FY 2012 Financial Report

Our year-end Financial Report from the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) is a key element in our commitment to transparency. This report complements our year-long focus on strategically and efficiently leveraging the resources that our donors have so generously empowered us to use towards realizing our shared mission of transforming psychedelics and marijuana into FDA-approved prescription medications.

Our goal with this Financial Report is to enable MAPS supporters and the public to see our priorities in action through how we allocate our limited funds. Should you have any questions about any items in this financial report, you are invited to inquire at askmaps@maps.org.

As I write this report, we are in the midst of having our books reviewed for the second year in a row by a team of independent auditors. We’re paying for these audits on our own initiative with the hope to eventually obtain financial support from major foundations or government research agencies, which require audited financials as a prerequisite for funding. We’re anticipating needing to raise ever-larger amounts as we work to complete our Phase 2 pilot studies of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD, then to initiate the pivotal Phase 3 multi-site studies required to prove safety and efficacy prior to FDA approval for prescription use. Similarly, though with an in-house team, we’re monitoring the data in our Phase 2 studies to build organizational capacity for operating at the level of professionalism and accountability needed for our pharmaceutical drug development research.

What follows is a comprehensive reporting and discussion of MAPS’ income and expenses for FY 11-12 (June 1, 2011 to May 31, 2012).

Download MAPS IRS Form 990 (2011).

MAPS’ income in FY 11-12 was $7.37 million, expenses were $1.99 million, changes in net assets were $5.38 million, and total assets at the end of FY 11-12 were $6.54 million. This compares to income in FY 10-11 of $1.47 million, expenses of $1.38 million, changes in net assets of $90,000, and total assets at the end of FY 10-11 of $1.16 million.

The most significant financial development in FY 11-12, and also the saddest, was the bequest that MAPS received from the estate of Board of Directors member Ashawna Hailey, amounting to an estimated $5.5 million. This is an estimated number because, according to auditing procedures that we are adopting this year, the full estimated amount of the bequest needs to be allocated in the year the bequest was received. This is the case even when not all the funds are actually disbursed in that fiscal year, as with Ashawna’s bequest since it will take some time to sell all of the assets. MAPS actually received $3.2 million of the bequest in FY 11-12, and has received another $800,000 so far in FY 12-13. In addition, some of Ashawna’s assets are not liquid and may eventually be sold for less than book value.

MAPS’ change in net assets in FY 11-12 was $5.38 million, about $170,000 less than the $5.5 million booked from Ashawna’s bequest. Without Ashawna’s bequest, MAPS had a net loss of about $170,000. However, MAPS would otherwise have received $200,000 from Ashawna for unrestricted operational expenses. In the absence of the bequest but with that $200,000, MAPS would have brought in about $30,000 more than we spent in FY 11-12.

The amount Ashawna bequeathed to MAPS represents half (4/8) of his charitable bequests, with another 1/8 given to the Marijuana Policy Project (which they used to help legalize marijuana in Colorado), another 1/8 to the Drug Policy Alliance (for drug policy reform), another 1/8 for the American Civil Liberties Union (for drug policy reform), and the remaining 1/8 to the San Jose Second Harvest food bank. The recipients of Ashawna’s bequest illustrate the direct link he saw between scientific research with psychedelics and marijuana and drug policy reform.

Ashawna cared most about MAPS’ work developing the therapeutic use of MDMA. As a result, MAPS’ Board of Directors has chosen to restrict $200,000 of his donation to start a new study of MDMA in adults on the Autism Spectrum and the remaining $5.3 million to our Phase 3 studies of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD, which will start within the next three years at a cost we currently estimated to be $10-$15 million. There’s a wide range of estimated Phase 3 expenses since the costs will depend on the design of the Phase 3 studies, which will be determined at an End-of-Phase 2 meeting with the FDA in two to three years. By restricting Ashawna’s bequest in this manner, our goal is to leverage his donation in the most efficient way possible. Raising the remaining funds for Phase 3 will be easier since we will already have a significant fraction of the funds we need, so we hope donors will see that it is not such an insurmountable sum to raise. In addition, we reason that reserving funds for Phase 3 will make it easier to raise the roughly $3 million we estimate we still need to complete Phase 2, since the chances we’ll be able to conduct and complete our Phase 3 studies is now more realistic.

In addition to Ashawna’s bequest, MAPS received $350,000 in one-time net income in FY 11-12 from the sale of a remainder interest in a home in La Jolla, Calif., which MAPS received in a bequest from Eric Bass in FY 94-95. MAPS also received $75,000 in FY 11-12 from a bequest from Larry Thomas. MAPS also received $350,000 from Larry Thomas’s bequest in FY 10-11 and will receive a final payment of about $25,000 in FY 12-13, making the total value of Larry Thomas’s bequest about $450,000. The three largest donations in MAPS’ 26-year history have all come from bequests. For those reading this report, please consider adding MAPS to your wills.

In addition to the bequests from Ashawna and Larry Thomas, MAPS received most of our other income from our top 18 donors, who collectively donated $869,127. Peter Lewis donated $225,000; David Bronner, Adam Wiggins, and the Keeler Foundation each donated $100,000; the Mental Insight Foundation and the Riverstyx Foundation each donated $60,000; Robert Barnhart donated $51,850; the Libra Foundation donated $35,000; Matt Bowden donated $25,000; John Gilmore donated $20,000; Vanya Palmers donated $16,152; Bill Linton donated $12,500, as did an anonymous donor; Larry Hagman donated $11,100; Ian Brown donated $10,025; Gerald Gaines donated $10,000, as did Wendy Grace and Rene Ruiz/Sue Mosher. MAPS received an additional $176,487 from 38 other donors of amounts between $1000 and $10,000.

Donations less than $1000 came from about 2,000 additional donors and amounted to $117,576. These unrestricted donations of less than $1,000 are a crucial part of MAPS’ success. These donations help us to cover some of our operational expenses, are part of building the MAPS community, lead to word-of-mouth contacts with new donors, and are the way some major donors began to get to know MAPS by enabling them to evaluate our work from the perspective of a member.

MAPS also brought in $71,101 from sales of books, art, clothes and other items. Event income was $257,297.

MAPS faces a major fundraising challenge in FY 12-13. In FY 11-12, we benefited from a one-time net gain of $350,000 from the sale of our remainder interest in a home in La Jolla, Calif. We also received a donation of $100,000 from the Keeler Foundation that will not be repeated this year. In addition, we received $75,000 from the bequest of Larry Thomas and will receive the final payment of about $25,000 this year ($50,000 less than last year). This means that we received income of half a million dollars in FY 11-12 that will not be repeated in FY 12-13. In addition, we’re expanding our research agenda in FY 12-13 by about half a million dollars. In order t
o balance income and expenses in FY 12-13, we will need to bring in about $1 million in new donations, while sustaining our other donations at the same level. This is a daunting challenge, especially after a U.S. presidential election year that consumed an estimated $6 billion in non-taxable donations for all local, state, and federal races.

Nevertheless, MAPS’ fundraising goals for FY12-13 are attainable. The need for research into the healing potential of psychedelics is profound, we are building a track record of success, and interest in our work is growing. As this year-end Financial Report is being written, we are looking forward soon to the publication in the Journal of Psychopharmacology of our scientific paper about the results of MAPS’ long-term follow-up study to our initial U.S. study of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD. In the initial study, we reported results at the follow-up two months after the last MDMA-assisted psychotherapy session. In our long-term follow-up, we’ve gathered data at a mean of 45 months (more than 3½ years) after the last MDMA-assisted psychotherapy session. We’ve found that, on average, the decline in PTSD symptoms was sustained over time, demonstrating that there are lasting benefits from our experimental treatment. We can now demonstrate that the therapeutic benefits are more than just a psychedelic afterglow, and instead represent profound and lasting changes.

The publication of our scientific paper will be covered by The New York Times, CNN, NPR, and other media. We’re anticipating this will increase interest in MAPS’ MDMA/PTSD research from PTSD researchers, military officials, the public, and both current and new donors.

In February 2013, the results of our successful Swiss MDMA/PTSD pilot study will be published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology. This study further demonstrates that MDMA-assisted psychotherapy can be safely and effectively administered to people suffering from chronic, treatment-resistant PTSD. The publication of these two papers should help with fundraising for the expansion of our Phase 2 MDMA/PTSD studies, with our Israeli, Canadian, and second U.S. study location in Boulder, Colo., all likely to enroll and treat their first patients in FY 12-13.

We’re also working in FY 12-13 to write a scientific paper about the results of our completed Swiss study of LSD-assisted psychotherapy for end-of-life anxiety, which demonstrated safety and trends toward efficacy. This paper, when published, will also raise MAPS’ profile and is likely to generate additional support for MAPS’ research agenda.

Additional attention will be drawn to MAPS’ research as a result of our Psychedelic Science 2013 conference, cosponsored by MAPS, the Beckley Foundation, the Council on Spiritual Practices, and the Heffter Research Institute. This will be the largest number of psychedelic researchers at the same conference ever to occur in the U.S. CNN has already contacted us about attending, so it will be well-reported. We invite you to join us for this historic event, with large-scale conferences like this switching back to Europe, perhaps in 2015 and 2017.

MAPS’ mission has always been ambitious. Our fundraising challenges for FY 12-13 are the most challenging in the entire 26-year history of MAPS. As you contemplate your charitable donations, we offer this detailed report on our income and expenses from FY 11-12 for your review. Please consider making a generous donation to MAPS and mentioning MAPS in your wills. What was once forbidden, even for research, is now being studied and will, with your help, become an accepted and mainstream option for healing, inspiration, and spirituality.

MAPS’ expenses in FY 11-12 amounted to $1.95 million. Of that amount, $718,000 (37%) was for research; $595,000 (30%) was for education; $455,000 (23%) was for management and general operations, cost of products sold, employee benefits and office equipment; and $186,000 (10%) was for the cost of fundraising.

A more detailed description of MAPS’ expenses follows below. From this list, the breadth of MAPS’ activities can be seen more clearly, as can our strategic priorities.

For a complete discussion of MAPS 2011-2012 fiscal year see our Winter 2012 Annual Financial Report.