PEERS Annual Report 2009
I'd like to take this opportunity to thank you. The network of PEERS sites is truly inspiring and resourceful. I've never heard of anything quite like it. Reading one well written and well researched insightful article always links to several more. ~~ David M. on 6/2/2009
PEERS (Public Education and Empowerment Resource Service) was officially incorporated in January 2006 as a nonprofit umbrella organization for the 11 websites now under its management. As of the end of 2009, PEERS has been building community and providing inspiration and education free of charge to many millions of interested people around the globe for four years. With a total volume in 2009 of 1.6 million visits, and with visitors from over 200 countries, the empowering work on our websites is reaching and inspiring ever more people around the world.
The most exciting new developments of 2009 are two new online courses offered free of charge, and a greatly expanded video section which has become quite popular. The Inspiration Course went live on May 28th and the Hidden Knowledge Course on July 12th. And we now have over 70 top quality videos hosted on our own website. More on all of these later.
PEERS had a total income of $26,689 in 2009, down about 35% from $41,365 in 2008. The economic recession and decreased number of people completing our online courses combined to give us our first ever year-on-year decrease in donations. The actual number of individuals and organizations contributing, 243, was actually up slightly from the previous years' 240, so the decrease was largely due to a lower average amount of donation. For example, only three people donated $1,000 or more, compared with eight the previous year.
The number of people making monthly contributions was 37 in 2009, exactly the same as in 2008. Yet again, the amounts were significantly smaller on average, with the largest contributor giving $50 month, where the previous year two individuals gave $100/month and one $500/month. Yet considering that almost all nonprofits were hit hard financially in the last year, we are most fortunate to have been able to cut back on expenses and end up in the black for the year.
The good news for our budget is that once our technical expert Andrey finished designing our new community portal in June, we were able to reduce the number of hours he worked for PEERS quite a bit. As he was our biggest expense, we were able to cut back significantly on expenses. Total expenses for the year were $23,491, down quite a bit from last year's $35,208. So even with the decrease in donations, PEERS actually ended up with $18,374 in the bank, up from $15,176 in 2008. And thankfully, I didn't need to donate anything from my own savings in 2009.
Our two major expenses last year were $9,600 for Andrey's expert work on our new community portal and other invaluable technical help, and $9,050 for Tod's excellent weekly news summaries which are posted on WantToKnow.info and sent to our large list of subscribers. The remaining $4,841 went to Internet expenses, software, books and DVDs, supplies, insurance, and more. To see the QuickBooks form listing profit and loss figures for PEERS in 2009, click here. For our profit and loss since inception, click here. For our balance sheet as of the end of 2009, click here.
The statements at the above links were prepared without official audit of our books and records, though they have been carefully reviewed by me, as the executive director, and certified by Treasurer Beth Reuter. PEERS had no liabilities at the end of the year. All donations were unrestricted. We had a net gain last year of $3,199. This is actually quite a pleasant surprise all things considered. We are extremely grateful to all of our caring supporters who made this possible.
Two New Courses Launched
The most exciting development for PEERS this year was the launch of both the Inspiration Course and the Hidden Knowledge Course. The Inspiration Course contains material from only the inspiring lessons of our Insight Course, while the Hidden Knowledge Course contains largely material from the lessons on deep politics and cover-ups from that course. Both new courses are 11 lessons in length compared to 21 lessons in both the Insight Course and the Transformation Course. With the addition of these new inspiring and educational courses, PEERS now manages 11 websites.
The average number of people journeying through one of these courses at any time is about 100, though many of these don't finish. Only 30 people completed one of our courses last year, with 22 of those being the Transformation Course. No one has completed the Inspiration Course and four have completed the Hidden Knowledge Course. Almost everyone who has completed a course has given glowing reviews and often significant donations. One man from Israel was deeply grateful upon completing the Hidden Knowledge Course and contributed $150.
We've made lots of great additions to all the courses. Powerful and thought-provoking quotes and beautiful photos now grace every lesson. Transformation Course graduate and Native American Spyder Webb also gave us permission to use his awesome Sacred Cows comic strip. I went through his hundreds of strips and pulled out the best one for each lesson. The added humor is truly a great addition. We regularly receive great suggestions from our thankful readers.
All of our four courses provide a rich variety of deeply inspiring and educational materials. Even though not many are taking them, we are hopeful that these heart and mind expanding courses may become more popular some day. Those who complete one of the courses can join in the many engaging conversations of nearly 150 caring individuals who are now members of our new community networking portal at www.gatheringspot.net.
Expanded Video Section on Personal Growth Courses Website
With Andrey's capable assistance, we were able to download and host almost all of the videos in our courses and many others related to our other websites. We now have some of the most inspiring along with the most powerfully educational videos available on the Internet. The inspiration and education video sections are separate, though there is also a link between them.
Because of the very high quality of the videos, in recent months the Personal Growth Courses website, where they are all now posted, has been averaging over 1,000 views per day. We received many emails and messages of gratitude for one or more of these videos. The website is currently ranked around 275,000 out of roughly 200 million websites worldwide, second only WantToKnow.info (ranked about 120,000) of the PEERS websites.
Other PEERS Websites
Thanks to Andrey's most awesome creativity and expertise, we now have a wonderful new look on almost all of our websites. It's a big improvement, especially on Moment of Love, Web of Love, and our PEERS website. The new look for WantToKnow.info is also quite beautiful. This and many other small improvements have helped to make our work appear much more professional. We also have created seamless interconnectivity between the websites that works very well.
The total number of visits to our websites were down from 2.3 million in 2008 to 1.6 million in 2009. If you subtract the perceptual experiment video, which went viral and brought in nearly 1 million visits in 2008, we had a slight increase in visits overall. 1.2 of the 1.6 million went to our most popular website, WantToKnow.info. At over 3,000 visits per day, this was up slightly from 2008. And our subscriber lists continue to grow. The WantToKnow.info list now has more than 7,500 and the Inspiration and Education list over 1,800 subscribers from 120 countries around the world.
The Web of Love website had the steepest decrease of any website at 28%. Yet with an average of over 350 visits a day this year, it's still our third most popular (personalgrowthcourses.net took second) and getting lots of interest. The Dutch version of WantToKnow.info, which you can find at http://www.WantToKnow.nl, though not part of PEERS and now significantly different from our website, is receiving a very respectable 2 - 4,000 visits a day.
We continue to rank very high in countless search engine inquiries. Most notable this year were our reaching #1 ranking for life purpose, personal growth, and news articles. The #1 ranking for these three is not consistent, but even to get into the top 10 on these major searches is pretty amazing. About half of all our visits come through searches on search engines. Other great news is that Harry Ballantyne, the Chief Actuary of Social Security from 1982 - 2000 contacted us to express for the first time his desire to support the 9/11 movement. We're moving powerfully forward.
We continue to get lots of great and grateful feedback on many of our websites. I'll include just a couple of the wonderful emails we got here. We received literally a couple dozen emails of this caliber last year and many more in strong support of our work.
"I feel at a loss for words right now. My heart feels such joy and gratitude that tears are flowing. Thank you for having the courage to break free and share the truth, for allowing yourself to shine. Thank you for creating such an amazing website, full of such powerful information and insights. Abundant blessings." – Kay P. in email to PEERS, Feb. 1, 2009
"The course is excellent. It helped me to know that there are others who are trying to find the balance between uncovering the darker side and honoring the light and love that we each are. I give the course an A+." – Tom Hansen, Ph.D., June 30, 2009 on final evaluation of the Transformation Course
"You inspired me today. I took the liberty of using several of your articles as the basis for a project for my College Statistics Class ... also a sneaky way of introducing WantToKnow.info to my unsuspecting and unaware students. This should be a real wake up call! THANK YOU!!!!!!!" – Kathleen G. on WantToKnow.info, Aug. 31, 2009
"I am thrilled to have found you! I am a publicist working within the body/mind/spirit genre and have introduced your site to several of my clients and would like to see if there is a way I can personally get your site some exposure (radio predominantly). Please get in touch with me at your convenience. I look forward to seeing what we can do together." – Suzanna Gratz in email to WantToKnow.info July 28, 2009
The writer of the last email is a wonderful professional promoter. Before finding our websites, some events happened causing Suzanna to realize that key forces in our world were being hidden from her. So she put out a prayer to be shown the deeper realities. The next morning, a good friend emailed inviting her to take a look at WantToKnow.info. After exploring a couple hours, she was astounded, and the next day sent us the above email.
Suzanna has gone on to volunteer as an awesome promoter for our work. Since then, I've had radio or Internet interviews almost every week. And they have consistently been not only great fun, but profound as far as getting the message out that each one of us can make a difference, and it's a wonderful time to join in transforming our planet. Let us all express deep gratitude to Suzanna for her welcome support.
Things are shaking big time in our world. The banking manipulations and economic crisis have opened the eyes of many people to the deeper levels of what is happening in our world. And people all over seem to be awakening to the deeper spiritual realities and to our common humanity. It's an exciting time to be alive. We believe that PEERS is at the forefront of a grand movement to transform our world into a more loving supportive place for all people to live. Thanks so much to all of you for your invaluable support in this most noble endeavor.
I continue to be VERY impressed, amazed and humbled by your site and all the work you do. This truly is great evolutionary work! Thank you again and again! ~~ Karen B. on 7/30/2009
PEERS 2009 Annual Report
Compiled and Written By
PEERS Executive Director