On November 3, 1995, God impressed upon the hearts of a particular group of Christians in Southern California to invest time and effort into a new venture utilizing the World Wide Web. Through prayer, the goal became clear: put the Bible up live on the Internet, along with a special set of digital tools, to accelerate the in-depth study of God's Word. The name of the website became Blue Letter Bible, simply because all links to Bible verses were—and still are—blue.
For the first 17 years of Blue Letter Bible's existence, virtually all the funding needed to maintain and grow the ministry came from a Christian foundation known as Sowing Circle. The foundation was created by a group of those mentioned above who were dedicated to equipping Christians worldwide through free in-depth Bible study resources that were otherwise too difficult for most people to obtain.
The 2008 recession and subsequent years had a significant impact on Sowing Circle's ability to continue its operation of BLB. At the same time, BLB was experiencing extraordinary growth in new users and has continually been adding new resources and Bible study tools. However, with this growth came the need for additional funds. The annual budget need had grown to two million dollars.
BLB was at a crossroads. After much prayer and consideration of the options, the Sowing Circle Board of Directors was led to a decision to set up BLB as a stand-alone non-profit organization. BLB would need to raise its own support and ultimately set itself on a path to becoming fully sustainable from its base of dedicated users.
In late 2012, BLB began to make its needs known to users. Since then, thousands of BLB users have responded in amazing ways. We praise God, that through His grace and the financial partnership of thousands of BLB users, we are well on a path to becoming fully sustainable from our user base. Each year gifts from BLB users have grown. Although the budget has also grown, by the end of 2023 we believe we will become 100% user-supported, meaning all our budget needs will be met by our user-supporters and we will no longer have a need for support from Sowing Circle.
Our approach to seeking funds from individuals is different from most non-profit organizations, and some other Christian ministries. Rather than directly asking our users to give us a certain amount, we encourage them to pray about how God might lead them to support the BLB ministry. It is our sincere desire that all support we receive from our partners would be a result of them being led by God to give cheerfully—as unto Him.
For details about the Founding and Guiding Principles Behind BLB's Donor Relations and Funding Model, please see the PDF document linked below, as well as short videos answering the most frequently asked questions about Blue Letter Bible.
Today, more than ever, BLB is committed to strengthening and equipping God's people through His Holy Word. Our heart is to assist all believers everywhere, who desire to grow in their faith by deepening their understanding of God, and of His will for their lives. As a point of interest, the city in the world with the largest number of BLB users is Lagos, Nigeria, as of this writing. BLB is truly making God's Word available across the globe, along with many powerful Bible study resources that are rooted in the historical, conservative Christian faith—for free.
Please consider joining in BLB's mission to exalt the name of God and His Word above all things (Psalm 138:2). As we reach out to millions of people worldwide with our free Bible study resources, you can help us water the seeds that God plants in the hearts of BLB users around the globe.
If you have any questions about BLB funding, or how you might be able to partner with us, please contact our Director of Donor Relations and Development, Alan V. Pearson, CFRE, at (949) 600-6037 or Alan.Pearson@BlueLetterBible.org.
The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.