How is GotQuestions.org funded?
I remember the first donation we ever received. It came several months after we launched GotQuestions.org. An individual had submitted numerous questions to us. He responded with an email that essentially said, "I have had these questions for years and you guys have answered them all. Thank you so much! I want to make a donation. Are you guys tax deductible?"
It blew me away. I never imagined anyone would want to donate to GotQuestions.org. The idea that anyone would want to give money to what was, at that time, just a fun little hobby, had never even crossed my mind. We were not yet a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, but the questioner decided to donate anyway. When the second such offer arrived, we decided to undertake the 501(c)(3) process. After some paperwork, a few phone calls with the IRS, and a few discussions with experts in non-profit law, Got Questions Ministries was an approved 501(c)(3) tax exempt non-profit organization.
Even with the tax advantages, it still surprises me how many people will donate to an organization with which they have had no "real world" contact. But, the comments are very consistent. Most people donate because we have answered their questions with a focus on what the Bible has to say. We offer a service that many people find extremely valuable and important. Therefore, they find it worthy of their financial support.
We do very little fundraising. We occasionally ask for support from our Question of the Week subscribers. We have an online donation page. That's about it. We do not want people to think we do this for the money. We do this as a ministry. We believe there is a tremendous need for an online Bible question and answer service. We do this because we believe it is the ministry God has designed for us, and designed us for. Yes, the ministry needs money to operate. But, it is not about the money. We do not charge for anything that we do, and never will.
We want people to donate because they believe in what we are doing and have been spiritually benefitted in some way. We want people to donate because they want to have an eternal impact with their finances, and believe GotQuestions.org to be a ministry through which God is reaching the world with the gospel.
Recognizing the sacrifices our donors make on our behalf, and recognizing the responsibility God has given us to steward these funds wisely, we are committed to managing our finances in such a way that they have the greatest potential impact.
So, what does GotQuestions.org do with the money it receives?
In 2018, GotQuestions.org had approximately $1,168,000 in income. Of that, 84% was from donations and 16% was from advertising. What do we do with the money?
Simply put, we spend the money on what we believe to be the priorities God has given us. The major expense categories are as follows:
Payroll for our eight employees = 36%
Translations = 14%
Video production = 10%
Paid article writers = 6%
Webhosting = 5%
Software = 4%
Programming = 3%
The remaining approximate 22% is spread out over 18 other expense categories.
A common way for a ministry to categorize its expenses is to divide them into three sections: Program Services (the actual work of the ministry), Administration (the behind the scenes work that makes the ministry possible), and Fundraising (money spent with the goal of bringing in more money). Applying this division to our 2018 expenses results in the following:
Program Services = 85%
Administration = 14%
Fundraising = 1%
As any Christian ministry or organization should do, our financial reports are available upon request. We are always ready, willing, and able to answer any questions about how we raise and/or spend money.
That vast majority of GotQuestions.org donors are "small" donors. We are not reliant on "large" donors to make ends meet. We strive to budget based on the small donations we can reasonably expect to receive. That way, when large donations do come in, we can use those funds to amplify or expedite something that is already taking place.
God is good. Since the day I stepped out in faith and became an employee of Got Questions Ministries, the ministry has never been unable to pay a paycheck or bill. Are there some projects that are essentially on hold due to a lack of funds? Yes. But, we view these as waiting for God's timing.
We seek God's will in all that we do and trust that He will provide what we need. We covet your prayer support, and if you are able and so led, your financial support.
Thank you, Lord, for the honor and responsibility of overseeing Got Questions Ministries. Thank you, donors, for the financial sacrifices you make that enable the ministry to continue!
"Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you." (Luke 6:38)
"Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously." (2 Corinthians 9:6)
"Honor the LORD with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce; then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine." (Proverbs 3:9-10)
S. Michael Houdmann
How is GotQuestions.org funded?