2021 Impact Report | Living by Design Ministries

2021 Annual

Impact Report

By Ryan & Sarah Koontz

We can hardly believe that we are entering our fifth year as a nonprofit ministry.

According to Forbes, more than 50% of all nonprofits fail or stall within a few years due to leadership issues and/or lack of a strategic plan.

Starting something new and seeing it succeed requires sustained, focused effort.

It also requires great personal sacrifice.

Over the past several years, we have done absolutely everything in our power to ensure the stability and success of this ministry.

Even so, God deserves full credit for the results of our effort.

When we think of Living by Design Ministries and the impact we’ve had in such a short period of time, we are profoundly amazed by what God can do when we simply make ourselves available to Him.

There is no moving on from this. Creating free Bible studies is our now thing, our next thing, and our forever thing.

We are all in and will continue to devote our time, talents, and treasures to this ministry as long as the Lord wills.

And we are happy to do the hard work of fundraising if it means we can continue to create high-quality free Bible study resources for our growing community.

Our Annual Impact Report contains an overview of the many ways our free Bible study resources are equipping Christian women to explore the beauty of God’s design for their lives.

We pray the stories, statistics, and strategy you see in our Annual Report inspire you to invest in this vital kingdom work!

Picture of the Koontz Family


Ryan and Sarah Koontz believe that God’s Word is the only source of absolute truth in a world that praises tolerance and ambiguity. They founded Living by Design Ministries to help Christians of all ages open their Bibles, understand what they are reading, and apply the freeing truths to their lives. 

Ryan Koontz holds a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering and works full-time at South Dakota School of Mines & Technology. He also serves as the chairman of the board for Living by Design Ministries, and his leadership skills have helped establish a solid foundation of financial stewardship and wisdom for this ministry.

Sarah Koontz is a trained Biblical counselor who has never found a problem or person beyond the reach of God’s living and active Word. She is passionately devoted to furthering the mission of Living by Design and currently serves as the ministry’s president and Bible study author. Sarah is also homeschooling their two teenage daughters and pursuing a Master’s Degree in Christian Education from Dallas Seminary.  

“I found Living by Design Ministries through an internet search in 2015. This ministry presents God’s message in a unique & special way that makes you understand the things of God better. It has made reading the Word of God more fun and enjoyable for me. It has helped shape my relationship with God in many ways. It’s ‘a must-visit’ website for every believer!”– Martha from Kenya

How we impact women graphic

The heartbeat of this ministry is to give without cost from the spring of living waters. We believe that God’s Word is an overflowing spring of life-giving water.

The Bible illuminates the way to the Father, reveals the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and teaches us how to make the most of the life God has given us. It is a free gift to all who seek its peace, power, and provision.

We currently have fifteen free Bible studies available on-demand through our ministry website. 

Core Values

We believe that God’s Word is the only source of absolute truth in a world that praises tolerance and ambiguity. Therefore, we exist to create biblical resources that help Christian women:

1. KNOW THE TRUTH: Our free Bible study resources equip and inspire Christian women to diligently study and faithfully apply biblical truth to their lives.

2. BE TRANSFORMED BY THE TRUTH: Our free Bible study resources build a bridge between professing Christians and the life-changing power of God’s Word. 

3. SHARE THE TRUTH IN LOVE: Our free Bible study resources help Christian women grow in maturity and equip them to lovingly share their faith with others.

Impact Report: 2021 By the Numbers

new subscribers

We deliver tens of thousands of Bible study e-mails to inboxes every single week and maintain at least a 40% open rate.

62% of our readers are women, 65% of our visitors use mobile devices, and 44% of our readers are ages 18-34.

website visitors
Countries Reached

60% of our readers are from the USA, Canada, UK, and Australia. 16% of our readers are from Africa and 7% are from Asia.

We reached more than 1 million people through our social media platforms in the past year.

Social Media Friends

Impact Stories

I was retrenched (laid-off) from my job during to the pandemic, and would not have been able to participate in multiple Bible studies this year if there had been a cost associated with them. It is so encouraging to know that there are people who care about my spiritual growth and are willing to invest in this free Bible study ministry. – Amanda from South Africa

I have learned more in just a few days of studying with Living by Design than I have in months elsewhere. I can understand the way Sarah explains the Bible, just a little bit at a time. Thank you and bless you for all you do! – Phyllis from New York 

I am truly moved and encouraged by how much of what you have shared in blog posts and SOULfood e-mails matched up with what God has been teaching me recently. Thank you for your incredible ministry. – Allyssa from Wisconsin

Thank you so much for your online Bible studies! My women’s small group is discussing these weekly via Zoom, and so they are an invaluable tool in this pandemic season. – Rhonda from Vancouver

Thank you so much for these Bible studies. I am impressed with the way the material is presented, the content, and the many extras you provide to make the study inspiring and beautiful. – Janice from South Dakota

I have been connected to Living by Design Ministries for about three years. I like Sarah’s approach because she makes me feel like a friend. – Priscilla from Texas

I have never seen anyone give as freely and wholeheartedly as Sarah Koontz. Her heart and nature come through her words and I love it. Thank you blessed lady for sowing into my life. – Glenalea from South Africa

2021 financials

Impact Report: 2021 Financials

We view our donors as partners and ambassadors of Living by Design Ministries.

Thank you for joining us in the fight for Bible literacy around the globe.

In 2021, we received financial donations from 270 families.

Your faithful financial gifts came from 48 states and 13 different countries.

Thanks to your generosity, we were able to raise 64% of our full operating budget this calendar year.

This year, we were able to pay 50% of staff salaries for the second year in a row.

Praise the Lord for His abundant provision!

We so are grateful for the 132 individuals who made a donation to our free Bible study ministry for the first time in 2021 and for the 48 families who set up recurring donations this past year.

Thank you for giving so we can continue to give!

Giving by Design Testimonial

Impact Report: Giving by Design

Giving by Design is the mission arm of Living by Design Ministries. Our goal is to invest 10% of the donations we receive from our Discipleship Team in Bible literacy projects around the world.

  • First Quarter – We made a $400 donation to World Vision’s International Bible Fund. World Vision provides access to Scripture for families earnestly seeking to grow in their faith. The International Bible Fund provides Bibles to World Vision communities based on specific needs expressed for each country.
  • Second Quarter – “Your donation allowed Wheat and Honey Co. to have the EXACT amount of Bibles needed for each guest at our Wheatful Women event to have a personal Bible to encounter the Lord through, pray over, and journal in for a woman rescued by Freedom Shield.” – Britt Goff, founder of Wheat & Honey Co.
  • Third Quarter – “During the Gospel Crusade in Tanzania, Africa, 24 adults and 32 children were born again. We are thankful to Sarah Koontz and Living by Design Ministries for sponsoring the crusade. Your donation helped us buy 50 Bibles to give to the new converts, as well as gospel tracts to hand out to attendees.” – Pastor Sondus Siggalah
  • Fourth Quarter – We donated 17 beautiful study Bibles and 17 Living by Design tote bags to a Black Hills Area ministry called Love INC (or Love in the Name of Christ). These Bibles will be given to new Christians, or renewed Christians, when they graduate from one of the many Life INC programs offered in local churches around the Rapid City, SD area.

If you would like to support this outreach of our non-profit ministry financially, we invite you to join our Discipleship Team by setting up a monthly recurring gift today.

2021 awards and recognition

I am thankful that God has given us the strength to “stay the course” over the past five years, and I am blessed to know that I do not have to carry the weight of this ministry on my own shoulders.

I must confess that there were many moments during these foundation-building years when I questioned my ability to carry on in ministry.

I wondered if I would be able to overcome the obstacles in front of me without depleting myself completely.

But God met me in those moments of wonder and weakness and gave me the wisdom I need to continue this work.

Being in full-time ministry has taught me so much about my own limitations and the limitless power of Almighty God to provide for His work and His people.

I’d love for you to join us on this journey! We are so much stronger together than we could ever be on our own.

Sarah Koontz
President of Living by Design Ministries

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Picture of About the Author: Sarah Koontz

About the Author: Sarah Koontz

Sarah Koontz is the founder of Living by Design Ministries, a non-profit organization that exists to deliver free Bible Studies to inboxes around the world. She is a passionate storyteller who enjoys using illustrations to communicate deep spiritual truths. Sarah and her husband Ryan live on thirteen acres in the heart of the Black Hills, SD. They have two beautiful daughters, a rowdy flock of chickens, and a house full of foster kittens. Sarah is an avid gardener, a faithful coffee drinker, lover of one-pot-dinners, an unexpected homeschooler, and a Dallas Seminary student.

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