Friday, December 29, 2006

Answers in Genesis revenue declines by 50% in 2005

UPDATE (December 30, 2006): Please note that the 2005 Form 990 filing only covers January-June 2005 (as AiG changed to a July-June fiscal year in 2005), so the heading on this post is inaccurate. I've made an embarrassing mistake by failing to notice those dates on the very top of the first page of the Form 990, and I take responsibility for it. I apologize for the error. If you multiply each of the 2005 figures by two, you will get an approximation to the full-year numbers. While this still yields a decline in revenue from seminars, it shows an increase in overall revenue and donations--and an increase in many salaries, as well.

I've just been reviewing the 2005 Form 990 filing from Answers in Genesis of Kentucky, the first one filed since its split from Creation Ministries International in October 2005. (I've previously commented on their 2003 and 2004 Form 990's.) They have seen a huge drop in revenue, which appears to be largely due to a drop in overall donations from the public and decreased attendance at their seminars. They've been spending a lot of money on their creationism museum, and it looks like they are counting on it to be a growing, if not the primary, source of their future revenue. In response to this revenue decline, the senior staff have all taken significant cuts in pay. This drop in revenue is likely not attributable to the CMI split, since that didn't become public knowledge until the end of February 2006.

On to the details...

In 2004, Answers in Genesis of Kentucky (AiG-US) saw $10,423,222 in revenue.

In 2005, their revenue dropped to $5,429,923--a nearly 50% decline.

The specific revenue numbers show that donations dropped from $7,754,247 in 2004 to $3,978,239 in 2005, program service revenue (from seminars and "charter memberships" in their creationism museum) dropped from $629,644 in 2003 to $270,350 in 2004, and gross profits from sales of inventory (sales minus cost of goods sold) dropped from $2,025,619 in 2004 to $1,124,438. This suggests a decline in interest in what Answers in Genesis is selling. The only positive changes in their revenue picture were in sales of non-inventory assets (including securities), where they went from a $12,683 loss in 2004 to an $822 gain in 2005, and in "other revenue," where they went from $12,683 in 2004 to $13,798 in 2005.

To get more specific, AiG-US saw $414,265 in event registrations, $116,403 in "royalties and other revenue," and $98,976 in museum memberships in 2004, and $122,317 in "seminars" (apparently the same as event registrations) and $148,033 in "charter memberships" in 2005, so they have seen an increase in museum membership revenue. In 2005 "royalties" were listed as a separate income item, producing $39,119 in revenue, but it's not clear if that's an increase or a decline without knowing what "other revenue" contributed to the 2004 figure.

This is a reversal from years of growth--revenue from donations in earlier years was $5,189,344 in 2001, $6,066,719 in 2002, $7,240,646 in 2003, and $7,698,294 in 2004 (this is the number reported in the 2005 Form 990; it is $55,953 lower than the above number from the 2004 Form 990).

On the spending side of the ledger, total functional expenses went from $8,320,926 in 2004 to $5,038,225 in 2005. They have, wisely, considerably cut their salary expenses, from $926,837 for officers and directors and $2,852,301 for other salaries in 2004 to $369,068 for officers and directors and $1,918,300 for other salaries in 2005. Ken Ham's salary went from $121,764 in 2004 to $60,000 in 2005; CFO James Hatton's salary went from $81,000 to $42,500; General Counsel John Pence's salary went from $93,115 to $46,500; VP of Museum Operations Mike Zovath's salary went from $90,201 to $42,500; VP of Administration Kathy Ellis's salary went from $86,068 to $39,500; VP of Marketing and Media Dale Mason's salary went from $115,621 to $55,000; VP of Events Outreach Mark Looy's salary went from $85,615 to $42,500; and VP of Ministry Relations Carl Kerby's salary went from $65,112 to $40,568. COO Brandon Vallorani left the organization in September 2004 in events apparently related to the AiG/CMI split (about which I'll write more at a later time), so his 2004 salary of $90,344 did not reappear in 2005's expenses.

Despite this substantial decline in revenue, AiG-US still had an increase in net assets. It wasn't anything close to the $2,102,296 surplus they saw in 2004, but they still took in $391,698 more than they spent, bringing them to $11,673,847 in net assets (assets minus liabilities). They ended 2005 with $17,656,767 in assets (of which $14,311,948 is buildings and land) and $5,982,920 in liabilities. They have a cushion of $1,664,682 in cash and $2,602 in savings at the end of 2005, versus the $2,502,777 in cash and $10,104 in savings at the beginning of the year. Their inventories for sale have increased from $1,165,982 to $1,223,151, so it doesn't look like they're accumulating a huge backlog of unsold items. Their building is funded by a $3,500,000 mortgage from Fifth Third Bank, payable in three annual payments in 2005, 2006, and 2007; they made the first payment in 2005 and had a balance of $2,360,000 at the end of the year.

One person associated with AiG-US who seems to have done better in 2005 than in 2004 is board member and audit review committee member Tim Dudley. In statement 11 in the 2005 Form 990, it's reported that AiG-US purchased $485,565 in books and literature from New Leaf Publishing, the president of which is Tim Dudley.

You can find AiG-US's 2003 Form 990 here, their 2004 Form 990 here, and their 2005 Form 990 here. Anyone who finds anything else interesting in these, I welcome your comments.

They still make a whole lot more money than the National Center for Science Education, to which I urge readers to make a financial contribution.


bizbroker said...

Uh ... Mr. Lippard might want to actually READ the Form 990 before publishing his gleeful, foam-at-the-mouth conclusions about AiG.

If he actually would take this unprecedented-for-a-typical-skeptic step, he would have noticed this little phrase at the top of the Form 990 ...

"For the calendar year 2005, or tax year beginning Jan 1, 2005 and ending Jun 30, 2005."


No wonder you guys have swallowed the Grand ToE Fairy Tale. You can't even read a report.

This is so blatant, I will be creating a blog post of my own at to give the Lippard blog a little publicity.

I will also be commenting on this at Panda's Thumb (After the Bar Closes) where I have been shining a spotlight on ToE Nonsense for many months under the name "afdave".

Lippard said...


I am embarrassed at my error, and you are correct.

I was looking for technicalities such as a separation of the museum resources into a separate legal entity, but I failed to notice at the top of the report that it is only a report for the first six months of 2005 rather than a full-year report. I'm not an accountant, and I've not previously seen a six-month Form 990 (though I have seen non-calendar-year Form 990s).

I will proceed to do what creationists almost never do, and apologize for and post a correction to my error.

Einzige said...

That's a pretty easy mistake to make, when you consider that Guidestar only lists one form 990 for 2005, and all the prior years' forms are for full tax years.

By the way, Dave, can you point to any creationists who are willing to admit to mistakes they've made?

Blasher said...

@ Einzige . . . I'd like to know what mistakes Creationists have made.
Please point me to any.

Lippard said...

Blasher: You are either joking or you haven't investigated. See the TalkOrigins Archive (and in particular Mark Isaak's Index of Creationist Claims) or the online archives of the Creation/Evolution journal, for example.

Honest creationists acknowledge that there have been numerous creationist errors.

Many appear to be, if not blatantly deliberate, at least willfully repeated without any attempt at correction.