Hey Franklin Graham, where are those donations going?

Billy Graham’s son Franklin Graham

Decades after being a pioneer in financial transparency—Billy Graham helped found the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA) in 1979—Graham’s son Franklin and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) have apparently embraced financial secrecy.

In 2014, Franklin Graham received $888,498 in compensation from Samaritan’s Purse and the BGEA combined. After 2014, the BGEA stopped filing the Form 990. It no longer discloses what its top officials are paid.  So how could a donor know if the BGEA is paying excessive compensation to key employees?

Billy passed away at age 99 in 2018

The BGEA discloses enough information to be an ECFA member (membership here) … but this information is minimal.

Not included on ECFA’s public information site but provided in a form 990 are a statement of expenses page, a list of the highest paid officers, disclosure of possible conflicts of interest, whether or not the non-profit organization has unrelated business income, and notes foreign countries where the non-profit maintains a bank account (among many other details).

Failure to file a 990 can result in the non-profit losing its tax-exempt status or facing a fine of up to $50,000.

Little known fact, Franklin Graham has access to two jets hidden in a shell corporation… (more on this in our next newsletter)