Gideons International

Summary

The Gideons International ("Gideons") was founded in 1899 and serves as an extended missionary arm of the church. It is the oldest association of Christian business and professional men in the United States of America.

With the emergence of more than 2,000,000 readers in the world each week, there is now an unprecedented need for reading material. This offers a challenge, and an opportunity, for Christians to fill the void by making available God's Word. That is a primary function of The Gideons--placing and distributing Bibles and New Testaments in the human traffic lanes and streams of life.

Being laymen, Gideons serve as "missionaries" of the local church--seeking to go to the far corners of the world to win others for Christ.

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


Contact information

Mailing address:
50 Century Boulevard
Nashville, TN 37214-2509

Website: www.gideons.org

Phone: (615) 564-5000

Email: tgi@gideons.org


Organization details

EIN: 362270051

CEO/President: Dan Heighway (Executive Director)

Chairman:

Board size: 22

Founder: Samuel Hill, John Nicholson, William Knights

Year founded: 1899

Tax deductible: Yes

Fiscal year end: 05/31

Member of ECFA: Yes

Member of ECFA since: 2013


Purpose

The Gideons International ("Gideons"), founded in 1899, serves as an extended missionary arm of the church. It is the oldest association of Christian business and professional men in the United States of America. A board of distinguished Christian laymen, international in makeup, supervises the worldwide Gideon ministry, ensuring an efficient, economical operation. The association takes its name from the mighty warrior, Gideon, in the sixth and seventh chapters of Judges in the Bible.

The association has almost 300,000 members, located in over 193 countries of the world. They are united in carrying out the same program, using the same methods, to accomplish the one objective of winning others to Christ.

With the emergence of more than 2,000,000 readers in the world each week, there is now an unprecedented need for reading material. This offers a challenge, and an opportunity, for Christians to fill the void by making available God's Word. That is a primary function of The Gideons--placing and distributing Bibles and New Testaments in the human traffic lanes and streams of life.

Being laymen, Gideons serve as "missionaries" of the local church--seeking to go to the far corners of the world to win others for Christ.

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


Mission statement

The Gideons International expresses its mission as follows:

To win others for the Lord Jesus Christ through:

  • - Association
  • - Personal Testimony
  • - Placing the Bible - God's Holy Word

  • Statement of faith

    The Gideons International is a nondenominational association. Membership consists of business and professional men, except clergymen, who believe in the Bible as the inspired Word of God, believe in the Lord Jesus Christ as the eternal Son of God, have received Him as their personal savior, endeavor to follow Him in their daily life, and who are members in good standing of an evangelical or protestant church, congregation, or assembly.

    Financial efficiency ratings

    Sector: Evangelism

    CategoryRatingOverall rankSector rank
    Overall efficiency rating45 of 4303 of 34
    Fund acquisition rating95 of 4308 of 34
    Resource allocation rating32 of 4302 of 34
    Asset utilization rating134 of 43012 of 34

    Financial ratios

    Funding ratiosMedian % for
    all ministries in
    MW database
    20172016201520142013
    Return on fundraising efforts Return on fundraising efforts =
    Fundraising expense /
    Total contributions
    7%3%2%2%2%2%
    Fundraising cost ratio Fundraising cost ratio =
    Fundraising expense /
    Total revenue
    6%2%2%2%1%1%
    Contributions reliance Contributions reliance =
    Total contributions /
    Total revenue
    95%92%94%90%89%91%
    Fundraising expense ratio Fundraising expense ratio =
    Fundraising expense /
    Total expenses
    6%2%2%2%1%1%
    Other revenue reliance Other revenue reliance =
    Total other revenue /
    Total revenue
    5%8%6%10%11%9%
     
    Operating ratiosMedian % for
    all ministries in
    MW database
    20172016201520142013
    Program expense ratio Program expense ratio =
    Program services /
    Total expenses
    82%95%95%95%94%95%
    Spending ratio Spending ratio =
    Total expenses /
    Total revenue
    99%97%100%100%101%104%
    Program output ratio Program output ratio =
    Program services /
    Total revenue
    81%93%95%96%95%99%
    Savings ratio Savings ratio =
    Surplus (deficit) /
    Total revenue
    1%3%0%0%-1%-4%
    Reserve accumulation rate Reserve accumulation rate =
    Surplus (deficit) /
    Net assets
    3%9%-1%-2%-6%-21%
    General and admin ratio General and admin ratio =
    Management and general expense /
    Total expenses
    10%3%3%3%4%4%
     
    Investing ratiosMedian measure
    for all ministries
    in MW database
    20172016201520142013
    Total asset turnover Total asset turnover =
    Total expenses /
    Total assets
    1.321.951.982.062.432.59
    Degree of long-term investment Degree of long-term investment =
    Total assets /
    Total current assets
    1.532.021.901.961.331.28
    Current asset turnover Current asset turnover =
    Total expenses /
    Total current assets
    2.533.953.774.033.233.33
     
    Liquidity ratiosMedian measure
    for all ministries
    in MW database
    20172016201520142013
    Current ratio Current ratio =
    Total current assets /
    Total current liabilities
    9.103.252.281.882.513.11
    Current liabilities ratio Current liabilities ratio =
    Total current liabilities /
    Total current assets
    0.100.310.440.530.400.32
    Liquid reserve level Liquid reserve level =
    (Total current assets -
    Total current liabilities) /
    (Total expenses / 12)
    4.062.101.791.402.232.45
     
    Solvency ratiosMedian % for
    all ministries in
    MW database
    20172016201520142013
    Liabilities ratio Liabilities ratio =
    Total liabilities /
    Total assets
    10%41%48%56%55%48%
    Debt ratio Debt ratio =
    Debt /
    Total assets
    0%0%0%0%0%0%
    Reserve coverage ratio Reserve coverage ratio =
    Net assets /
    Total expenses
    64%30%26%22%19%20%

    Financials

    Balance sheet
     
    Assets20172016201520142013
    Cash$13,587,809$16,934,111$10,847,070$10,422,270$9,678,232
    Receivables, inventories, prepaids$0$0$1,694,140$2,159,982$1,977,616
    Short-term investments$12,229,382$11,308,478$11,769,875$30,018,966$29,621,284
    Other current assets$5,626,580$5,914,378$4,703,764$0$0
    Total current assets$31,443,771$34,156,967$29,014,849$42,601,218$41,277,132
    Long-term investments$25,618,463$23,490,621$19,606,878$0$0
    Fixed assets$6,484,001$7,368,252$8,174,211$8,847,337$9,477,122
    Other long-term assets$0$0$0$5,261,272$2,219,434
    Total long-term assets$32,102,464$30,858,873$27,781,089$14,108,609$11,696,556
    Total assets$63,546,235$65,015,840$56,795,938$56,709,827$52,973,688
     
    Liabilities20172016201520142013
    Payables and accrued expenses$7,697,400$12,948,861$13,315,221$14,395,669$10,962,432
    Other current liabilities$1,979,491$2,028,873$2,090,570$2,594,402$2,305,960
    Total current liabilities$9,676,891$14,977,734$15,405,791$16,990,071$13,268,392
    Debt$0$0$0$0$0
    Due to (from) affiliates$0$0$0$0$0
    Other long-term liabilities$16,598,453$16,207,627$16,205,145$13,955,767$12,319,235
    Total long-term liabilities$16,598,453$16,207,627$16,205,145$13,955,767$12,319,235
    Total liabilities$26,275,344$31,185,361$31,610,936$30,945,838$25,587,627
     
    Net assets20172016201520142013
    Unrestricted$27,214,577$24,988,273$16,750,996$18,799,140$20,309,425
    Temporarily restricted$2,879,526$2,333,136$2,238,116$1,040,521$1,812,607
    Permanently restricted$7,176,788$6,509,070$6,195,890$5,924,328$5,264,029
    Net assets$37,270,891$33,830,479$25,185,002$25,763,989$27,386,061
     
    Revenues and expenses
     
    Revenue20172016201520142013
    Total contributions$117,361,972$120,423,107$104,370,487$120,883,399$119,125,584
    Program service revenue$2,276,281$2,035,569$3,025,173$279,100$193,849
    Membership dues$5,990,194$6,211,478$6,692,879$6,799,453$4,246,638
    Investment income$1,627,661($256,914)$825,772$2,356,843$2,506,664
    Other revenue$403,814$17,079$1,465,227$5,761,411$5,349,943
    Total other revenue$10,297,950$8,007,212$12,009,051$15,196,807$12,297,094
    Total revenue$127,659,922$128,430,319$116,379,538$136,080,206$131,422,678
     
    Expenses20172016201520142013
    Program services$118,096,428$122,390,212$111,214,154$129,800,266$130,000,773
    Management and general$3,147,844$3,442,735$3,498,502$6,058,258$5,456,730
    Fundraising$2,975,238$2,834,392$2,245,869$1,843,754$1,822,217
    Total expenses$124,219,510$128,667,339$116,958,525$137,702,278$137,279,720
     
    Change in net assets20172016201520142013
    Surplus (deficit)$3,440,412($237,020)($578,987)($1,622,072)($5,857,042)
    Other changes in net assets$0$0$0$0$0
    Total change in net assets$3,440,412($237,020)($578,987)($1,622,072)($5,857,042)

    Response from ministry

    No response has been provided by this ministry.


    History

    In the autumn of the year 1898, John H. Nicholson of Janesville, Wisconsin, came to the Central Hotel at Boscobel, Wisconsin, for the night. The hotel being crowded, it was suggested that he take a bed in a double room with Samuel E. Hill of Beloit, Wisconsin. The two men soon discovered that both were Christians, and that John Nicholson, as a 12-year-old boy, had promised his dying mother that he would read God's Word and pray daily. It had been his custom for many years to read the Bible before retiring for the night. They had their evening devotions together, and on their knees before God the thoughts were given which later developed into an association.

    On May 31, 1899, they met at Beaver Dam, Wisconsin and concluded to band together Christian commercial travelers for mutual recognition, personal evangelism, and united service for the Lord. They decided to call a meeting in Janesville, Wisconsin on July 1, 1899, in the Y.M.C.A.

    Only three men were present at that meeting: John H. Nicholson, Samuel E. Hill, and Will J. Knights. They organized with Hill as president, Knights as vice president, and Nicholson as secretary and treasurer. Much thought was given to what the name of the association should be, and after special prayer that God might lead them to select the proper name, Mr. Knights arose from his knees and said, "We shall be called Gideons." He read the sixth and seventh chapters of Judges and showed the reason for adopting that name.

    Gideon was a man who was willing to do exactly what God wanted him to do, regardless of his own judgment as to the plans or results. Humility, faith, and obedience were his great elements of character. This is the standard that the Gideon association is trying to establish in all its members, each man to be ready to do God's will at any time, at any place, and in any way that the Holy Spirit leads.

    In view of the fact that almost all of the Gideons in the early years of the association were traveling men, the question quite naturally arose regarding how they might be more effective witnesses in the hotels where they were forced to spend so much of their time. One suggestion was that a Bible might be placed at the reception desk in each hotel so that the patrons would have the privilege of borrowing it if they wished. It also occurred to these men that this would be a silent witness remaining in these hotels when they were elsewhere.

    This question of advanced activities, as they called them, was carefully considered in the Cabinet meeting held in Chicago, October 19, 1907. One trustee went so far as to suggest that The Gideons furnish a Bible for each bedroom of the hotels in the United States. He commented, "In my opinion, this would not only stimulate the activities of the rank and file of the membership, but would be a gracious act, wholly in keeping with the divine mission of the Gideon Association." This plan was adopted by the convention at Louisville, Kentucky, in 1908.

    It is interesting to note that the practice of the churches contributing to the support of the Gideon Scripture program originated with a pastor. Just two months after the 1908 Louisville Convention, a state convention convened in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. National Secretary Frank Garlick and Mr. A. B. T. Moore attended a meeting of the Ministerial Union, and after their program they asked if Brother Garlick could address the ministers on the work of the Gideon Association. He spoke of the needed Bible distribution, and at the close of his 10-minute address, Mr. Moore's own pastor, Dr. E. R. Burkhalter, First Presbyterian Church, arose and moved, "...that Gideon Bibles be placed in all local hotels and that the Union be responsible for the funds." The motion was unanimously carried and a committee appointed to apportion the cost to the churches, according to their strength.

    Thus the idea of the Gideon ministry as an "extended arm" of the church came into being, and the church took an initial stand to give financial support to the Bible placement program. The Gideon association praised God for the revelation of His plan whereby the local church would supply the needed funds.


    Program accomplishments

    The Gideons International annually distributes over 79 million copies of God's Word (Bibles and New Testaments)--in more than 193 countries and 90+ languages. This equates to more than two copies of God's Word distributed every second of every day.


    Needs

    The Gideons International uses the following to express its ministry needs:

    This ministry is generously supported by pastors and churches, who realize that presenting people with the gospel message is an indispensable element in winning people to Christ. Every dollar contributed by members of the churches is used to make it possible for others to have their very own copy of God's Word.

    There are several ways in which Christians can provide the Word of God through The Gideons. These include cash gifts, securities, life insurance, Memorial Bibles, or a bequest through a will or Revocable Trust.

    The program of The Gideons International offers a practical opportunity for Christians to invest their funds in a spiritual work and thus lay up treasures in heaven. Gifts to The Gideons automatically utilizes the specialized efforts of thousands of Christians who volunteer their time and services in distributing the Holy Scriptures in more than 193 countries of the world. Your gift to The Gideons International to provide God's Word is surely a means of investing in eternity.