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Harold Camping Oct. 21: Family Radio Asks for Money, Analysts Say Look at Personal Doubt

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By Gina E. Ryder, Christian Post Contributor
October 24, 2011|12:51 pm

Harold Camping’s Family Radio Stations Inc. had a broadcast Saturday asking people to make donations to the network and encouraging financial support from listeners.

An unidentified radio announcer said, “I trust that you too will pray for us often that we can minister in many ways. Pray that God will provide wisdom to those of leadership and that we continue to minister to you, and to teach God’s word daily. Please pray for us and pray about continuing to support this totally listener sponsored Christian radio network.”

Last week The Christian Post spoke to Laurie Styron, an analyst for the American Institute of Philanthropy, a non-profit charity watchdog about whether or not Family Radio is a trusted charity since Camping’s $80 million broadcasting empire is funded solely on donations.

Stryon told CP that gathering an accurate view of Family Radio’s legitimacy is tricky.

“It’s hard to get a complete picture because there were multiple legal entities and not all of them had public information,” she said.

According to popular online charity evaluator, CharityNavigator.org, Family Radio has a 32.65 percent score. Their financial score is 60 percent. Their accountability and transparency score is 18 percent. While Camping reportedly makes no salary, Family Radio’s Assistant Sectary/Treasurer William Thornton makes $60,439 a year.

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The broadcaster from Saturday’s Family Radio show also said, "We have a great need for daily operating funds. Without your generous support at this time we might be forced to face some very important decisions. I trust those of you who enjoy some of our programming daily will be able to share generously in the months ahead.”

Family Radio received $80 million in contributions between 2005 and 2009. According to IRS filings, Family Radio is almost entirely funded by donations, and brought in $18 million in contributions in 2009 alone.

Stryon told CP that outdated financial documents add to the tricky process of evaluating Family Radio.

“By the time the financial statements are released, the information we have is old,” Styron said.

However, Styron also explained that Charity Navigator score is a simple tool.

“It’s like grabbing some numbers over the tax form and running it over a formula” the financial analyst explained to CP.

Stryon told CP that charitable giving is at a definite downturn. She said, “There are limited charitable dollars to go around. If you are someone who is contributing to this organization and you have any doubt about it, there are plenty of other places to contribute too.”

 

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