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Finances

Eternal Perspective Ministries belongs to Jesus Christ.

EPM staff are privileged to be his servants (1 Corinthians 3:6-7). EPM will exist only as long as God wants it to. If it becomes evident that His purpose for EPM is finished, we will close our doors. The sun does not rise or set on this ministry. It is simply a tool at God's disposal (2 Timothy 2:21), for Him to use how and as long as He chooses.

EPM has no desire to build a financial kingdom.Coins

We seek to keep overhead as low as possible. Our office is modest and comfortable.

As much as possible, EPM offers its services free of charge.

We give away a great deal of literature to churches and individuals, and provide our quarterly magazine at no charge. Jesus said, "Freely you have received, freely give" (Matthew 10:8). Consequently, we charge nothing for people to reproduce our materials, and we have no fees for consultation or speaking. (We do accept speaking honoraria when voluntarily given.) We also offer substantial discounts on books.

All contributions to our special funds are used exclusively for designated purposes.

(See our donation page for more information on the funds.) Our general fund receives no percentage of these donations. Royalties from Randy Alcorn's books go directly to the ministry and 100% are given away for ministry purposes: 90% to other worthy Christian organizations and 10% to EPM to help offset the costs related to the writing/researching/editing of the books, as well as to help facilitate the giving away of our books to people all over the world. For instance, in 2008, the royalty income to EPM was $590,027.24 and the designated giving to EPM for specific ministries was $100,352.84, and EPM giving above the royalties was $60,282.00, making the total of money given $750,662.08. Since the inception of Eternal Perspective Ministries in 1990 through 2012, EPM has given over six million dollars in book royalties to ministries around the world. See Why doesn't Randy use some of the royalties from his books to offset EPM expenses? and Some Organizations EPM Supports or Recommends.

All money donated to special funds and directed toward identified ministries is disbursed within thirty days of receipt.

Typically, large contributions are sent immediately to the appropriate organization. Because it is not cost effective to send $15 one day and $25 a few days later, smaller gifts are accumulated and sent in one bulk sum at the end of the month. Special note: In order to comply with federal regulations, the ultimate decision of designations to specific organizations must be left to the ministry of EPM. However, we will do our best to honor the designated request when we send out contributions at the end of every month.

All purchases are paid in full within thirty days.

There have been two exceptions to this that we were made aware of and immediately corrected. We believe God is not pleased and does not bless us when we hold on to other people's money.

EPM operates without debt (Romans 13:8).

Like any ministry, we must project ahead based on past giving levels, making financial decisions for which the bills will not come due for some time. We make reasonable projections, but on a few occasions general fund giving has dropped and we have come up short. In those cases, EPM staff have voluntarily waited to receive their salaries. No vendors or special fund recipients have ever failed to receive funds. It’s also our intention that they never receive them late, something which has unfortunately happened by oversight on two occasions we are aware of.

EPM seeks to avoid unnecessary expenses and waste.

Our mailings are an example of this. We try to produce a quality magazine without the costs of multi-color inks and special paper. Since it costs the same to send a sixteen-page magazine as a six-page, sending the larger one quarterly instead of a smaller one monthly cuts our postage costs to a third. By sending our magazine nonprofit bulk mail rather than first class, we again more than cut in half our mailing expenses. We send giving envelopes only to those who have committed to give regularly, or who have given since the last mailing. This way people aren't pressured to give, and envelopes aren't wasted.

EPM does not beg for funds.

We will not send out fundraising letters with desperate pleas underlined in red. Even though "market research" shows it is effective to do so, we will not send emotionally manipulative response forms saying, "Yes, Randy, enclosed is ___$50 ___$100 ___My firstborn son, to end all sin in America, and to keep EPM's doors open until our next financial crisis in a month or so. In return, please send me my free booklet." Our practice has been to inform magazine recipients of periodic special opportunities to invest in eternity. This has not and cannot result in our own financial profit, since we do not keep these funds or any portion thereof. We do not regularly publicize our general fund needs, preferring to take them to the Lord in prayer. This, however, is a matter of preference, not conscience—we don't believe it is wrong to do so (2 Corinthians 1:8). When we do choose to make general fund needs known, it is in a forthright and non-manipulative manner, without pressure to give.

We try not to make a major purchase without first praying that God will provide it at no cost or reduced cost, and waiting a period of time for God to provide or for an alternative to arise.

If God has chosen not to provide it at that time, we will reevaluate whether it is truly a need. In any case, we will make the purchase only if funds are available. (Over the years the Lord has graciously provided for us a desk, camera, printer, photocopy machines, computers and office chairs that would have cost thousands of dollars if we had purchased them when we first felt the need.)

We utilize volunteers to supplement work done by our paid staff.

We issue tax-deductible receipts for all funds and materials donated. To avoid the cost of extra mailings, these are issued bi-monthly.

We will not sell or rent our mailing list to anyone.

We believe that 100% of all we are and have belongs to the Lord (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).

A minimum of 10% is specially consecrated to Him and should be given regularly (1 Corinthians 16:2) to God's kingdom work (Leviticus 27:30; Malachi 3:10). This minimum is to be supplemented with freewill offerings for special ministry purposes (Numbers 15:3; Ezra 1:4; 2 Corinthians 8-9). Scripture does not specifically state how much of the required and freewill giving should go to the local church and how much should go to other ministries cooperating with the churches in furthering God's kingdom (e.g., Focus on the Family, Prison Fellowship, Campus Crusade, mission boards, famine relief organizations, etc.). However, both scriptural example and common sense make clear that the believer's first and primary giving obligation is to his own church family. For this reason EPM board members themselves give first and foremost to their local churches, and ask that our supporters do the same. Giving to EPM should not be in place of, but in addition to substantial giving to one's local church. Though the great majority of our support comes from individual donors, because EPM is actively involved in serving churches, we welcome being included in church budgets.

We appreciate each financial gift we receive, realizing it often represents sacrifice and a heartfelt desire to invest in God's work.

We take all contributions seriously, and are committed to carefully and honorably carrying out our role as stewards. 

A statement of EPM's income and expenditures, including staff salaries and benefits, and other distributions of funds, is available to anyone on request.

Other than donors' individual giving records, which are confidential, all the rest of EPM's finances are an open book.

EPM keeps careful and detailed financial records.

Major policy decisions are made by the staff and board in consultation with others. We seek to adhere to the standards of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability. However, membership in the ECFA requires certain procedures that those examining our books tell us would create significant and unnecessary annual expenses for a ministry our size. Since we are small and our financial statements are forthright and detailed and examined by an accountant, we believe we maintain financial accountability as effectively as most ECFA organizations.

The financial philosophy and priorities of EPM are more fully reflected in the book Money, Possessions and Eternity.

This book (Tyndale House Publishers, 1989, 2002), is authored by EPM director, Randy Alcorn. Anyone with specific financial questions is invited to call us at 503-668-5200.

 

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