Advocates International

The information in this column was provided to MinistryWatch by the ministry itself. It was last updated 6/4/2021. To update the information in this column, please email:


Advocates International is the Largest, Oldest, Most Efficient, Legal Aid Organization You've Never Heard of Before. Why is that? Because getting things done is more important to us than getting the credit, and most of the time that means doing things effectively, not publicly. When confronted with issues across the globe where most organizations would send an American Lawyer to file a lawsuit, and publicly enter the trenches of a long litigation battle, we use one of our 30,000 Local Advocates to ask whoever is in charge of the situation "How may we serve you?" Sometimes a public battle in court or before a legislative body is unavoidable but our "How can we serve you" principle often means trading public notoriety for tremendous results.

Contact information

Mailing address:
Advocates International
2920 King Street
Alexandria, VA 22302


Phone: 571-319-0100


Organization details

EIN: 541646669

CEO/President: Mr. Brent McBurney

Chairman: Jeffrey A. Brauch

Board size: 11

Founder: Sam Ericsson

Year founded: 1994

Tax deductible: Yes

Fiscal year end: 12/31

Member of ECFA: Yes

Member of ECFA since: 1996


Advocates International is guided in its mission and methods by Christ's Good Samaritan parable. Working relationally, professionally, and spiritually with those in law and related professions, Advocates seeks to encourage and enable a global network of skilled advocates committed to religious liberty, human rights, conflict resolution, reconciliation, and professional ethics. It puts into practice at all levels the Samaritan Strategy as well as the Golden Rule which Jesus taught as summing up the law. Advocates identifies those "innkeepers" within a nation committed to advancing these objectives and connects them globally with those of like heart and mind.

Advocates International:

1) Takes a long-term relational rather than a short-term confrontational approach; 2) Works toward systemic solutions through proactive rather than reactive means; 3) Integrates both the outward and inward dimensions of law and life, recognizing that law reform without ethical and spiritual reform is insufficient; 4) Pursues servant leadership rather than power brokering; 5) Is concerned with justice, which focuses on what is right, rather than politics, which emphasizes who has power; 6) Seeks local partners to take responsibility for their nation or region; 7) Implements in practical ways the universal Golden Rule: to treat others as one would want to be treated.

Mission statement

Mission: Inspiring and mobilizing advocates globally to do justice with compassion.

Statement of faith

We acknowledge God's revelation in the Lord Jesus Christ.

We confess Jesus as God and Savior according to the Old and New Testament Scriptures.

We believe the Scriptures as originally given by God are divinely inspired, trustworthy and entirely authoritative in all matters offaith and conduct.

We commit ourselves, in obedience to God's will and in the power of the Holy Spirit, to bear witness to Jesus Christ through the legal profession by working for justice, peace, truth, mercy and integrity.

We commit ourselves to be advocates for the poor, vulnerable and oppressed. We shall endeavor to encourage and enable lawyers to meet locally, organize nationally, cooperate regionally and link globally,

We shall seek to do all to the glory of the one God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Transparency grade


To understand our transparency grade, click here.

Financial efficiency ratings

Sector: Advocacy

CategoryRatingOverall rankSector rank
Overall efficiency rating641 of 94020 of 40
Fund acquisition rating728 of 94229 of 40
Resource allocation rating168 of 9425 of 40
Asset utilization rating785 of 94030 of 40

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Balance sheet
Receivables, inventories, prepaids$0$800$6,759$2,700$2,700
Short-term investments$50,559$90,002$107,530$150,665$0
Other current assets$0$0$0$0$0
Total current assets$158,292$192,063$276,482$303,111$271,232
Long-term investments$0$0$0$0$0
Fixed assets$2,579$4,258$5,936$5,092$21,112
Other long-term assets$193,640$163,640$145,140$0$0
Total long-term assets$196,219$167,898$151,076$5,092$21,112
Total assets$354,511$359,961$427,558$308,203$292,344
Payables and accrued expenses$0$0$0$0$0
Other current liabilities$863$771$688$2,811$2,611
Total current liabilities$863$771$688$2,811$2,611
Due to (from) affiliates$0$0$0$0$0
Other long-term liabilities$5,000$0$0$0$0
Total long-term liabilities$5,000$2,818$3,534$0$2,811
Total liabilities$5,863$3,589$4,222$2,811$5,422
Net assets20192018201720162015
Without donor restrictions$297,827$299,014$343,978$38,368$34,502
With donor restrictions$48,866$57,358$79,358$267,024$252,420
Net assets$348,648$356,372$423,336$305,392$286,922
Revenues and expenses
Total contributions$384,788$256,971$446,478$337,688$400,156
Program service revenue$0$0$0$0$0
Membership dues$0$0$0$0$0
Investment income$392$1,505$2,264$621$65
Other revenue$3,540$1,157$5,146($10,171)$1,889
Total other revenue$3,932$2,662$7,410($9,550)$1,954
Total revenue$388,720$259,633$453,888$328,138$402,110
Program services$350,139$298,056$305,982$269,571$244,212
Management and general$3,019$2,231$1,640$869$785
Total expenses$399,790$326,597$335,944$309,668$267,305
Change in net assets20192018201720162015
Surplus (deficit)($11,070)($66,964)$117,944$18,470$134,805
Other changes in net assets$1,391$0$0$0$0
Total change in net assets($9,679)($66,964)$117,944$18,470$134,805


Brent M McBurneyPresident & CEO$115,000

Compensation data as of: 12/31/2020

Response from ministry

No response has been provided by this ministry.

The information below was provided to MinistryWatch by the ministry itself. It was last updated 6/4/2021. To update the information below, please email:


Advocates International (AI) was founded in 1992 by Sam Ericsson, Harvard Law School graduate and former Executive Director of Christian Legal Society in the 1980s. AI's story begins with the collapse of communism in 1989 when Sam and then Campbell University Professor Lynn Buzzard met with key leadership in the Soviet Union to discuss and introduce justice and moral values to the system. These series of meetings led Sam to establish an organization with a global scope that would focus on encouraging local Christian lawyers to organize nationally, regionally, and globally and become active in the public square on legal and ethical issues facing the Church and society. Before its inception, there were only ten national lawyer groups. After its creation, AI consisted of about 100 national lawyer groups that today meet nationally, regionally, and globally.

Today AI's lawyers, law students, and judges, or "Advocates" as they are known, meet with the vision to bear witness of Jesus Christ through their profession. They are trained and mentored in doing justice with compassion and challenged to put legs to the final words of Jesus, as recorded in Acts 1:8, by implementing the L-O-R-D Strategy: [L] meeting locally; [O] organizing nationally; [R] networking regionally; and [D] making disciples globally to promote religious freedom & human rights, the sanctity of human life, the family & community, peace & reconciliation, and the rule of law with integrity.

Program accomplishments