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Harold Camping Oct. 21 Rapture: Is Family Radio a Trusted Charity?

Friday is the fourth predication for the end of the world from America’s favorite false prophet Harold Camping. Many believe Camping to be deluded, but what about his $80 million empire Family Radio?

The Christian Post spoke with Laurie Styron, an analyst for American Institute of Philanthropy (AIP), a nonprofit charity watchdog and information service on how Family Radio fares in comparison to other charities and non-profits.

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.

According to those financial documents, accountants put the total worth of Family Radio (referred to as Family Stations on its official forms) at $72 million.

Styron recalls speaking to media outlets in May during Camping’s last rapture predication and addressing public opinion that wondered whether or not Family Radio was stockpiling money or cheating the masses.

“Will they laugh all the way to bank?” Styron told CP she remembers wondering last May.

While AIP does not officially rate Family Radio, Styron is skilled in the art of evaluating the financial health of pro bono organizations.

She told CP that, “It can be arbitrary. In this case, there were some transactions between the non-profit and the for-profit.”

“The finances are publically available, but once something flows over, you no longer have access to really see what’s going on,” said Styron who stated Family Radio’s deep religious views and the religious beliefs of donators and prospective donators add a monkey wrench into the usual non-profit governing process.

“Most charities want to save dolphins or help underprivileged kids and you can go and check to make sure that’s what they are doing. If people are saying the world is ending, give me your money, it makes it tough,” Stryon told CP.

Camping founded Family Radio, a nonprofit Christian radio network based in Oakland, California with about 65 stations across the country, in 1958.

According to its website, the mission of AIP is to maximize the effectiveness of every dollar contributed to charity by providing donors with the information they need to make more informed giving decisions.

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