Rafiki Foundation

The information in this column was provided to MinistryWatch by the ministry itself. It was last updated 12/21/2020. To update the information in this column, please email: info@ministrywatch.com


Helping Africans know God and raise their standard of living through orphan care, a widows program, and education.

Contact information

Mailing address:
Rafiki Foundation
PO Box 1988
Eustis, FL 32727

Website: rafikifoundation.org

Phone: 352-483-9131

Email: rafiki@rafikifoundation.org

Organization details

EIN: 742477089

CEO/President: Ms. Karen Elliott

Chairman: Dr. Rosemary Jensen

Board size: 10

Founder: Dr. Rosemary Jensen

Year founded: 1988

Tax deductible: Yes

Fiscal year end: 12/31

Member of ECFA: Yes

Member of ECFA since: 2002


The Rafiki Foundation was established in 1985 by Rosemary Jensen and others who desired to help Africans. "Rafiki" means friend in Swahili and depicts the purpose of the foundation -- to befriend orphans and widows in their distress (James 1:27).

Mission statement

Rafiki's mission is to help Africans in ten countries know God through caring and educating orphans, providing other selected groups with Bible-based materials and training in childcare, education, and Bible study, and giving economic opportunities to widows and impoverished women.

Statement of faith

I. We believe that God is one God who exists eternally in three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (1), each holy and loving. God created everything that exists (2), upholds it by His power, and rules sovereignly over it (3). In relation to the creation, God's knowledge is exhaustive (omniscience) (4), His power unlimited (omnipotence) (5), and He is present everywhere (omnipresence) (6). (1) 2 Corinthians 13:14; Ephesians 4:4-6; 1 Peter 1:2 (2) Genesis 1:1; Colossians 1:16-17 (3) Psalm 50:10; Proverb 21:1; Daniel 4:35; Isaiah 40:6-31; Acts 2:23; 4:27-28; 2 Thessalonians 2:11; Hebrews 1:3 (4) Psalm 139:1-6, 15-18; Hebrews 4:13 (5) Job 42:1-2; Psalm 115:3; Matthew 19:26 (6) Psalm 139:7-10; Jeremiah 23:23-24

II. We believe that Christ was the incarnate second person of the godhead, conceived by the Holy Ghost and born of the Virgin Mary, fully human (7) and fully divine (8) in one person. He died, rose from the dead, ascended to heaven (9) from whence He will return bodily and in glory (10). (7) Matthew 1:18-21; Galatians 4:4; Romans 1:3-4 (8) John 1:1-2; Philippians 2:6-11; Titus 2:13; Hebrews 1:8-9 (9) Acts 2:33-36; Ephesians 1:20-22; Hebrews 1:3 (10) Matthew 24:30-31; Acts 1:10-11; Philippians 3:20-21; 1 Thessalonians 3:13; 4:15-16

III. We believe that all human life has worth and dignity because all people are made in God's image (11). As such, they have been created to know and serve Him, but this image is now marred by sin. In our fallen condition, we are in rebellion against God, His truth, and His law (12). We are alienated from Him and under His judgment (13). (11) Genesis 1:26-27; James 3:9 (12) Romans 1:18; 3:10-20; 8:7 (13) Acts 17:31; Romans 2:5-8; Hebrews 9:27

IV. We believe that God the Holy Spirit inspired the Bible, giving us truth that is entirely free of error. It is an authoritative disclosure of God's character, will, and ways. It is by this Word that He instructs, corrects, guides, and nourishes believers (14). (14) Psalm 119:89, 160; John 17:17; 2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:19-21

V. We believe that in His death, Jesus justified us when He was judged for our sin and we were credited with His righteousness (15). In this way, He affected our reconciliation with the Father (16). His death is the only means of salvation (17), provided solely by God's grace (18), and its benefits are received by faith alone, and those who are thus justified will never be separated from the love of God in Christ Jesus (19). (15) Romans 3:25; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Galatians 3:13 (16) 2 Corinthians 5:19; Romans 5:8-10 (17) Matthew 10:32-33; John 5:24; Acts 4:12; 17:30-31 (18) Romans 3:24; 4:1-5; 11:6; Ephesians 2:8-10 (19) Galatians 2:16; Ephesians 2:8; Hebrews 11:6

VI. We believe that as God calls His people to a knowledge of Himself through the gospel, the Holy Spirit imparts to them a saving understanding of Christ's death (20) and resurrection, giving spiritual life in place of spiritual death (21). The Holy Spirit then begins their sanctification, working in them His holy will, and giving them works to do as they serve others and take the gospel to the nations (22). (20) John 15:26; 16:7-11 (21) John 3:3-8; James 1:18; 1 Peter 1:3, 23 (22) Philippians 2:12-13; Matthew 28:18-20; Romans 13:8; Galatians 5:13, 16-23

VII. We believe that the Kingdom of God inaugurated at Christ's first coming will be consummated at His second coming (23) when the dead will be raised. At the final judgment, believers and unbelievers will be separated forever. At that time, evil will be eradicated, Satan will be punished, unbelievers will enter into an eternal, conscious separation from God but the people of God will serve joyfully in His presence forever in the new heavens and earth (24). (23) Revelation 19:20-21; 20:10, 14-15; 21:4 (24) Matthew 25:34-40; Romans 14:10-12; Jude 6; Revelation 22:1-5

Transparency grade


To understand our transparency grade, click here.

Financial efficiency ratings

Sector: Foreign Missions

CategoryRatingOverall rankSector rank
Overall efficiency rating311 of 94034 of 106
Fund acquisition rating205 of 94226 of 106
Resource allocation rating62 of 9426 of 106
Asset utilization rating926 of 940106 of 106

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Balance sheet
Receivables, inventories, prepaids$215,129$257,091$254,612$239,744$304,906
Short-term investments$1,173,040$561,213$884,666$1,590,029$363,435
Other current assets$0$0$0$0$0
Total current assets$2,128,297$2,355,194$2,917,398$3,283,543$4,374,868
Long-term investments$0$0$0$0$0
Fixed assets$19,527,396$20,000,868$21,436,900$19,626,164$20,430,456
Other long-term assets$526,044$1,286,136$117,181$2,257,806$1,023,301
Total long-term assets$20,053,440$21,287,004$21,554,081$21,883,970$21,453,757
Total assets$22,181,737$23,642,198$24,471,479$25,167,513$25,828,625
Payables and accrued expenses$38,554$146,092$80,649$43,656$57,028
Other current liabilities$0$0$0$0$0
Total current liabilities$38,554$146,092$80,649$43,656$57,028
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$38,554$146,092$80,649$43,656$57,028
Net assets20192018201720162015
Without donor restrictions$19,729,724$20,681,428$21,865,012$22,332,610$22,474,206
With donor restrictions$2,413,459$2,814,678$2,525,818$2,791,247$3,297,391
Net assets$22,143,183$23,496,106$24,390,830$25,123,857$25,771,597
Revenues and expenses
Total contributions$7,945,740$8,544,803$7,880,588$8,011,354$8,909,973
Program service revenue$0$0$0$0$0
Membership dues$0$0$0$0$0
Investment income$18,515($22,074)$123,485($7,588)$149,672
Other revenue($42,578)($52,150)$12,364($43,706)($39,807)
Total other revenue($24,063)($74,224)$135,849($51,294)$109,865
Total revenue$7,921,677$8,470,579$8,016,437$7,960,060$9,019,838
Program services$8,554,954$8,521,986$7,957,211$7,957,904$7,850,197
Management and general$557,276$529,360$583,334$621,173$602,203
Total expenses$9,356,352$9,300,134$8,708,827$8,712,982$8,697,078
Change in net assets20192018201720162015
Surplus (deficit)($1,434,675)($829,555)($692,390)($752,922)$322,760
Other changes in net assets$0$0$0$0$0
Total change in net assets($1,434,675)($829,555)($692,390)($752,922)$322,760


Karen ElliottCEO/Exec Dir$103,420
Rosemary JensenPresident$42,341

Compensation data as of: 12/31/2019

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 12/21/2020. To update the information below, please email: info@ministrywatch.com


Rosemary McEachern Jensen, born July 20, 1929, is the fourth of six children born to Don and Mayhoward McEachern. Raised in a log house on the banks of the St. Johns River near Jacksonville, Florida, Rosemary knew at an early age that she wanted to tell others about God. In the summer of 1946 when a pastor challenged a group of youth to give their lives to the foreign mission field, Rosemary felt compelled to step forward and answer the call. That one step began a seven-decade journey in God's service, first as a missionary to Tanzania, then as the executive director of Bible Study Fellowship International, and most recently as the president of The Rafiki Foundation, Inc. The years from 1987 to 1991 saw the expansion of Rafiki's work into Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria, and Ghana. An increasing number of doctors, dentists, teachers, and business people answered God's call to bring medical care, vocational assistance, and Bible teaching to the African people. Funding for these projects was borne by private donors and the biblical studies were provided by Bible Study Fellowship. By 1992, however, the African continent was overwhelmed with the needs of millions of orphans due to the AIDS epidemic. In response to pleas from government and church officials to help the children of Africa, Rosemary expanded the role of the Foundation from that of a sending organization to one that provided for the physical, spiritual, and educational needs of orphans and vulnerable children. Since then, the Foundation has established Rafiki Training Villages in ten of the poorest countries in sub-Saharan Africa to help meet that need.

The Foundation has again responded to requests for help from African church and government leaders by providing educational curriculum for their schools. In 2009, Rafiki began to publish and distribute its school curriculum (including the Rafiki Bible Study) to African church schools. In countries where educational materials are in short supply, the curriculum is a tremendous gift and is another tangible way that Rafiki is befriending the children of Africa.

In 2015 the capstone piece of Rafiki's education came to fruition. The Rafiki Institute of Classical Education (RICE) is a teachers college founded to equip the next generation of classical educators. These colleges train students in math, science, history, philosophy, theology, pedagogy, and more. Graduates are integrated into local and church schools, supplied with Rafiki curriculum, and ultimately set to bring classical education to schools across Africa.

Program accomplishments