TWR (aka Trans World Radio)

Summary

Trans World Radio (TWR) proclaims the Gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in areas of the world where other forms of Christian witness may not be possible. TWR also eagerly supports the work of evangelism and Christian nurturing in other countries, working in harmony with Christian missionaries and evangelical churches worldwide. Its media broadcasts the Gospel in more than 275 languages and dialects to more than 190 countries. Programs air from 2,000 worldwide outlets, including 21 major international sites, satellite, Internet, and local AM and FM stations.

TWR is a long-time member of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability, so you can be assured of TWR's commitment to the highest standards of financial accountability. At least 85% of TWR's operating expenses each year goes directly to fund our global media outreach.


Contact information

Mailing address:
PO Box 8700
Cary, NC 27512-8700

Website: www.twr.org

Phone: (919) 460-3700

Email: info@twr.org


Organization details

EIN: 22-1690564

CEO/President: Lauren Libby

Chairman: Mr. Jeff Jones

Board size: 16

Founder: Dr. Paul E. Freed

Year founded: 1952

Tax deductible: Yes

Fiscal year end: 09/30

Member of ECFA: Yes

Member of ECFA since: 1987


Purpose

Trans World Radio ("TWR") was founded in 1952 by Dr. Paul E Freed, a man with an intense desire to tell others about Jesus Christ. TWR's first programs aired in two languages from a transmitter in Tangier, Morocco, and now they air programs in more than 275 languages and dialects.

Trans World Radio participates in fulfilling the Great Commission utilizing mass media to proclaim the gospel to as many people as possible, to instruct believers in Biblical principles, and to develop cooperative relationships with other ministries. TWR broadcasts to more than 190 countries via more than 2,000 broadcast outlets. It produces these programs to meet the unique needs of the people living in those regions of the world. Many programs are adapted for other broadcasters - ministries such as Thru the Bible Radio, Insight for Living, the International Mission Board, and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. This organization is a nonprofit. Contributions to it are fully tax deductible to the extent allowed by law. It is a member of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA).


Mission statement

Trans World Radio uses the following to communicate its purpose:

The purpose of TWR is to assist the Church to fulfill the command of Jesus Christ to make disciples of all peoples, and to do so by using and making available mass media to:

  • Proclaim the gospel of salvation to as many people as possible.
  • Instruct believers in biblical doctrine and daily Christ-like living.
  • Model our message through our corporate and cooperative relationships.

Statement of faith

Trans World Radio uses the following to express its faith:

WE BELIEVE:
1. In one Holy, Almighty God, eternally existing in three persons, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, co-eternal in being, co-identical in nature, co-equal in power and glory, each with distinct personal attributes, but without division of nature, essence or being. (Biblical Reference: Deuteronomy 6:4, Matthew 28:19, John 1:1-2, II Corinthians 13:14, Philippines 2:6)

2. In the verbal and plenary inspiration of the Old and New Testaments; that they are infallible, inerrant in the original writings, and the final authority for faith and life. (Biblical Reference: II Timothy 3:16, II Peter 1:20-21, Matthew 5:18, John 16:12- 13)

3. That the Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, without ceasing to be God, became man by the Holy Spirit and virgin birth; that he lived a sinless life on earth; that he died at Calvary as a satisfactory substitutionary sacrifice for sinners; that his body was buried in and arose from the tomb; that he ascended to Heaven and was glorified as a man at God's right hand; that He is coming again for His own and then to set up His Kingdom. (Biblical Reference: John 1:1, Matthew 1:20-23, II Corinthians 5:21, Hebrews 1:3, Hebrews 10:12, John 16: 7-11, Matthew 19:28, Matthew 25:31, II Timothy 2:8)

4. That the Holy Spirit is a divine person who convicts the world of sin, of righteousness and of judgement; that He is that supernatural agent in regeneration by whom all believers are baptized into the body of Christ; that he indwells and seals them until the day of redemption. He is the divine teacher and helper who guides believers into all truth; it is the privilege of all believers to be filled with the spirit. (Biblical Reference: John 16:7-15, 1 Corinthians 12:13, II Corinthians 1:22, Ephesians 1:13)

5. That God created man in His own image and in the state of innocence. Through Adam's transgression "sin entered the world, and death through sin;" and consequently, mankind inherited a corrupt nature, being born in sin and under condemnation. As soon as men are capable of moral action, they become actual transgressors in thought, word and deed. (Biblical Reference: Genesis 1:26-27, Romans 5:12, Romans 3:23, I John 1:8, Ephesians 2:3)

6. That salvation is a gift of God brought to men by grace and received only through personal repentance for sin and faith in the person and the finished work and atoning blood of Jesus Christ. (Biblical Reference: Ephesians 1:7, 2:1-10, John 1:12)

7. In the bodily resurrection of all men, the saved to eternal life and the unsaved to everlasting punishment. That the souls of the redeemed are, at death absent from the body and present with the Lord where, in conscious bliss they await the first resurrection when spirit, soul, and body are reunited to be glorified forever with the Lord. (Biblical Reference: Revelation 20, Acts 24:25, John 5:28-29, Luke 16:19-31, II Corinthians 5:8, I Thessalonians 4:14-17, I John 3:2)

8. That the church universal is a spiritual organism composed of the regenerated who are baptized into that body by the Holy Spirit at the time of the new birth and that the local church, the visible manifestation of the body, has the responsibility to provide for the fellowship and edification of believers and to propagate the Gospel into the world. (Biblical Reference: Acts 2, I Corinthians 12:13, Ephesians 5:27, Mark 16:15)

Transparency grade

C

To understand our transparency grade, click here.


Financial efficiency ratings

Sector: Foreign Missions

CategoryRatingOverall rankSector rank
Overall efficiency rating496 of 66465 of 88
Fund acquisition rating505 of 66672 of 88
Resource allocation rating224 of 66619 of 88
Asset utilization rating549 of 66475 of 88

Financial ratios

Funding ratiosSector median20192018201720162015
Return on fundraising efforts Return on fundraising efforts =
Fundraising expense /
Total contributions
7%13%14%16%16%15%
Fundraising cost ratio Fundraising cost ratio =
Fundraising expense /
Total revenue
6%7%7%8%8%7%
Contributions reliance Contributions reliance =
Total contributions /
Total revenue
98%54%54%49%49%51%
Fundraising expense ratio Fundraising expense ratio =
Fundraising expense /
Total expenses
6%7%8%8%8%7%
Other revenue reliance Other revenue reliance =
Total other revenue /
Total revenue
2%46%46%51%51%49%
 
Operating ratiosSector median20192018201720162015
Program expense ratio Program expense ratio =
Program services /
Total expenses
83%87%87%86%86%87%
Spending ratio Spending ratio =
Total expenses /
Total revenue
98%96%98%95%95%102%
Program output ratio Program output ratio =
Program services /
Total revenue
82%83%86%82%82%89%
Savings ratio Savings ratio =
Surplus (deficit) /
Total revenue
2%4%2%5%5%-2%
Reserve accumulation rate Reserve accumulation rate =
Surplus (deficit) /
Net assets
2%5%2%5%7%-3%
General and admin ratio General and admin ratio =
Management and general expense /
Total expenses
10%6%6%6%6%6%
 
Investing ratiosSector median20192018201720162015
Total asset turnover Total asset turnover =
Total expenses /
Total assets
1.370.790.800.630.880.92
Degree of long-term investment Degree of long-term investment =
Total assets /
Total current assets
1.372.092.171.931.871.80
Current asset turnover Current asset turnover =
Total expenses /
Total current assets
2.181.651.731.221.651.66
 
Liquidity ratiosSector median20192018201720162015
Current ratio Current ratio =
Total current assets /
Total current liabilities
14.585.445.275.385.214.51
Current liabilities ratio Current liabilities ratio =
Total current liabilities /
Total current assets
0.070.180.190.190.190.22
Liquid reserve level Liquid reserve level =
(Total current assets -
Total current liabilities) /
(Total expenses / 12)
5.105.955.628.015.875.62
 
Solvency ratiosSector median20192018201720162015
Liabilities ratio Liabilities ratio =
Total liabilities /
Total assets
8%30%31%37%40%43%
Debt ratio Debt ratio =
Debt /
Total assets
0%0%0%0%0%0%
Reserve coverage ratio Reserve coverage ratio =
Net assets /
Total expenses
64%89%86%100%68%62%

Financials

Balance sheet
 
Assets20192018201720162015
Cash$8,781,497$9,837,540$9,300,294$10,447,543$11,681,237
Receivables, inventories, prepaids$5,734,004$3,560,189$3,886,576$3,401,060$3,122,187
Short-term investments$8,611,189$8,603,111$8,777,303$8,188,433$7,762,349
Other current assets$0$0$0$0$0
Total current assets$23,126,690$22,000,840$21,964,173$22,037,036$22,565,773
Long-term investments$1,161,176$1,013,445$915,334$1,010,681$1,269,105
Fixed assets$15,690,276$16,092,053$11,014,800$10,090,931$8,831,966
Other long-term assets$8,399,647$8,614,533$8,560,025$8,075,607$7,874,784
Total long-term assets$25,251,099$25,720,031$20,490,159$19,177,219$17,975,855
Total assets$48,377,789$47,720,871$42,454,332$41,214,255$40,541,628
 
Liabilities20192018201720162015
Payables and accrued expenses$3,100,852$2,844,508$2,773,128$3,003,066$3,778,858
Other current liabilities$1,146,989$1,333,028$1,312,752$1,223,968$1,229,512
Total current liabilities$4,247,841$4,177,536$4,085,880$4,227,034$5,008,370
Debt$13,522$22,075$37,419$61,030$91,944
Due to (from) affiliates$0$0$0$0$0
Other long-term liabilities$10,191,435$10,814,441$11,409,078$12,098,612$12,288,355
Total long-term liabilities$10,204,957$10,836,516$11,446,497$12,159,642$12,380,299
Total liabilities$14,452,798$15,014,052$15,532,377$16,386,676$17,388,669
 
Net assets20192018201720162015
Unrestricted$19,177,666$18,241,342$12,972,453$11,297,972$9,361,829
Temporarily restricted$10,281,599$9,906,578$9,538,960$9,466,551$9,790,301
Permanently restricted$4,465,726$4,558,899$4,410,542$4,063,056$4,000,829
Net assets$33,924,991$32,706,819$26,921,955$24,827,579$23,152,959
 
Revenues and expenses
 
Revenue20192018201720162015
Total contributions$21,367,763$20,907,112$13,655,398$18,577,304$18,724,860
Program service revenue$17,416,521$16,895,274$12,614,312$17,601,722$17,706,605
Membership dues$0$0$0$0$0
Investment income$213,063$293,602$861,201$1,108,371($190,252)
Other revenue$590,759$516,248$985,463$884,720$498,276
Total other revenue$18,220,343$17,705,124$14,460,976$19,594,813$18,014,629
Total revenue$39,588,106$38,612,236$28,116,374$38,172,117$36,739,489
 
Expenses20192018201720162015
Program services$32,961,613$33,052,868$23,037,443$31,397,169$32,540,295
Management and general$2,244,473$2,125,419$1,611,388$2,081,293$2,194,227
Fundraising$2,843,913$2,854,375$2,146,374$2,904,150$2,747,592
Total expenses$38,049,999$38,032,662$26,795,205$36,382,612$37,482,114
 
Change in net assets20192018201720162015
Surplus (deficit)$1,538,107$579,574$1,321,169$1,789,505($742,625)
Other changes in net assets($319,935)$5,205,290$773,207($114,885)($701,442)
Total change in net assets$1,218,172$5,784,864$2,094,376$1,674,620($1,444,067)

Response from ministry

No response has been provided by this ministry.


History

Trans World Radio was founded on February 11, 1952 to use mass communication to spread the good news of Jesus Christ. Burdened for the people of Spain, TWR founder Dr. Paul E Freed realized that radio would be the best tool for reaching those in this spiritually needy land. While visiting Tangier, Morocco, directly across the Strait of Gibraltar from Spain, he discovered an open door for the establishment of a missionary radio station.

Dr. Freed's father, Dr. Ralph Freed, a veteran missionary, sailed with his wife to Tangier to take charge of the operation. Dr. Ralph Freed gave TWR's first Christian message on "The Voice of Tangier," which was broadcast in Spanish and English over a 2,500-watt transmitter on February 22, 1954. On January 1, 1956, the station expanded to 40 countries in more than 20 languages.

The Moroccan government announced that all radio installations in the country were to be nationalized as of December 31, 1959. Dr. Freed had begun negotiated with Radio Monte Carlo in Monaco on the European continent. In 1960, "The Voice of Tangier" moved across the Strait of Gibraltar to Monte Carlo and changing its name to "Trans World Radio."

TWR broadcasts continued from a transmitter constructed for Nazi propaganda purposes during World War II. Today TWR has transmitters in Monte Carlo, Bonaire, Swaziland, Cyprus, Guam, Sri Lanka, Uruguay, Albania, Russia, Johannesburg, and Poland. On October 16, 1960, TWR began broadcasting from a 100,000-watt transmitter on Mount Agel, high above the Principality of Monaco. These programs, which are in over 20 languages, target listeners in the CIS, Europe, and North Africa.

In August of 1964, Trans World Radio's 500,000-watt AM transmitter broadcast its first message from the island of Bonaire in the Netherlands Antilles. With salt flats and sea air, Bonaire provides excellent conductivity for the transmission of radio signals. The 180-acre site, which houses TWR's transmitter building and maintenance shops, broadcasts more than 70 hours of programming each week in four languages to northern South America and the Caribbean.

In August 1973, Swaziland, a small country located in the southeastern part of the continent of Africa, gave TWR permission to establish broadcast facilities there. This location broadcasts more than 260 hours per week of programming in more than 25 languages to sub-Saharan Africa and Pakistan.

In cooperation with Radio Monte Carlo, TWR began daily broadcasts from Cyprus on May 1, 1974 using a 600,000-watt AM transmitter. These broadcasts target an estimated 350 million people in 21 countries in the Middle East and North Africa.

On May 12, 1975, the American Federal Communications Commission ("FCC") granted TWR permission to construct facilities on the island of Guam, and on August 22 the station began daily broadcasting. They added two 100,000-watt shortwave transmitters in 1977 and two more in 1981. This facility broadcasts in more than 35 languages to Central Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia, and the Asia Pacific region.

On November 25, 1975, the Sri Lanka government granted permission for TWR to construct a 400,000-watt, AM station. In 1978, TWR-Sri Lanka began its broadcasts to India with over 40 hours of weekly programming in more than 15 languages.

May 31, 2013
CARY, N.C. - TWR360 (www.twr360.org), described as the world's premier online tool for accessing Christian media resources in the user's heart language, is officially launched today. It is TWR's newest platform and debuts with 46 ministries providing more than 8,000 pieces of media content in five fully deployed languages. The languages included in the rollout are English, Mandarin, Spanish, Russian and Arabic, and plans call for a many more languages on the site by the end of the first year.

Dec. 16, 2013
Test broadcasts for the long-awaited, eagerly-prayed-for PANI project begin today in the undisclosed location of the new 500,000-watt transmitter. The goal is to broadcast Bible-based programming to Pakistan, Afghanistan and North India (hence, the acronym), recognized as one of the world's least-reached areas. "Deeply moved and with great joy and heartfelt thankfulness to our Lord Jesus, I report to you that this afternoon local time we went on the air," says Werner Kroemer, who is TWR's vice president of global operations and was on hand at the site.

March 24, 2014
DATELINE: Somewhere in South Asia - PANI finally goes live! After extensive testing and initial setbacks in negotiations with local officials, a full evening schedule of programs begins going out at full power and in six languages to people in Pakistan, Afghanistan and North India. A brief message from President Libby reveals the development to the staff and the world: "With deep thankfulness to Jesus Christ, TWR is excited to announce that the new PANI transmitter is now on the air at full power with a regular broadcast schedule."

Jan. 30, 2018
BONAIRE, Caribbean Netherlands - A new era in Christian broadcasting to Latin America and the Caribbean dawns today as TWR inaugurates the most powerful AM radio transmitter on the air in the Western Hemisphere. CEO Lauren Libby joins ministry staff, board members, supporters and invited guests on the little island of Bonaire to celebrate the launching of a 450,000-watt transmitter, which it is estimated will double the potential audience of Shine 800 AM (as the station is now known) to 100 million. Bonaire Gov. Edison Rijna addresses the festive gathering and then joins Libby and Cuban pastor and broadcaster Alberto Gonzalez in cutting the ribbon before the transmitter officially begins broadcasting.

June 10, 2019
TWR's Silk Road Transmitter debut today across the vast steppes and mountain ranges of Central Asia. Going out first on the Silk Road airwaves, beginning at 10 a.m. U.S. Eastern Daylight Time (UTC 14:00), was Radio Bible Project followed by Thru the Bible, both in the Kazakh language. Programs in Central Asian Russian, Uyghur and Uzbek rounded out the first broadcast day. Installation of the transmitter was completed this spring after more than 1,700 supporters of TWR (also known as Trans World Radio) provided the $593,000 cost of the project.

Feb. 1, 2020
The newly installed Oasis transmitter at the West Africa Transmitting Station officially goes on the air. A complete broadcast schedule, including some new programs, was slated to go on the air in six languages widely spoken across Nigeria, the focus of the Oasis outreach: Yoruba, Igbo, Fulani, Hausa, Kanuri and African English. TWR announced recently that about 4,800 generous donations provided the $1.45 million required to make Oasis a reality.

April 13, 2020
TWR announces that it now ministers around the world in more than 275 languages. Although a majority of the languages are broadcast over TWR's global network of high-powered transmitters and arrangements with local stations, some are used only in online programming or for audio recordings played on digital devices. Among the most recently added languages are Arabic Yemeni, Sauria Paharia, Kumarbhag Paharia, Kannada Kurumba, Bhadrawahi, Jaunsari and Liberian English.


Program accomplishments

Speaking fluently in more than 190 languages and dialects, TWR exists to reach the world for Jesus Christ. Our global media outreach engages millions in more than 190 countries with biblical truth. For over 65 years, God has enabled TWR to lead people from doubt to decision to discipleship. Whether through high-powered radio, emerging digital platforms or face-to-face interactions, TWR leaves a lasting spiritual footprint.


Needs

In addition to numerous overseas opportunities, Trans World Radio has several needs for volunteers. Another way to get involved would be to become one of TWR cooperating broadcasters. If one presently has a radio ministry and a desire to expand into other languages, he or she can contact TWR. TWR will have information on the types of programs TWR is looking for and give a general idea of the cost involved in initiating an international broadcast.

TWR also has other special projects one can get involved with. More information on these projects may be found on their website.