Arkansas Baptist College faces more scrutiny over its finances and leadership, after an Arkansas Democrat-Gazette investigation reveals that its foundation is sharing a tax-exempt status with the institution after losing its federal 501(c)3 designation in 2013.
The Arkansas Baptist College Foundation continued raising money after the federal government stripped it of its tax-exempt status, a sanction that generally subjects nonprofits and their donors to tax bills.
In one instance, the foundation managed the money for a February 2017 fundraiser — ultimately turning over meager proceeds to an organization that is not part of the Little Rock college and that was not listed on promotional items as one of the event’s beneficiaries, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette found.
Officials say that the shared exemption status is common in higher education, and that plans are underway to reactivate its individual nonprofit standing to continue raising money.
Last month, former Arkansas Baptist President Joseph Jones laid out the dire financial straits faced by the institution, and called out its former president and current Foundation Executive Director Fitz Hill, along with the ABC Board of Trustees, for years of negligence in administration.