PEERS 2015 Annual Report
Celebrating 10 Years of Making a Difference
"I have transformed in a profound way. You have helped me to find myself and step into my power. You have helped me to understand myself, to discover who I truly am. This has changed my life forever. Thank you. I know I have so much more to learn, so much more to do.....but you have given me back to myself. You illuminated the whole house when I saw only one room."
~~ Carri H., Sept. 4, 2015 on completing the Transformation Course
PEERS (Public Education and Empowerment Resource Service) was officially incorporated in January of 2006 as a nonprofit umbrella organization for the 12 websites focused on education and transformation now under its management. In keeping with the desire to create a new paradigm for our world, everything offered by PEERS is free of charge. We are able to survive and even thrive thanks to the many generous donations of our supporters and volunteers.
As of the end of 2015, PEERS has provided inspiration and education to many millions of caring people around the globe for 10 years. As we celebrate our 10th anniversary in January of 2016, we are thrilled to have received over 24 million visits and 40 million page views to our websites. PEERS continues to touch countless people's hearts and make a difference in our world in a most meaningful way.
"If this world is to be saved, it will be because of people like you."
~~ Wayne H. on WantToKnow.info, April 10, 2015
Thanks to our many awesome supporters, we managed to end up in the plus column this year financially. And the number of email list subscribers continued to grow. Yet we also experienced a decrease in the number of visits to our websites. The total number of visits decreased by 17% compared to the previous year. The reason for this drop is that over 60% of visits come from search engines – mostly Google – and Google changed its search parameters in mid-2014 in a major way, such that we now appear in a significantly lower ranking in most searches than before the change.
Yet even with the drop, our websites had a total volume for 2015 of over 2.3 millions visits and 3.4 million page views. This works out to over 6,000 visits and 9,000 pages views a day, which is still quite respectable. The number of subscribers to our two email lists combined increased by just shy of 1,000, so that we now have well over 16,000 subscribers from over 160 countries. And the great news it that eight of our 12 websites were made cell phone compatible this year. As over 1/3 of our visits now come from cell phones, this change was long overdue.
The total income of PEERS in 2015 was over $78,000, up 5% from the 2014. As expenses for the year were slightly less than income, we ended the year $888 in the plus column. Considering the drop in number of visits, this is quite respectable. The total number of donors rose from 720 to 760, while the number of supporters giving monthly contributions increased dramatically from 122 to 165, with the total donated now about $2,200 per month. Many thanks to awesome volunteer Will Spencer, whose "Get the red out" campaign brought in about 50 new monthly donors. PEERS continues to be solid financially and to make a difference in many people's lives.
"Despite everything that is happening that looks negative, it is easier to remain hopeful about the prospects for a better and more peaceful world when you can visit websites like those you have created. I've become uplifted and re-energized as well as educated about what is really happening on our beautiful planet. Thanks again for all you do." ~~ Jo E. in Australia., Nov. 27, 2015
The Personal Growth Courses
Since launching our first online course in 2007, over 300 individuals have now registered and completed one of our four free courses, while many hundreds more have done so without registering. And almost every registered participant gives glowing reviews upon completion of a course. Here's a sampling from those who took a course this year:
"This course really helped to pull me out of an angry, bitter, depression. I felt like nothing in the world could possibly go right and that I was stuck being a victim of circumstance. After beginning this course and seeing the videos, I really started feeling uplifted. Many of the essays were also extremely thought-provoking, causing me to question everything I've ever known. I'm so, so happy to have re-discovered some of the positivity and sense of hope and wonder that I used to know. Thank you so much for this course. It is truly a life-saver!"
~~ Hannah D. on the Inspiration Course, Nov. 18, 2015
"Thanks again for this spectacularly eye-opening and inspirational course and the numberless hours of research, care and love that have been so obviously devoted to it. I have to tell you I am now deeply inspired to find ways to engage, research and write about some of these subjects." ~~ Guy A. on the Transformation Course, Jan 14, 2015
The number of people registered for our four empowering online courses continued low this year. The average number of registered participants journeying through a course remained around 50, though many of these don't finish. Only 11 registered participants completed one of our courses last year, down from 13 the previous year. Yet as registration is not required to take a course, we calculate from website statistics that 200 or more unregistered individuals completed a course.
"The Transformation Course is a masterful piece of work. Some years ago my world view was unraveled by coming upon information aligned with the challenging revelations of this course. I had no readily available resources that directly addressed these revelations from an inspired perspective. What a gift to know that something greater is unfolding on this planet as one opens their eyes to the hard-to-swallow truths. Thank you for creating this safe, loving, supportive place for people to wake up. I loved the moments of humor and the stories that moved me to tears. The Course is truly a journey of waking up for those who really take it on. What a contribution to humanity!" ~~ Faith L. on the Transformation Course, June 24, 2015
Another indicator of the value of these free courses is the donations given by course participants. We are happy to offer these courses free of charge, so that those in challenging financial circumstances can reap the benefits. Yet what a gift that nearly half of those who complete a course choose to give a donation, and the average donation is over $200. 10 participants have contributed $1,000 or more to PEERS after completing a course. One generous individual even donated $10,000. We are thrilled to receive such generosity in response to these empowering courses.
All four of our courses provide a rich variety of deeply inspiring and educational materials. Even though smaller numbers are journeying through this powerful material now, we are hopeful that these heart and mind expanding courses may become more popular at some point. Those who complete one of the courses can join in the many engaging conversations with the 267 caring course graduates who are now members of our community networking portal, the Gathering Spot.
Other PEERS Websites
Compared with the previous year, our most popular website, WantToKnow.info, experienced an decrease of 17% in the number of visits in 2015, with over 1.7 million visits to the site (about 4,600 visits a day), down from 2.0 million the previous year. Yet since 2006, WantToKnow.info has received over 16 million visits. The home page alone has had over two millions visits and the 10-page 9/11 summary over one millions visits. Over 60 webpages on this highly informative website have had over 100,000 visits in the same time period.
The Web of Love website also experienced a decrease of 17% to 251,000 visits or nearly 700 a day. Visits to our personalgrowthcourses.net website filled with fascinating and inspiring videos decreased 23% to 167,000 for the year or around 450 a day. As mentioned above, we had a total of over 2.3 million visits to the 12 websites and 3.6 million page views for the year. Though almost all PEERS websites experienced a decrease in visit numbers, overall the average number of daily visits was still an impressive 6,300 visits per day for 2015.
These websites continue to make a difference in people's lives. We regularly receive supportive and grateful feedback on our websites, email lists, and online courses. Here are two more of the many wonderful emails of support we received this year.
"You are making an invaluable contribution for the betterment of our planet and its habitat. I can tell you this, yours is the best informative site I've ever seen with credible sources and accuracy. Keep the good job running. Thank you. ~~ Ketsla B. on the WantToKnow.info website, June 18, 2015
"Your choice of stories is such a fascinating mix of news that doesn't receive near the attention it should. If people only realized: exceptional information can make us wiser, richer, more effective at what we do, better able to navigate the pitfalls that we come across, better able to understand the totality of what it means to be a living human being at this time. Glad to have the wherewithal at this time to be able to help. I think of this check as an investment in bettering my knowledge of the world. We need you." ~~ Wayne H. on making a large donation, Dec. 10, 2015
PEERS had a total income of $78,626 in 2015, our highest ever and up 5% from the $74,842 of 2014. 91% of this came in the form of donations from generous supporters. The remaining 9% came from the amazon.com affiliate program, through which a percentage of purchases by our supporters is given to PEERS.
Our total expenses for the year were $77,738, up 7% from $72,473 in 2014. The increase was due largely to costs incurred by making our websites cell phone compatible. Our contractor Andrey did a fabulous job on this, well worth the $5,000 we paid him for the many hours involved. Even with this increase, PEERS ended up $888 in the black for the year of 2015. As a result, we are pleased that PEERS now has $43,647 in total equity. This is in accordance with our good bookkeeping practice of maintaining a balance in the bank of between 50 and 100 percent of our annual budget.
Nearly 90% of our expenses last year went to pay two contractors and one employee (Fred Burks) of PEERS. $48,000 (plus $4,043 in taxes) went to Fred for his continued management as executive director of PEERS. Mark Bailey continues to do an excellent job with our news summaries, for which he was paid a total of $12,713. Our tech wizard Andrey was paid $5,125 for his invaluable work. Another contractor was paid $500 to help with a failed attempt to set up a PayPal alternative.
The remaining expenses were $2,339 in government taxes and fees (including a 30% tax on income from the amazon affiliate program), $2,127 to PayPal for the 2.2% they take to process donations, $1,352 for Internet and email expenses, $800 for insurance, $408 for our payroll service, $247 for newspaper and magazine subscriptions, $55 in membership fees and $30 in bank fees. We believe the total budget of $77,738 is an incredibly small amount for the services we provide.
"We are living in difficult times. Thank you so much for providing the necessary information for finding the truth and for your inspiring articles, which give us hope and confidence that the good and love will always win. " ~~ Charlotte W., Nov. 27, 2015
The statements at the above links were prepared without official audit of our books and records, though they have been carefully reviewed by Executive Director Fred Burks and were examined and certified by Treasurer John Lumiere-Wins. PEERS ended the year with liabilities of $1,614 resulting from taxes not due until January 2015. All donations were unrestricted. We had a net gain for 2015 of $888. We are extremely grateful to all of our caring contributors who so generously supported us, especially in these challenging times.
Transforming Our World Together With You
Our world is rapidly changing and transforming with each passing year. People around the globe are waking up and wanting to make a difference. The banking and data collection scandals, populist movements, the Internet, and much more are opening the eyes of many people to deeper, previously hidden levels of what is happening in our world. And people all over are awakening to deeper spiritual realities and to our common humanity. It's an exciting time to be alive!
PEERS is at the forefront of a grand movement to transform our world into a more caring and loving place for all people to live. Thanks so much to all involved with PEERS for your invaluable support in this most noble endeavor. We enter our 10th anniversary year of 2016 full of excitement at the possibilities of ever greater transformation of our world through our great work and that of our supporters and so many others who are coming together for the betterment of all in our world.
"This course is a life's work. The depth and commitment shine through in every lesson. Thank you for being inspired to create it and having the fortitude to follow through with the action necessary to bring it to us. I am extremely grateful. Now, when someone shows an interest in transformation, this course will be my first suggestion. In my opinion, there is no better resource available to assist on the transformational journey." ~~ Peter L. on the Transformation Course, June 24, 2015
PEERS 2015 Annual Report
Compiled and Written By
PEERS Executive Director