Noteworthy Decisions from the October 2019 Trustees Meeting

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Judy Van Cleave

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

1. 2020 Budget

The Board of Trustees adopted a proposed budget for 2020. At this moment, the budget shows a loss between income and expenses. In the next few months, we’ll find a way to reduce costs and increase revenue. Urantia Foundation operates with a balanced budget because we have limited resources, and we feel an obligation to our donors to live within our means.

2. Five-Year Planning

The trustees, associate trustees, and executive director have begun the process of planning for the next five years. At the October meeting, we spent a day deciding on the seven most important goals to accomplish during the next five years. Plans for achieving these goals will be decided upon over the next nine months.

In broad terms, here are the objectives:

Books: First and foremost, increase global sales and distribution of The Urantia Book every year by 7%. Our number one duty is distributing the book in as many languages and as many places as reasonable. This goal includes distribution through bookstores, online stores, digital downloads, audiobooks, e-books, and apps.

Funding: Without adequate funding, none of the critical work of Urantia Foundation will be accomplished. We’ve set a goal of increasing our assets from about $6.5 million to $12 million by the end of 2025. That money goes into annual operating budgets, grant giving to individuals and organizations, and into the Revelation Bridge Fund for future generations.

Please include Urantia Foundation in your will. The Urantia Book is one of five epochal revelations in the one million-year history of people living on earth. We are blessed to be the early pioneers of a new revelation, forging the way for spiritual transformation on our world.

Giving to the Foundation is giving to your children and your children's children. That is why the Revelation Bridge Fund was established in 2017. This fund is designed to financially bridge from the baby boomer generation to the upcoming millennial and Gen Y generations. So please, give until it hurts. You won’t miss the money in the next world. Here and now, the Foundation needs your support to put a safety net under the revelation.

Globalization: In many ways, Urantia Foundation looks more like a North American and European organization. We’re going to change how we operate to reflect the global community. Considering that the revelation is spreading throughout the world and especially in Latin America, our obligation is a fair representation of the worldwide community. Between now and July, the globalization team will create plans establishing a global identity, creating educational programs that promote understanding and acceptance of the Urantia Book’s teachings, and increasing global representation in the work of Urantia Foundation.

Translations: During the next five years, several translations and revisions will be completed. Likewise, the initiation of new translations will likely happen. Once finished, Urantia Foundation will collaboratively work with individuals and organizations to spread these translations around the world.

Education: Our focus between now and 2025 falls into two categories: Inner Education−prayer, worship, soul work, and unity−and Outer Education−UBIS, collaborative work with other educational institutions, support of study groups, and providing grants to foster educational efforts.

Succession: Today, Urantia Foundation has five trustees and seven associate trustees. By 2025 our objective is seven-nine trustees and seven-nine associate trustees. We are planning for the board to have an increasingly balanced representation of age, gender, race, and cultural diversity.

Outreach: Our objective is empowering multiple generations of truthseekers, both online and offline, and to promote activities that spread The Urantia Book and its teachings. To accomplish this goal, we need believer unity, volunteers, good educational programs, book distribution, grass roots-level mobilization, and tools to achieve this objective. The watchword in reaching this objective is meeting people where they are—spiritually, intellectually, and culturally. Decentralization is the key to success in reaching new people throughout the world.

3. Supporting Book Fairs in Latin America

Last quarter individuals donated enough grant money to sponsor members of Latin American UAI Associations to attend 12 book fairs in Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, and Peru. Attending book fairs is vital in spreading The Urantia Book in Latin America.

4. Executive Director’s Report

Tamara Strumfeld's office highlights for the third quarter included: 1) completing the staffing transition with Joanne Strobel working from Georgia and the hiring of Ashley Parratore, 2) reducing the property tax increase on 533 Diversey toward a favorable and fair assessment, 3) drafting the 2020 budget, 4) publishing the Japanese translation and launching the Japanese website, 5) publishing the new Russian revision online, 6) publishing the updated Polish translation online, 7) releasing the new search engine in the top four languages at urantia.org, 8) taking steps on building a new Urantia Book Android app, and 9) making progress creating the enhanced e-book that contains The Urantia Book, a comprehensive index, a term list, a pronunciation guide, and a list of all adopted corrections approved by the trustees. The enhanced e-book will be available on Amazon sometime in the next few months.

5. Books

Sales of The Urantia Book were up worldwide by 3%. While Spanish books were down 42% and Russian books down 58%, English books were up 8%, Portuguese books were up 44%, and European sales were up 61%! Polish and German sales were very encouraging when you think about spreading the book throughout the world. Spanish sales appear to be down because of the extensive gift book program in Latin America. If you add the sales from our imprint label, Urantia Press, the numbers get even better. The Untold Story of Jesus—A Modern Biography from The Urantia Book and The Parables of Jesus increased our 2019 volume by 17%. Downloads are also up 10%.

We continue to report details about sales and downloads because our mission is to spread the book and its teachings. While we can’t control the book industry, we do our best to get this mighty revelation into the far corners of the world.

Víctor García-Bory, Mark Hutchings, Gard Jameson, Gary Deinstadt, Marilynn Kulieke, Geri Johnson, Guy Perron, Gaétan Charland, Mo Siegel, Marta Elders, Georges Michelson-Dupont, Tamara Strumfeld, Minoo Treichler, Sherry Cathcart Chavis, Judy Van Cleave
Back: Víctor García-Bory, Mark Hutchings, Gard Jameson, Gary Deinstadt
Middle: Marilynn Kulieke, Geri Johnson, Guy Perron, Gaétan Charland, Mo Siegel, Marta Elders, Georges Michelson-Dupont
Front: Tamara Strumfeld, Minoo Treichler, Sherry Cathcart Chavis, Judy Van Cleave

Foundation Info

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