We recently returned from the International Christian Retail Show (ICRS) in Denver. It is sponsored by Christian Booksellers Association (CBA). This year’s event was the 60th annual convention. This is the largest Christian Retail Show in the country. The purpose of the show for NGJ is to have Christian and church bookstores sell NGJ material.
The attendance this year was down about 20% from 2008 according to CBA. International attendees numbered 534, down 28% from last year, with 56 countries represented at the Show.
Despite smaller numbers than previous years, No Greater Joy did very well. By the end of the first full day, we had surpassed last year’s totals. By the end of the show we did more business than the three previous ICRS shows combined. We were prepared for the show!
To attract new business and to reward the stores that do business with us, we offered a higher discount than in previous years and free shipping only if they ordered and paid at the show. This promotion was widely successful. We signed up 20 new accounts with 10 of them being located overseas, and spoke to at least 20 international customers about rights agreements. We have distributors selling our material all over the world. The Gospel message is being spread by others that purchase our material. The profit we make on the sales go right into funding the ministry part of NGJ.
The reason we are sharing this is the business part of our ministry. The sale of our top 10 best sellers provides the income to minister to others throughout the world. If we did not stay on top of the latest business and marketing ideas to continually expand our income base, we would not be able to minister adequately. We are a small ministry that is making a big impact. We have several parts to our ministry:
As a Ministry we support missionaries in other countries, provide free material to prisons, send military packages out to active duty military personnel and their families, and have provided the funding to translate and print Good and Evil into 25 languages as well as create an Arabic website for Good and Evil.
No Greater Joy is dedicated to the advancement of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. For this reason we filed the proper forms to have the privilege of operating as a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization under religion. This provides us with several advantages. Among them are: we do not pay federal or state income tax, we do not pay sales tax on our purchases, we often receive higher discounts, reduced rates on mailings and several other financial advantages.
To maintain this status we file the appropriate federal and state paperwork each year, and undergo an audit by an independent CPA firm. Several times a year we are asked why we are willing to be under federal and state authority. If we were a for profit business, we would have to complete the same amount of paperwork, but at the end of everything have at least $100,000 per year in taxes due that are now being used for ministry purposes. It is a great tradeoff.