SIL International


SIL International is a faith-based nonprofit organization committed to serving language communities worldwide as they build capacity for sustainable language development.

Contact information

Mailing address:
SIL International
7500 W. Camp Wisdom Road
Dallas, TX 75236


Phone: 972-708-7400


Organization details

EIN: 751840827

CEO/President: Michel Kenmogne

Chairman: Karel van der Mast

Board size: 19

Founder: William Cameron Townsend

Year founded: 1983

Tax deductible: Yes

Fiscal year end: 09/30

Member of ECFA: Yes

Member of ECFA since: 2020


SIL's service with ethnolinguistic minority communities is motivated by the belief that all people are created in the image of God, and that languages and cultures are part of the richness of God's creation. SIL is founded on the principle that communities should be able to pursue their social, cultural, political, economic and spiritual goals without sacrificing their ethnolinguistic identity. As a faith-based nonprofit organization, SIL works alongside language communities as they discover how to harness the power of their language to address challenges and reach their goals.

Mission statement

SIL advocates, builds capacity, and works with local communities to apply language expertise that advances meaningful development, education, and engagement with Scripture. This assistance includes linguistic research, orthography development, training in translation principles, consultant help, and development of relevant materials.

Statement of faith

Transparency grade

This ministry has not been assigned a transparency grade.

To understand our transparency grade, click here.

Financial efficiency ratings

Sector: Advocacy

CategoryRatingOverall rankSector rank
Overall efficiency rating234 of 6606 of 33
Fund acquisition rating114 of 6624 of 33
Resource allocation rating92 of 6623 of 33
Asset utilization rating625 of 66031 of 33

Financial ratios

Funding ratiosSector median20172016201520142013
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 median20172016201520142013
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 median20172016201520142013
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 median20172016201520142013
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 median20172016201520142013
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$6,021,907$4,980,990$5,206,336$5,951,117$5,228,468
Short-term investments$0$0$0$0$0
Other current assets$0$0$0$0$0
Total current assets$21,693,146$20,357,007$14,133,957$22,524,703$23,995,448
Long-term investments$33,426,438$30,981,088$30,462,148$22,041,495$22,040,755
Fixed assets$30,433,645$32,511,943$34,612,318$36,685,133$39,141,734
Other long-term assets$1,812,637$1,120,585$2,048,295$1,315,059$1,367,670
Total long-term assets$65,672,720$64,613,616$67,122,761$60,041,687$62,550,159
Total assets$87,365,866$84,970,623$81,256,718$82,566,390$86,545,607
Payables and accrued expenses$20,037,352$18,815,095$14,140,850$16,894,767$18,361,045
Other current liabilities$482,681$366,669$432,693$618,343$597,364
Total current liabilities$20,520,033$19,181,764$14,573,543$17,513,110$18,958,409
Due to (from) affiliates$0$0$0$0$0
Other long-term liabilities$384,190$376,092$361,560$347,576$334,130
Total long-term liabilities$384,190$376,092$361,560$347,576$334,130
Total liabilities$20,904,223$19,557,856$14,935,103$17,860,686$19,292,539
Net assets20172016201520142013
Temporarily restricted$6,195,737$6,839,956$6,375,676$6,737,657$6,711,062
Permanently restricted$388,154$263,926$262,588$261,998$327,143
Net assets$66,461,643$65,412,767$66,321,615$64,705,704$67,253,068
Revenues and expenses
Total contributions$25,854,576$27,387,840$29,664,306$29,199,375$32,356,412
Program service revenue$10,913,053$11,186,279$11,592,598$11,846,056$10,913,897
Membership dues$0$0$0$0$0
Investment income$3,179,134$1,323,897$2,452,618$1,042,396$855,848
Other revenue$2,088,728$1,157,801$1,329,263$1,147,257$1,251,910
Total other revenue$16,180,915$13,667,977$15,374,479$14,035,709$13,021,655
Total revenue$42,035,491$41,055,817$45,038,785$43,235,084$45,378,067
Program services$38,074,074$37,454,205$39,016,724$41,723,874$44,980,446
Management and general$2,939,988$3,618,139$3,666,703$3,061,693$3,786,977
Total expenses$41,043,117$41,102,336$42,706,282$44,805,902$48,865,785
Change in net assets20172016201520142013
Surplus (deficit)$992,374($46,519)$2,332,503($1,570,818)($3,487,718)
Other changes in net assets$0$0$0$0$0
Total change in net assets$992,374($46,519)$2,332,503($1,570,818)($3,487,718)

Response from ministry

No response has been provided by this ministry.


The principal founder of SIL International was William Cameron Townsend (1896-1982). He began cross-cultural work with the Kaqchikel people of Guatemala in 1919. By 1929, Townsend's vision had broadened to include other peoples who also needed language development. SIL International (then known as the Summer Institute of Linguistics) began in 1934 as a summer training program in Arkansas, USA, with two students. The enrollment of these summer classes grew each subsequent year. Kenneth L. Pike (1912-2000) was one of five students in the 1935 course. He began work on the Mixtec language in the state of Oaxaca, Mexico. This work launched Pike into his life-long work in linguistics and the study of language in the context of human behavior. Dr. Pike served as President of SIL until 1979.

Program accomplishments