PEERS 2019 Annual Report
"I am delighted that serendipitous clicks brought me to your website. Though it shows us the very dark sides of our world, it also – and more importantly – gives us hope. A heartfelt THANK YOU for creating it. I have shared it now with all my friends, and shall shortly send you a small contribution. I am a 80 year old Danish-born woman, former psycho-therapist. May you continue to live the Wisdom of the Heart." ~~ Tjalle E., Aug. 6, 2019 on WantToKnow.info
PEERS (Public Education and Empowerment Resource Service) was officially incorporated in January of 2006 as a nonprofit umbrella organization for the 13 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 2019, PEERS has provided inspiration and education to many millions of caring people around the globe for 14 years. Over this time, we are thrilled to have received a cumulative total of over 30 million visits and 52 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.
Though far from stellar, 2019 was a solid year for PEERS. We ended the year with nearly $74,000 in donations, similar to several years past except last year, when we had a major $50,000 contribution. The number of subscribers to our two email lists combined decreased by about 2% over the year, so that we now have about 16,200 subscribers from over 160 countries. The good news is that our excellent contractor Mark Bailey came back in February after leaving at the end of 2018 with medical issues.
"I have been following your newsletter for years and never cease to be amazed at the high caliber and variety of the very important articles that you present. Thanks for all you do." ~~ Marcella C., May 12, 2019 on the WantToKnow.info email list
The number of visits to our websites started higher than normal for the first few months of 2019, but then gradually declined, particularly towards the end of the year. Still, we received a total of 1.7 million visits, averaging about 4,700 visits and 7,000 page views a day, up about 20% from 2018.
The total income of PEERS in 2019 was $77,044, down quite a bit from last year's $105,000, yet about average for what we had been receiving the five years previous to last year. Expenses for the year were slightly more than income, so for the first time in 10 years we ended in the red with a deficit of $1,028.
The good news is that the total number of donors increased 20% from 560 to 675. And the number of supporters giving monthly contributions increased slightly from 148 to 153 with the total donated monthly increasing 4% about $2,350 per month. With $64,000 in the bank at the end of the year, PEERS remains on solid financial footing, enabling us to continue making a difference in many people's lives and in our world.
The increased number of website visits early in the year helped to lift the statistics of our most popular websites. Compared with 2018, WantToKnow.info, experienced an increase of 12% in the number of visits in 2019, with almost 1.1 million visits to the site (3,000 visits a day). Yet the website is still down 60% from a high of 2.8 million visits in 2013. Even so, since 2006 WantToKnow.info has received over 22 million visits and continues to educate and empower thousands of people worldwide very day.
"Thanks for bringing the substance out of all of the glitz and sleight-of-hand of the mainstream media. I pledge to start forwarding your emails to more people and ask them to sign up directly. With much appreciation." ~~ Ann C. on the WantToKnow.info email list, Aug. 29, 2019
Our second and third most popular sites also had significant increases. The Personal Growth Courses website increased by 60% to 322,000 visits, and the Web of Love website posted a 25% gain for 119,000 visits. 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 was lucky enough to stumble upon the Web of Love website when I was in desperate need of a change, just about 6 years ago. Breathing sacred love has helped me so much in turning my life around! So much gratitude to you all for being there. Breathing sacred love to you right now." ~~ Mir J. on March 3, 2019
Our tech genius Andrey helped to create a new website featuring our database of over 10,000 summarized news articles at www.newsarticles.media, though so far this site is only averaging about 24 visits a day. He also created a beautiful new spinning Earth header for our home website at peerservice.org.
Among other new additions, we added a translation widget for cell phones and tablets for all webpages on all of our websites. This is particularly useful as now over half of our visits come from these phones and tablets, and a significant number come from non-English speaking countries. We also contracted with Donald Morgan in February to take advantage of $10,000 in free ads offered by Google to nonprofits. This has resulted in an impressive increase of about 300 visits a day this year.
We also added a great essay by former Asst. Sect. of HUD Catherine Austin Fitts on the staggering trillions of government dollars which are unaccounted for. PEERS Executive Director Fred Burks also posted an inspiring essay titled "Why I'm an Eternal Optimist." 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’m a great believer in the idea that everything happens at the right time. Your course came into my life at exactly the right time. The course has expanded my horizons, given me different perspectives to consider, food for thought, and developed certain themes with practical applications. There was nothing here that didn’t resonate with me. The format of the course is an amazing work of art, an intricate balance between the dark and the light, always ending with a lighter note, a positive perspective and plenty of ideas for further action and development." ~~ Julie M., April 3, 2019 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. Sadly, only two registered participants completed one of our courses last year, down from six from 2018. Yet as registration is not required to take a course, we calculate from website statistics that 100 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
Considering the relatively low visit numbers, PEERS did well this year financially. We had a total income of $77,0044 in 2019. Nearly 96% of this came in the form of donations from generous supporters. The remaining 4% or so came largely from the amazon.com affiliate program, through which a percentage of purchases by our supporters is given to PEERS. That said, amazon discontinued our affiliation in July stating that we were violating their contract by using the link they had given us many years ago to invite our supporters to use. Still, we are thankful for the nearly $50,000 we received from this program over the course of the 10 years it was in effect.
Our budget usually runs in the red throughout the year until a surge of donations in December pushes us into the black. We were $16,000 away from breaking even at the beginning of December, but thanks to a major outpouring of support in this last month, we almost broke even.
Our total expenses for 2018 were $78,073, so that we ended they year only $1,028 in the red. We are pleased that PEERS still has $64,179 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. $51,667 was paid in salary to employee Fred Burks (plus $4,128 in taxes to the government) for his continued management as executive director of PEERS. Mark Bailey did an great job with our weekly news summaries and several other tasks, for which he was compensated a total of $11,300. Our contractor and tech whiz Andrey was paid $1,462 for his valuable work.
The remaining expenses were $1,487 in government taxes and fees (including a 30% tax on income from the amazon affiliate program), $2,153 to PayPal and Stripe (Donorbox) for the 2.2% + $0.30 they take to process online donations, $2,782 for Internet and email expenses, $518 for our payroll service, $635 for office supplies and newspaper and magazine subscriptions, and $60 for the Costco membership fee. We believe the total expenses of $78,073 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 $1,509 resulting from payroll taxes not due until January 2020. All donations were unrestricted. We had a net loss for 2019 of $1,028. We are extremely grateful to all of our caring contributors who so generously supported us, especially in these challenging times.
"The information you disseminate can only hasten the awakening of the many who are willing and able to participate in the lifting of humanity. Blessings for your continued service to us all." ~~ Rev. Sandi Lee, Nov. 27, 2019
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 2020 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 love PEERS and would recommend it to anyone who is interested in developing their education and empowerment." ~~ Sabahn Atima, March 2, 2019
PEERS 2019 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"