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Financial Integrity of PEERS
And the "In the Red" Number

Dear friends of PEERS,

Financial Integrity

We've received several emails over the years questioning the financial integrity of PEERS and and/or asking about the "in the red" number you see at the top of our emails and webpages. We know that for every email that comes in, there are many other readers who also question this, but don't contact us.

For this reason, we'd like to provide some financial information and explain what's up with the "in the red" number. PEERS is deeply committed to transparency in all matters, including finances.

PEERS, the 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization under which operates, is required by law to make public all of our finances. PEERS has 13 websites, all of which are focused on various aspects of personal and global transformation., our most popular website, is all about exposing major cover-ups and corruption with the purpose of stopping these disempowering practices and building a brighter future for all.

Particularly as transparency is a major focus of our work and as many of you care enough to support PEERS financially, we want to assure you that we do everything we can to be transparent about our finances and everything we do.

The Red Number

We list the amount that we are in the red at the top of most emails that go out and at the top of every webpage on We generally update the number twice a week. The reason the numbers are almost always in the red is that donations almost always lag behind our expenses. At the beginning of each month, the amount that we are in the red jumps by about $10,000, as that's when we add our expenses for the month to the amount we are in the red. The red ink number then gradually decreases over the course of the month as caring supporters like you make donations. It then jumps again at the start of the next month.

Until 2021, it was rare that we actually went into the black during any month except December. Once every few years we would get a donation of several thousand dollars that allowed to us go in the black for a couple months. Yet in December, we typically get a lot more donations than any other month, so thankfully in over 16 years of providing this service, until 2022 we ended up in the black every year except 2011 and 2019 thanks to the end of the year surge in donations.

Then in 2021, a wonderful supporter gave us a huge donation of nearly $400,000, which put us solidly in the black. As a result, we used the money to hire the amazing Amber Yang, who has now done an amazing job of taking the reins of PEERS. Amber has been very busy working with the PEERS team to create a wealth of changes in an effort to increase our reach.

This has led to a major increase in expenses to the point where in 2022 we ended over $80,000 in the red, and then in 2023 our deficit reached over $100,000. We still have a healthy buffer in the bank, but in the last two years our reserves have dropped almost 50%, so that they are now under $200,000. We need your help to slow the rapid decrease of our funds and to sustain and further the great changes Amber has initiated.

To explore the details of our income and expenses and see our financial reports, see the section titled "PEERS Finances" of our most recent annual report.

How We Got Here - By founder Fred Burks

I awoke to the major cover-ups happening behind the scenes in our world in mid-2001. Starting in 2003, I volunteered well over 40 hours a week for seven years and donated over $30,000 of my own limited retirement savings to get and the other PEERS websites started. I decided this work was far more important than my retirement savings and so became my own benefactor. I quit my nursing job in 2003 and resigned from my work as a State Department language interpreter in 2004. This allowed me to focus full time on developing these websites, which thankfully quickly became popular.

In 2006, I brought together a board of directors and we applied for and were given 501(c)(3) nonprofit status as PEERS. This allowed our donors to get a tax deduction for their donations. Until 2010, only two contractors were paid for their part-time work, as that's all we could afford. One was our invaluable tech guy and the other did our news summaries.

In 2010, we finally started receiving enough donations to pay me a small amount for my full-time work with PEERS. Each year afterward, we gradually increased my pay. Only in 2014 did we finally make enough to pay me a full salary of $48,000/year. In 2022 after our big donation, my salary was raised to $60,000/year. And we for the first time hired another wonderful woman, Amber Yang, also with a salary of $60,000/year. As Amber then took over many of my responsibilities, in 2023 my salary was reduced to $30,000 and further reduced to $15,000/year in 2024 as I've stepped back even more.

Back in 2003, I made a commitment to provide all of the information we share free of charge and without any ads, as I wanted to spread this information far and wide to all who are interested as rapidly as possible without any pressure from advertisers. I believed that if we provided high quality information, our readers would eventually support this work with donations. I have held to that commitment, and thanks to the awesome generosity of our many supporters, I was to earn a living doing this important work for a number of years.

I don't like asking for money, nor do I enjoy listing how much we are in the red all the time. Yet I knew that I eventually needed to earn a living to keep this work going. One of our wonderful supporters is a professional fund raiser. In 2012, he convinced me to try using the "in the red" number. He was clearly on to something, as our donations almost instantly increased by about 75%. So though I don't like it, posting the amount in the red does work for bringing in donations and supporting this work.

With our big donation, we now have hired the incredibly talented and capable Amber Yang to work full time with PEERS allowing me to step back and work much less. With Amber, we are developing an in-depth section on solutions to all of the challenges we are facing and much more. As a result, we have spent a lot more than has come in, so that now we have less than $200,000 in the bank. And that number is rapidly falling. We clearly need donations to continue to grow and thrive.

I hope all of this clarifies our financial situation for any who had questions. For those for whom it makes a difference, I'm happy to give more details on our finances and even send detailed reports, so you can see exactly what we're doing. You can contact me here. You can also read our past annual reports at by clicking on the links in the left column on the lower half of the page. These reports have further links to online posts of our detailed annual expense reports.

I am extremely thankful to all of our over 4,000 supporters who over the years have generously contributed to make possible all that we've accomplished. With over 32 million cumulative visits to the PEERS websites and with many key influential people who have had their eyes opened, I can say without a doubt that we have made a big difference in our world. Thanks so much to all of you for caring and playing your part in building a brighter future for ourselves and for future generations.

With much gratitude and very best wishes for a transformed world,
Fred Burks for PEERS and

Note: If you'd like to donate to support this good work and help bring the "in the red" number down, please click here. To read some of the many beautiful messages we've received describing the impact of our work, click here and here.

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