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


To understand our transparency grade, click here.

Financial efficiency ratings

Sector: Foreign Missions

CategoryRatingOverall rankSector rank
Overall efficiency rating505 of 77273 of 104
Fund acquisition rating133 of 77321 of 104
Resource allocation rating527 of 77372 of 104
Asset utilization rating720 of 772101 of 104

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Balance sheet
Receivables, inventories, prepaids$6,044,611$6,021,907$4,980,990$5,206,336$5,951,117
Short-term investments$0$0$0$0$0
Other current assets$0$0$0$0$0
Total current assets$25,300,520$21,693,146$20,357,007$14,133,957$22,524,703
Long-term investments$36,189,866$33,426,438$30,981,088$30,462,148$22,041,495
Fixed assets$29,260,706$30,433,645$32,511,943$34,612,318$36,685,133
Other long-term assets$1,239,572$1,812,637$1,120,585$2,048,295$1,315,059
Total long-term assets$66,690,144$65,672,720$64,613,616$67,122,761$60,041,687
Total assets$91,990,664$87,365,866$84,970,623$81,256,718$82,566,390
Payables and accrued expenses$23,250,980$20,037,352$18,815,095$14,140,850$16,894,767
Other current liabilities$600,134$482,681$366,669$432,693$618,343
Total current liabilities$23,851,114$20,520,033$19,181,764$14,573,543$17,513,110
Due to (from) affiliates$0$0$0$0$0
Other long-term liabilities$399,607$384,190$376,092$361,560$347,576
Total long-term liabilities$399,607$384,190$376,092$361,560$347,576
Total liabilities$24,250,721$20,904,223$19,557,856$14,935,103$17,860,686
Net assets20182017201620152014
Temporarily restricted$6,778,794$6,195,737$6,839,956$6,375,676$6,737,657
Permanently restricted$392,927$388,154$263,926$262,588$261,998
Net assets$67,739,943$66,461,643$65,412,767$66,321,615$64,705,704
Revenues and expenses
Total contributions$26,976,968$25,854,576$27,387,840$29,664,306$29,199,375
Program service revenue$11,004,733$10,913,053$11,186,279$11,592,598$11,846,056
Membership dues$0$0$0$0$0
Investment income$2,401,120$3,179,134$1,323,897$2,452,618$1,042,396
Other revenue$1,673,715$2,088,728$1,157,801$1,329,263$1,147,257
Total other revenue$15,079,568$16,180,915$13,667,977$15,374,479$14,035,709
Total revenue$42,056,536$42,035,491$41,055,817$45,038,785$43,235,084
Program services$32,472,137$38,074,074$37,454,205$39,016,724$41,723,874
Management and general$8,197,660$2,939,988$3,618,139$3,666,703$3,061,693
Total expenses$40,738,865$41,043,117$41,102,336$42,706,282$44,805,902
Change in net assets20182017201620152014
Surplus (deficit)$1,317,671$992,374($46,519)$2,332,503($1,570,818)
Other changes in net assets$0$0$0$0$0
Total change in net assets$1,317,671$992,374($46,519)$2,332,503($1,570,818)


Fredrick A BoswellExecutive Director (outgoing)$105,939
David T CramTreasurer (outgoing)$84,602
Mark RobinsonDirector$76,164
Michel KenmogneExecutive Director (incoming)$67,756
Andrew ClarkDirector (outgoing)$63,804
Doug BaughmanDirector (outgoing)$55,331
John R WattersPresident (outgoing)$45,207
Eleanor BerryChief Financial Officer (outgoing)$38,774
Daniel M AgeeDirector$37,999
Barbara GrimesDirector$36,977
Bonnie NystromDirector (outgoing)$36,868
Elizabeth ThomsonVice Chair$29,629
Yuko TakataDirector$25,486
Dave PearsonDirector (outgoing)$24,721
Hans CombrinkVice President (outgoing)$22,897
Don BuhlerTreasurer (incoming), Chief Financial Officer (incoming)$22,606
Mary PearceDirector$20,664
George ShultzDirector (outgoing)/Secretary (incoming)$14,558
Eugene C BurnhamSecretary (outgoing)$9,628

Compensation data as of: 9/30/2016

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