PEERS 2017 Annual Report
Celebrating 12 Years of Making a Difference
"Each one of your emails is a jewel. As one says in French, if you didn’t exist, we would have to invent you. You are such a combination of depth, foresight, vision, courage, love and … yes, humor. I have never ever been addicted to anything in life but might just be approaching such a thing with your newsletter!!! You play an invaluable role for thousands, of that I am sure, making us more and more aware that we live in a connected universe.” ~~ Author Pierre Pradervand in Switzerland , Feb. 17, 2017
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 2017, PEERS has provided inspiration and education to many millions of caring people around the globe for 12 years. Over this time, we are thrilled to have received a cumulative total of more than 28 million visits and 47 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.
"Thank you so very much for the tireless work of PEERS. I was feeling overwhelmed and so sad and hopeless one day that there was so much pain and suffering in this world. It was like I had nothing to offer or any way I could help make our world a better place. That day you sent out an email that spoke about exactly these feelings. It hit me profoundly and my hope was restored. You were addressing all of us, but for a moment it felt like it was just to me. Thank you." ~~ Erika H., Feb. 15, 2017
2017 was a challenging year for PEERS. The number of visits to our 12 websites dropped by more than one-third this year as Google has used the “fake news” meme to lower many alternative news website like ours greatly in their search rankings. Even so, we still managed to average over 4,000 visits and 6,000 page views a day. And amazingly, even with the big drop in visits, PEERS received over $70,000 in donations and ended the year in the plus column financially. We are most grateful to our faithful supporters for this small miracle.
The number of subscribers to our two email lists combined changed little, such that we continue to have about 16,000 subscribers from over 160 countries. The reason the lists are no longer growing after many years of steady growth is likely a result of the decrease in the number of visits to our sites, such that less new people are finding our work.
“I cannot thank you enough for your work. My worldview has changed tremendously, contributed in a significant part by the information on your websites and newsletters. You ought to have millions of subscribers.” ~~ Charlotte W., April 10, 2017
The total income of PEERS in 2017 was $77,608, down 3% from 2016. This was beyond our hopes and expectations due to the drop in visit numbers. As expenses for the year were slightly less than income, we were thrilled to end the year $1,716 in the plus column. The total number of donors dropped from 820 to 690, while the number of supporters giving monthly contributions held steady at around 160, with the total donated at about $2,250 per month. Our donors really shined this year, so that PEERS continues to be solid financially and to make a difference in many people's lives.
“I’m so glad to be able to resume contributing to your magnificent work! You are an incredible engine of awakening for us all! With profound gratitude and exultant best wishes, Hill E.” ~~ March 16, 2017
The Personal Growth Courses
Since the launch our first online course in 2007, over 320 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.
“Your information has helped start in me an ever expanding lifting of the veil. What I've been able to experience in my life, by manifesting my desires of love and abundance, has truly been beyond what I ever could have imagined it being like at the beginning. Hoping that my thanks and feelings of gratitude are worth more than the dollar amount I'm donating.” ~~ Kyle J. on Transformation Course, Feb. 11, 2017
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 30, and many of these don't finish. Only eight registered participants completed one of our courses last year, the same as in 2016. 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.
Other PEERS Websites
Google's search engine changes have hit our most popular website hardest of all. Compared with 2016, WantToKnow.info, experienced an dramatic decrease of 40% in the number of visits in 2017, with only 1.16 million visits to the site (3,000 visits a day). The website is down almost 60% from a high of 2.8 million visits in 2013. Even so, since 2006 WantToKnow.info has received over 20 million visits and continues to educate and empower thousands of people worldwide very day.
Most of our other websites experienced varying degrees of decline in visit numbers, though not as steep as WantToKnow.info. The Moment of Love website bucked the trend by increased 34% in visit numbers, partially driven by growing interested in our archive of inspiring news articles. The PEERS 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.
"“Please continue to keep up your magnificent work and I will, to the best of my ability, continue to support you emotionally and financially. After all, it was with the help of PEERS that I was able to climb out of the rabbit hole. I actually think it took my going deep down said rabbit hole which ultimately led me to my own spirituality.” ~~ Laila S. Nov. 19, 2017
Considering the severe drop in visit numbers, PEERS did surprisingly well this year financially. We had a total income of $77,607 in 2017, down 3% from 2016. 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 2017 were $75,892, down 4% from 2016. Though we were in the red most of the year, a welcome surge in December donations thankfully helped PEERS end the year $1,617 in the black. As a result, we are pleased that PEERS now has $46,375 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 $3,910 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 $13,378. Our contractor and tech whiz Andrey did a great service in converting our websites from http to the more secure https protocol. He was paid $1,325 for his valuable work.
The remaining expenses were $2,536 in government taxes and fees (including a 30% tax on income from the amazon affiliate program), $2,313 to PayPal and Stripe for the 2.2% + $0.30 they take to process online donations, $2,790 for Internet and email expenses, $800 for insurance, $421 for our payroll service, $363 for newspaper and magazine subscriptions, and $55 for the Costco membership fee. We believe the total budget of $75,892 is an incredibly small amount for the services we provide.
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 $1,510 resulting from payroll taxes not due until January 2018. All donations were unrestricted. We had a net gain for 2017 of $1,716. We are extremely grateful to all of our caring contributors who so generously supported us, especially in these challenging times.
“You provide an invaluable service. You have discovered a niche which is not being filled by any other source in the manner that PEERS does. Because you document your sources, I am able to use your data with confidence when I discuss vital issues with friends and acquaintances … and with public officials.” ~~ Jack M., Feb. 23, 2017
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, the #MeToo movement, 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 2018 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.
“PEERS emails are one of the few that escapes my auto reject. I KNOW I will learn something new in every one of them. I usually learn a lot that I was unaware of. How many publications can you say that about?” ~~ Wayne H., April 4, 2017
“You do an amazing job with such dedication and commitment. Thank you, thank you for the work you all do. I often refer to your website, watch videos, read your bounty of newsletters and pass on vital resources and information, all referenced and up to date. Brilliant work!!!” ~~ Josephine A., Nov. 20, 2017
PEERS 2017 Annual Report
Compiled and Written By
PEERS Executive Director