SIL International

The information on this page was last updated 1/25/2022. If you see errors or omissions, please email:


SIL International is a faith-based nonprofit organization committed to serving language communities worldwide as they build capacity for sustainable language development.

Contact information

Mailing address:
SIL International
7500 W. Camp Wisdom Road
Dallas, TX 75236-5629


Phone: 972-708-7400


Organization details

EIN: 751840827

CEO/President: Dr. Michel Kenmogne

Chairman: Hans Combrink

Board size: 15

Founder: William Cameron Townsend

Ruling year: 1983

Tax deductible: Yes

Fiscal year end: 09/30

Member of ECFA: Yes

Member of ECFA since: 2020


We long to see people flourishing in community using the languages they value most.

SIL's service with ethnolinguistic minority communities is motivated by the belief that all people are created in the image of God, and that languages and cultures are part of the richness of God's creation. SIL is founded on the principle that communities should be able to pursue their social, cultural, political, economic and spiritual goals without sacrificing their ethnolinguistic identity. As a faith-based nonprofit organization, SIL works alongside language communities as they discover how to harness the power of their language to address challenges and reach their goals.

Mission statement

Inspired by God's love, we advocate, build capacity, and work with local communities to apply language expertise that advances meaningful development, education, and engagement with Scripture.

Statement of faith

Donor confidence score

Show donor confidence score details

Transparency grade


To understand our transparency grade, click here.

Financial efficiency ratings

Sector: Foreign Missions

CategoryRatingOverall rankSector rank
Overall efficiency rating679 of 103178 of 123
Fund acquisition rating170 of 103323 of 123
Resource allocation rating669 of 103373 of 123
Asset utilization rating981 of 1031120 of 123

Financial ratios

Funding ratiosSector median20202019201820172016
Return on fundraising efforts Return on fundraising efforts =
Fundraising expense /
Total contributions
Fundraising cost ratio Fundraising cost ratio =
Fundraising expense /
Total revenue
Contributions reliance Contributions reliance =
Total contributions /
Total revenue
Fundraising expense ratio Fundraising expense ratio =
Fundraising expense /
Total expenses
Other revenue reliance Other revenue reliance =
Total other revenue /
Total revenue
Operating ratiosSector median20202019201820172016
Program expense ratio Program expense ratio =
Program services /
Total expenses
Spending ratio Spending ratio =
Total expenses /
Total revenue
Program output ratio Program output ratio =
Program services /
Total revenue
Savings ratio Savings ratio =
Surplus (deficit) /
Total revenue
Reserve accumulation rate Reserve accumulation rate =
Surplus (deficit) /
Net assets
General and admin ratio General and admin ratio =
Management and general expense /
Total expenses
Investing ratiosSector median20202019201820172016
Total asset turnover Total asset turnover =
Total expenses /
Total assets
Degree of long-term investment Degree of long-term investment =
Total assets /
Total current assets
Current asset turnover Current asset turnover =
Total expenses /
Total current assets
Liquidity ratiosSector median20202019201820172016
Current ratio Current ratio =
Total current assets /
Total current liabilities
Current liabilities ratio Current liabilities ratio =
Total current liabilities /
Total current assets
Liquid reserve level Liquid reserve level =
(Total current assets -
Total current liabilities) /
(Total expenses / 12)
Solvency ratiosSector median20202019201820172016
Liabilities ratio Liabilities ratio =
Total liabilities /
Total assets
Debt ratio Debt ratio =
Debt /
Total assets
Reserve coverage ratio Reserve coverage ratio =
Net assets /
Total expenses


Balance sheet
Receivables, inventories, prepaids$6,433,642$5,503,097$6,044,611$6,021,907$4,980,990
Short-term investments$0$0$0$0$0
Other current assets$0$0$0$0$0
Total current assets$27,044,851$19,877,799$25,300,520$21,693,146$20,357,007
Long-term investments$39,072,672$37,781,830$36,189,866$33,426,438$30,981,088
Fixed assets$30,312,980$27,633,935$29,260,706$30,433,645$32,511,943
Other long-term assets$1,801,171$1,527,587$1,239,572$1,812,637$1,120,585
Total long-term assets$71,186,823$66,943,352$66,690,144$65,672,720$64,613,616
Total assets$98,231,674$86,821,151$91,990,664$87,365,866$84,970,623
Payables and accrued expenses$26,973,181$21,356,034$23,250,980$20,037,352$18,815,095
Other current liabilities$2,083,314$719,292$600,134$482,681$366,669
Total current liabilities$29,056,495$22,075,326$23,851,114$20,520,033$19,181,764
Due to (from) affiliates$0$0$0$0$0
Other long-term liabilities$432,285$415,630$399,607$384,190$376,092
Total long-term liabilities$432,285$415,630$399,607$384,190$376,092
Total liabilities$29,488,780$22,490,956$24,250,721$20,904,223$19,557,856
Net assets20202019201820172016
Without donor restrictions$62,242,398$58,508,385$60,568,222$59,877,752$58,308,885
With donor restrictions$6,500,496$5,821,810$7,171,721$6,583,891$7,103,882
Net assets$68,742,894$64,330,195$67,739,943$66,461,643$65,412,767
Revenues and expenses
Total contributions$26,880,971$25,918,427$26,976,968$25,854,576$27,387,840
Program service revenue$8,322,176$10,188,109$11,004,733$10,913,053$11,186,279
Membership dues$0$0$0$0$0
Investment income$636,478$834,736$2,401,120$3,179,134$1,323,897
Other revenue$1,630,585$1,960,099$1,673,715$2,088,728$1,157,801
Total other revenue$10,589,239$12,982,944$15,079,568$16,180,915$13,667,977
Total revenue$37,470,210$38,901,371$42,056,536$42,035,491$41,055,817
Program services$30,509,793$32,241,084$32,472,137$38,074,074$37,454,205
Management and general$6,815,408$9,052,628$8,197,660$2,939,988$3,618,139
Total expenses$37,452,784$41,401,056$40,738,865$41,043,117$41,102,336
Change in net assets20202019201820172016
Surplus (deficit)$17,426($2,499,685)$1,317,671$992,374($46,519)
Other changes in net assets$0$0$0$0$0
Total change in net assets$17,426($2,499,685)$1,317,671$992,374($46,519)


Michel KenmogneExecutive Dir.$148,276
Mark RobinsonDirector$74,448
George ShultzSecretary$60,532
Daniel AgeeDirector$50,862
Eleanor Berry - Assist TreasurerCOO$45,755
Sunny HongDirector$39,718
Donald P Buhler - CFOTreasurer$31,467
Liz Thomson Vice ChairDirector$25,733
Mary PearceDirector$22,332
Yuko Takata - OutgoingDirector$20,705
Eugene C Burnham - AssistantSecretary$8,454
Aboubakari SamaDirector$7,927

Compensation data as of: 9/30/2020

Response from ministry

No response has been provided by this ministry.

The information below was provided to MinistryWatch by the ministry itself. It was last updated 1/25/2022. To update the information below, please email:


The principal founder of SIL International was William Cameron Townsend (1896-1982). He began cross-cultural work with the Kaqchikel people of Guatemala in 1919. By 1929, Townsend's vision had broadened to include other peoples who also needed language development. SIL International (then known as the Summer Institute of Linguistics) began in 1934 as a summer training program in Arkansas, USA, with two students. The enrollment of these summer classes grew each subsequent year.

Kenneth L. Pike (1912-2000) was one of five students in the 1935 course. He began work on the Mixtec language in the state of Oaxaca, Mexico. This work launched Pike into his life-long work in linguistics and the study of language in the context of human behavior. Dr. Pike served as President of SIL until 1979.

Program accomplishments

As of 2020, we are involved in approximately 1,350 active language projects in 104 countries. These projects impact more than 1.1 billion people within 1,600 local communities. SIL's work brings together more than 4,300 staff from 89 countries who work alongside thousands more local partners and community volunteers worldwide. Our services are available without regard to religious belief, political ideology, gender, race or ethnic background.