Trinity Foundation, Inc.

Dallas, TX   |  www.trinityfi.org

Mission

Trinity Foundation, Inc. is the only organization whose mission is to monitor religious broadcasting and media for abuses. The foundation in 2015 expanded its coverage of religious fraud to include the whole globe. The foundation, a public non-profit based in Dallas, Texas, has been tracking religious fraud and helping victims for almost 30 years. As a licensed private investigative agency, the foundation regularly provides assistance to print and electronic journalists investigating suspected fraud or other abuses of the public trust by religious ministries and organizations. From 2005 through 2011, the foundation worked closely with the U.S. Senate Finance Committee on their investigation of religious non-profit organization abuses.

Ruling year info

1973

Principal Officer

Mr. Ole Anthony

Main address

5640 Columbia Ave.

Dallas, TX 75214 USA

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EIN

23-7259773

NTEE code info

Protection Against and Prevention of Neglect, Abuse, Exploitation (I70)

Christian (X20)

Civil Rights, Social Action, and Advocacy N.E.C. (R99)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

We believe the freedom to practice religion protected by the Constitution does not include the freedom to defraud. Trinity Foundation began monitoring religious media in 1974, and by 1988 had become pro-active in shining a public light on religious fraud. The problem is only becoming worse due to the lack of transparency of church related organizations and the reluctance of the IRS to go after organizations that claim church status but really are not churches. Lack of clear regulations and no oversight by congress has only made matters more unsatisfactory (esp. when the US Senate dropped their investigation). We aim to help educate the public about religious fraud (more money is stolen in the name of God than any other way) and help stem the tide of ecclesiastical crime. Worldwide clergy crime was estimated to reach approximately 60 billion (in US currency) in 2017, exceeding approx. $ 53 billion in worldwide missions giving.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Monitoring broadcasting

We have collected thousands of hours of TV and radio broadcasts by televangelists and other ministries, which have been put at the disposal of investigative reporters and programs like John Oliver's 'Last Week Tonight' on HBO.

Population(s) Served

Our investigators have gone undercover into numerous organizations, taken hours of secret video, collected bags of discarded documents and monitored air travel records and the opulent lifestyles of hundreds of ministries that exhibit fraudulent behavior.

Population(s) Served

We maintain a victim's hotline, where victims of religious fraud can report abuses. In cases we deem within our purview, we launch an investigation in hopes of giving the victims some sort of satisfaction from their abusers. Often we work with State attorneys general to encourage criminal charges.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Our goals:
–Increase public awareness by continuing to provide information requested by various news media organizations and giving interviews when appropriate.
–Enable the establishment of civil case law regarding religious fraud.
–Enable the establishment of criminal case law regarding religious fraud.

To increase awareness through publication of our newsletter, Facebook presence, and website posts. To establish speaking engagements with church groups, nursing homes, and other organizations--warning of the extreme dangers of religious fraud and chicanery. Use legal means as an instrument to establish viable case law. We will continue to provide reports to the IRS Exempt Organizations Division and other government organizations when we can document fraud and excessive personal use of donor money.

Admittedly, we are a small organization with only 6 employees; however, we have established an international network of volunteer associates with similar goals, willing to report back to us about religious fraud in their own countries. Our network includes persons on most continents. In addition, a number of lawyers have asked if they could help us pro-bono. A small community of believers has kept our organization afloat over the years and continues to encourage and support us in our mission.

There's no question we've increased public awareness over the past few decades; first in the early 90's, with Prime Time Live and Diane Sawyer's piece on televangelism , then numerous television and print media exposes on televangelists and certain ministries over the ensuing years, and recently, the John Oliver 'Last Week Tonight' piece on televangelists now reaching close to 17 million views. We'll continue to provide reports on our findings to government agencies. We'll continue to provide information to the 4th estate (the news media). We'll continue to inform the public. These are things that are difficult to quantify. Financial transparency for religious non-profits is a great step in the right direction. We suspect it will take a massive scandal in order to bring enough public opinion to bear on congress to draft and pass legislative changes that will make a real difference--in other words, to require transparency for organizations receiving the privilege of tax exemption.

Financials

Trinity Foundation, Inc.
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Trinity Foundation, Inc.

Board of directors
as of 11/02/2018
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr. Ole Anthony

Trinity Foundation Inc.

Term: 2016 - 2018

Ole Anthony

President, Trinity Foundation

J. W. Luman

International Fellowship of Covenant Ministries

Pete Evans

Secretary/Treasurer, Trinity Foundation

John Bloom

Journalist, Author

Brian Kelcher

Providentia Investigations LLC

Glenn Evans

Robert Mitchell