Who and What is CBA?
The basic definition: CBA is the Association for Christian Retail.
But through the years, "CBA" has come to mean so much more.
"CBA" is sometimes used to describe a type of product or a type of store. At times "CBA" might be used as an adjective to describe an author, or artist, or musician. Through the years, "CBA" has also been shorthand for the main industry convention each summer, the largest annual gathering of Christian retailers and suppliers in the world.
Yet "CBA" is first and foremost a membership organization based in Colorado Springs. In fact, it's most accurate to say that CBA is our members, and that CBA is located wherever our members are.
CBA was formed as the "Christian Booksellers Association" in 1950 in Chicago, IL, within the same incredible 10-year span that saw the start of important evangelistic organizations like the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, Campus Crusade for Christ, The Navigators, World Vision, and Youth for Christ.
In this context, CBA was founded by visionary publishers and retailers who realized that working together was necessary to improve operations, consistency, and, most importantly, the spread of God's Word.
For nearly 60 years, CBA has operated as a nonprofit trade association to help improve business conditions for Christian retail. Officially, CBA is recognized by the IRS as a 501(c)(6) organization (which has different requirements and obligations than the more well-known 501(c)(3) organizations like ministries, churches and private schools have).
In 2002, the IRS reported that there existed over 71,000 such tax-exempt organizations. The IRS recognizes the tax exempt status of trade associations that are 1) not organized for profit and 2) of which no part of the net earnings benefit any private shareholder or individual.
As such, CBA has been the trade association for the Christian Retail Channel, serving the interests and meeting the needs of thousands of member Christian stores who diligently provide Bibles, Christian books, curriculum, apparel, music, videos, gifts, greeting cards, children's resources, and other materials to communities worldwide.
CBA and our member stores also work with hundreds of associate member supplier companies, including book publishers, music companies, and gift companies.
Additionally, CBA has a special partnership with the recently formed ChristianTrade Association International. Together, CTAI and CBA serve the meeting and information needs of more than 1,000 Christian stores and suppliers in over 50 countries around the world in addition to the thousands of CBA members in the United States.
It is our privilege and pleasure to do all we can to grow a healthy and successful Christian Retail Channel by equipping our members with highly valued business solutions.
In the coming months, we'll be adding answers to some of the most Frequently Asked Questions about what this all means. What is CBA free to do? What restrictions exist on CBA the organization or CBA members?
Click here to suggest a question that you would like addressed in the FAQs.
-- 1950 --
CBA's Original Statement of Purpose
as Stated in the Incorporation Documents
(Source: His Time, His Way: The CBA Story)
This organization has been established to create a worldwide trade organization...for the following purposes: