Noteworthy Decisions from the October 2015 Board of Trustees Meeting

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Judy Van Cleave

By Judy Van Cleave, trustee, Urantia Foundation, Idaho, United States


It is time for the winter fundraising match. The goal is $190,000. A small group of donors has pledged $190,000 if we can raise another $190,000 before the end of the year. For every dollar you give, these donors will give another dollar. Your donations directly pay for translations, translation revisions, book printing and distribution, website activities, outreach, and education. Please support us!

The Board approved a preliminary 2016 budget. The budget is below the five-year expense average. Said another way, the 2016 budget is less than the spending in any one year during 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014. Spending donor money as wisely as possible is a most important priority. Once we hire an executive director, expenses will increase, but for 2016, we are able to keep our expenses down.

Community Relations

Urantia Foundation, Urantia Association International, and The Urantia Book Fellowship hosted a booth during the Parliament of World Religions in Salt Lake City, Utah, in October. Members of the three organizations staffed the booth, introduced many attendees to The Urantia Book, handed out materials, sold books, and facilitated several workshops and presentations. The success of this experience should increase our optimism about peace and goodwill becoming the standard of conduct between readers of, and organizations involved with The Urantia Book. Cooperation is improving and the future looks bright.

Associate Trustee Richard Jernigan produced a beautiful video about The Urantia Book that was debuted at Gard Jameson’s presentation at the Parliament. Click here to see it:

Book Sales

International book sales of The Urantia Book in 2015 are slightly higher than those in 2014. Sales in the United States are leading the way.

The world is rapidly transitioning toward a digital book marketplace. Even though most digital books are given away, it is still more cost effective to give digital books away than to sell physical books in stores. After counting pre-production costs, inventory, inventory carrying costs, warehousing, shipping, handling, bookkeeping, general administrative time, book show expenses, and distributor discounts, there is a financial loss on each physical book sold.

Even more remarkable is how rapid the movement has been towards mobile devices as the contact tools to the Internet and to Digital Medias. About 45% of our website visits now come from mobile devices. This trend has a huge impact on Urantia Foundation going forward. Our need to support distribution via the Internet and specifically via mobile devices will mean changes in our priorities. With younger people discovering and reading The Urantia Book on their phones and tablets, we must make sure that we are serving their needs.

Executive Service Corps

Over the past six months a group of retired Chicago profit and non-profit executives have worked with Urantia Foundation to create a five-year plan. They interviewed 25 people from inside and outside the organization. They concluded that four strategic areas need focused planning for the future. They were (1) board succession and duties, (2) staffing, (3) finances, and (4) getting the book and its teachings into the world. During the October board meeting we spent half a day listening to their findings and discussing five-year goals and priorities. When finished, a detailed plan of action will be implemented which includes goals, priorities, action items, responsibilities, and due dates.

Translations and Revisions

Outside normal translation and revision activity, progress has been made in identifying new and affordable translation aid software to support our translators and revisers. Our objective is to have an excellent third party software platform with research-based translation tools to help them create the most accurate and readable texts possible.

Education Committee

The Urantia Book Internet School (UBIS) is offering a course in Portuguese for the first time this fall trimester. The classes filled up within 48 hours of registration. UBIS now offers classes in English, Spanish, French, and Portuguese. The UBIS board met in early November at the Foundation office to tackle a rigorous agenda for the upcoming year. The UBIS volunteer team has done a magnificent job in bringing the teachings of the Urantia Revelation to interested students.

The Education Committee also reported on three educational seminars: “Dancing with God,” “Living a Compassionate Life,” and a “Science Symposium.”

Imprint Label

In 2014 Urantia Foundation established an imprint label for publishing materials other than The Urantia Book. We have trademarked the name Urantia Press to help us accomplish the needs expressed by our book distributors that more current works will refocus book buyers on a 1955 text. We hope to introduce new secondary works into the book market under the imprint label of Urantia Press sometime during 2016.

Foundation Info

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