
In 1995, before the end of BBI’s first fiscal year, the BBI board decided to annually engage an independent Certified Public Accountant to perform an independent financial review. This has been done every year. During a review, inquiries and analytical procedures present a reasonable basis for expressing limited assurance that no material modifications to the financial statements are necessary; they are in conformity with generally accepted accounting principles.
Since its inception in 1994, Bridge Builders International has not engaged in the practice of selling, trading, or sharing personal donor information with other organizations. Nor has BBI sent mailings on behalf of other organizations. As a matter of policy in order to ensure donor privacy, and in no uncertain terms, Bridge Builders International will not sell, trade, or share personal donor information with anyone else, nor send mailings on behalf of other organizations.
This policy is under-girded by BBI’s commitment to financial integrity and transparency, as well as its commitment to the ethical application of Biblical Principles for Stewardship and Fund-Raising.
Choice to Opt Out BBI does not want to send donors information that they do not want to receive. BBI provides donors with opportunities to “opt in” or “opt out” of having their personal information used for communication purposes. If donors no longer wish to receive BBI communications, they may “opt out” at any time by following the instructions included in the communication (BBI uses Constant Contact’s unsubscribe feature), or by calling BBI at 541-602-6968 (from outside the US add +1) or by emailing BBI at firstname.lastname@example.org. “Opt out” requests will be honored immediately.
Bridge Builders International adheres to the principles for stewardship and fund-raising as have been set forth by the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability.
Christian leaders, including development staff, who believe in the Gospel of Jesus Christ and choose prayerfully to pursue eternal kingdom values (Mt. 6:19-21, 33), will seek to identify the sacred kingdom resources of God’s economy within these parameters.
1. God, the creator (Gen. 1) and sustainer of all things (Col. 1:17) and the One “who works within us to accomplish far more than we can ask or imagine” (Eph. 3:20), is a God of infinite abundance (Ps. 50:10-11) and grace (2 Cor. 9:8).
2. Acknowledging the primacy of the Gospel (Rom. 1:16) as our chief treasure (Mt. 13:44), Christians are called to lives of stewardship, as managers of all that God has entrusted to them (1 Cor. 4:1-2).
3. A Christian’s attitude toward possessions on earth is important to God (Mt. 6:24), and there is a vital link between how believers utilize earthly possessions (as investments in God’s kingdom) and the eternal rewards that believers receive (Phil. 4:17).
4. God entrusts possessions to Christians and holds them accountable for their use, as a tool to grow God’s eternal kingdom, as a test of the believer’s faithfulness to God, and as a trademark that their lives reflect Christ’s values (Lk. 16:1-9).
5. From God’s abounding grace, Christians’ giving reflects their gratitude for what God has provided and involves growing in an intimate faith relationship with Christ as Lord of their lives (Lk. 7:36-50).
6. Because giving is a worshipful, obedient act of returning to God from what has been provided (1 Chron. 29:10-14), Christian fund-raisers should hold a conviction that, in partnership with the church, they have an important role in the spiritual maturation of believers (Jas. 3:1).
7. The primary role of Christian fund-raisers is to advance and facilitate a believer’s faith in and worship of God through a Christ-centered understanding of stewardship that is solidly grounded on Scripture (2 Tim. 3:16).
8. Recognizing it is the work of the Holy Spirit that prompts Christians to give (Jn. 15:4-5), often through fund-raising techniques (2 Cor. 9:5-7, Neh. 1:4-11), fund raisers and/or organizations must never manipulate or violate their sacred trust with ministry partners.
9. An eternal, God-centered worldview promotes cooperation rather than competition among organizations, and places the giver’s relationship to God above the ministry’s agenda (2 Cor. 4:16-18).
10. In our materialistic, self-centered culture, Christian leaders should acknowledge that there is a great deal of unclear thinking about possessions, even among believers, and that an eternal kingdom perspective will often seem like foolish nonsense (1 Cor. 2:14) to those who rely on earthly kingdom worldview techniques (1 Cor. 2:1-5).
When these principles are implemented that rely on God changing hearts more than on human methods, the resulting joy-filled generosity of believers will fully fund God’s work here on earth (Ex. 36:6-7, Mt. 6:10). – Excerpted from ECFA Focus on Accountability, Second Quarter 2003, page 7.
This Statement on Biblical Principles for Stewardship and Fund-Raising was approved and adopted as policy by formal action of the Board of Directors of Bridge Builders International, 2004.
Philanthropy is based on voluntary action for the common good. It is a tradition of giving and sharing that is primary to the quality of life. To assure that philanthropy merits the respect and trust of the general public, and that donors and prospective donors can have full confidence in the not-for-profit organizations and causes they are asked to support, we declare that all donors have these rights:
1. To be informed of the organization’s mission, of the way the organization intends to use donated resources, and of its capacity to use donations effectively for their intended purposes.
2. To be informed of the identity of those serving on the organization’s governing board and to expect the board to exercise prudent judgment in its stewardship responsibilities.
3. To have access to the organization’s most recent financial statements.
4. To be assured their gifts will be used for the purposes for which they were given.
5. To receive appropriate acknowledgment and recognition.
6. To be assured that information about their donation is handled with respect and with confidentiality to the extent provided by law.
7. To expect that all relationships with individuals representing organizations of interest to the donor will be professional in nature.
8. To be informed whether those seeking donations are volunteers, employees of the organization or hired solicitors.
9. To have the opportunity for their names to be deleted from mailing lists that an organization may intend to share.
10. To feel free to ask questions when making a donation and to receive prompt, truthful and forthright answers.
The text of this statement in its entirety was developed by the American Association of Fund-Raising Counsel (AAFRC), Association for Healthcare Philanthropy (AHP), Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), and National Society of Fund Raising Executives (NSFRE).
This Donor Bill of Rights was approved and adopted as policy by formal action of the Board of Directors of Bridge Builders International March 15, 2010.