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Fundraising Expert Available for Comment on Grassley Investigation of Televangelism Ministries

Lack of Cooperation Could Lead to Hearings and Subpoenas


Possible Result: Regulation, Legislation, Church-State Balance Threatened


Contact: Ty Mays, 770-256-8710


WEST CHICAGO, Ill., Jan. 9 /Christian Newswire/ -- If televangelism ministries being investigated by Sen. Charles Grassley's (R-Iowa) Senate Finance Committee don't voluntarily cooperate and provide financial statements and records requested, hearings could be held and subpoenas issued to obtain information and testimony, warns the chairman of a leading fundraising agency serving national and international nonprofit organizations and ministries.


"The result could mean increased regulation or legislation for all non-profits, religious or otherwise," said Doug Shaw of Douglas Shaw Associates. "It could also further threaten the separation of church and state."


Shaw made the comments in the wake of Sen. Grassley statement Tuesday saying: "It's a new year, and the ministries that have not chosen to cooperate have a chance to see the inquiry in a new light. This has nothing to do with church doctrine. It's only about tax-exempt policy."


Grassley is investigating six prominent televangelist ministries for possible financial misconduct. The ministries were asked to submit financial information to the Senate Finance Committee by Dec. 6. Only two of the ministries have complied with the request to date.


Shaw also said that until the ministries cooperate, their fundraising efforts could be severely hampered, especially with the acquisition of new donors. He said similar media-based ministries not under investigation will also suffer, along with faith-based ministries in general.


"Distance lends severity to the blow," said Shaw. "The quicker and closer these ministries come to the table, the better it will be, not only for them, but for all nonprofits."


Shaw urged ministries and churches to join accountability organizations, such as the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA) (www.ECFA.org), and monitoring and watchdog groups, like GuideStar (www.Guidestar.org), to make sure their financial integrity is unquestioned.


Founded in 1994, Douglas Shaw & Associates (www.DouglasShaw.com) clients include: Star of Hope Mission of Houston, Answers in Genesis, Operation Mobilization, Youth for Christ International/U.S., City Mission of Cleveland, Milwaukee Rescue Mission, Ligonier Ministries, Precept Ministries, Moody Church Media and Wycliffe Associates.