STEER, Inc.

Summary

STEER, Inc. ("STEER") is an evangelical, agricultural, fundraising organization which supports missions around the world. The goal of STEER's ministry is to assist selected mission organizations with the fundraising necessary to bring about world evangelization. The ministry works to bring together the contributions of donors with farmers who also desire to be involved in missions, but who may lack the capital needed to expand their herds or acreage in order to support missions. STEER's stewardship program operates as follows: Donors provide cash for a $700 Unit. This Unit is insured by STEER, Inc. The $700 UNIT is invested with a farmer/rancher to buy livestock or assist in planting a crop for missions. This is only an investment from which earnings are sent to missions each year. When the farmer/rancher markets the livestock or crop, the gain is processed for missions by STEER and the Unit is reinvested. STEER sends no money to any organizations that have not first been approved by the Board of Directors. STEER was founded in Park River, ND in 1957. 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).


Contact information

Mailing address:
PO Box 1236
Bismarck, ND 58502-1236

Website: www.steerinc.com

Phone: (701) 258-4911

Email: steerinc@steerinc.com


Organization details

EIN: 450262160

CEO/President: Keith Kost

Chairman: Randy Hauck

Board size: 15

Founder: Rev. Ed Folden

Year founded: 1957

Tax deductible: Yes

Fiscal year end: 06/30

Member of ECFA: Yes

Member of ECFA since: 1987


Purpose

STEER, Inc. ("STEER") is an evangelical, agricultural, fundraising organization which supports overseas missions around the world. The goal of STEER's ministry is to assist selected mission organizations with the fundraising necessary to bring about world evangelization. The ministry works to bring together the contributions of donors with farmers who also desire to be involved in missions, but who may lack the capital needed to expand their herds or acreage in order to support missions.

STEER endeavors to strengthen and enlarge the ministries of these missions through its stewardship plan. Essentially, through the stewardship plan donors purchase a 'multiplied giving Unit' for $700 which is then invested in livestock or crops with a participating farmer who becomes a partner in missions with the donor. The Unit can be designated for any one of STEER's member mission organizations (more than 80) or where most needed. The Unit becomes the property of STEER and a percentage is used for operating expenses and an insurance fund. The Unit is protected by STEER's insurance fund.

Eligible mission societies must make application in order to receive support. STEER directs the Unit funds through to the farmer-rancher who uses it to buy the livestock or crops of their choice, and where they join with the donor in directing a percentage of the gain from each project through to the mission of choice. Funds are distributed to designated mission organizations upon the sale of livestock and related assets. Risk is associated with the Unit due to the fluctuation of prices in the grain and livestock markets. STEER projects are scattered across 36 states with around 1100 farmers/ranchers. On average 10% of expenses are allocated to insurance, depreciation and operations, and 90% is directed to designated missions organizations. STEER has a 15 member board of directors and has six fulltime headquarters staff, and is helped by volunteer area representatives in different parts of the country. STEER was founded in Park River, ND in 1957.

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

Steer expresses its mission as follows:

"STEERing money to missions."

"Creative giving to world missions for farmers, ranchers and cattle feeders."


Statement of faith

STEER subscribes to the following doctrinal statement:

We believe the Bible, consisting of Old and New Testaments, to be the only verbally inspired by the Holy Spirit, inerrant, infallible and authoritative Word of God written.

We believe there is one God, eternally existent in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Ghost.

We believe in the deity of Christ, His virgin birth, His sinless life, His miracles, His vicarious and atoning death through His shed blood, His bodily resurrection and His ascension to the right hand of God the Father where He is now making intercession for us.

We believe Jesus Christ's return is imminent, and will be visible and personal.

We believe that Adam, created in the image of God, was tempted by Satan, the Devil, and fell. Because of Adam's sin all men have guilt imputed, are totally depraved and need to be regenerated by the Holy Spirit for salvation.

We believe salvation consists of the remission of sins, the imputation of Christ's righteousness and the gift of eternal life received by faith alone, apart from works.

We believe in the resurrection of both the saved and the lost; they that saved unto the resurrection of everlasting life and blessedness in Heaven; and they that are lost, unto the resurrection of everlasting punishment in Hell.

We believe the Church, the body of Christ, consists of those who are born again and who are baptized by the Holy Spirit unto Christ at the time of regeneration.

We believe in the spiritual unity of all believers in Christ.

We believe Jesus Christ commanded the Church to go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature, baptizing and teaching those who believe.

Financial efficiency ratings

Sector: Evangelism Support

CategoryRatingOverall rankSector rank
Overall efficiency rating301 of 43031 of 44
Fund acquisition rating327 of 43037 of 44
Resource allocation rating159 of 43017 of 44
Asset utilization rating328 of 43034 of 44

Click here to read STEER, Inc.'s response to our ratings


Financial ratios

Funding ratiosMedian % for
all ministries in
MW database
20182017201620152014
Return on fundraising efforts Return on fundraising efforts =
Fundraising expense /
Total contributions
7%34%28%31%30%40%
Fundraising cost ratio Fundraising cost ratio =
Fundraising expense /
Total revenue
6%6%6%5%3%4%
Contributions reliance Contributions reliance =
Total contributions /
Total revenue
95%17%21%16%12%10%
Fundraising expense ratio Fundraising expense ratio =
Fundraising expense /
Total expenses
6%6%7%5%4%5%
Other revenue reliance Other revenue reliance =
Total other revenue /
Total revenue
5%83%79%84%88%90%
 
Operating ratiosMedian % for
all ministries in
MW database
20182017201620152014
Program expense ratio Program expense ratio =
Program services /
Total expenses
83%85%84%87%91%88%
Spending ratio Spending ratio =
Total expenses /
Total revenue
99%92%88%93%90%85%
Program output ratio Program output ratio =
Program services /
Total revenue
81%78%73%81%82%75%
Savings ratio Savings ratio =
Surplus (deficit) /
Total revenue
1%8%12%7%10%15%
Reserve accumulation rate Reserve accumulation rate =
Surplus (deficit) /
Net assets
3%3%5%3%6%8%
General and admin ratio General and admin ratio =
Management and general expense /
Total expenses
10%9%10%8%5%7%
 
Investing ratiosMedian measure
for all ministries
in MW database
20182017201620152014
Total asset turnover Total asset turnover =
Total expenses /
Total assets
1.320.340.330.420.570.43
Degree of long-term investment Degree of long-term investment =
Total assets /
Total current assets
1.531.401.481.581.601.62
Current asset turnover Current asset turnover =
Total expenses /
Total current assets
2.530.480.480.660.910.69
 
Liquidity ratiosMedian measure
for all ministries
in MW database
20182017201620152014
Current ratio Current ratio =
Total current assets /
Total current liabilities
9.09144.95144.68120.49120.87112.02
Current liabilities ratio Current liabilities ratio =
Total current liabilities /
Total current assets
0.100.010.010.010.010.01
Liquid reserve level Liquid reserve level =
(Total current assets -
Total current liabilities) /
(Total expenses / 12)
4.0724.8024.6517.9213.1417.19
 
Solvency ratiosMedian % for
all ministries in
MW database
20182017201620152014
Liabilities ratio Liabilities ratio =
Total liabilities /
Total assets
10%1%1%1%1%1%
Debt ratio Debt ratio =
Debt /
Total assets
0%0%0%0%0%0%
Reserve coverage ratio Reserve coverage ratio =
Net assets /
Total expenses
63%289%305%236%175%232%

Financials

Balance sheet
 
Assets20182017201620152014
Cash$2,325,328$2,078,466$1,751,784$1,318,301$1,267,430
Receivables, inventories, prepaids$284,194$276,001$320,044$494,104$398,199
Short-term investments$1,344,733$1,255,909$1,164,279$1,261,006$1,170,056
Other current assets$12,845$15,583$18,497$43,023$50,120
Total current assets$3,967,100$3,625,959$3,254,604$3,116,434$2,885,805
Long-term investments$0$0$0$0$0
Fixed assets$88,138$94,152$100,165$106,508$116,467
Other long-term assets$1,504,114$1,663,938$1,783,132$1,752,958$1,681,927
Total long-term assets$1,592,252$1,758,090$1,883,297$1,859,466$1,798,394
Total assets$5,559,352$5,384,049$5,137,901$4,975,900$4,684,199
 
Liabilities20182017201620152014
Payables and accrued expenses$22,620$20,004$19,997$18,610$17,926
Other current liabilities$4,748$5,058$7,014$7,174$7,835
Total current liabilities$27,368$25,062$27,011$25,784$25,761
Debt$0$0$0$0$0
Due to (from) affiliates$0$0$0$0$0
Other long-term liabilities$13,875$16,761$19,449$21,593$26,772
Total long-term liabilities$13,875$16,761$19,449$21,593$26,772
Total liabilities$41,243$41,823$46,460$47,377$52,533
 
Net assets20182017201620152014
Unrestricted$4,935,666$4,812,783$4,666,998$4,534,824$4,253,967
Temporarily restricted$39,405$39,405$39,405$39,405$39,405
Permanently restricted$543,038$490,038$385,038$354,294$338,294
Net assets$5,518,109$5,342,226$5,091,441$4,928,523$4,631,666
 
Revenues and expenses
 
Revenue20182017201620152014
Total contributions$359,675$426,801$378,476$360,847$246,292
Program service revenue$1,595,015$1,395,890$1,860,128$2,616,318$1,839,865
Membership dues$0$0$0$0$0
Investment income$89,367$137,657$34,460$19,372$190,619
Other revenue$35,944$37,880$51,604$122,307$81,809
Total other revenue$1,720,326$1,571,427$1,946,192$2,757,997$2,112,293
Total revenue$2,080,001$1,998,228$2,324,668$3,118,844$2,358,585
 
Expenses20182017201620152014
Program services$1,620,589$1,465,255$1,879,527$2,562,848$1,761,470
Management and general$164,095$169,912$165,806$152,245$136,175
Fundraising$121,790$117,909$116,417$106,894$98,519
Total expenses$1,906,474$1,753,076$2,161,750$2,821,987$1,996,164
 
Change in net assets20182017201620152014
Surplus (deficit)$173,527$245,152$162,918$296,857$362,421
Other changes in net assets$2,356$5,633$0$0$0
Total change in net assets$175,883$250,785$162,918$296,857$362,421

Response from ministry

STEER, Inc. as an organization is dedicated to bringing together the talents and gifts of three groups of people, Donors, Farmers/Ranchers, and Missionaries, so that the Gospel of Jesus Christ may be proclaimed around the world. The Board of Directors and staff are very concerned about financial and organizational integrity and accountability which includes being good stewards of the funds we receive as contributions as well as the funds that are generated within our program for the support of our member mission societies. In that regard STEER is a member of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA) which has a much more stringent standards requirement and requires in-depth information from our organization as a whole including but not limited to its financial statements.

The STEER program is unique in its concept. We have donors who give funds to purchase UNITS that are invested in agricultural projects with ranchers and the proceeds from the donor investment are processed by STEER and forwarded to missions around the world. Comparing our Contributions Reliance Ratio by comparing Contributions to Total Revenue is therefore not an appropriate measure of Fund Acquisition efficiency, since it includes the income from agricultural investments that will be sent on to other missions. We would be glad to explain how this unique but effective program works to anyone.

A more appropriate comparison of STEER would be comparing how much income our total donor (UNIT) contributions, which is really invested capital, produce for missions. STEER estimates that the average annual rate of gain is between 40% to 60%.

When I contacted Rod Pitzer at Wall Watchers. I also discussed with him the Asset Utilization ratio. STEER sent Wall Watchers a copy of our current 990 form as well as our Audited Financial Statements. In the 990 form the agricultural investments were not broken out into current assets and long term assets, however they were broken out in our financial Statements. Wall Watchers included all of our current agricultural investment in our long term asset amount and would not adjust their figure to correctly state our actual current assets. This provides for a grossly inaccurate ratio on Wall Watchers report of STEER, Inc.'s current assets. They have the correct information and by incorrectly stating our current assets are therefore not following generally accepted accounting principles. The correct Total asset to current asset ratio should be 4.57 instead of the 43.52 ratio they have stated in their report.

In our discussion Mr. Pitzer informed me that they do not have the resources to spend time understanding the unique aspects of the organizations they are rating. However, with very limited information and virtually no understanding of STEER, Inc. as an organization they are issuing a very inaccurate opinion on the STEER ministry. Wall Watchers claim that their ratio should not affect those who give to our organization because of personal involvement and therefore we should not be concerned about the rating they give us. However, what is the purpose of this organization if not to give potential donors a quantifiable "good" or "bad" rating for organizations that they are researching via the Internet. I am deeply disappointed concerning their lack of understanding of our organization and the unique aspects that affect these ratios as compared to other non-profit organizations as discussed above. They had many months to review the information we sent to them but gave us only 19 days to respond and have no interest in correctly adjusting their ratio information.

If you take the time to read this response I ask that you contact our organization personally to get a better understanding of what STEER is about. In the end, what really matters is that STEER has funnelled over $8.5 million to missions since its inception in 1957 and over $580,000 of that was in the fiscal year reported in this report. I can assure you that through the ministry of STEER, Inc. people are coming to know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.

Keith Kost, Executive Director
STEER, Inc.

Kathleen Jorgenson, Accountant
STEER, Inc.


History


Program accomplishments


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