Financial Overview

At December 31, 2014, the American Chemical Society had approximately $1.3 billion in assets and annual operating revenues of about $531 million. The Society’s financial activities are reflected in two major categories – ACS Programs and the ACS Petroleum Research Fund.

ACS Programs

  • Assets: $775 million
  • Revenues: $507 million

The Society is generally exempt from federal income tax under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and accomplishes its exempt purpose through a number of educational and membership programs. These include continuing education programs, national and regional meetings that provide forums for sharing scientific information, employment services, and public outreach. In addition, the Society provides expert testimony at the federal, state, and local government levels on topics relevant to the chemistry enterprise. The Society also provides a significant service to its members and the chemistry enterprise in the form of print and electronic scientific journals and databases pertaining to chemical and related scientific information.

The principal sources of funding for the Society’s activities include net revenues generated by the Publications Division and the Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) Division.  The Publications Division publishes a wide range of scientific journals, periodicals, and books and delivers cost-effectively to customers, highly valued, essential information to sustain scholarship and discovery in the chemical sciences and related disciplines. In 2014, scientists worldwide accessed a total of 89 million ACS articles via the web and the June 2014 Journal Citation Reports released by Thomson Reuters reported that ACS journals received more than 2.4 million total citations and ranking #1 in citations in each of the seven core chemistry categories. ACS Publications was honored with two prestigious PROSE Awards from the Association of American Publishers’ Professional and Scholarly Publishing Division: ACS Synthetic Biology was recognized with the AAP PROSE Award for Best New Journal and ACS ChemWorx received the PROSE Award for Best New App or e-product.  The annual PROSE Awards celebrate the best in professional and scholarly publishing. Dedicated to the ACS vision of improving people’s lives through the transforming power of chemistry, the Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) team of highly trained scientists finds, collects and organizes all publicly disclosed substance information, creating the world’s most valuable collection of content that is vital to innovation worldwide.  Researchers and patent professionals around the world rely on SciFinder® and STN® from CAS for solutions that advance the scientific enterprise by enabling discovery and facilitating workflows.  In 2014, CAS established the foundation and built the infrastructure to transform the organization from a publisher to a solutions provider. In addition to providing the largest and highest quality content, CAS is now able to deliver innovative, new solutions for intellectual property and science professionals. CAS ended 2014 with a rich portfolio of new services ready for the market in early 2015.  Other sources of the Society’s revenue include member dues, insurance premiums, registration fees, investment income, and contributions from individuals and institutions to support Society programs.  Products and services are sold domestically and in overseas markets, principally to Europe and Asia.  The Society’s diverse clientele is composed of its members and other chemistry-related practitioners, chemical and other industrial corporations, academic institutions, and government agencies.

ACS Petroleum Research Fund

  • Assets: $569 million
  • Revenues: $24 million

The ACS Petroleum Research Fund (“the Fund”) was established in 1944 by seven oil companies as a perpetual trust to advance science education and fundamental research in the petroleum field. The American Chemical Society was designated in the original trust agreement as the income beneficiary responsible for administering the research grants program. In December 2000, as a result of a petition to the State of New York to increase the annual distributions, the trust was terminated and the ACS was given complete control over the ACS Petroleum Research Fund, subject to the provisions for the use of the funds contained within the original Trust Agreement. The provisions of the transfer agreement provided for the creation of a Fund endowment, totaling $72.5 million. This endowment is to be held inviolate and is therefore permanently restricted.

Grants are made by the Society in accordance with the provisions of the ACS Petroleum Research Fund agreement and are funded through the Fund's net assets, which totaled $551 million in 2014. The Fund’s investments consist primarily of domestic equities, foreign equities, fixed income securities and hedge funds. Under the terms of the transfer agreement, annual payouts from the Fund are capped at a maximum spending rate of 5% of the net asset value of the Fund over a rolling three-year average. The Society uses distributions from the Fund to make grants to further the advancement of scientific education and research in the petroleum field. These grants are expensed when awarded by the ACS Board and accepted by the recipient.

Investment income earned on the Fund endowment is temporarily restricted until used to support the activities of the Fund, including administrative costs. Temporarily restricted funds are released from restriction in an amount exactly equal to the grants awarded and administrative expenses incurred each year. Therefore, the net financial impact of the ACS Petroleum Research Fund on the unrestricted net assets of the Society is zero.