The Christian Council for Financial Transparency Korea (CCFK) renewed its certification of Voice of the Martyrs Korea this month.
“Voice of the Martyrs Korea received initial accreditation from the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA), CCFK’s parent organization in 2014,” said CCFK President Hwang Ho Chan. “Upon the formation in 2015 of a Korean affiliate of the ECFA, the CCFK, Voice of the Martyrs Korea has since then pursued and received its accreditation in Korea. That accreditation has been renewed continually by CCFK, including the present year.”
Dr. Foley and I have always maintained that financial accountability should be every ministry’s highest priority. Now more than ever, donors want to be certain that when they give a donation, the money will be used exactly as the donor intends and as efficiently as possible.
We sought accreditation with ECFA and CCFK as part of our overall commitment to meeting the highest international standards for financial accountability and transparency. Since the beginning of VOMK 20 years ago, we have felt that Christian organizations must do more than obey the local laws. We must obey the higher standard laid out in scripture.
In accordance with CCFK guidelines, Voice of the Martyrs Korea submits annually to a full financial audit and certification of financial statements by an independent auditor. We also post our annual audit on our website so that our donors and the general public can see exactly where money goes when it is donated to Voice of the Martyrs Korea. Our administrative costs area under 5%, in accordance with NGO best practices advocated by CCFK and other independent financial accountability agencies.
There is a growing trend toward donors holding ministries accountable for how their donations are spent. Voice of the Martyrs Korea welcomes that trend. We believe donors should always be able to call and check on a ministry before they make a gift, to know what they can expect in terms of receipts and reports on the projects they are considering funding. Dr Foley spends one day each week traveling throughout Korea to update Voice of the Martyrs Korea donors individually and in small groups on the progress of ministry campaigns and the ministry’s financial expenditures. To Dr. Foley and me, it doesn’t matter if a person gives us 1,000 KRW (approx. $1 USD) or 100,000,000 KRW (approx. $100). God will hold us accountable for all the funds he directs to us. We should keep donors updated on how their money was spent rather than just asking them for more money.
Dr. Foley and I hope that more churches and ministries consult with CCFK on how to be more financially transparent. We hear missionaries and ministries saying, “Oh, we can’t show any receipts or financial reports about how we spent donations because our work is secret.” But at Voice of the Martyrs Korea we have been working with underground Christians for 20 years, and we have always found a way to receipt and report on our expenses while keeping our field work confidential. Our experience is that if a ministry consults with groups like ECFA and CCFK, they can always find a way to receipt and report on expenses. What is required is simply to place a high priority on donor accountability. The truth is, many ministries don’t do more receipting and reporting simply because the public hasn’t yet demanded it. But that is changing. Donors are demanding greater accountability when they donate. Hopefully VOMK and CCFK can help other Christian ministries increase their financial transparency by sharing what we have learned.
For more information on Voice of the Martyrs’ financial accountability practices and to see its most recent audited financial statements, please visit https://vomkorea.com/about/financial-accountability/.