Urantia Foundation Annual Report 2007
From the President
As citizens of a sin-stricken, evil-dominated world [629:10], we may forget that we live in a lawful and friendly universe, and that evil is a transient reality. Jesus was not anxiously bothered by the evil in the world [1594:5]. "Be not anxious" and "fear not" were two of the Master's watchwords. How comforting that, [w]hen the flood tides of human adversity, selfishness, cruelty, hate, malice, and jealousy beat about the mortal soul, [we] may rest in the assurance that there is one inner bastion, the citadel of the spirit, which is absolutely unassailable [1096:4].
If we have internalized the teachings of The Urantia Book, we have already begun to discern the lights of eternal life as they glimmer on the faraway shores of another world [381:7]. If we have internalized the teachings of The Urantia Book, we are divinely passionate to find God and be more like him and to love and serve our brothers and sisters.
With all of the above in mind and observing that the majority of Urantia Book readers desire a future dominated by the spirit of co-operation, I believe that a long-awaited era of co-operation is dawning within the community of readers of The Urantia Book.
Board of Trustees: 2007 Highlights
- January – Revised Declaration of Trust and Amended By-Laws presented.
- April – Social Trademark Usage Agreement offered.
- August – Permanent Fundraising Committee established.
- October – New format and dust jacket approved for English edition in North American market.
- December – Associate Trustees appointed for 2008: Jan Bernard (U.S.A.), Marta Elders (U.S.A.), Irmeli Ivalo-Sjölie (Finland), Marilynn Kulieke (U.S.A.), Olga López Molina (Spain), Claire Mylanus (France) and Judy Van Cleave (U.S.A.).
- January 2008 – Marilynn Kulieke and Judy Van Cleave elected Trustees.
Finances: 2007 and 2008
Urantia Foundation's financial picture improved in 2007. The Foundation ended the year with income exceeding expenses by a sizable margin, thanks to generous year-end giving and appreciation of our invested assets. As we do not anticipate the same results in 2008, we are carefully utilizing the 2007 "bonus" to balance out any downturns in 2008.
The audit of our 2007 financials is nearly complete. Preliminary results are:
- Income from all sources: $1,199,000 ($710,500 budgeted).
- Expenses: $ 763,400 ($707,900 budgeted).
- Number of Donors: 669 in 2007 (688 in 2006).
- Donations: $ 775,900 in 2007 ($549,000 in 2006).
For 2008 we have budgeted an income of $732,000 and expenses of $721,100.
We used the Foundation's new QuickBooks accounting system the entire year, enjoying improved sales and inventory control functions, as well as simplified reporting and budgeting.
Perpetual Printing Fund
The Perpetual Printing Fund (PPF) was established to assure that Urantia Foundation would always have the funds available to print the English edition of The Urantia Book. The PPF value at 2007 year end was $1,082,500. Of that, $800,000 is held in a permanently restricted fund and the remainder in a temporarily restricted fund to be used to reprint the English edition. For every English copy which is removed from inventory – for whatever reason (sale, gift, or discard) – 110% of the original cost of printing that book is returned to the temporarily restricted fund and is used to pay for the next printing of the English edition. The Board plans to establish perpetual printing funds for all translations.
Funding Urantia Foundation's Projects
Six hundred and sixty-seven donors contributed $738,000 to Urantia Foundation in 2007. This money was used to pay translators, printers, and staff and to pay for expenses related to publishing, the website, outreach, and education.
A Matching Fund Campaign in December 2007 yielded more than $100,000 (from 152 donors) to match the $100,000 pledged by anonymous donors. Thank you anonymous donors and generous contributors!
The Book Business
Seventeen thousand copies of The Urantia Book were distributed in 2007 (compared with 15,400 in 2006). This includes standard book sales of all languages (audio and digital formats included), discount book sales, gifts books, and library placement books.
English edition book sales were down 11 percent. In the U.S. market, English sales were impacted by various factors including expanding internet access to the teachings, the disappearance of many specialty book retailers, increasing competition for shelf space, younger generations turning to multimedia instead of books, and the need for a more appealing cover for spiritual book shoppers unfamiliar with the book. Responding to this challenge, the Board approved a new dust jacket for the English edition, which will debut in June 2008. (See Urantia Foundation News Online for details.)
Sales of the Spanish translation increased by 182%. The Spanish translation will be reprinted in 2008, and money is needed to fund this printing as a PPF for the Spanish translation does not yet exist. We have worked diligently to secure reliable distributors and workable contracts in Latin America to ensure the continued availability of the Spanish translation well into the future.
The Russian translation sold well, and we secured a contract and the financing needed to reprint the book in St. Petersburg in 2008. The Russian translation team continues to revise and correct the translation in preparation for the fourth printing.
The first printing of the Lithuanian translation has almost sold out, and the second printing with corrections and revisions will go to press this year.
The Portuguese translation was printed in January of this year. It is selling well in Brazil.
The first printing of the German translation has almost sold out. A team of German readers has revised and corrected the text, and the 2nd edition has been formatted and will be printed in mid 2008.
The book market in Europe is changing rapidly due to deregulation of pricing practices. Many smaller bookstores and distributors are having a difficult time staying in business. This situation has impacted the sales and distribution of the French and Dutch translations. Urantia Foundation has established a European board whose task – among other duties – is to distribute The Urantia Book in the changing EU market. The French translation is selling well in Quebec where a team of readers is revising the French text.
Sales of the Italian translation have been very soft. Urantia Foundation needs help finding distributors in Italy.
An ambitious library placement project in Africa has resulted in the distribution of more than 1000 books to countries in Southern and Eastern Africa, with another 500 to be placed in 2008.
Index to The Urantia Book
Edith Cook, Anna Rawson and others worked from the late 1950s until the early 1980s on a comprehensive index of The Urantia Book. Before retiring from the project, Edith wrote that they needed "an IBM machine" to finish the project. She meant a computer, which in the 1950s filled an entire room and cost millions. Fifty years later these "machines" are much smaller and available at a reasonable price, so the Board decided to enter their hand and typewritten work into a computerized database in preparation for making it available in printed and electronic formats. We have finished the initial work and have an index of over 38,000 entries in a database format. In 2008 we hope to publish the index. Money will be needed to finish the formatting and to print the index.
Translations nearing publication:
Estonian, Hungarian, Rumanian, Swedish. Translations in progress with paid translators and a regular output: Chinese, Farsi (Persian), Japanese. Resources are needed to continue with paid translations. Also in progress are several other translations which are being done by volunteers and are progressing at a slower pace. Please see Urantia Foundation News Online or contact Urantia Foundation for more details.
Urantia Foundation News Online debuted in 2007 and three issues were published. A fourth issue was published in early 2008 and a fifth issue is coming out with this report. Each issue was downloaded an average of 7,500 times last year. To subscribe or view the current and past issues, go to http://www.urantia.org/inset/mailing-list-sign . To view past issues go to http://www.urantia.org/news . We encourage you to read this publication for the latest news from Urantia Foundation.
Social Usage Agreement
The Board of Trustees approved a new Social Usage Agreement that licenses social groups, which are dedicated to the study and dissemination of The Urantia Book and its teachings, to use Urantia Foundation's registered trademarks under certain conditions. Many organizations, affiliated and unaffiliated with Urantia Association International and the Fellowship, have signed the new agreement. Contact Urantia Foundation for details.
Website and the Internet School
In June of 2007, the Foundation's website had an all-time high of 207,000 unique visits. Especially popular were Portuguese, Spanish, French, and Russian translations of the book. The website is ranked the 248,583rd most visited website in the world by Alexa.com.
Since last June, traffic to the Foundation's site has diminished. This has stimulated us to review the ten year old design. The Board has decided to dedicate the time and money to redesign the website, update its look and feel, add new features, and yet maintain continuity and the professional quality of our current site. We shall need to raise the money to pay for this upgrade.
The Urantia Book Internet School (UBIS) has evidenced great popularity among readers. Each semester classes fill rapidly. Most students have expressed appreciation for the way the courses are structured and for what they learned during the semester.
Urantia Books – Reprinting the English edition with a redesigned dust jacket in June 2008. Reprinting the German, Spanish, and Lithuanian translations this summer. First printings (upon completion) of Estonian (Urantia raamat), Hungarian (Az Urantia könyv), Swedish (Urantiaboken). Printing The Urantia Book IndexIndex Index
Website – Redesigning the look and improving the content by late 2008. Education – for UBIS, attracting teachers and leaders, developing new curricula, and raising money to support growth.
Outreach – Meeting with readers. Urantia Foundation Trustees and Staff shall attend the Fellowship's International Conference, IC08, in Los Angeles (July 2nd – 7th), the Urantia Association's UAUS National Conference in Kansas City, KS (July 24th- 27th), and the Association Urantia de Quebec Conference in Lennoxville, QB this August. This fall in New England, The Matthew Project-Fundraising
The Trustees and Staff of Urantia Foundation
Judy Van Cleave
Olga López Molina
Audio Urantia Book
Board Meeting Decisions
Urantia Foundation History