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Family Research Council defends its budget hole and federal criticism

The American Independent recently reported that the Family Research Council has been trying to raise $1 million to plug a gap in its budget. The deadline to achieve its fiscal goal was June 30 — today.

FRC reached out to supporters for donations, which would be matched (up to $250,000) by an anonymous family. The call for help was followed — 20 days later — by a webcast co-hosted by FRC Action President Tony Perkins on the subject of the U.S. debt crisis, during which U.S. lawmakers were compared to alcoholics and the deficit was compared to slavery.

FRC has since responded, providing justification for its budget gap and simultaneous criticism of the federal government’s deficit spending.

“Like every other prudent not-for-profit organization, Family Research Council develops a budget for each fiscal year and then seeks to raise the funds to meet it,” said FRC Vice President for Communications J.P. Duffy in an email to The American Independent. “However, we do not spend what we do not have. … In contrast, the federal government spends almost $1.40 for every $1 it receives. Many families, businesses and non-profits including Family Research Council, avoid spending money that they don’t have in hand.”

Duffy, however, would not confirm or deny whether or not the organization was able to raise the $1 million to close its budget gap, nor would he tell TAI what FRC originally budgeted for 2011 or what cuts FRC has made this year.

According to financial data submitted to the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability, FRC reported $12,882,127 in revenue for 2010. Broken down, FRC reported receiving $11.8 million in cash donations, $235,000 in non-cash donations and $893,955 in “other revenue.” FRC reported $12,941,298 in total expenses: $10.6 million for program expenses, $1 million in administrative expenses and $1.3 million in fundraising expenses. Last year FRC’s budget saw a $59,171 deficit.

Perkins’ call for donations notified supporters that their contributions would be used to help FRC push its faith-based agenda in Washington, D.C. Details on FRC’s policy agenda can be found here.

On its website, FRC says it is supported by voluntary donations and grants, the bulk of contributions coming from individuals. The aforementioned family matching donations up to $250,000 was not revealed.

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