Mission: Founded in 1899, Christian Record Services for the Blind, located in Lincoln, Nebraska, has nearly 18,000 members throughout the United States and in countries around the world. Membership and services are free to anyone who is legally blind.

Our mission is to empower people who are blind to engage their communities and embrace the Blessed Hope. The organization offers an array of free services and programs:
-Free Bibles in large print, Braille, and audio formats
-A correspondence Bible school, with lessons available in large print and Braille
-Anne Lowe Scholarships awarded annually
-Books and magazines in audio, Braille, and large print
-The Naomi Chapman Turner Library, which maintains more than 2,000 resources
-National Camps for Blind Children
-PhoneFaith, offering daily dial-in presentations created by and for people who are blind.

Christian Record Services, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) organization, with an IRS ruling year of 1980, and donations are tax-deductible.

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Contact Information

  http://www.christianrecord.org

 5900 S 58th Street
Ste M
Lincoln NE 68516 

  P.O. Box 6097
Lincoln NE 68506

  402-488-0981


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Star Rating System by Charity Navigator


Charity Navigator evaluates a nonprofit organization’s financial health including measures of stability, efficiency and sustainability. We also track accountability and transparency policies to ensure the good governance and integrity of the organization.




Good

This charity's score is 84.19, earning it a 3-Star rating. Donors can "Give with Confidence" to this charity. 

This score is calculated from two sub-scores:

This score represents Form 990 data from 2019, the latest year published by the IRS.

View this organization’s historical ratings.


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Star Rated Report

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Program Expense

Program Expense Ratio

60.0%


The Program Expense Ratio is determined by Program Expenses divided by Total Expense (average of most recent three 990s).


This measure reflects the percent of its total expenses a charity spends on the programs and services it exists to deliver. Dividing a charity's average program expenses by its average total functional expenses yields this percentage. We calculate the charity's average expenses over its three most recent fiscal years.


Source: IRS Form 990

Administrative Expenses

20.2%


As reported by charities on their IRS Form 990, this measure reflects what percent of its total budget a charity spends on overhead, administrative staff and associated costs, and organizational meetings. Dividing a charity's average administrative expenses by its average total functional expenses yields this percentage. We calculate the charity's average expenses over its three most recent fiscal years.


Source: IRS Form 990

Fundraising Expenses

19.7%


This measure reflects what a charity spends to raise money. Fundraising expenses can include campaign printing, publicity, mailing, and staffing and costs incurred in soliciting donations, memberships, and grants. Dividing a charity's average fundraising expenses by its average total functional expenses yields this percentage. We calculate the charity's average expenses over its three most recent fiscal years.


Source: IRS Form 990

Liabilities to Assets Ratio

5.1%


The Liabilities to Assets Ratio is determined by Total Liabilities divided by Total Assets (most recent 990).


Part of our goal in rating the financial performance of charities is to help donors assess the financial capacity and sustainability of a charity. As do organizations in other sectors, charities must be mindful of their management of total liabilites in relation to their total assets. This ratio is an indicator of an organization’s solvency and or long term sustainability. Dividing a charity's total liabilities by its total assets yields this percentage.


Source: IRS Form 990

Fundraising Efficiency

$0.18


The amount spent to raise $1 in charitable contributions. To calculate a charity's fundraising efficiency, we divide its average fundraising expenses by the average total contributions it receives. We calculate the charity's average expenses and average contributions over its three most recent fiscal years.


Source: IRS Form 990

Working Capital Ratio

1.72 years


Determines how long a charity could sustain its level of spending using its net available assets, or working capital, as reported on its most recently filed Form 990. We include in a charity's working capital unrestricted and temporarily restricted net assets, and exclude permanently restricted net assets. Dividing these net available assets in the most recent year by a charity's average total expenses, yields the working capital ratio. We calculate the charity's average total expenses over its three most recent fiscal years.


Source: IRS Form 990

Program Expense Growth

24.26%


We compute the average annual growth of program expenses using the following formula: [(Yn/Y0)(1/n)]-1, where Y0 is a charity's program expenses in the first year of the interval analyzed, Yn is the charity's program expenses in the most recent year, and n is the interval of years passed between Y0 and Yn.


Source: IRS Form 990

Governance


Charity Navigator looks to confirm on the Form 990 that the organization has these governance practices in place.


Sources Include: IRS Form 990

Governance:
Independent Voting Board Members  ... (More)
No Material Diversion of Assets ... (More)

A diversion of assets – any unauthorized conversion or use of the organization's assets other than for the organization's authorized purposes, including but not limited to embezzlement or theft – can seriously call into question a charity's financial integrity. We check the charity's last two Forms 990 to see if the charity has reported any diversion of assets. If the charity does report a diversion, then we check to see if it complied with the Form 990 instructions by describing what happened and its corrective action. This metric will be assigned to one of the following categories:

  • Full Credit: There has been no diversion of assets within the last two years.

  • Partial Credit: There has been a diversion of assets within the last two years and the charity has used Schedule O on the Form 990 to explain: the nature of the diversion, the amount of money or property involved and the corrective action taken to address the matter. In this situation, we deduct 7 points from the charity's Accountability and Transparency score.
  • No Credit: There has been a diversion of assets within the last two years and the charity's explanation on Schedule O is either non-existent or not sufficient. In this case, we deduct 15 points from the charity's Accountability and Transparency score.
(Less)
Audited Financials Prepared by Independent Accountant ... (More)

Audited financial statements provide important information about financial accountability and accuracy. They should be prepared by an independent accountant with oversight from an audit committee. (It is not necessary that the audit committee be a separate committee. Often at smaller charities, it falls within the responsibilities of the finance committee or the executive committee.) The committee provides an important oversight layer between the management of the organization, which is responsible for the financial information reported, and the independent accountant, who reviews the financials and issues an opinion based on its findings. We check the charity's Form 990 reporting to see if it meets this criteria.

  • Full Credit: The charity's audited financials were prepared by an independent accountant with an audit oversight committee.

  • Partial Credit: The charity's audited financials were prepared by an independent accountant, but it did not have an audit oversight committee. In this case, we deduct 7 points from the charity's Accountability and Transparency score.
  • No Credit: The charity did not have its audited financials prepared by an independent accountant. In this case, we deduct 15 points from the charity's Accountability and Transparency score.
(Less)
Does Not Provide Loan(s) to or Receive Loan(s) From Related Parties ... (More)
Documents Board Meeting Minutes ... (More)
Distributes 990 to Board Before Filing ... (More)
Compensates Board ... (More)

Policies


Charity Navigator looks to confirm on the Form 990, or for some metrics on the charity's website, that the organization has these policies in place.


Sources Include: IRS Form 990 and organization's website

Policies:
Conflict of Interest  ... (More)
Whistleblower ... (More)
Records Retention and Destruction ... (More)
CEO Compensation Process ... (More)
Donor Privacy ... (More)

Donors have expressed extreme concern about the use of their personal information by charities and the desire to have this information kept confidential. The exchanging and sale of lists for telemarketing and the mass distribution of "junk mail," among other things, can be minimized if the charity assures the privacy of its donors. Privacy policies are assigned to one of the following categories:

  • Yes: This charity has a written donor privacy policy published on its website, which states unambiguously that (1) it will not share or sell a donor's personal information with anyone else, nor send donor mailings on behalf of other organizations or (2) it will only share or sell personal information once the donor has given the charity specific permission to do so.

  • Opt-out: The charity has a written privacy policy published on its website which enables donors to tell the charity to remove their names and contact information from lists the charity shares or sells. How a donor can have themselves removed from a list differs from one charity to the next, but any and all opt-out policies require donors to take specific action to protect their privacy.
  • No: This charity either does not have a written donor privacy policy in place to protect their contributors' personal information, or the existing policy does not meet our criteria.

The privacy policy must be specific to donor information. A general website policy which references "visitor" or "user" personal information will not suffice. A policy that refers to donor information collected on the website is also not sufficient as the policy must be comprehensive and applicable to both online and offline donors. The existence of a privacy policy of any type does not prohibit the charity itself from contacting the donor for informational, educational, or solicitation purposes.

(Less)

Partial

Transparency


Charity Navigator looks to confirm on the Form 990, or for some metrics on the charity's website, that the organization makes this information easily accessible.


Sources Include: IRS Form 990 and organization's website

Transparency:
CEO Salary Listed on 990 ... (More)
Board of Directors Listed on Website ... (More)
Key Staff Listed on Website ... (More)
Audited Financial Statements on Website ... (More)
Form 990 Available on Website ... (More)

Additional Information

Unscored

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Total Revenue and Expenses

Total Revenue and Expenses

This chart displays the trend of revenue and expenses over the past several years for this organization, as reported on their IRS Form 990.

Salary of Key Persons

Presented here are this organizations key compensated staff members as identified by our analysts. This compensation data includes salary, cash bonuses and expense accounts and is displayed exactly how it is reported to the IRS. The amounts do not include nontaxable benefits, deferred compensation, or other amounts not reported on W-2. In some cases, these amounts may include compensation from related organizations. Read the IRS policies for compensation reporting



Diane Thurber, Secretary

$69,488 (3.30% of Total Expenses)


Source: IRS Form 990 (page 7), filing year 2019

Business Master File Data

Below are some key data points from the Exempt Organization IRS Business Master File (BMF) for this organization. Learn more about the BMF on the IRS website


Activities:

Publishing activities (BMF activity code: 120)

Aid to the handicapped (see also 031) (BMF activity code: 160)

Library (BMF activity code: 061)


Foundation Status:

Organizations operated solely for the benefit of and in conjunction with organizations described in 10 through 16 above.  509(a)(3) (BMF foundation code: 17)


Affiliation:

Independent - the organization is an independent organization or an independent auxiliary (i.e., not affiliated with a National, Regional, or Geographic grouping of organizations). (BMF affiliation code: 3)

Data Sources: IRS Forms 990

The Form 990 is a document that nonprofit organizations file with the IRS annually. We leverage finance and accountability data from it to form Encompass ratings. Click here to view this organization's Forms 990 on the IRS website (if any are available).

Pandemic Response

Due to the unprecedented nature of the pandemic, we give charities such as this one the opportunity to share the story of COVID's impact on them. Charities may submit their own pandemic responses through their nonprofit portal.


Christian Record Services, Inc. reported being impacted by COVID-19 in the following ways:
  • Program Delivery


How COVID-19 impacted the organization's operations financially:

While we did see a dip in giving in March, April and May, our wonderful donors responded in the second half of the year with even greater giving. The organization did not apply for a PPP loan, and remained in a solid financial position throughout 2020.


How COVID-19 impacted the organization's delivery of programs:

Christian Record Services, Inc. utilizes the postal service to send the vast majority of books and publications to members; we needed to change our incoming mail processes for a period of time, and became aware that mail took longer to be delivered to members in some regions of the United States. Christian Record Services also launched our newest program, PhoneFaith, in 2020, and we are so grateful for the funding that allowed us to offer offer daily dial-in presentations available that strive to inform, encourage, and inspire the mind, body, and spirit through mental health and wellness sessions, social meet-and-greet interactions, Bible games, and prayer time. Learn more about current programs at www.PhoneFaith.org or call 209-399-9465.


How this organization adapted to changing conditions caused by COVID-19:

Flexibility was key! The administrative team had already moved forward with installing Microsoft 365 for all staff members, and the collaborative environment offered through Teams, and Zoom, was helpful in keeping staff connected while most were working from home. The administrative team also established an office/work-from-home schedule to comply with local health directives.


Innovations the organization intends to continue permanently after the pandemic:

For members, Christian Record Services will continue to promote and support PhoneFaith, whose live, daily call-in programs have been a wonderful source of connection and growth for people who are blind. For staff, the administrative team developed new flex schedule policy options and work-from-home policy options, to provide greater flexibility for employees.


Historical Ratings

Date PublishedForm 990 FYEOverall ScoreOverall Rating
Rating Version: 2.1
3/1/20212019 84.19
12/1/20202018 77.61
9/3/20192018 77.43

This organization received multiple star ratings within this fiscal year, due to an update to it's Accountability and Transparency data and/or the receipt of an amended Form 990.

4/1/20192017 73.82
2/1/20182016 73.07
12/1/20162015 74.51
6/1/20162014 76.56
Rating Version: 2.0
11/1/20152014 72.32
6/1/20152013 76.02
12/1/20132012 72.20
6/1/20132011 70.21
12/1/20112010 70.65
9/20/20112009 70.49
Rating Version: 1.0
2/1/20112009 58.86
4/1/20102008 55.72
12/1/20082007 59.38
12/15/20072006 58.32
12/1/20062005 57.46
12/1/20052004 59.35
10/1/20042003 58.15

...   Impact & Results


This score estimates the actual impact a nonprofit has on the lives of those it serves, and determines whether it is making good use of donor resources to achieve that impact.


Impact & Results Score

Not Currently Scored

Christian Record Services, Inc. cannot currently be evaluated by our Encompass Rating Impact & Results methodology because either (A) it is eligible, but we have not yet received data; (B) we have not yet developed an algorithm to estimate its programmatic impact; (C) its programs are not direct services; or (D) it is not heavily reliant on contributions from individual donors.

Note: The absence of a score does not indicate a positive or negative assessment, it only indicates that we have not yet evaluated the organization.

Learn more about Impact & Results.

Do you work at Christian Record Services, Inc.? Join the waitlist for an updated Impact & Results score.


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Additional Information

Unscored

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Largest Programs

Largest Programs



Christian Record Services, Inc. reported its three largest programs on its FY 2019 Form 990 as:


$436,764

Spent in most recent FY

30%

Percent of program expenses


Public Information and Education: The Organization utilized postal mail, email. speaking engagements, person-to-person contacts, social media, and a publicly-available website to inform and educate th ... (More)


$183,090

Spent in most recent FY

12%

Percent of program expenses


Magazine subscriptions are available to clients who request them in braille, large print and audio. A selection of magazines are also available in Spanish. The lending libarary lends more than 1,400 t ... (More)


$807,826

Spent in most recent FY

56%

Percent of program expenses


National Camps and Other Direct Services: Coordinate with National Camps for Blind Children to send legally blind children and adults to camps at various locations across the United States. The camps  ... (More)


...   Leadership & Adaptability


This score provides an assessment of the organization's leadership capacity, strategic thinking and planning, and ability to innovate or respond to changes in constituent demand/need or other relevant social and economic conditions to achieve the organization's mission.


Leadership & Adaptability Score

100

out of 100

The score earned by Christian Record Services, Inc. is a passing score.

Encompass Rating V4 provides an evaluation of the organization's Leadership & Adaptability through the nonprofit organization submitting a survey response directly to Charity Navigator.


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Leadership & Adaptability Report

100

of 100 points

Mission

The nonprofit organization presents evidence of strategic thinking through articulating the organization’s mission


Christian Record Service’s mission is to empower people who are blind to engage their communities and embrace the Blessed Hope.


Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Vision

The nonprofit organization presents evidence of strategic thinking through articulating the organization’s vision.


Christian Record Services seeks to empower people who are blind, through their own lived experience, with access to programs and services that provide opportunities and encouragement to create meaningful connections in their communities of choice, and offer hope for their faith journey.


Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Strategic Goals

The nonprofit organization presents evidence of strategic thinking and goal setting through sharing their most important strategic goals.


Goal One: Enhance marketing and communication with identified audiences, including rebranding, website enhancement, and increased social media presence.

Goal Type: This goal reflects our commitment to further our advocacy work for our organization and or cause area.


Goal Two: Strengthen core mission, including establishing best practices for member engagement, expanding accessible library content, expanding PhoneFaith, surveying members, and expanding NCBC

Goal Type: Grow, expand, scale or increase access to the existing programs and services.


Goal Three: Cultivate and steward donor relationships to deepen engagement, resulting in greater sustained support for the ministry and its goals

Goal Type: Invest in the capacity of our organization (financial, management, technical, etc.).


Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Leadership Development

The nonprofit provides evidence of investment in leadership development


Describe an investment in leadership

The 2021-2023 Strategic Plan, voted by the Board of Directors in September 2020, includes the goal to provide opportunities for administration, directors, and support staff to continue to grow professionally and add new skills to enhance ministry and performance satisfaction. Administration participates in ongoing online nonprofit leadership development opportunities and conventions. Directors participate in professional growth opportunities and are encouraged to cross train with their staff to help develop the leadership skills in others. This goal includes an investment of both allocated time and financial resources.

Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Mobilizing for Mission

The nonprofit provides evidence of leadership through focusing externally and mobilizing resources for the mission.


This organization mobilizes for mission in the following ways:
  • Strategic Partnerships

  • Networks of Collective Impact Efforts

  • Thought Leadership

  • Raising Awareness

  • Community Building

What are this organization’s external mobilizaton efforts?

Christian Record Services participates in conventions held by National Federation of the Blind, American Council for the Blind, Adventist Community Services, local Rotary Club, Lions Clubs, and other organizations to share information about free programs and services available to people who are legally blind. We also collaborate with publishing houses to produce materials in accessible formats, including HarperCollins, Zondervan, and Bible.org. As requested, staff are available and participate in speaking engagements to share information about the programs and services available. Community building, training and/or organizing: Staff participate in a local Rotary Club, as well as multiple opportunities to offer input and training for entities connected to the Seventh-day Adventist Church. We maintain a collaborative association with Adventist Possibility Ministries and NAD Disability Ministries advisories and taskforces. Maintain four different social media accounts.

Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Story of Adaptability

The nonprofit has an opportunity to tell the story of how the organization adapted to tremendous external changes in the last year.


In 2020, administration and the ministry team determined early on to continue services to our members with the least amount of interruption as possible, even if the organization had to pivot and operate in new ways to maintain the safety of its team and those we serve. Except for some postal service delays, services continued. Blind camps were postponed to 2022 because of local health directives related to COVID-19 that prevented the camps from operating; however, virtual campfires were offered to help bridge the connection for fellowship and support. Recognizing the added isolation and loneliness being experienced by our members due to the pandemic, a new program was launched--PhoneFaith, to help combat the mental health issues surfacing and revealed through surveying our members. Programming was intentional to raise awareness about anxiety, depression, and suicide, while continuing offer other relevant programming. Relevant resources were offered, such as the book, Tears to Joy, to help members process grief. A mental health series for youth is being planned for distribution yet this year. Fundraising appeals were strengthened to encourage consistent giving during the pandemic, and we were pleased many of our donors gave above and beyond their regular giving pattern to support the ministry in this uncertain time.

Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

...   Culture & Community


This score provides an assessment of the organization's engagement with the constituents it serves, a practice we term Constituent Feedback. When organizations listen to constituents, they are able to better deliver on programs and meet the needs of stakeholders. A future version of this Beacon will also assess an organization's people operations and its Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) metrics.


Culture & Community Score

Not Currently Scored

Christian Record Services, Inc. is currently not eligible for a Culture & Community score because we have not received its Constituent Feedback data. Nonprofit organizations are encouraged to fill out the How We Listen section of their Candid profile. This data will provide the basis for the initial evaluation of Culture & Community.

Note: The absence of a score does not indicate a positive or negative assessment, it only indicates that we have not yet evaluated the organization.


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Culture & Community Report

Unscored

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Constituent Feedback

Constituent Feedback


Constituent Feedback and Listening Practice data are not available for this organization. Nonprofit organizations are encouraged to fill out the How We Listen section of their Candid profile. This data will provide the basis for the initial evaluation of Culture & Community.


Charity Navigator believes nonprofit organizations that engage in inclusive practices, such as collecting feedback from the people and communities they serve, may be more effective. We award every nonprofit that completes the Candid survey full credit for this Beacon, in recognition of their willingness to publicly share this information with the nonprofit and philanthropic communities. Although the data is not evaluated for quality at this time, future iterations of this Beacon will include third party or other data that will serve to validate the information provided by the nonprofit.

Analysis and Research


Like the overall Encompass Rating System, the Culture & Community Beacon is designed to evolve as metrics are developed and ready for integration. Our partnership with Feedback Labs and Guidestar by Candid, and other partners including Fund for Shared Insight, GlobalGiving, and Keystone Accountability, enables us to launch the first version of this beacon with Constituent Feedback information collected on Candid's site.


Feedback practices have been shown to support better Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion outcomes, an essential area of assessment that we intend to further expand and develop in the future. Feedback Labs has documented several studies which indicate that beyond achieving organizational goals, nonprofits that are attentive and responsive to concerns and ideas raised by beneficiaries establish stronger relationships with the people they serve, promote greater equity, and empower constituents in ways that can help to ensure better long-term outcomes. You can find resources to help nonprofits improve their feedback practices here.

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