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.
We seek to keep overhead as low as possible. Our offices are modest and comfortable.
As much as possible, EPM offers its services free of charge.
EPM offers no cost and low cost ministry materials. Pastors and churches are invited to avail themselves of EPM's teaching and reaching ministries. We give away a great deal of literature to churches and individuals, and provide our magazine, Eternal Perspectives, 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. EPM also has the privilege of donating thousands of Randy's books to various Christian organizations for evangelism and discipleship purposes.
All contributions to our special funds are used exclusively for designated purposes.
Those wishing to give funds to Christian work, but who are unable to personally investigate which ministries are most worthy and strategic, can give to one of EPM's special funds knowing 100% of all contributions will go to carefully chosen ministries. (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 2017, the royalty income to EPM was $326,738 and the designated giving to EPM for specific ministries was $83,375.
Since the inception of Eternal Perspective Ministries in 1990 through 2017, EPM has given close to eight 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.
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’ve 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.
EPM seeks to avoid unnecessary expenses and waste.
Our Eternal Perspectives magazine is an example of this. To cut down on mailing expenses we now give the option of viewing the magazine online. For those we mail, we use nonprofit bulk mail rather than first class, which more than cuts in half our mailing expenses.
EPM does not beg for funds.
We will not send out lengthy fundraising letters with desperate pleas underlined in red. Our practice has been to periodically inform magazine recipients, blog readers, and those on our email list of special opportunities to invest in eternity by giving to our Special Funds. This has not and cannot result in our own financial profit, since we do not keep these funds or any portion thereof, but pass 100% on to worthy Christian organizations. We do not regularly publicize our general fund needs, preferring to pray and wait for the Lord’s provision. 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’s 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’s truly a need. In any case, we will make the purchase only if funds are available. (Over the years the Lord has graciously provided office equipment and furniture that would have cost thousands of dollars if we had purchased them when we first felt the need.)
We have used volunteers, when possible, to supplement work done by our paid staff.
Each quarter, we issue tax-deductible receipts for all funds and materials donated, and seek to reduce the cost of mailings by offering emailed statements.
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).
EPM does not replace church ministries, but complements, strengthens, and facilitates them. Contributions to EPM are needed and appreciated, but we ask that they be above and beyond one's regular, substantial giving to a Bible-believing, Christ-centered local church.
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, CRU, 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.
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, the remainder of EPM's finances is open to anyone interested.
EPM keeps careful and detailed financial records.
Major policy decisions are made by the staff and board in consultation with others. 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, so we have never applied. 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.