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How we accomplish our mission

What are the main programs of Wall Watchers? [ top ]
Wall Watchers currently operates four programs:
  1., is the online database component of Wall Watchers that profiles and reports on nonprofit public charities, church and parachurch ministries. is not an organization, but is just one communication outlet for Wall Watchers. It is a type of consumer reporting website of faith-based charities. includes a transparency grade, 5 Star Financial Efficiency Ratings, organizational details, descriptive information, analyst comments, numerous articles, features, and resource pages.
  2. Knowledge Management Information Pipeline, is a process to parse and facilitate wisdom, understanding and discerning decision making. Without the Knowledge Management Information Pipeline there would only be raw data on the website as content. Some charity related websites are mainly focused on the quantity of charity related raw data. This is not the case with Wall Watchers. We live in an age of ever increasing information, as people are after the pursuit of even more and more information; but people are not necessarily wiser. Some of the activities of the Information Pipeline include a propriety database, a larger amount of ministry data stored than is profiled on the website, ministry data examined, information requests being processed, data checked as it comes in, then entered, journaling contacts, following up when needed, calculations of a Transparency Grade, 5 Star Financial Efficiency Ratings, and many other activities. This is a practical application and outgrowth of the philosophy of Epistemology. In particular, a practical epistemology examination and application of donor needs.
  3. Individually tailored research, of issues and subjects that are 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
  4., is an online platform on which Wall Watchers profiles educational articles. This website is not an organization, but is just another communication outlet for Wall Watchers. Topics cover such issues as Biblical Stewardship, Life Stewardship, Financial matters, Giving Wisely, and The Environment. The goal is to bring together the best writers, commentators, and teachers in the area of Christian stewardship.
What Is The Function Of The 5 Star Financial Efficiency Ratings? [ top ]
The 5 Star Financial Efficiency Ratings produce a summary measure of a ministry's financial efficiency relative to that of its peers. The ratings are derived from financial ratios that are based on the financial statements produced by the organization. The purpose of the ratings is to provide users with an initial place to start when looking at an organization's financial information. The ratings give users an idea of how an organization has performed financially in the past, and do not necessarily convey how an organization will perform in the future. The 5 Star Financial Efficiency Ratings are neither a predictive measure nor a recommendation, and we would add that financial ratios are just one of the many ways Wall Watchers analysts look at and evaluate a ministry.

Using Financial Ratios [ top ]
Wall Watchers believes in the value and the usefulness of financial ratios. However, we also acknowledge that financial ratios have limitations. We believe that financial ratios can tell donors something useful about an organization, especially when viewed relative to the same ratios for peers (comparative analysis) or compared to previous outcomes (trend series analysis). The value of financial ratios is in their ability to shed light on relationships that exist within the organization's financial accounts. Our ratings system uses a set of financial ratios to determine the financial efficiency of an organization, but this analysis is merely one tool to use in arriving at a comprehensive evaluation of an organization.

Does Wall Watchers Differentiate Between Efficiency And Effectiveness? [ top ]
Wall Watchers uses the word efficiency to describe the financial performance of an organization derived from financial information contained in the financial statements. Wall Watchers has constructed the 5 Star Financial Efficiency Ratings� to produce a summary measure of financial efficiency. Wall Watchers uses the word effectiveness to refer to program outcomes. Wall Watchers provides space within a Ministry Profile to report the ministry description of the effectiveness of its programs, but we do not measure program effectiveness ourselves.

Measuring Program Effectiveness [ top ]
The way that a ministry measures its own program effectiveness differs from ministry to ministry. Wall Watchers will report this information as the organization reports it. We will, however, review the information reported by a ministry about its program effectiveness and comment upon its reasonableness in the light of the financial and other information that we have obtained about the organization. We will also reserve comment until we have obtained sufficient data to form an opinion.

Limitations On Research [ top ]
There are two primary limitations that we face with regard to ministry research. First, we depend upon the ministry for the amount and quality of information obtained. Second, Wall Watchers analysts seek to form insights based on less than perfect information. Not surprisingly, Wall Watchers cannot know everything there is to know about an organization, but we hope that by using a structured approach, we can gather, collect and process a sufficient amount of relevant information upon which to base an evaluation.

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