Wall Watchers/ MinistryWatch.com

The information on this page was last updated 11/29/2023. If you see errors or omissions, please email: [email protected]


Wall Watchers is an independent donor advocate facilitating the information needs of donors. Wall Watchers' desire is to facilitate wisdom, understanding and discerning decision making for donors. This is done in part by providing information on organizations alleging to be charitable and its key leadership in order to identify materially misleading behavior, or wasteful spending practices, as well as identifying those operations that are above board and running efficiently. The objective is to limit consequences of scams and prevention of fraudulent activity, promote better allocations of giving, encourage intelligent questions of organizational structure, financial health, and advance the idea of organizational transparency and best practices.

Contact information

Mailing address:
2514 Plantation Center Dr.
Matthews, NC 28105

Website: wallwatchers.org

Phone: (866)364-9980

Email: [email protected]

Organization details

EIN: 562091339

CEO/President: Warren Smith

Chairman: Mr. Howard "Rusty" Leonard

Board size: 3

Founder: Mr. Howard "Rusty" Leonard

Ruling year: 1998

Tax deductible: Yes

Fiscal year end: 06/30

Member of ECFA: No

Member of ECFA since:


As the Lord blesses our efforts, Wall Watchers will help all Christians make more informed financial decisions by guiding them toward the principles of good stewardship found in His Word. Better financial decisions will lead to increased wealth creation and a greater capacity to donate generously to the Lord's work.

Wall Watchers' MinistryWatch.com service will increase the confidence of donors by providing an independent source of information on Christian ministries to aid them in making their giving decisions. Greater knowledge of the good works being done by Christian ministries and insightful analysis of the activities of these ministries can only lead to higher levels of giving by those who feel called to financially support God's work.

We hope that as we look back in ten or twenty years at what Wall Watchers has accomplished, we will be able to clearly see how our efforts have enabled many to become more knowledgeable about the wonderful and sacrificial works being done in the world of Christian ministry.

Our goal is to facilitate the joy of giving through the gift of knowledge, and to make financing those works easier for those on the "front lines."

Mission statement

Wall Watchers is a Christ-centered, nonprofit organization committed to promoting biblical principles of stewardship and helping people to apply those principles in their lives.

By providing quality information services, we seek to contribute to the enlightenment of the Christian community while empowering Christians with the ministry-specific knowledge that will lead to increased giving and enhanced ministry accountability.

Statement of faith

Statement of Faith

1. We believe that the Bible, both the Old and New Testaments is inspired by God, inerrant, and that it is of supreme and final authority in faith and life.

2. We believe that there is only one God, eternally existent in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
a. We acknowledge the Creator - God as our heavenly Father, infinitely perfect, and intimately acquainted with all our ways. b. We claim Jesus Christ as Lord - the very God who came in human flesh - the object of our worship and the subject of our praise. c. We recognize the Holy Spirit as the third member of the Godhead, incessantly at work convicting, convincing, comforting; and regenerates with divine life and personally indwells the believer upon his faith in Christ for salvation. 3. We believe in creation, not evolution; that man was created by the direct act of God and in the image of God.

4. We believe that Adam and Eve, in yielding to the temptation of Satan, became fallen creatures.

5. We believe that all men are born in sin. Adam's fall into sin left humanity without the hope of heaven apart from a new birth, made possible by the Savior's death and bodily resurrection.

6. We believe in the incarnation, the Virgin Birth, and the Deity of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

7. We believe in the vicarious and substitutional atonement for the sins of mankind by the shedding of Jesus' blood on the cross.

8. We believe in the resurrection of His body from the tomb, His ascension to Heaven, and that He is now our Advocate before God.

9. We believe in His power to save men from sin.

10. We believe the offer of salvation is God's love-gift to all. Those who accept it by faith, apart from works, become new creatures in Christ. Salvation is by grace through faith, plus nothing, minus nothing, in the atoning blood of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

11. We believe that anyone who trusts in Christ by faith is a new creation in Him - clothed in His righteousness and fully loved and accepted by God.

12. We believe that God expects our lives to reflect that we belong to Him and that we are pursuing a holy life.

13. We believe that Satan, under the sovereign permission of God, tries to destroy the faith of believers and that drawing near to God is the only way to resist him.

14. We believe that as new creations in Christ we will continue to wrestle with our sin nature. We will, however, continue to grow in grace and become more like Jesus. Ultimate perfection and freedom from sin, however, will only come when we finally stand in the presence of the Lord.

15. We believe that, as believers in Jesus Christ, we are members of His universal church and that the local church is the place God has designed for His people to worship Him, observe the ordinances of baptism and the Lord's Table, and love other Christians.

16. We believe that, having embraced Jesus Christ by faith, we are to make Him known to non-Christians in our sphere of influence.

17. We anticipate our Lord's promised return in power and glory.

18. We are convinced that all who have died will be brought back from beyond - believers to everlasting communion with God and unbelievers to everlasting separation from God.

Donor confidence score

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Transparency grade


To understand our transparency grade, click here.

Financial efficiency ratings

Sector: Christian Growth

CategoryRatingOverall rankSector rank
Overall efficiency rating754 of 111041 of 60
Fund acquisition rating1078 of 111157 of 60
Resource allocation rating813 of 111147 of 60
Asset utilization rating110 of 11108 of 60

Click here to read Wall Watchers/ MinistryWatch.com's response to our ratings

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Balance sheet
Receivables, inventories, prepaids$6,250$0$0$0$0
Short-term investments$0$0$0$0$0
Other current assets$0$0$0$0$0
Total current assets$155,718$161,335$190,962$76,197$74,217
Long-term investments$0$0$0$0$0
Fixed assets$338$552$0$0$0
Other long-term assets$0$0$0$0$0
Total long-term assets$338$552$0$0$0
Total assets$156,056$161,887$190,962$76,197$74,217
Payables and accrued expenses$0$0$0$0$0
Other current liabilities$0$0$0$0$0
Total current liabilities$0$0$0$0$0
Due to (from) affiliates$0$0$0$0$0
Other long-term liabilities$0$0$0$0$0
Total long-term liabilities$0$0$0$0$0
Total liabilities$0$0$0$0$0
Net assets20222021202020192018
Without donor restrictions$156,056$161,887$190,962$76,197$67,893
With donor restrictions$0$0$0$0$0
Net assets$156,056$161,887$190,962$76,197$74,217
Revenues and expenses
Total contributions$419,041$343,304$296,412$50,173$67,893
Program service revenue$25,663$25,065$22,105$0$0
Membership dues$0$0$0$0$0
Investment income$0$0$0$50$500
Other revenue$0$0$0$0$0
Total other revenue$25,663$25,065$22,105$50$500
Total revenue$444,704$368,369$318,517$50,223$68,393
Program services$351,515$310,734$170,375$39,823$26,648
Management and general$20,424$20,797$13,274$1,676$1,123
Total expenses$450,535$397,444$203,752$41,919$28,050
Change in net assets20222021202020192018
Surplus (deficit)($5,831)($29,075)$114,765$8,304$40,343
Other changes in net assets$0$0$0$0$0
Total change in net assets($5,831)($29,075)$114,765$8,304$40,343


Warren SmithExecutive director$121,120

Compensation data as of: 6/30/2022

Response from ministry

Wall Watchers Supports Donor Needs as an Advocate

Donors make decisions where to give and how much to give based on some level of knowledge. The greater the knowledge a donor has the more likely a donation will take place. Additionally, greater knowledge produces a greater perceived value and the more likelihood of a repeat donation.

Donor needs include the following:

  • Openness and transparency. Prudent donors want to understand what it is they are going to support. Foundational to ethics and morals is transparency and openness. Donors want committed ministries that are open and transparent, not experts in pushing emotional buttons in fundraising persuasion. Transparency is foundational in order to make a good decision.
  • Due diligence integrity research. The knowledge that their donation is being used as solicited. Donors want to know that a nonprofit organization is telling them the truth and doing the right thing before God and man. Even when no one is watching.
  • Values and beliefs. Donors want to understand which ministries represent their values.
  • Efficiency and effectiveness. Donors want to know that their dollars are being used in an efficient and effective manner. Donors generally do not want to give to ministries that are overly focused on their own financial gain. Donors do not want to see leaders of ministries enamored with riches, but maximizing the ministry at every opportunity.
  • Best practices. Donors would like some assurance that ministries are adhering to best practices, such as good governance in its operations and open to accountability measures.
Wall Watchers is convinced that donors armed with credible analysis from a reliable, free, independent source will respond with larger and more frequent giving. Wall Watchers is driven by donor needs. By providing quality information services, Wall Watchers seeks to contribute to the enlightenment of the philanthropic community while empowering donors with charity-specific knowledge that will lead to increased giving and enhanced accountability.

The information below was provided to MinistryWatch by the ministry itself. It was last updated 11/29/2023. To update the information below, please email: [email protected]


Early 1990s

Wall Watchers had its genesis in the early 1990s, when founders Howard "Rusty" Leonard and his wife Carolynn first entertained the idea of starting a Christian ministry aimed at bringing improved levels of disclosure and accountability to Christian ministries.

In the course of giving to a number of Christian ministries, Rusty and Carol felt the need to better fulfill their own stewardship responsibilities and began requesting basic financial information from the ministries they supported. For Rusty, at the time a portfolio manager for a large investment management firm, and Carol, an accountant, this seemed like a very simple request that any ministry should be happy to honor. Rather than being overwhelmed by a spirit of transparency and accountability on the part of the ministries they supported, the Leonards were shocked when ministries seemed to go out of their way to withhold financial information from them. If financially savvy donors like them had trouble getting information, they wondered, then how uninformed and ill-equipped must the average Christian donor be to exercise stewardship in this important area.

This experience corresponded to a time when they were studying the Bible. The context was of the Old Testament prophet Ezekiel and his calling to be a watchman for the house of Israel (Ez. 33:7). Along with the circumstances going on in their life at the time and their background it was as if the Lord were speaking to them through that text.

The Leonards concluded that they were being called to start an organization that would serve as a "watchman on the wall" by providing a much needed information service to Christian donors.

The Watchman symbol used by Wall Watchers is an Old Testament watchman standing on the wall of the city blowing the shofar (ram's horn). In the same way that the Watchman empowered people to act for themselves by sounding the alarm, Wall Watchers empowers people today by providing them with the information they need to make better informed giving decisions.

But Wall Watchers is more than just a Watchman, and in the same way that the shofar was used for many different purposes in the Old Testament (as a call to worship, proclaiming the presence of God, to assemble people), so to Wall Watchers goals are broader than simply sounding an alarm, and include facilitating increased giving, helping people become better stewards, and bringing donors and ministries together.

And so over time the ministry has taken on a greater scope as an information service as able with increased funding.

July 1998
Wall Watchers officially got off the ground in July 1998 by incorporating as a nonprofit organization in the State of North Carolina.

August 1999
Wall Watchers received recognition from the Internal Revenue Service of its tax-exempt status under Internal Revenue Code section 501(c)(3).

September 1999
Wall Watchers launched thegoodsteward.com (www.thegoodsteward.com), an educational website for equipping people with the knowledge to become better stewards.

December 1999
An informational website (www.wallwatchers.org) was launched in December 1999 making Wall Watchers vision, mission and intentions more accessible to the public.

September 2000
MinistryWatch.com (www.ministrywatch.com) was launched providing the donating public with access to organizational and financial profiles on nonprofit ministries in the United States.

Program accomplishments


  1. Profiled faith-based ministries for donors. This included Public Charities, church and parachurch ministries on MinistryWatch.com. Features included:
    • Transparency Grade, providing donors with an insight into a ministry's commitment to transparency and helping donors search out those nonprofit Christian ministries that excel in the area of transparency
    • Donor Alerts
    • Shining Light ministry lists
    • 5 Star Financial Efficiency Ratings
    • Rating sectors
    • The only online database to date that has incorporated audited financial statements of nonprofit ministries. Some organizations profile IRS Form 990 data, but Wall Watchers has paved the way with audited financial statements in addition to IRS Form 990s
    • Historical income statements and balance sheets
    • Financial ratios
    • Analyst Comments
    • Also commenting on values, worldview and theological considerations of nonprofit organizations as those intersect and are important to donors understanding in making giving decisions.
  2. Media contact communicating awareness of donor needs in addition to tax-exempt issues in general. Types of media regularly seeking consultation and contact include:
    • National television shows
    • Magazines
    • Journals
    • Radio stations
    • Local newspapers
    Examples include
    • The Wall Street Journal
    • ABC News-Primetime
    • 60 minutes
    • CNN
    • New York Times
    • Time Magazine
    • The Associated Press
    • The OReilly Factor
    • Fox News
    • The Chronicle of Philanthropy
    • Philanthropy at Work
    • Philanthropy Roundtable
    • National Public Radio
    • Atlanta Journal Constitution
    • The Virginian-Pilot
    • The Tampa Tribune
    • And many more including local affiliate TV stations and other media outlets.
  3. Individually tailored research, of issues and subjects brought to Wall Watchers attention through complaints of other ministries, media attention, ministries asking for advice in performing with best practices, various governmental entities seeking information, etc. Much of it could be classified as on-call research. This is all done with the view as a Donor Advocate. As a Donor Advocate, Wall Watchers argues for the cause, needs, and desire of Donors. As there are different circumstances, there are different approaches in being an advocate. Sometimes being in the role of an "advocate" will offend others. But this is not done capriciously and carelessly with the intention to harm anyone, but to the contrary in order to plead the case of donors. The research is accomplished by a variety of people in various capacities and the result of which generally does not get profiled on MinistryWatch.com.
  1. MinistryWatch.com - Continue to collect data, produce Ministry Profiles and write reports on the largest nonprofit ministries that are perceived as "Christian."
  2. Website migration along with a overhaul and remake of MinistryWatch.com.
  3. MinistryWatch.com - expand additional donor tools to provide more in-depth information for donors.
  4. MinistryWatch.com - expand the database to include more ministries.


Help Wall Watchers maintain a voice and momentum as a Donor Advocate. Your financial support can be used as a type of multiplier effect by providing confidence in the charitable sector. Charity is historically and ostensibly a Christian ideal. The sector now has extremes from the secular to the religiously fraudulent, cults and scammers. As a pooled resource of concerned donors, we can overcome the fraudsters, scammers and misdirected gifts.

Much work needs to be done to improve the lot of donors and to raise the standards in the Christian Ministry Marketplace. Wall Watchers has the potential of meeting vital needs, but it is not being funded as it should.

An outcome of Wall Watchers' work will be the increased amount of money available for the Lord's work by raising donor confidence in the ministry's carrying out these efforts. Donors are mostly left to fend for their interests individually as no group formed and financed by Christian donors, other than Wall Watchers currently exists.

Improving donor representation and empowering donors can ignite a renewed interest in giving. It would also cause current giving to be targeted more effectively and strategically.

Thank you for your interest to pass on wisdom, understanding and discernment to others.

"Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary." (Gal. 6:9, NASB)