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Financial Overview

The American Chemical Society (ACS or the Society) was founded in 1876. It is a U.S. not-for-profit corporation whose national charter was approved by the U.S. Congress on August 25, 1937. The Society’s consolidated financial statements include the operations of ACS International, Ltd., a wholly owned international marketing services subsidiary.  The consolidated financial statements also include the accounts of the American Chemical Society Petroleum Research Fund (PRF), an endowment fund established to advance scientific education and research in the petroleum field, and the American Chemical Society Insurance Trust, a grantor trust established to enable members of the Society to purchase insurance coverage through group insurance policies The Society was organized for the purposes of encouraging the advancement of chemistry, promoting research in chemical science, increasing and diffusing chemical knowledge, and promoting scientific interests and inquiry through its meetings, reports, papers, and publications. The Society has more than 152,000 members.

At December 31, 2019, the American Chemical Society had approximately $1.5 billion in assets and annual operating revenues of about $629 million. The Society’s financial activities are reflected in two major categories – ACS Programs and the Petroleum Research Fund Program.

ACS Programs

  • Assets: $908 million
  • Revenues: $608 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 CAS.  The Publications Division publishes a wide range of peer-reviewed scientific journals, periodicals, and books which are available to members and subscribers. CAS analyzes, organizes, and shares scientific information that drives discovery, providing innovative solutions that empower scientists, patent information professionals, and business leaders worldwide. 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, corporations, academic institutions, and government agencies.

American Chemical Society International, Ltd. (ACSI) is a wholly owned subsidiary of the American Chemical Society with physical offices or legal presences in 10 countries and staffing in an additional 12 countries around the globe.  ACSI provides general marketing, consulting and technical support service to many operating Divisions of the ACS including Publications, CAS and Membership.

The ACS Member Insurance Program (the Trust) was established for the purpose of enabling ACS members to apply for insurance coverage through group insurance plans.  Ongoing insurance plans include Annually Renewable Term Life, Ten- and Twenty-Year Level Term Life, International Term Life, High Limit Accidental Death and Dismemberment, Hospital Indemnity, Disability Income, Professional Liability, Chemical Educators Legal Liability, Commercial Business, Pet and Auto/Homeowners Insurance.  In addition, Health Insurance and Long-Term Care Insurance are available through a brokerage service.

The Trust generates revenues from premiums received from program participants, refunds from the insurance carrier resulting from favorable claims experience, endorsement fees, interest and dividends earned on investments, and interest income earned on reserves established to ensure the stability of the program and held by the insurance carrier. Trust expenses include the cost of purchasing group insurance policies, as well as the cost of administering these programs

Petroleum Research Fund Program

  • Assets: $600 million
  • Revenues: $21 million

The American Chemical Society Petroleum Research Fund is a donor-restricted endowment fund established on October 25, 2000 as a result of The Agreement of Transfer of Trust (the Agreement) between the Society and Morgan Guaranty Trust Company of New York, approved by the Attorney General for the State of New York, and ordered by the Supreme Court of New York. The Agreement dissolved the Petroleum Research Fund Trust (the Trust) and transferred the assets to the Society to create the American Chemical Society Petroleum Research Fund (the Fund), the purpose of which is the same as the Trust. The Agreement made the Society responsible for the management and administration of the Fund in an account separate and apart from any other accounts of the Society. As a result of the transfer, the historic dollar value for the Fund was established at $72,500,000, the value of the securities originally donated in 1944 to create the Trust. This amount must be held inviolate as donor-restricted net assets.

Grants are made by the Society in accordance with the provisions of the Petroleum Research Fund Program agreement and are funded through the Fund's net assets, which totaled $600 million in 2019. 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 4% 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 fundamental research in the petroleum field. These grants are expensed when awarded by the ACS Board of Directors and accepted by the recipient.  The Fund awarded approximately $17 million in 2019.

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 Program on the unrestricted net assets of the Society is zero.