Catholic Answers, Inc.

To Explain and Defend the Faith

El Cajon, CA   |  https://www.catholic.com/

Mission

A lot of people have misconceptions about the Catholic Church. Catholic Answers is a media ministry that answers questions about what the Church really teaches. Founded 40 years ago, we are the largest organization of our kind. Our Mission Catholic Answers is a media ministry that serves Christ by explaining and defending the Catholic faith. We help Catholics grow in their faith, we bring former Catholics home, and we lead non-Catholics into the fullness of the truth. Our Vision Our goal is to be the most trusted and accessible source for sharing, explaining, and defending the Catholic faith through as many media as possible: from personal contact to the most innovative means of mass communication.

Notes from the nonprofit

Our updated Strategic Plan for the next five years in now in production. It will be posted as soon as available.

Ruling year info

1982

President

Mr. Christopher Check

Main address

2020 Gillespie Way

El Cajon, CA 92020 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

95-3754404

NTEE code info

Roman Catholic (X22)

Religious Radio (X84)

Religious Printing, Publishing (X83)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Sign in or create an account to view Form(s) 990 for 2021, 2020 and 2019.
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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

For decades, the Catholic Church has suffered due to the poor educational development ("catechesis") of its members in the tenets of the Catholic Faith. This has led to great misunderstandings of what the Church actually teaches -- both inside and outside the Church -- causing many members to leave and many outside the Catholic Church to criticize it and its members for things the Church does not actually believe and teach. Catholic Answers, from its humble beginnings, has had as its core mission to explain and defend the Faith to Catholics and non-Catholics.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Catholic Answers Live! Radio

The top-rated show in Catholic radio, Catholic Answers Live! broadcasts live worldwide every weekday from 6-8pm Eastern (3-5pm Pacific) on the Internet and Catholic radio outlets across the US, including the EWTN radio network. Host Cy Kellett and a co-host, from the Catholic Answers studio in San Diego, Calif., answer live call-in questions from listeners during the two-hour show.

Population(s) Served
Christians
Adults

Our magazine is the leading magazine of its genre. What is more, it defies the current trend in print publications in that its circulation is actually growing. This year, we established a program by which the magazine is made available at no cost to Seminarians across the country and in Rome upon request. Already 400 seminarians are participating, and we expect the number to grow.

Population(s) Served
Christians
Adults

Our speakers’ bureau sends some of the top speakers in Catholic evangelization and apologetics all over the world to schools, parishes, and large conferences attended by tens of thousands. Director of apologetics Tim Staples, Trent Horn and Karlo Broussard comprise our traveling speakers team, while senior apologist Jimmy Akin appears regularly on our top-rated radio show and records audio and video content for distribution by the apostolate.

Population(s) Served
Christians
Adults

Our staff apologists answer thousands of questions each year by phone, e-mail and over the Internet, helping people at stages of their spiritual journey. We offer this service for free, and it provides valuable help to countless individuals.

Population(s) Served
Christians
Adults

Each year, Catholic Answers Press, our publishing house, increases its output of books, CDs, DVDs, and pamphlets that address topics ranging from apologetics to comparative religion to scripture study to education of Catholics and non-Catholics on the social justice teachings of the Church. We continue to expand our line of short books, the “Twenty Answers” series. These pamphlets are excellent introductions to what the Church has to teach about current issues of the day: Marriage, Life, End of Life, Atheism, the Church and Science, Prayer, etc. Our product production choices are made in light of spreading the orthodox Catholic Faith and generating revenue for the apostolate. Catholic Answers Press products are promoted by our marketing department to Catholic bookstores, parishes, and schools by our full-time marketing team.

Population(s) Served
Christians
Adults

Held annually in the San Diego area, the Catholic Answers national conference provides a three-day forum during which attendees can hear presentations on issues at the intersection of Faith, culture, and political life, and be inspired and trained to take their Faith into the public square. The 2019 conference drew more than 900 attendees.

Population(s) Served
Christians
Adults

Our largest outreach is our website which sees over 4 million page views per month. Including the largest Catholic forum on the web, our site hosts thousands of articles, video and other resources.

Population(s) Served
Christians
Adults

Video is one of the most popular ways to reach people today, and Catholic Answers is producing more video content than ever including the online Catholic Answers School of Apologetics. Our video content is distributed in DVD form as well as streaming on our website Catholic.com, YouTube, Facebook Live, and the Formed platform. We also offer video product that can be downloaded digitally.

Population(s) Served
Christians
Adults

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of products distributed

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults, Christians

Related Program

Catholic Answers Press

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Catholic Answers produces and distributes print, audio and video products for sale on the Catholic Answers online shop and at conferences. (Amounts listed are total $ amount of sales per year).

Number of adult learners enrolled

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults, Christians

Related Program

Catholic Answers Studios

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

The online Catholic Answers School of Apologetics was founded in 2019 to educate adult Catholics on how to defend their Catholic Faith.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

We strive to be faithful servants to God and his Church. To accomplish this, our focus is to:

- Continue to seek improvements and efficiencies in our existing operations
- Develop new campaigns to address important topical issues as they arise
- Help good Catholics become better Catholics
- Help bring non-practicing Catholics "home"
- Help lead non-Catholics into the fullness of the truth through the Catholic faith
- Continue as good stewards to the financial resources entrusted to us by our supporters.

First, we teach those inside the Church to understand their Faith more completely, equipping them to evangelize others and defend the Catholic faith on their own.

Second, we provide access to in-house lay Church experts ("apologists") as resources to answer questions and give presentations that explain Church teachings, both virtually and in-person. We also facilitate access to Church experts, lay and religious, who are outside our organization.

Third, we attempt to place ourselves in positions in the public square that allow us to directly evangelize people outside the Church, allowing "seekers" to enter into discussion with us as they look for truth in today's world. This takes place through a variety of media, particularly our top-rated Q&A radio show Catholic Answers Live and our website, Catholic.com.

Catholic Answers revenue comes from product sales, magazine subscriptions, events and special projects, speaker honoraria, and donations to the apostolate.

Below is an approximate breakdown of revenue by source in FY 2020-21:

Product sales: 1.4 million
Magazine subscriptions: .44 million
Speaker Honoraria .16 million
Radio Fundraising: .92 million
Website Fundraising: .21 million
General Fundraising: 4.2 million
Events and special projects: .23 million

Our speakers' bureau sends some of the top speakers in Catholic evangelization and apologetics all over the world to schools, parishes, and large conferences attended by tens of thousands.

In the coming years, Catholic Answers intends to maintain and expand all of the programs and projects described above. A few of our immediate projects for expansion concern online programming, as detailed below.

CATHOLIC ANSWERS PODCAST NETWORK
Catholic Answers has developed and begun to implement a plan to affiliate with and support a select group of budding Catholic apologists that can benefit from an association with the Catholic Answers brand. As part of this effort, which includes three such affiliations as of February 2022, the benefit to Catholic Answers is the creation of a "farm team" of future full-time CA apologists, expansion of the reach of the Catholic Answers brand, and an increase in distribution of our multi-media apologetics and evangelization content.

CATHOLIC ANSWERS PODCAST/WEBINAR STUDIO
In support of the above podcast network initiative, and response the increase in demand for Catholic Answers webinars and other virtual interactions, we are in the design stage of a new studio that will stand alongside our state-of-the-art radio studio. Fundraising is in progress now to build out the studio structure in the existing CA headquarters and purchase the necessary equipment to make it a reality.

OUR NEW & IMPROVED MOBILE APP
To remain in the forefront of Catholic media, Catholic Answers developed an updated Catholic Answers Live mobile app for the Android and iOS platforms in 2021. This allows people to stream our programming, which also includes the Catholic Answers Focus and Counsel of Trent podcasts, in a fresh, updated online environment that competes with the best of the secular streaming services with which many of our listeners are familiar. The app will continue to be updated as necessary with the consultation of the original design team and internal stakeholders.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    We serve all of those who are looking for more information about the Catholic Christian faith and what the Church actually teaches, as opposed to what might be reported by secular or social media. Our constituents are most often Catholics seeking to learn more about their own faith and how to defend it against criticism from non-Catholics, but we also interact regularly with non-Catholics who are seeking answers to questions they have about Catholicism, many of which are born out of misunderstandings.

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Suggestion box/email, In-bound Customer Service department,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    Our Customer Service department is now available via chat for someone browsing on our online shop. Previously, a customer had to call in on the telephone to speak with our representatives.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    Our staff, Our board, Our funders,

  • How has asking for feedback from the people you serve changed your relationship?

    Our constituents wish to share with others the impact that Catholic Answers has had on their lives and suggest to us ways that we can increase that impact. By asking more often for feedback from those who interact with us, both live on our global radio show as well as by telephone and email, we have been able to adapt more quickly and better meet the needs of those whose lives we touch.

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback,

Financials

Catholic Answers, Inc.
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Catholic Answers, Inc.

Board of directors
as of 05/24/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Mr. Anthony Jace

Crisis Prevention Institute

Term: 2017 - 2023


Board co-chair

Mr. Charlie Echeverry

Black//Brown Collective

Term: 2017 - 2023

Christoper Check

Catholic Answers

Charlie Echeverry

Black//Brown Collective

Tony Jace

Crisis Prevention Institute, Inc.

Denise Incorvia

UCHealth Longmont Clinic

Sylvia Trumble

Kelsey-Seybold Clinic

Thomas Carney

Weitz Investment Management

Lisa Fischer

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 1/30/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 07/29/2020

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.