PEERS 2014 Annual Report
Making a Difference in Our World
"I really can't express enough gratitude for the path your work has helped guide me on. The amount of learning I've continued to do over the last two years on some of the important topics you've introduced me to has continued and multiplied. As you know, a lot of it can be bleak, but I've also learned to accept that outlook as a falsehood amidst the real, positive changes that are inevitably overtaking the negative. I am so hopeful for this moment." ~~ Kyle J., March 19, 2014
PEERS (Public Education and Empowerment Resource Service) was officially incorporated in early 2006 as a nonprofit umbrella organization for the 12 websites now under its management.
As of the end of 2014, PEERS has provided inspiration and education free of charge to many millions of caring people around the globe for nine years. We continue to touch countless people's hearts and make a difference in our world in a most meaningful way.
PEERS experienced a rare decrease in both income and number of websites visits in 2014. Though the number of email list subscribers continued to grow, the total number of visits to our websites decreased by 24% compared to the previous year. The reason for this drop is that over 60% of visits come from searches on search engines – mostly Google — and Google changed its search parameters in May 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 2014 of over 2.8 millions visits and 4.4 million page views. This works out to 7,500 visits and 13,000 pages views a day, which is still quite respectable. The number of subscribers to our two email lists combined increased by 900. This is less than previous years, yet we now have nearly 16,000 subscribers from over 150 countries.
The total income of PEERS in 2014 was nearly $75,000, down 1% from the 2013. As expenses for the year were around $72,500, we ended the year about $2,400 in the plus column. The total number of donors dropped a bit from 770 to 720, while the number of supporters giving monthly contributions increased slightly from 116 to 122. Considering that every year except 2009 we've experienced growth in both number of visits and donations, 2014 was not a banner year, yet PEERS continues to be solid financially and to make a difference in many people's lives.
"Your work is so important in helping to bring the distortions and darkness in the collective consciousness into the light where it can be healed and transmuted. I resonate strongly with your mission. One of the main reasons I use social media is to inform and uplift – as you are doing in a much larger and more courageous way through PEERS." ~~ Catherine D., July 16, 2014
"I donate to PEERS because I WANT TO KNOW the kind of factual information PEERS provides unbiased by any agenda. I also donate because I believe PEERS wants you not only to know what is going on, but to understand how you as an individual human being can affect your world and improve upon it! I think everyone who reads PEERS and has the financial means to do so, should donate to keep this valuable service alive and well!" ~~ Mary L., Aug. 3, 2014
The Personal Growth Courses
Interest in our four empowering online courses continued to decline this year. The average number of registered people journeying through a course dropped from around 75 to about 50, and many of these don't finish. Only 13 registered participants completed one of our courses last year, down from 17 the previous year. Yet registration is not required to take a course, and we calculate from website statistics that 150 or more unregistered individuals completed a course. Almost every registered participant gives glowing reviews upon completion of the course.
"This course has been truly transformational in an amazing, unreal way! Not only is my way of thinking completely different, my relationships with others have transformed. I even believe I am a better parent to my children from the knowledge gained in this course. Lesson 3 and lesson 16 changed my life." ~~ Stacy W., 23-year-old mother of two on completing the Transformation Course, Mar. 2, 2014
"In this journey that has lasted ten months, I have been challenged and inspired to explore every niche of darkness and polarity, both internally and externally; not to cast them out, but to form a deeper acceptance and understanding of all that is part of me. The course has gently guided me to transform from trapped victim to interconnected creator, while deeply honouring my personal struggles and beliefs. Thank you so much for putting this together and crafting it so carefully and lovingly. My gratitude goes out to you!" ~~ Trish R., Jan. 9, 2014 on completing the Transformation Course
Another indicator of the value of these free courses is the donations given by course participants. 10 participants have contributed $1,000 or more to PEERS after completing a course. One generous donor even gave $10,000. Nearly half of those who complete a course give a donation, and the average donation is over $200. We are thrilled to receive such generosity in response to these empowering courses we offer free of charge.
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 257 caring individuals 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 28% in the number of visits in 2014, with over 2.0 million visits to the site (about 5,500 visits a day), down from 2.8 million the previous year. Yet since 2006, the WantToKnow.info home page has had over two millions visits and the 10-page 9/11 summary over one millions visits. Nearly 60 webpages have had over 100,000 visits in the same time period.
The Web of Love website fared better than the others with a slight increase of 2.6% to 303,000 visits or about 800 a day. Visits to our personalgrowthcourses.net website filled with fascinating and inspiring videos decreased 18% to 216,000 for the year or around 600 a day. As mentioned above, we had over 2.8 million visits to the websites and 4.4 million page views total for the year. Though most of the PEERS websites experienced a decrease in visit numbers, overall the average number of daily visits still totals an impressive 7,500 visits per day.
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 is a further sampling of the many wonderful emails of support we received this year.
"This website/newsletter has changed my life, the lives of those around me, and has made me a better person. I can't say thank you enough. I truly can't. Thank you for continuing to spread the word." ~~ Mark F. on the WantToKnow.info website and email list, Aug. 7, 2014
""I have searched the web for over 10 years looking for a site like this. You offer the solution for our planet that is so desperately in need. I've been living in India as a monk for the last 10 years after graduating from Yale. You have no idea how much God is working through you and this site. Thank you!" ~~ Jemal S. on WantToKnow.info, Nov. 4, 2014
PEERS had a total income of $74,842 in 2014, down slightly from the $75,527 record of 2013. 86% of this came in the form of donations from generous supporters. 5% ($3,995) came in the form of a refund of money paid in 2013 for grant support which was not successful. 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 $72,473, up 6% from $68,260 in 2013. This was due largely to a 16% increase in compensation to Executive Director Fred Burks and to the additional taxes PEERS must pay. Even with this increase in expenses, PEERS ended up $2,368 in the black for the year of 2014. As a result, we are pleased that PEERS now has $42,759 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 four contractors and one employee (Fred Burks) of PEERS. $46,500 (plus $3,811 in taxes) went to Fred for his continued management as executive director of PEERS. Our tech wizard Andrey was paid $850 in 2014 for his invaluable work. The contractor who summarized our news articles for seven years, Tod Fletcher, sadly died in September. Mark Bailey has taken over and is doing an excellent job with these summaries. These two were paid a total of $13,350. Another contractor was paid $417 to help with logistics.
The remaining expenses were $2,479 in government taxes and fees (including a 30% tax on income from the amazon affiliate program), $2,041 to PayPal for their services, $1,351 for Internet and email expenses, $800 for insurance, $455 for newspaper and magazine subscriptions, $338 for our payroll service, $55 in membership fees, and $25 for software. We believe the total budget of $72,473 is an incredibly small amount for the services we provide.
"Each time I receive a thank you for my meager donation, I always hope that there will be a footnote saying that a donor has written a check to cover the all your expenses and then some. :-) I wish that could be me. Unfortunately, I live on a fixed disability income and am below the poverty level. When I donate, I have to juggle my expenses – but to me contributing is an investment in humanity's future. You provide a light in a dark world for those able and willing to seek truth. I cannot turn my back on that need. My wish is that your passionate commitment to enlightening the planet be rewarded both spiritually and financially. " ~~ Sandi M., Dec. 4, 2014
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 $1,581 resulting from taxes not due until January 2014. All donations were unrestricted. We had a net gain for 2014 of $2,368. 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 the year 2015 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.
"For so long I felt lost and without purpose. Yet this course has made huge shifts in my daily experience. I absolutely love the level of connection I am feeling with others. I have shifted negative emotions and hate towards others and have been able to forgive people I had been resenting for almost a lifetime. I was always seeing the worst in people, which helped me feel less insecure about myself. Now seeing the divine in others is allowing me to see more of my own perfection and to finally feel the happiness in just being. The resistance in me is fading and I am more fulfilled in my life than ever before. I could not feel more grateful."
~~ Leah S. on the Transformation Course, June 17, 2014
PEERS 2014 Annual Report
Compiled and Written By
PEERS Executive Director