About Us

Trinity Foundation: Who We Are

Trinity Foundation Forms 990: 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012
Policies and Procedures

Trinity Foundation began in 1972 as a religious, charitable and educational non-profit foundation for promoting the public interest in the State of Texas by producing Christ-centered communications projects.

An early skepticism about the way religious programming was bought and sold prompted Trinity to conduct a controversial research project on the audience demographics and ratings of religious broadcasting. This preceded the scandals that rocked the religious television industry in the 1980′s. In 1987 after supplying testimony to congressional hearings about the religious TV industry, the foundation began full-time monitoring of religious programming and reporting abuses of the public trust. By the 1990s Trinity had become the leading “watchdog” of religious media, conducting investigations and providing information used to expose fraud and abuses committed in the name of God.

The foundation regularly provides assistance to print and electronic journalists investigating suspected fraud or other abuses of the public trust by members of the religious media. The foundation has worked with news organizations such as ABC News Prime Time Live, CBS News 60 Minutes, NBC News Dateline, CNN Special Reports, ABC News 20/20, British Broadcasting Corporation, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, The Economist, London Independent, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, and The Dallas Morning News (among many others).

The foundation has regularly provided testimony and investigative reports to various state and federal agencies.

Currently, the foundation is working with the Senate Finance Committee on their investigation of religious non-profit organization abuses. The committee sent letters to six ministries in November 2007 seeking to determine if they were abusing their non-profit tax status. In a letter to the committee, Trinity Foundation President Ole Anthony told the committee, “During the 20 years of investigating these organizations we have noticed an ever increasing trend of the leaderships becoming very wealthy and more specifically a trend toward conversion of the donor funds to either inurement or conversion to for-profit activities. In some cases it is difficult if not impossible to tell the not-for-profit from the individual’s personal piggy-bank or from the for-profit entity.”

Others have agreed religious fraud is a growing problem. Deborah Bortner, former president of the North American Securities Administrators Association, told the committee, I’ve been a securities regulator for 20 years, and I’ve seen more money stolen in the name of God than in any other way.”

The usual government oversight procedures have not been able to keep up. In a 2005 letter to Senator Grassley, IRS Commissioner Mark W. Everson admitted even the IRS has not been able to properly confront the problem: “For those organizations that need not file for exempt status and do not file annual returns, such as small organizations and churches, the problem is compounded because we have little ability to monitor their operations against diversion of assets.”

Unfortunately for the public, many of the huge organizations Trinity investigates are legally disguised as churches. And even as the problem has increased, news media across the country have reduced their investigative budgets, allowing many of these abuses to continue unreported.

Although Trinity’s main focus has been on exposing abusive behavior, the foundation has also been active in trying to right some of the wrongs we’ve discovered over the years. In the late 1980s Trinity Foundation launched the Dallas Project, a challenge to religious organizations to help the homeless. The spark for this effort came from what we saw as neglect and exploitation of the needy by the same religious organizations we were investigating. Hundreds of lives were touched as a result. Direction of the Dallas Project has since been taken under the wing of Community on Columbia (The Block), a church where many members of Trinity Foundation attend.

Whistleblower Policy
Conflict of Interest Policy

3 thoughts on “About Us

  1. Encouraged by your good works in exposing the seemingly godly persuit but for personal gain and personal agenda.Keep the truth alive! May The Lord Who Is the Way, the Truth and the Life lead and guide your endeavours.

  2. Matthew 18:15“And if your brother sins against you, go and reprove him, between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother. 16“But if he does not hear, take with you one or two more, that ‘by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word might be established.’ 17“And if he refuses to hear them, say it to the assembly. And if he refuses even to hear the assembly, let him be to you like a gentile and a tax collector.

    I believe you are doing a good service to alert the saints, but given the corruption in Gov’t, (which now believes it is the source of our rights rather than God) and particular corruption within the IRS, I do not support the church family involving “the State.”

    God’s Word teaches God is our arbiter. His justice is pure and perfect and His timing supersedes ours. Deuteronomy 32:35 “To me belongeth vengeance and recompence; their foot shall slide in due time: for the day of their calamity is at hand, and the things that shall come upon them make haste.”

    As you quoted Everson from the IRS, ““For those organizations that need not file for exempt status and do not file annual returns, such as small organizations and churches, the problem is compounded because we have little ability to monitor their operations against diversion of assets.” I am not for actions that I believe will ultimately promote legislation to allow the IRS to monitor all small charitable organizations and churches–the IRS is already threatening to fine 501c4′s that do not reveal names of their membership along with donations. Naming members is not a requirement of the law, but that has not stopped their accelerating overreach.

  3. I would also offer Gamaliel’s advice as quoted in Acts 5:34 Then stood there up one in the council, a Pharisee, named Gamaliel, a doctor of the law, had in reputation among all the people, and commanded to put the apostles forth a little space; 35 And said unto them, Ye men of Israel, take heed to yourselves what ye intend to do as touching these men. 36 For before these days rose up Theudas, boasting himself to be somebody; to whom a number of men, about four hundred, joined themselves : who was slain ; and all, as many as obeyed him, were scattered , and brought to nought. 37 After this man rose up Judas of Galilee in the days of the taxing, and drew away much people after him: he also perished ; and all, even as many as obeyed him, were dispersed . 38 And now I say unto you, Refrain from these men, and let them alone : for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought : 39 But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God.”

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