Free Online Bible Classes | Our Path Toward Sustainability (Private)

Our Path Toward Sustainability (Private)

A good vision is always a sustainable vision. BiblicalTraining has already helped thousands of people in over 220 countries, but now it is time to ensure its availability for the years to come and to grow into what it can become (see our vision and mission statements).


How to Become Sustainable

  • Expand the user base of BiblicalTraining so that donations will cover a larger percent of our operating costs
  • Pursue major donors and grants
  • Raise the budget to cover our actual operating costs

Agents of Growth

  • Partner with BibleGateway on newsletters and joint certificates so we can attract their 8 million user base
  • Increase the community aspects of the site to enable people to work together and enhance brand loyalty
  • Complete the recording of classes so the Institute is a full seminary-level program
  • Expand Certificates to make a significant impact on lay-level training in the local church
  • Focus on churches using landing pages to increase usage in the local church
  • Develop a mobile presence for pushing into China and India


​Projected Plan for Three Years

The numbers for 2010 and 2011 are actual, and 2012-2014 represent what we need to meet our goals.

  2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
Salaries (benefits) * $76,209 $69,263 [1] $122,000 $150,000 $157,500
Fundraising $1,055 $0 $15,000 $20,000 $30,000
Accounting $548 $1,290 $3,600 $3.600 $3,600
Production ** $0 $0 $10,000 $10,000 $10,000
Programming $11,549 $3,055 $10,000 $5,000 $5,000
Certificate partners   $4,033 $10,000 $5,000 $5,000
Donation Processing $1,662 $3,941 $3,000 $3,500 $4,000
Internet $7,099 $5,896 $9,000 $9,000 $9,000
Transcriptions $0 $1,200 $5,000 $10,000 $10,000
Hardware/Software $9,048 $1,261 $5,000 $5,000 $5,000
Office/Travel $2,200 $4,143 $4,000 $5,000 $5,000
Depreciation $4,165 $3,000 $4,000 $5,000 $5,000
Budgeted Income $113,535 $101,595 $190,600 $226,100 $244,100

* The largest growth in expenditures is in salaries. Currently, when income does not match budgeted needs, the staff works less, works on a volunteer basis, or is unable to do its work at all. Salaries include some of the costs of editing the transcripts, and all the work of editing the lectures. The rest of the costs for producing classes is under Production. The rise in costs for Accounting and Fundraising reflect our need for two additional part-time personnel.

** These numbers do not reflect the costs of purchasing video equipment and recording video classes. They are for recording audio courses.




Specifics on achieving our goals

1. Expand User Base

  • If BiblicalTraining increases its user base by 250%, donations will cover the bulk of its normal operating expenses. [2]
  • Transcriptions of the courses will enable Google to do a better job locating us. The transcriptions will also enable us to reach out to the Majority World and are the necessary first step in the translation process, and also reach out to the users in our community that are deaf or hearing impaired. ($20,000) [3]
  • A newsletter distributed by BibleGateway and joint Certificates will expose us to their 8 million users (1.2 billion annual page views) and produce significant revenue.
  • Begin to help create community, loyalty, and a sense of ownership through social media and speaker/community blogs and a mobile app.

2. Major Donors, Grants, and Fundraising

  • Asbury Seminary has offered the service of their grant writer, but much of our time will be committed toward this process.
  • We must complete our donation system that allows us to manage our giving effectively and efficiently, and allows us to communicate with cross-sections of our users. ($6,000 in 2012)
  • We need a part-time fund raiser to help us express our vision and mission clearly and persuasively.
  • We need a part-time accountant to help move us toward ECFA approval and accountability.

3. True Operating Costs

  • Matt needs a raise to industry standards to enable him to make a long-term commitment ($20,000 more a year)
  • Ed needs a full-time salary ($25,000 more a year)
  • Eventually, Bill needs to be paid on a regular basis. ($40,000)
  • We need a part-time programmer. [4]

4. Production of Classes

  • We have not been able to afford to record new classes. While we have about 1,000 hours of instruction, there are ten more classes we need in order to offer the equivalent of a full seminary education. ($30,000 for recording, $20,000 of Ed's time included in salaries for editing and publishing)

5. Certificates

  • We have an extensive list of Certificates that can have significant impact on the church. Costs are for recording; editing is done within salary budget.
  • While the Institute classes work best with audio, the Certificates (in-church lay training, marketplace ministries) require video. We need $15,000 in infrastructure costs to do the video professionally (computer, camera, lights). It has been included in the Leadership Development certificate below. See there for other certificates.

[1] $69,264 represents budget income, but does not represent our true costs as the personnel are being under-paid or not paid at all. The 2012 number reflects adequate payment for Matt and Ed, and the 2013 includes part-time salary for Bill.

[2] Our average yearly donation for the last four years has been $225 ($275 in 2009). In 2010 we had 265 donors (0.88% of our 30,000 mailing list subscribers). They gave $59,802. To meet our goal in 2012 of $206,000, our user base needs to increase by about 250% to 916 donors. 

[3] We already occupy a first screen page rank on Google for prime searches like "free seminary classes" and "free bible classes."

[4] Currently Bill does a lot of the programming and helps our programmer, who does much of the work for free, but the lack of features and stability must be addressed as well as shifting to a newer web technology (Drupal 7) and adding in community features. Issues of video and audio must also be solved so the lessons can also be delivered on mobile devices. (67% of the world has a mobile device; only 22% have broadband.) $15,000 in 2011 is for the technology upgrade, and must be accomplished before we can work with BibleGateway.


Donations and Grants

Please go to our Grants page to see a break down of what we can cover from expected donations, and what grants we will be seeking.

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