Bethany Christian Services

The information in this column was provided to MinistryWatch by the ministry itself. It was last updated 6/23/2021. To update the information in this column, please email:


Bethany supports vulnerable kids and families in the U.S. and around the world, because everyone deserves to be safe, loved, and connected. Today, 140 million kids don't have a permanent home. That's unacceptable. At Bethany, we witness what happens when people choose love. Not theoretical, unblemished love, but the real, messy, imperfect kind.

Love that empowers vulnerable kids and families everywhere. The children hurting at home, and the ones unprotected at a border. The orphans and vulnerable children who feel alone, and the refugees living in a world of uncertainty. Everyone deserves to be loved. Together, we can change the world through family.

Contact information

Mailing address:
Bethany Christian Services
901 Eastern Ave. NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49503-0294


Phone: 800-238-4269


Organization details

EIN: 381405282

CEO/President: Mr. Chris Palusky

Chairman: Dan Rink

Board size: 14

Founder: Marguerite Bonnema and Mary DeBoer

Year founded: 1945

Tax deductible: Yes

Fiscal year end: 12/31

Member of ECFA: No

Member of ECFA since:


Bethany is an international Christian nonprofit changing the world through family. 75 years ago, we began our work by serving one child. Today, we partner with churches and communities in more than 30 states and nearly a dozen countries to strengthen and preserve families, support refugees and immigrants fleeing danger, and find safe, loving families for children who need them. Bethany demonstrates the love and compassion of Jesus, impacting hundreds of thousands of lives every year, because we believe everyone deserves to be safe, loved, and connected.

Mission statement

Our mission is to stand up for vulnerable children, refugees, and families around the world, because family holds an incredible power to connect us, lift us up, and transform lives. Bethany demonstrates the love and compassion of Jesus Christ by protecting children, empowering youth, and strengthening families through quality social services.

Statement of faith


10/31/2019A Pastor's Suicide, Bethany Christian Services, Cincinnati Christian University, and More

Transparency grade


To understand our transparency grade, click here.

Financial efficiency ratings

Sector: Adoption/Foster Care

CategoryRatingOverall rankSector rank
Overall efficiency rating198 of 9416 of 25
Fund acquisition rating184 of 9435 of 25
Resource allocation rating387 of 94310 of 25
Asset utilization rating371 of 94110 of 25

Financial ratios

Funding ratiosSector median20202019201820172016
Return on fundraising efforts Return on fundraising efforts =
Fundraising expense /
Total contributions
Fundraising cost ratio Fundraising cost ratio =
Fundraising expense /
Total revenue
Contributions reliance Contributions reliance =
Total contributions /
Total revenue
Fundraising expense ratio Fundraising expense ratio =
Fundraising expense /
Total expenses
Other revenue reliance Other revenue reliance =
Total other revenue /
Total revenue
Operating ratiosSector median20202019201820172016
Program expense ratio Program expense ratio =
Program services /
Total expenses
Spending ratio Spending ratio =
Total expenses /
Total revenue
Program output ratio Program output ratio =
Program services /
Total revenue
Savings ratio Savings ratio =
Surplus (deficit) /
Total revenue
Reserve accumulation rate Reserve accumulation rate =
Surplus (deficit) /
Net assets
General and admin ratio General and admin ratio =
Management and general expense /
Total expenses
Investing ratiosSector median20202019201820172016
Total asset turnover Total asset turnover =
Total expenses /
Total assets
Degree of long-term investment Degree of long-term investment =
Total assets /
Total current assets
Current asset turnover Current asset turnover =
Total expenses /
Total current assets
Liquidity ratiosSector median20202019201820172016
Current ratio Current ratio =
Total current assets /
Total current liabilities
Current liabilities ratio Current liabilities ratio =
Total current liabilities /
Total current assets
Liquid reserve level Liquid reserve level =
(Total current assets -
Total current liabilities) /
(Total expenses / 12)
Solvency ratiosSector median20202019201820172016
Liabilities ratio Liabilities ratio =
Total liabilities /
Total assets
Debt ratio Debt ratio =
Debt /
Total assets
Reserve coverage ratio Reserve coverage ratio =
Net assets /
Total expenses


Balance sheet
Receivables, inventories, prepaids$15,422,763$15,721,585$14,877,789$15,429,928$14,268,361
Short-term investments$35,344,261$32,913,104$28,958,055$33,692,845$30,713,071
Other current assets$217,606$203,608$0$0$0
Total current assets$61,255,203$53,545,643$47,979,481$52,685,474$48,574,864
Long-term investments$511,842$515,658$751,147$850,016$559,813
Fixed assets$32,817,528$25,535,466$18,587,682$17,715,895$17,413,896
Other long-term assets$176,000$198,000$220,000$220,000$0
Total long-term assets$33,505,370$26,249,124$19,558,829$18,785,911$17,973,709
Total assets$94,760,573$79,794,767$67,538,310$71,471,385$66,548,573
Payables and accrued expenses$12,093,565$11,856,457$9,455,744$9,292,326$8,186,540
Other current liabilities$5,629,136$4,985,991$3,711,221$7,375,589$3,435,895
Total current liabilities$17,722,701$16,842,448$13,166,965$16,667,915$11,622,435
Due to (from) affiliates$0$0$0$0$0
Other long-term liabilities$5,430,105$235,248$245,625$297,235$309,467
Total long-term liabilities$15,264,750$9,680,710$6,275,208$3,803,978$8,303,169
Total liabilities$32,987,451$26,523,158$19,442,173$20,471,893$19,925,604
Net assets20202019201820172016
Without donor restrictions$58,421,381$50,171,926$45,230,193$49,189,799$44,698,919
With donor restrictions$3,351,741$3,099,683$2,865,944$1,809,693$1,924,050
Net assets$61,773,122$53,271,609$48,096,137$50,999,492$46,622,969
Revenues and expenses
Total contributions$119,021,827$113,662,763$101,595,566$91,449,696$84,538,247
Program service revenue$0$0$0$0$0
Membership dues$0$0$0$0$0
Investment income$2,854,514$5,321,291($2,402,498)$3,970,583$0
Other revenue$13,677,124$19,513,873$22,039,749$24,654,966$26,808,089
Total other revenue$16,531,638$24,835,164$19,637,251$28,625,549$26,808,089
Total revenue$135,553,465$138,497,927$121,232,817$120,075,245$111,346,336
Program services$107,732,601$110,868,508$105,278,196$98,779,702$91,741,472
Management and general$15,170,528$15,093,782$11,625,750$10,989,423$10,011,512
Total expenses$127,051,952$132,214,766$123,279,985$115,698,722$107,360,002
Change in net assets20202019201820172016
Surplus (deficit)$8,501,513$6,283,161($2,047,168)$4,376,523$3,986,334
Other changes in net assets$0$0$0$0$0
Total change in net assets$8,501,513$6,283,161($2,047,168)$4,376,523$3,986,334


Christopher PaluskyPresident/CEO$249,032
Scott DevriesChief Financial Officer$170,085
Kristine FaasseSVP of Clinical Operations$152,083
Brad KellerVP of Regional Operations$149,412
Dona AbbottSVP of Refugee and Immigrant Services$148,635
Jeffrey CarlsonVP of Regional Operations$143,616
Nathan BultVP of Public and Government Affairs$131,815
Ovidio AlfaroChief Operating Officer - Former$126,420

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 6/23/2021. To update the information below, please email:


Making an Impact
Since 1944, Bethany has grown and developed not only into a well-known adoption agency, but a social services agency that serves and supports expectant parents, foster families, individuals and families in need of counseling, and struggling families and children who are in desperate need of even the most basic necessities. Bethany's purpose is to demonstrate the love of Christ by equipping families to be the answer for children in need. Our founders started Bethany by taking in one child who needed a home. Last year, Bethany served more than 45,000 expectant parents, children, and families.

How it All Started
In 1944, Marguerite Bonnema received the shock of her life.

To her surprise, a little neighbor girl revealed her father's strong dislike of his wife's illegitimate baby girl. "He is going to kill [the baby]," the little girl said. Marguerite replied, "Tell him not to kill her but to give her to me."

Arrangements were made-in a hurry. The neighbor mother and baby girl traveled by bus to a train station, where Marguerite and her friend and roommate Mary DeBoer received the child to live with them in their small apartment.

But the two didn't stop with one child. In the coming months, they took in five more babies, and that November, with the help of Andrew VanderVeer, they founded Bethany Christian Home as a nonprofit organization. The following year, the home moved to a residence on the 13-acre property in Grand Rapids, Michigan where Bethany's present headquarters now stand.

With a state childcare license procured, Marguerite and Mary's dream was now a fledgling reality-one which, prospering through the years, would help make countless other dreams come true.

In the words of our founders, "It was earnestly hoped that Bethany Christian Home would always be a place where Christ's presence could be felt and His blessing sought and enjoyed."

In 1951, Bethany obtained its child placement license and began serving as an adoption agency. Twenty-five children gained loving adoptive families through Bethany that year. Pregnancy counseling services also commenced, with 59 single mothers receiving guidance.

Amazing Growth, Amazing Grace
Bethany began with the dream of two women who stepped out in faith, with hearts full of love. Today, Bethany's diverse ministries and its influence both nationally and internationally have grown in ways its founders could never have imagined. But their dream remains our guiding star: to demonstrate the love and compassion of Jesus Christ by protecting and enhancing the lives of children and families through quality social services. A string of awards, an impressive list of achievements, international favor and impact-these are just some of the by-products of serving as the hands and feet of Christ.

Program accomplishments

Over 75 years ago, we began our work by serving a single child. Today, we work in more than 30 states and more than a dozen countries worldwide, serving more than 50,000 people every year.

Bethany is reviewed by the Council of Accreditation on a regular basis to receive its reaccreditation. The accreditation process is designed to identify providers that have set high performance standards for themselves and have made a commitment to their constituents to deliver the highest quality services. COA continually recognizes Bethany Christian Services as one of these outstanding providers.