PEERS 2016 Annual Report
Celebrating 11 Years of Making a Difference
"I had lost my faith and beliefs in life. I was frustrated, just going on becoming idler and idler. I thank your team a lot coz u are the people who have changed my life. You helped me to live my life in the presence of god. I have no words to thank you. Currently I'm focused on my dream, and when I'm successful, I'll surely help you."
~~ Peter M. in India, March 8, 2016 on weboflove.org and email list
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 2016, PEERS has provided inspiration and education to many millions of caring people around the globe for 11 years. Over this time, we are thrilled to have received nearly 27 million visits and 45 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.
"I just reviewed some of the PEERS and Transformation Course pages. I got tears remembering how it felt to first explore and be inspired by it all. This course is so needed in the world. It is the only thing that could reach me. My own growth has been restarted so many times both by re-reading course materials and by the gentle people at the Gathering Spot. I don't know if I would be here if I didn't receive the hope I got from your work."
~~ Brian E., June 5, 2016 on the Transformation Course
Thanks to our many awesome supporters, we managed to end the year in the plus column financially. We also experienced a slight increase in the number of visits to our websites. The total number of visits increased by 2% compared to the previous year to a total of over 2.3 millions visits and 3.5 million page views. This works out to well over 6,000 visits and nearly 10,000 pages views a day, which is still quite respectable.
The number of subscribers to our two email lists combined remained virtually unchanged, such that we continue to have over 16,000 subscribers from over 160 countries. This is the first year our subscriber list did not grow much. The reason is that our email list service provider was not keeping up with filtering standards, so that as many as 20 to 40% of our emails were being filtered to spam. Tests with two other services did not work out, but finally we found AWeber, which is a very good service giving us results of less than 5% of our emails being filtered to spam. In the process of switching services several times, we unfortunately lost a number of subscribers.
The great news it that now finally all of our 12 websites are cell phone compatible. As over 1/3 of our visits now come from cell phones, this change was long overdue. Many thanks to our tech whiz Andrey for making this a reality.
The total income of PEERS in 2016 was just a few dollars shy of $80,000, up 2% from the 2015. As expenses for the year were slightly less than income, we ended the year $1,012 in the plus column. The total number of donors rose significantly from 760 to 820, while the number of supporters giving monthly contributions decreased slightly from 165 to 162, though the total donated increased by nearly $200 to about $2,400 per month. PEERS continues to be solid financially and to make a difference in many people's lives.
"I am very thankful for your websites. The abundance of information as well as the inspiration have helped me through many difficult times and are a much needed eye-opener for us human beings. Attached please find my small donation. Thank you for all you do!" ~~ Hiltrud J. with a $50 donation on July 5, 2016
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 thousands 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:
"I’ve been wanting to send you this check for a long time because I feel your work is so important to all of us. Without your Transformation Course, it would have taken longer for me to recover from my fall down the government rabbit hole! Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all you do. Love and Light, Laila"
~~ Laila S. with a $500 check on the Transformation Course, Jan. 22, 2016
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 dropped to around 40, and many of these don't finish. Only eight registered participants completed one of our courses last year, down from 11 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.
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. Two generous individuals have 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 284 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 increase of 12% in the number of visits in 2016, with over 1.9 million visits to the site (over 5,000 visits a day). Since 2006, WantToKnow.info has received nearly 20 million visits. The home page alone has had over 2.5 millions visits and the 10-page 9/11 summary over 1.3 millions visits. And 69 webpages on this highly informative website have had over 100,000 visits in the same time period.
Changes to our other websites compared to the previous year varied widely. The Web of Love website experienced a major decrease of 57% to 107,000 visits and our personalgrowthcourses.net decreased 7% to 154,000 while our home PEERS website increased 41% to 12,000 visits and the Transformation Course website increased 21% to 22,000 visits. Though many PEERS websites experienced a decrease in visit numbers, overall the average number of daily visits increased slightly to an impressive 6,400 visits per day for 2016.
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 one more of the many wonderful emails of support we received this year.
"I love you and depend on your 'Want To Know' website. I don’t have a lot of money, yet I gave you a better than usual check this year (US$500). My reason: your research does my work. I depend on you for the daily devastating news. Then I go to your Moment of Love page and browse around to find happier happenings. Want to Know and Moment of Love sustain me and give me joy. I’m happy in my work and you make me happier in my work. Thank you." ~~ Joan C., Aug. 15, 2016
PEERS had a total income of $79,986 in 2016, our highest ever and up 2% from 2015. Over 90% of this came in the form of donations from generous supporters. The remaining 10% or so came from the amazon.com affiliate program, through which a percentage of purchases by our supporters is given to PEERS.
Our total expenses for 2016 were $78,974, up 1.6% from 2015. Though we were in the red most of the year, a surge in December donations thankfully helped PEERS end the year $1,012 in the black. As a result, we are pleased that PEERS now has $44,659 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 the one employee and two contractors of PEERS. $48,000 was paid in salary to employee Fred Burks (plus $3,994 in taxes to the government) for his continued management as executive director of PEERS. Mark Bailey continues to do an excellent job with our weekly news summaries and several other tasks, for which he was compensated a total of $13,685. Our contractor and tech whiz Andrey did a great service in converting the last of our websites to be cell phone compatible. He was paid $5,812 for his valuable work.
The remaining expenses were $2,151 in government taxes and fees (including a 30% tax on income from the amazon affiliate program), $2,291 to PayPal for the 2.2% + $0.30 they take to process each transaction, $1,359 for Internet and email expenses, $800 for insurance, $421 for our payroll service, $294 for newspaper and magazine subscriptions, $62 in bank, photo license, and credit card fees, $55 in membership fees and $50 for software. We believe the total budget of $78,974 is an incredibly small amount for the services we provide.
To see the QuickBooks form listing profit and loss figures for PEERS in fiscal year 2016, click here. For the PEERS balance sheet as of the end of 2016, 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 Executive Director Fred Burks and were examined and certified by Treasurer John Lumiere-Wins. PEERS ended the year with liabilities of $1,673 resulting from payroll taxes not due until January 2017. All donations were unrestricted. We had a net gain for 2016 of $1,012. 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. Even with all of the uncertainty ahead, we enter this new year of 2017 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.
"I’m enjoying every single little morsel I’m receiving via PEERS. I feel ecstatic at the consistently high level of integrity I experience. I have so much gratitude for all of you at PEERS for, among many things, giving me an opportunity to realize my greatest dreams. THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!
~~ Joie B on Jan. 5, 2016
Note: To read other messages of deep appreciation for our work, click here and here. And we'd be thrilled if you are inspired to make a donation to support our work. To do so, please click here.
PEERS 2016 Annual Report
Compiled and Written By
PEERS Executive Director
The PEERS empowerment network
"Dedicated to the greatest good of all who share our beautiful world"