PEERS 2018 Annual Report
"Every time I think that PEERS can’t get any better, bingo! It just keeps putting out more good stuff! You and your team are gifts to us all. My friends appreciate you, too! Blessings and heaps of love and light and all good things!" ~~ Shirley H. with a $20 donation on March 30, 2018
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 2018, PEERS has provided inspiration and education to many millions of caring people around the globe for 13 years. Over this time, we are thrilled to have received a cumulative total of about 30 million visits and 50 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.
2018 was an unusual year for PEERS. The great news is that one very generous donor contributed $50,000 to support our work in March, our largest donation ever by far. Because of his generosity, we ended the year with a record $98,500 in donations. And the number of subscribers to our two email lists combined increased by about 5% over the year, so that we now have about 16,600 subscribers from over 160 countries. On the down side, we were very sad to lose our excellent contractor Mark Bailey, who did our news summaries and more, at the end of the year due to serious illness. We hope he might be able to rejoin us once he recovers.
I am so grateful for your peers emails. It means so much to me as I never watch BBC news, CNN news, etc. I have read EVERY single one of your emails from top to bottom as it is the only news I can bear to read. Alex Jones and all the others are just too awful. You are like cool hand Luke with your approach. To say I'm grateful to you is an understatement. Its on my bucket list of things to get a bit richer and donate to you. ~~ Dom. E, Nov. 11, 2018
For the first nine months of 2018, the number of visits to our 12 websites continued to decline, as it had over the last five years largely due to changes in the algorithms of Google search. But then quite suddenly in the first week of October, the visit numbers jumped by about 80% for reasons unknown and largely remained at this level through the end of the year. Thanks to this three month boost, we averaged about 4,000 visits and 6,000 page views a day, down about 5% from 2017. If these higher numbers of the last three months hold, 2019 should reverse our downward trend.
The total income of PEERS in 2018 was nearly $105,000, up 35% from 2017. This was especially welcome given the overall continued low number of website visits. As expenses for the year were less than income, we were thrilled to end the year over $18,000 in the plus column. That said, the total number of donors dropped from 690 to 560, while the number of supporters giving monthly contributions dropped from 160 to 148, though the total donated monthly held steady at about $2,250 per month. Thanks to our generous large donor, PEERS is now on even more solid financial footing, enabling us to continue making a difference in many people's lives and in our world.
Google's search engine changes hit our most popular website hardest of all. Compared with 2017, WantToKnow.info, experienced an decrease of 16% in the number of visits in 2018, with only 972,000 visits to the site (2,700 visits a day), the first time it has been under one million since 2007. The website is down almost 2/3 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. And the last three months have shown big improvement.
"Thank you for your fine and discerning work aggregating both positive and negative information for subscribers' use. I have recently stopped reading most media and social media regularly. Your newsletter is useful in directing me to information that has relevance for me. I've been a subscriber for years, and your weekly missives have pointed me to some profound stories. The Hidden Hand, for example, helped me realign my thinking on the function of 'evil.' And your balance of positive and negative has always been welcome in my inbox." ~~ Maria M., Feb. 26, 2018 on WantToKnow.info
Most of our other websites experienced an increase in visit numbers to varying degrees. Only two websites beside WantToKnow.info had decreases. The Personal Growth Courses website increased by 70% to 205,000 visits, our second highest, while the Web of Love website posted a 34% gain for 94,000 visits, our third highest. 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.
“I just want to let you know how much you touch me with your insights on self love, healing, and … well you always hit home with me. I'm struggling with an addiction and taking care of myself. You help me shine, help me stay strong and hopeful, and feed my desire to embrace my beautiful soul. You help me make new goals with better insight, and you have a peace that reaches through your informative messages and hugs me right where I'm at. Thank you!” ~~ Kristine J., July 13, 2018, commenting on the Web of Love website
As a result of our big donation, our tech genius Andrey helped to create a new section of WantToKnow.info specifically for our subscribers. As of the end of 2018, 190 members are taking advantage there of our member map, where they can find and contact others who live near them, chat room, and forums, where people can post and share ideas. Only a few people are really active after two months, but hopefully more will get involved in the coming year.
Among other new additions, we created new categories for our news summaries on wireless and cell phone dangers, sex abuse by doctors, inspiring people with disabilities, and amazing elders. We also added .pdf versions of 10 of the most popular webpages of WantToKnow.info, which allows for standardized printing from any computer. In addition, summaries were made of the awesome book Journey of Souls, an excellent essay on the ruling class and a great paper on electromagnetic weapons were added, and a webpage was put up for the stunning new documentary Imperium, which uses solid sources to show how child trafficking leads to the highest levels of government, and more. These wonderful new additions definitely added quality to the work of PEERS this year.
The Personal Growth Courses
Since the launch our first online course in 2007, over 330 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.
I do not know enough descriptive words to express my awe. In studying this course, I had many memories throughout my life come forward and drop into their places. All the times that I have felt as if I were in the wrong moment of time, or where my instinctual feelings went against all that my peers were telling me to feel, were confirmed. It did take a bit of courage to step beyond my ego and belief structure to open my mind and explore the various facets of information. I grew tremendously from that challenge, and from there it got better. Thank you to all contributors for being present in my awakening. ~~ Pammy B., Dec. 6, 2018 on the Transformation Course
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 at any one time held steady at around 30, though most of these don't complete the course. Only six registered participants completed one of our courses last year, down two from 2017. Yet as registration is not required to take a course, we calculate from website statistics that 200 or more unregistered individuals completed a course in this last year.
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 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. 12 participants have contributed $1,000 or more to PEERS after completing a course. Two generous individuals have even donated over $10,000. We are overjoyed 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.
“I took the Transformation Course years ago, and I must say it had a profound effect on my life. Today I am working as a psychic empath. I have a blog. I am new to this business (3rd month) but already have thousands of followers between my different social media outlets. I am gratefully exceeding my own goals and expectations. I'd really like to to retake the course and blog about it as I go. This would get more traffic and exposure to the course.” ~~ Stacy on Sept. 4, 2018
“Thank you for for an outstanding course. My written life purpose rather astonished me. It showed me what I have access to when I put ego aside. This wonderful course has awakened me to a new expanded reality, or rather a timeless reality newly recovered. So grateful for all this and looking forward to all that is to come.” ~~ Kenny on Oct. 26, 2018 on the Transformation Course
Considering the continued low visit numbers, PEERS did surprisingly well this year financially. We had a total income of $104,512 in 2018, up 35% from 2017. Nearly 95% of this came in the form of donations from generous supporters, though almost half of that came from the one major donation. The remaining 5% or so came from the amazon.com affiliate program, through which a percentage of purchases by our supporters is given to PEERS.
Our budget usually runs in the red throughout the year until a surge of donations in December pushes us into the black. But after the large donation in March this year, we were no longer in the red for the year. Apparently, our being in debt is a motivator for people to donate. Once those "in the red" numbers were removed from our emails and the top of every page of WantToKnow.info, donations almost immediately dropped by about 40%. Thankfully, later in the year someone came up with the idea that we could use the "in the red" number for our deficit for the quarter rather than the year, so once we did that, donations returned to normal. But because of big drop for six months, we only received $48,500 in donation outside of that one big one, which is the lowest in many years.
Our total expenses for 2018 were $85,680, up 12% from 2017, as we used part of the big donation to build a wonderful new section for our 14,500 subscribers to the WantToKnow.info email list. Even with the extra expenses, we are pleased that PEERS now has $66,700 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.
About 90% of our expenses last year went to pay the one employee and two contractors of PEERS. $49,666 was paid in salary to employee Fred Burks (plus $3,975 in taxes to the government) for his continued management as executive director of PEERS. Mark Bailey did an excellent job with our weekly news summaries and several other tasks, for which he was compensated a total of $19,755. Our contractor and tech whiz Andrey did a great service, particularly in building the new subscriber section mentioned above. He was paid $3,688 for his valuable work.
The remaining expenses were $1,750 in government taxes and fees (including a 30% tax on income from the amazon affiliate program), $1,908 to PayPal and Stripe (Donorbox) for the 2.2% + $0.30 they take to process online donations, $3,021 for Internet and email expenses, $425 for our payroll service, $931 for office supplies and newspaper and magazine subscriptions, and $60 for the Costco membership fee. We believe the total expenses of $85,680 is a 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 $1,460 resulting from payroll taxes not due until January 2019. All donations were unrestricted. We had a net gain for 2018 of $18,832. We are extremely grateful to our big donor and to all of our caring contributors who so generously supported us, especially in these challenging times.
“Thank you for what you do. I donate to three orgs a year, now four including WantToKnow. The wisdom that is promulgated through your website is critical for existing in the world with any sense of control or hope. Now, I'll be working with my daughters to try and inoculate them against the poison of social media and the toxicity of mainstream media. Your collected works offer a healthy path forward. And that's worth paying money for.” ~~ Doug T. with a $20/month donation on Feb. 14, 2018 on WantToKnow.info
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 the #MeToo movement, the banking and data collection scandals, 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 2019 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.
“Thank you a million times for all that you do. I hope you get tons of donation. You deserve it. ” ~~ Martha C. on Dec. 10, 2018
PEERS 2018 Annual Report
Compiled and Written By
PEERS Executive Director