American Bible Society/ ABS

The information in this column was provided to MinistryWatch by the ministry itself. It was last updated 4/7/2021. To update the information in this column, please email: info@ministrywatch.com


Summary

American Bible Society helps people experience God through the Bible. We translate the Bible, distribute the Bible, engage people with the Bible, and advocate for the Bible's message of hope here in America and everywhere in the world. Through the church and a global network of local Bible Societies, we carry the gospel message where it is needed most. Our research and our experience tell us the Bible makes us more generous, more compassionate, more loving toward our neighbors, and more hopeful about our future in Christ. That's why our mission since 1816 has been to help all people experience the life-changing message of God's Word.

Before people can experience the Bible, it needs to be available in their heart language. We are committed to translating God's Word into every living language by 2033. To accomplish this goal, we work with translation partners in 62 countries, currently supporting 182 language projects. We provide technical resources like translation software, translator training, and program design expertise, ensuring that field teams have everything they need to complete their work.

Once the Bible is available, people need to be able to access it. Through distribution, we make Bible ownership and daily Scripture engagement a reality for people separated from God's Word by barriers like poverty or persecution. We bring God's hope to entire nations through massive initiatives like Bibles for China or 1 Million Bibles for Latin America. In addition to traditional printing and digital formats, we promote visual and audio versions of Scripture like the JESUS film and initiate Bible listening groups meeting in more than 40 countries.

Simply owning a Bible is not the end of the journey. In order for lives to transform, hearts must be engaged with the truth of Scripture. We contextualize the Bible for all people and break down barriers that can keep communities from fully experiencing God's Word.

For United States Military members, Veterans, and their families, God's love can feel far away amid the unique challenges that come with serving our nation. Our Armed Services Ministry partners with chaplains and church leaders to develop and deliver life-saving ministry resources, helping hundreds of thousands of our brave Service members discover the comfort of the Scriptures.

For an estimated 1 billion people worldwide, the message of the Bible is hidden behind barriers of pain, grief, and trauma. In the United States and abroad, our Trauma Healing Ministry works to equip churches to offer hope and healing to those who have endured trauma. Through a curriculum that blends mental health best practices with biblical truths, healing groups experience restoration through God's Word. In 2020, this ministry reached more than 20,000 people in more than 60 countries.

The Bible is for everyone-even for those who live in freedom built on biblical values without understanding the Bible's influence on our history. Through the Faith and Liberty Discovery Initiative and the Faith and Liberty Discover Center in Philadelphia, we advocate for a complete view of American history through the lens of God's Word. We remind Americans of their biblical heritage through stories of past leaders, heroes, and everyday citizens. We explore the biblical values that shaped the American story, paving the way for future generations to have a clear, active understanding of the Bible's place in our history and God's purpose for our lives.


Contact information

Mailing address:
American Bible Society
101 N. Independence Mall E. Fl. 8
Philadelphia, PA 19106

Website: www.americanbible.org

Phone: (215) 309-0900

Email: info@americanbible.org


Organization details

EIN: 131623885

CEO/President: Robert L. Briggs

Chairman: Jeff Brown

Board size: 16

Founder: Elias Boudinot

Year founded: 1816

Tax deductible: Yes

Fiscal year end: 06/30

Member of ECFA: Yes

Member of ECFA since: 2011


Purpose

In 1816, American Bible Society was founded in New York City as a Christian organization committed to distributing and engaging people with God's Word in the United States and throughout the world and that mission has remained through over 200 years of historic ministry. Serving alongside the whole of the Christian Church, American Bible Society remains dedicated to its founding purpose, with a mission to "make the Bible available to every person in a language and format each can understand and afford, so all people may experience its life-changing message"

To achieve this mission, we translate the Bible, distribute the Bible, engage people with the Bible, restore lives through the Bible, and advocate for the Bible's message of hope here in America and everywhere in the world. We serve alongside expressions of the local church on a global scale, partnering with Bible Societies in more than 240 countries and territories. Since our founding, we have distributed nearly 7 billion Scriptures to people worldwide.


Mission statement

The mission of American Bible Society is to make the Bible available to every person in a language and format each can understand and afford so all people may experience its life-changing message.


Statement of faith

Staff at American Bible Society sign a nondenominational statement of faith.

Transparency grade

A

To understand our transparency grade, click here.


Financial efficiency ratings

Sector: Bible Translation Organizations

CategoryRatingOverall rankSector rank
Overall efficiency rating725 of 81713 of 15
Fund acquisition rating771 of 81715 of 15
Resource allocation rating468 of 81710 of 15
Asset utilization rating617 of 81711 of 15

Financial ratios

Funding ratiosSector median20192018201720162015
Return on fundraising efforts Return on fundraising efforts =
Fundraising expense /
Total contributions
10%29%27%29%23%18%
Fundraising cost ratio Fundraising cost ratio =
Fundraising expense /
Total revenue
9%26%16%16%12%10%
Contributions reliance Contributions reliance =
Total contributions /
Total revenue
99%91%60%54%52%53%
Fundraising expense ratio Fundraising expense ratio =
Fundraising expense /
Total expenses
9%15%16%14%12%12%
Other revenue reliance Other revenue reliance =
Total other revenue /
Total revenue
1%9%40%46%48%47%
 
Operating ratiosSector median20192018201720162015
Program expense ratio Program expense ratio =
Program services /
Total expenses
80%80%78%79%80%79%
Spending ratio Spending ratio =
Total expenses /
Total revenue
96%173%98%113%99%82%
Program output ratio Program output ratio =
Program services /
Total revenue
77%137%76%90%79%64%
Savings ratio Savings ratio =
Surplus (deficit) /
Total revenue
4%-73%2%-13%1%18%
Reserve accumulation rate Reserve accumulation rate =
Surplus (deficit) /
Net assets
8%-7%0%-2%0%3%
General and admin ratio General and admin ratio =
Management and general expense /
Total expenses
8%5%6%7%8%10%
 
Investing ratiosSector median20192018201720162015
Total asset turnover Total asset turnover =
Total expenses /
Total assets
0.860.150.120.130.120.11
Degree of long-term investment Degree of long-term investment =
Total assets /
Total current assets
1.541.071.061.061.091.05
Current asset turnover Current asset turnover =
Total expenses /
Total current assets
1.350.160.130.140.140.12
 
Liquidity ratiosSector median20192018201720162015
Current ratio Current ratio =
Total current assets /
Total current liabilities
10.7035.4257.9732.7431.2027.74
Current liabilities ratio Current liabilities ratio =
Total current liabilities /
Total current assets
0.090.030.020.030.030.04
Liquid reserve level Liquid reserve level =
(Total current assets -
Total current liabilities) /
(Total expenses / 12)
7.8974.2390.9485.9785.9497.40
 
Solvency ratiosSector median20192018201720162015
Liabilities ratio Liabilities ratio =
Total liabilities /
Total assets
13%13%12%14%15%14%
Debt ratio Debt ratio =
Debt /
Total assets
0%0%0%0%0%0%
Reserve coverage ratio Reserve coverage ratio =
Net assets /
Total expenses
105%589%713%671%680%758%

Financials

Balance sheet
 
Assets20192018201720162015
Cash$2,313,347$1,788,846$7,143,417$4,780,909$37,741,731
Receivables, inventories, prepaids$19,795,270$17,399,638$12,717,265$14,520,100$18,136,899
Short-term investments$699,198,616$723,740,880$711,236,168$667,643,159$706,731,760
Other current assets$0$0$0$0$0
Total current assets$721,307,233$742,929,364$731,096,850$686,944,168$762,610,390
Long-term investments$0$0$511,482$16,567,249$0
Fixed assets$23,879,124$15,559,127$16,913,373$18,284,749$12,926,417
Other long-term assets$25,575,058$25,937,956$25,488,217$24,590,055$25,613,973
Total long-term assets$49,454,182$41,497,083$42,913,072$59,442,053$38,540,390
Total assets$770,761,415$784,426,447$774,009,922$746,386,221$801,150,780
 
Liabilities20192018201720162015
Payables and accrued expenses$20,362,638$12,816,436$22,330,821$22,018,656$27,489,974
Other current liabilities$0$0$0$0$0
Total current liabilities$20,362,638$12,816,436$22,330,821$22,018,656$27,489,974
Debt$0$0$0$0$0
Due to (from) affiliates$0$0$0$0$0
Other long-term liabilities$83,282,716$84,782,350$88,123,200$92,898,125$87,104,381
Total long-term liabilities$83,282,716$84,782,350$88,123,200$92,898,125$87,104,381
Total liabilities$103,645,354$97,598,786$110,454,021$114,916,781$114,594,355
 
Net assets20192018201720162015
Unrestricted$557,276,937$578,738,455$571,826,899$546,501,070$604,064,751
Temporarily restricted$109,839,124$66,600,448$50,804,256$44,543,327$41,134,470
Permanently restricted$0$41,488,758$40,924,746$40,425,043$41,357,204
Net assets$667,116,061$686,827,661$663,555,901$631,469,440$686,556,425
 
Revenues and expenses
 
Revenue20192018201720162015
Total contributions$59,480,873$59,070,385$47,537,767$48,563,452$59,321,158
Program service revenue$3,359,566$3,836,146$3,997,210$5,301,373$6,235,983
Membership dues$0$0$0$0$0
Investment income$0$32,791,320$33,389,104$37,290,743$42,019,023
Other revenue$2,749,432$2,921,212$2,655,686$2,666,568$3,402,977
Total other revenue$6,108,998$39,548,678$40,042,000$45,258,684$51,657,983
Total revenue$65,589,871$98,619,063$87,579,767$93,822,136$110,979,141
 
Expenses20192018201720162015
Program services$90,149,482$74,716,026$78,590,902$74,123,081$71,202,064
Management and general$5,831,875$5,959,816$6,698,432$7,583,384$8,618,428
Fundraising$17,328,575$15,663,622$13,646,793$11,133,505$10,750,799
Total expenses$113,309,932$96,339,464$98,936,127$92,839,970$90,571,291
 
Change in net assets20192018201720162015
Surplus (deficit)($47,720,061)$2,279,599($11,356,360)$982,166$20,407,850
Other changes in net assets$28,008,461$20,992,161$43,442,821($56,069,151)$230,269,760
Total change in net assets($19,711,600)$23,271,760$32,086,461($55,086,985)$250,677,610

Compensation

NameTitleCompensation
Roy L PetersonPresident & CEO$453,893
Laura DabkowskiSVP$299,402
Robert BriggsSVP$292,444
James PuchyDirector$269,579
Mark WilsonCFO$262,447
Nicholas PaganoDirector$258,180
Steven KaoVP/General Counsel$252,425
Nikolaos GarbidakisDirector$248,522
Andrew L HoodVP$242,874
Herbert Lee ManisDirector$239,109
Mark ForshawDirector$235,817
Marco HerreaDirector$230,696
Jason MalecDirector$230,485
Philip H TownerDirector$229,564
Janet GrellDirector$221,077
Whitney KuniholmSVP$215,068

Compensation data as of: 6/30/2019


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 4/7/2021. To update the information below, please email: info@ministrywatch.com


History

In 1816, American Bible Society was established by some of the nation's most influential Founders, including Elias Boudinot, John Quincy Adams, and John Jay. Their shared vision was to see people across the United States and around the world engaged and enlightened by the truth of God's Word. Since our founding, we have advocated for the Bible's place in every culture, community, and heart by empowering churches and expanding Scripture access for millions.

Our organization has remained a fixture throughout American history. We printed our first translation in 1818, making the three Epistles of John available to Lenni-Lenape Native Americans. In the face of deep national division and bloodshed, we distributed Bibles to soldiers and nurses during the Civil War. We published Bibles in Italian, Danish, Swedish, and German as immigrants arrived at made the United States their home. We served at Ground Zero after the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York City, proclaiming the message of God as our shelter and strength in the wake of nationwide trauma.

On the global stage, American Bible Society partners with hundreds of Bible Societies, churches, and ministries in our mission to spread the good news of the gospel. In 1946, we helped found United Bible Societies, a worldwide network committed to ensuring that everyone who wants to experience God's Word can do so in a language and format they understand. In 2010, we became a founding member of Every Tribe Every Nation, aligning us with many of the world's other major Bible-based nonprofit organizations and

ministries and strengthening the Bible cause around the globe. We also joined the illumiNations alliance, which unites Bible Societies around the goal of translating the Bible into every living language by 2033.

For more than 200 years, we have equipped the church to reach new generations with the hope of God's Word. From the publication of the first Bible for the Blind in 1843 to the creation of Bible-focused radio, television, and internet resources, we are dedicated to pioneering effective formats to enable meaningful Bible engagement for every person. In 1979, our Good News Translation of Luke's Gospel was used in the creation of the JESUS film, which has been translated into more than 1,800 languages and continues to captivate communities around the world 40 years after its initial release. In 2012, we brought the Bible into the 21st century with the Digital Bible Library, making dozens of translations accessible in a digital format. And in 2019, we helped complete the American Sign Language Version, making the first full visual translation of God's Word available to 3.5 million people in the Deaf community.

As an organization committed to proclaiming the truth of God's Word, we rely on our rich history to inform our future, looking forward to the day when all people can experience God through his Word.


Program accomplishments

For over 205 years, we've been committed to our mission to making the Bible available to everyone so they can discover the love of Christ through its life-changing message. Since our founding, we have distributed nearly 7 billion Scriptures to people worldwide.


Needs

American Bible Society is focused and committed to proclaiming the truth of God's Word Where Needed Most. Today's critical needs include:

U.S. Military Members and Veterans- The United States Military has distinguished itself as one of the most iconic forces in modern history, but Military members, Veterans, and their families often feel like they're alone in their struggles. Service members and Veterans experience stress from deployment and, for some, this develops into depression, anxiety, or PTSD following severe trauma. Meanwhile, Military families are separated from their loved ones and may feel isolated in the unique challenges that come with their sacrifices. Customized Bibles and Scripture resources help Veterans and Active Duty Military Members find hope and peace in God's Word

People in Crisis- Whether from abuse, genocide, war, natural disasters, and generational suffering people are in desperate need for the comfort of God's Word.

The Church in the United States- In a nation where Bible access is unprecedented, research completed in partnership with Barna Group showed that only 9 percent of Americans engaged with God's Word daily in 2020. Year after year, indifference towards God's Word grows among Americans, yet more and more people openly seek truth in the midst of a divisive culture.

Unreached People- As of 2020, more than 3,800 languages were still waiting on Bible translation. 2.2 billion people remain isolated from the good news of Jesus Christ. The largest unreached groups include indigenous communities, language families without a written form, and international Deaf communities. Until every person can access God's Word in their heart language, our mission remains unfulfilled.