At December 31, 2012, the American Chemical Society had approximately $1.2 billion in assets and annual operating revenues of about $518 million. The Society’s financial activities are reflected in two major categories – ACS Programs and the ACS Petroleum Research Fund.
The Society, exempt from federal income tax under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, accomplishes its exempt purpose through a number of programs. These include membership and educational activities such as professional education programs; national and regional meetings, which provide forums for sharing scientific information; and support for the Society’s membership in areas such as 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 community. The Society also provides a significant service to its members and the broader chemistry community in the form of databases pertaining to chemistry 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 2011, scientists worldwide accessed a total of more than 71 million ACS articles via the web and cited ACS journals over 1.8 million times in their research studies. ACS publications ranked #1 in either citations or impact factor in the seven Thomson Scientific ISI® core chemistry subject categories, as well as seven additional Thomson Scientific ISI® categories ranging from multidisciplinary agriculture and environmental science to multidisciplinary materials science polymer science. CAS abstracts and indexes the world’s chemistry-related research literature from nearly 9,500 journals plus chemistry-related patents from 50 patent-issuing authorities around the world. CAS databases are recognized by chemical and pharmaceutical companies, universities, government organizations and patent offices around the world as both the most comprehensive and authoritative sources of chemical and related information. This includes the CAS REGISTRYSM, the gold standard for chemical substances. In fact, CAS is the only organization in the world whose objective is to find, collect, and organize all publicly disclosed chemical substance information. By combining its databases with advanced search and analysis technologies (e.g., SciFinder® and STN®), CAS delivers the most current, complete, cross-linked and secure digital information environment for scientific discovery and research. Other sources of the Society’s revenues include member dues, insurance premiums, registration fees, investment income, and contributions from individuals and institutions to support Society programs.
The ACS Petroleum Research Fund (“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 $494 million in 2012. The assets of the Fund consist primarily of domestic equities, foreign equities, and fixed income securities. Under the terms of the transfer agreement, annual distributions 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.