Back in the black: Focus on the Family

Kudos to reporter John Hazlehurst of the Colorado Springs Business Journal for his analysis of the Federal tax information form called the IRS Form 990 of Focus on the Family. The form is required to be filed by U.S. not-for-profit organizations. U.S. religious organizations such as Catholic parishes and dioceses have secured an exemption from a generous Congress, although there is no First Amendment right to secrecy of a faith-based charity's finances.

In other words, that silly exemption should be undone in favor of honesty, truth, transparency and accountability. If the U.S. bishops wanted to put transparency where there vigorous 'claims of transparency' are, they themselves would seek a reversal of that unnecessary cloak of secrecy - or voluntarily file the IRS Form 990. It's that simple. Moreover, the National Roundtable on Church Management should be demanding such a change in this pointless IRS regulation exemption. Don't hold your breadth that either the U.S. bishops or the 'table will do so.

Hazelhurst reports:

"Battered by the recession, the departure of its founder and a suddenly smaller donor base, Focus on the Family suffered mightily in 2009 but appears to have finally turned the corner.

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The Colorado Springs-based organization had a $355,000 surplus, according to its Form 990, filed with the Internal Revenue Service last month.

That’s a far cry from the $1.1 million deficit reported in the previous year."

Interestingly enough, the Focus on the Family made a $24,000 to Catholic Charities of Colorado Springs to support the construction of a soup kitchen and dining hall.


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