American Bible Society/ ABS

Summary

The American Bible Society ("ABS") was founded in New York City in 1816. For more than 195 years, it has been a catalyst for giving God's Word to millions of people, both in the United States and around the world. Its mission today continues the early vision: 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. ABS carries out its mission through programs that address Scripture needs in the United States and around the world who might otherwise not have access to a Bible.

For nearly 200 years of ongoing ministry, American Bible Society invites people to experience the life-changing message of the Bible. Offering an increasing range of ministries to address core life questions and struggles, we partner with Christian churches and national Bible Societies to share God's Wod in the United States and around the globe.

Our national Scripture engagement campaign, UNCOVER THE WORD, serves churches with customized Bible resources for Scripture engagement and seeks to reach new generations with a growing range of digital technology.

Working with Bible Societies and ministry partners, we bring God's life changing message to people in China, the Middle East, India, Africa and around the globe.

ABS has a rich history that has spanned nearly 200 years. Highlights of ABS's rich history include hosting the first Bible Sunday in 1915, producing the first audio recording of Scripture in 44 languages in 1957 and publishing the Good New Translation in 1976 and the Contempoprary English version in 1991.

American Bible Society brings the love the Jesus Christ and the life-changing message of the Bible where it's needed most. We challenge the notion that the Bible is a dusty, outdated rulebook. By serving today's generations, we provide anytime, anywhere Scripture resources where translation is lacking, access is blocked, crisis is present and life doesn't make sense.

The Bible Society reaches invites the hope of the Bible to become a sustained and active presence in people lives. In our most recent fiscal year, we partnered with churches, national Christian ministries and our global fellowship of United Bible Societies to bring the hope and comfort of the Bible into the lives of 35 million people during fiscal 2011.

We are also committed to broader advocacy for the Bible itself. Headquartered in New York, one of the major centers of influence, ABS is committed to inviting exploration of the Bible into the center of cultural conversation and commerce. This includes one of the largest collections of rare Scriptures and exhibitions of contemporary pieces within the Museum of Biblical Arts and plans to advocate by means of a digital billboard on Broadway.

This organization is a nonprofit. Contributions to it are fully tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.


Contact information

Mailing address:
1865 Broadway
New York, NY 10023-9980

Website: www.americanbible.org

Phone: (212) 408-1200

Email: info@americanbible.org


Organization details

EIN: 131623885

CEO/President: Dr. Roy L. Peterson

Chairman: Mr. Nick Athens

Board size: 30

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, the American Bible Society (the"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. Serving alongside the whole of the Christian Church, the Society remains dedicated to this original purpose, with a mission to "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".

Today's American Bible Society challenges the notion that the Bible is a dusty, outdated rule book by helping people engage with God's Word to make sense of life. This includes:

  • Providing, through the national Scripture Provision Program, affordable Scripture resources in English, Spanish and over 200 languages that are readily available and in stock, in order to reach the broadest base of Christian churches, communities and ministries;
  • Partnering with the U.S. military to provide Scripture to servicemen and women, veterans and their families;
  • Putting the message of the Bible into action by championing the cause of the oppressed and wide reaching victims of trauma;
  • Providing translations for those who do not have the Bible in their heart language in a way that is true to the original language of the text;
  • Working within a close fellowship with the United Bible Societies ("UBS"), a worldwide network of 145 national Bible Societies in over 200 countries.
The Society has three specialized units to help extend and strengthen its mission:
  • The Eugene Nida Institute for Biblical Scholarship ("NIDA") helps to secure the fidelity and integrity of all Society Scripture publications and engagement tools. NIDA, which is responsible for the Contemporary English Version and Good News Translation, works with UBS partners and others to provide Scripture in hundreds of languages and nonprofit formats.
  • Bibles.com is the resource for affordable Scripture resources in English, Spanish and over 200 languages, serving the broadest base of Christian churches, communities and ministries.
  • Global Scripture Impact provides the Society and other Christian ministries counsel and research to validate, evaluate and increase ministry impact. It also educates and equips donors with resources as to the level of funding needed to run the most effective, Scripture-based programs around the world.


  • The ongoing work of the Society, incorporated in the State of New York in 1841, is dependent on strong contributions from thousands of donors and supporters. The Society has been classified by the Internal Revenue Service as a not-for-profit organization exempt from federal taxes under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and has been designated as an organization which is not a private foundation.

    This organization is a nonprofit. Contributions to it are fully tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.

    Mission statement

    The mission of the 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 my experience its life-changing message.


    Statement of faith

    ABS does not have a statement of faith.

    Financial efficiency ratings

    Sector: Publishing

    CategoryRatingOverall rankSector rank
    Overall efficiency rating396 of 43010 of 10
    Fund acquisition rating404 of 4309 of 10
    Resource allocation rating303 of 4308 of 10
    Asset utilization rating314 of 4307 of 10

    Financial ratios

    Funding ratiosMedian % for
    all ministries in
    MW database
    20182017201620152014
    Return on fundraising efforts Return on fundraising efforts =
    Fundraising expense /
    Total contributions
    7%27%29%23%18%25%
    Fundraising cost ratio Fundraising cost ratio =
    Fundraising expense /
    Total revenue
    6%16%16%12%10%8%
    Contributions reliance Contributions reliance =
    Total contributions /
    Total revenue
    95%60%54%52%53%33%
    Fundraising expense ratio Fundraising expense ratio =
    Fundraising expense /
    Total expenses
    6%16%14%12%12%12%
    Other revenue reliance Other revenue reliance =
    Total other revenue /
    Total revenue
    5%40%46%48%47%67%
     
    Operating ratiosMedian % for
    all ministries in
    MW database
    20182017201620152014
    Program expense ratio Program expense ratio =
    Program services /
    Total expenses
    82%78%79%80%79%81%
    Spending ratio Spending ratio =
    Total expenses /
    Total revenue
    99%98%113%99%82%69%
    Program output ratio Program output ratio =
    Program services /
    Total revenue
    81%76%90%79%64%56%
    Savings ratio Savings ratio =
    Surplus (deficit) /
    Total revenue
    1%2%-13%1%18%31%
    Reserve accumulation rate Reserve accumulation rate =
    Surplus (deficit) /
    Net assets
    3%0%-2%0%3%9%
    General and admin ratio General and admin ratio =
    Management and general expense /
    Total expenses
    10%6%7%8%10%7%
     
    Investing ratiosMedian measure
    for all ministries
    in MW database
    20182017201620152014
    Total asset turnover Total asset turnover =
    Total expenses /
    Total assets
    1.320.120.130.120.110.16
    Degree of long-term investment Degree of long-term investment =
    Total assets /
    Total current assets
    1.531.061.061.091.051.11
    Current asset turnover Current asset turnover =
    Total expenses /
    Total current assets
    2.530.130.140.140.120.17
     
    Liquidity ratiosMedian measure
    for all ministries
    in MW database
    20182017201620152014
    Current ratio Current ratio =
    Total current assets /
    Total current liabilities
    9.1057.9732.7431.2027.7423.27
    Current liabilities ratio Current liabilities ratio =
    Total current liabilities /
    Total current assets
    0.100.020.030.030.040.04
    Liquid reserve level Liquid reserve level =
    (Total current assets -
    Total current liabilities) /
    (Total expenses / 12)
    4.0690.9485.9785.9497.4065.67
     
    Solvency ratiosMedian % for
    all ministries in
    MW database
    20182017201620152014
    Liabilities ratio Liabilities ratio =
    Total liabilities /
    Total assets
    10%12%14%15%14%18%
    Debt ratio Debt ratio =
    Debt /
    Total assets
    0%0%0%0%0%0%
    Reserve coverage ratio Reserve coverage ratio =
    Net assets /
    Total expenses
    64%713%671%680%758%523%

    Financials

    Balance sheet
     
    Assets20182017201620152014
    Cash$1,788,846$7,143,417$4,780,909$37,741,731$4,893,528
    Receivables, inventories, prepaids$17,399,638$12,717,265$14,520,100$18,136,899$11,647,374
    Short-term investments$723,740,880$711,236,168$667,643,159$706,731,760$459,722,526
    Other current assets$0$0$0$0$0
    Total current assets$742,929,364$731,096,850$686,944,168$762,610,390$476,263,428
    Long-term investments$0$511,482$16,567,249$0$0
    Fixed assets$15,559,127$16,913,373$18,284,749$12,926,417$25,695,264
    Other long-term assets$25,937,956$25,488,217$24,590,055$25,613,973$26,489,627
    Total long-term assets$41,497,083$42,913,072$59,442,053$38,540,390$52,184,891
    Total assets$784,426,447$774,009,922$746,386,221$801,150,780$528,448,319
     
    Liabilities20182017201620152014
    Payables and accrued expenses$12,816,436$22,330,821$22,018,656$27,489,974$20,465,529
    Other current liabilities$0$0$0$0$0
    Total current liabilities$12,816,436$22,330,821$22,018,656$27,489,974$20,465,529
    Debt$0$0$0$0$0
    Due to (from) affiliates$0$0$0$0$0
    Other long-term liabilities$84,782,350$88,123,200$92,898,125$87,104,381$72,103,975
    Total long-term liabilities$84,782,350$88,123,200$92,898,125$87,104,381$72,103,975
    Total liabilities$97,598,786$110,454,021$114,916,781$114,594,355$92,569,504
     
    Net assets20182017201620152014
    Unrestricted$578,738,455$571,826,899$546,501,070$604,064,751$349,557,345
    Temporarily restricted$66,600,448$50,804,256$44,543,327$41,134,470$44,805,628
    Permanently restricted$41,488,758$40,924,746$40,425,043$41,357,204$41,515,842
    Net assets$686,827,661$663,555,901$631,469,440$686,556,425$435,878,815
     
    Revenues and expenses
     
    Revenue20182017201620152014
    Total contributions$59,070,385$47,537,767$48,563,452$59,321,158$39,857,876
    Program service revenue$3,836,146$3,997,210$5,301,373$6,235,983$8,108,179
    Membership dues$0$0$0$0$0
    Investment income$32,791,320$33,389,104$37,290,743$42,019,023$67,053,859
    Other revenue$2,921,212$2,655,686$2,666,568$3,402,977$5,885,764
    Total other revenue$39,548,678$40,042,000$45,258,684$51,657,983$81,047,802
    Total revenue$98,619,063$87,579,767$93,822,136$110,979,141$120,905,678
     
    Expenses20182017201620152014
    Program services$74,716,026$78,590,902$74,123,081$71,202,064$67,524,382
    Management and general$5,959,816$6,698,432$7,583,384$8,618,428$5,776,038
    Fundraising$15,663,622$13,646,793$11,133,505$10,750,799$9,989,476
    Total expenses$96,339,464$98,936,127$92,839,970$90,571,291$83,289,896
     
    Change in net assets20182017201620152014
    Surplus (deficit)$2,279,599($11,356,360)$982,166$20,407,850$37,615,782
    Other changes in net assets$20,992,161$43,442,821($56,069,151)$230,269,760$0
    Total change in net assets$23,271,760$32,086,461($55,086,985)$250,677,610$37,615,782

    Response from ministry

    No response has been provided by this ministry.


    History

    Established in 1816, American Bible Society history follows closely and even intersects the history of our nation. In fact, ABS' early leadership reads like a Who's Who of patriots. Our first president was Elias Boudinot, former president of the Continental Congress. John Jay, John Quincy Adams, DeWitt Clinton and James Fennimore Cooper also played significant roles, as did Rutherford B. Hayes, Benjamin Harrison and Francis Scott Key. Since those early days, American Bible Society has worked closely with organizations to reach people in the United States and around the world who might otherwise not have access to a Bible.


    Program accomplishments

    As American Bible Society has done for the last 195 years, we are committed to deliver best-in-class Scripture programs and projects that help people discover the love of Christ through the life-changing message of the Bible. During FY 2011, American Bible Society brought God's Word to 35.75 million people.

    Those people included 6.27 million youth and young adults who engage in and actively discuss the Word of God through our digital ministries, including increasingly popular Facebook pages.

    From providing Scripture-based trauma healing in the Congo to helping churches and believers better "Uncover the Word", to offering hope for the poor and oppressed, we continue our mission: Making the Bible available to every person in a language and format each can afford and understand so that all may experience its life-changing message.

    In addition to our critical work in Scripture scholarship, free Scripture distribution and low-cost Scripture sales, we are advocating for the Bible in an increasingly secular nation.

    ABS shapes and delivers God's Word where need most, nationally and internationally, within an overarching framework that speaks to the following four sectors of ministry:

    Essential Engagement: - Represents God's Word making sense of life. Fostering Bible engagement. Within a new, national Scripture movement entitled Uncover the Word, ABS serves churches with customized Bible resources for Scripture engagement and seeks to reach new generations with a growing range of digital resources. We also continue to provide meaningful Scripture materials specifically tailored to our nation's military family.

    Embodying Hope: - Represents programs for God's Word restoring lives across America. Within the further reach of this national, Uncover the Word movement, ABS works alongside a range of ministry partners. Victims of trauma, prisoners and at-risk children find comfort in God's Word and provision for critical needs.

    International Bible Impact: - reaching across the nation's borders. Working with other national Bible Societies and ministry partners, we help address the issues of Bible Poverty for people in China, the Middle East, Africa and around the globe. ABS has five geographic points of focus: China, India, Sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East and Latin America. As a founding member of the United Bible Societies and its network of 145 national Bible Societies, American Bible Society has been carrying out effective global impact with the Bible for decades.

    Central to this work is ABS's She's My Sister initiative. This intervention responds to a cry for help from churches in the eastern Congo and Great Lakes region of Africa, where war and brutal violence has overwhelmed tens of thousands of women and girls and by extension, their families. This initiative delivers a comprehensive Trauma Healing Program, meeting critical needs overseas, and rallying needed advocacy within our own nation.

    Every Heart Language Translating the Bible with ministry partners, we expand the reach of God's Word to people throughout the world. ABS has three translation focal points: new translations, updated translations and training translation scholars.

    This includes the innovative, digital effort entitled Every Tribe, Every Nation (ETEN).

    Once completed, ETEN will make freely available the world's largest digital, Bible translation library with ready access for 5 billion people in their choice of more than 270 languages. This exciting project, underway now, is an alliance where American Bible Society with others best in class global Bible partners- United Bible Societies, Wycliffe/The Seed Company, Biblica-- as well as major donors who have passion for this unprecedented translation and supply acceleration.

    ABS has a blue chip heritage of excellence in catalyzing Bible-based life change for more than 195 years. As part of this, ABS plays a unique role in convening the inter-confessional Christian community. ABS demonstrates its capacity to convene the church by regularly hosting leaders from each of the major Christian traditions as well as inter confessional outreach.

    American Bible Society's biblical integrity and delivery across the whole of the Christian church is undergirded by our Nida Institute for Biblical Scholarship. Our own team of scholars, Bible translators and content experts provides needed review and due diligence and an excellence recognized by both church and academia alike.

    Every ABS programmatic endeavor is structured within an overarching operational plan and overseen by Board governance.


    Needs

    ABS encourages the daily practice of Scripture engagement (reflective interaction with God through His Word) among specific audiences, where we have determined that God's Word is needed most in this generation.

  • ARMED SERVICES For active duty service men and women and Veterans community from previous wars.
  • MINORITY/MAJORITY For first generation immigrants to the U.S. whose heart language is from their nation of origin, particularly Spanish, Portuguese, Mandarin, Korean.
  • YOUTH For those who remain open to Scripture from childhood (4-14), into teen years (15-18), and into early adulthood (19-24).
  • SUFFERING For those whose life circumstances have eroded their hope, preventing meaningful engagement with the Scriptures.
  • CHURCH For those who regularly attend church services on Sunday but need new tools to engage with the Scriptures on Monday and throughout the week.
  • THE NATIONS For those served by national Bible Societies with programs promoting Scripture engagement and advocacy.