Northwestern Publishing House is completely self-supporting, defined as a not-for-profit institution under the IRS code. NPH receives no funds from the synodical budget, relying solely on the sales of its products and on grants for its continued operation. Revenues in excess of expenses go back into the development of new products and services for the constituency it serves.
Periodically, the publishing house is required to invest in capital equipment and building improvements in order to remain a viable and efficient operating arm of the church. For the most part, cash reserves are used for this purpose.
Each agency of the church has a stewardship responsibility to function in accordance with sound business principles. But it is imperative that NPH service its constituents effectively, not only that its ministry may truly serve but that it may generate the financial resources necessary for expanding its ministry and producing products without being dependent on denominational resources.
Because it is a self-funded arm of the church, NPH experiences an ongoing balancing act between ministry and the bottom line. Some publications that are important to the ministries of our constituency do not generate enough revenue to cover production and distribution costs. More profitable publications must be produced and sold in sufficient quantities to provide funding for the needed but unprofitable products.
We know we’re not working for the bottom line, but our ministry can’t work effectively without a healthy bottom line. We have a stewardship responsibility to manage our business as a ministry and our ministry as a business. The support of WELS congregations, schools, pastors, teachers, and laity is vital to the long-term viability of NPH.