FY 2018-2019 Financial Report

Chart 1

MAPS Bulletin Winter 2018: Vol. 29, No. 3

Download this article.

It’s our pleasure and responsibility to present the Annual Report for the finances of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS). Each year, MAPS, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, presents its year-end consolidated financial report with details about our income and its sources, as well as expenses and how they are allocated and projects prioritized. We do this as a commitment to transparency and an invitation to dialogue.

This report describes our most recently completed Fiscal Year from June 1, 2018 to May 31, 2019 (FY19) and consolidates financial information from MAPS, and MAPS’ wholly-owned for-profit subsidiaries the MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MAPS PBC) and MAPS Europe BV.

MAPS’ top priority is to obtain worldwide approval for the legal prescription use of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy with initial approval for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and then for indications beyond PTSD as funding permits. In support of this goal, MAPS created two wholly-owned subsidiaries to conduct MAPS’ clinical research and eventually market MDMA as a medicine; MAPS PBC with a focus on FDA-regulated research and MAPS Europe BV with a focus on European Medicines Agency (EMA)-regulated research, with the work of MAPS Europe managed by MAPS PBC.

This report demonstrates our efforts to strategically leverage the resources which our supporters have so generously donated for us to transform psychedelics and marijuana into approved prescription medicines. Medicalization of psychedelics and marijuana is an essential part of our larger mission to mainstream these substances for a wide range of beneficial uses for a diverse and inclusive population of people, while educating a wider audience on their potential risks and benefits.

MAPS’ annual financial reports, audits, and IRS 990 forms can be found at maps.org/about/fiscal. If you have any questions or comments about anything in this financial report, or would like to become more involved, we invite you to contact giving@maps.org.

Donate today to help make psychedelic medicine a reality for millions of people around the world. Visit maps.org/donate to make a gift.


In FY19, net revenue for MAPS totaled $14.98M from contributed revenue, events, sales, and other income, roughly $4M less than our record-breaking FY18 when revenue totaled $19.08M. FY19 net revenue includes $11.83M in contributed revenue from 3,590 individuals, corporations, bequests, foundations, and sponsorships; $216,510 from event registrations and merchandise sales; $669,493 from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) for our marijuana/PTSD study; $1.3M from fiscal sponsorship income; $311,200 from MAPS’ Zendo Project providing harm reduction services and training; $350,951 from the MDMA Therapy Training Program; and $346,308 from other income (Chart 2).

Expenses in FY19 totaled $11.61M, the largest in MAPS’ history and an increase of almost $3.84M compared to FY18. This increase is primarily a result of the initiation of Phase 3 studies of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD, along with the expansion of our MDMA research program to Europe. Despite the historic high for expenses, in FY19 MAPS increased its assets by nearly $3.37M (Chart 1).

In FY19, MAPS’ primary fundraising priorities were: (1) Phase 3 MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD Program for European Medicines Agency (EMA) approval; (2) treatment development studies with Veterans Administration (VA)-affiliated researchers blending MDMA with Prolonged Exposure, Cognitive Processing Therapy, and group therapy; (3) pilot studies exploring the safety and effectiveness of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for other indications beyond PTSD; and (4) commercialization activities.

MAPS made significant progress this fiscal year regarding the European arm of our MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD program. In the fall of 2018, MAPS conducted a week-long training in the Netherlands for 60 therapists planning to participate in Phase 3 MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD trials or related research in Europe and elsewhere. Participants came from many countries, including Australia, Afghanistan, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, England, Finland, Germany, Israel, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, and Slovakia. We raised $2M in FY19 for EMA trials securing funding for critical study startup activities including investigator and study site selection and training and regulatory negotiations. This total includes a $1.1M donation from an anonymous donor through the Psychedelic Science Funders Collective (PSFC), $100,000 from Abby Rockefeller, and the equivalent of $24,892 in Ethereum from Nicholas Reville.

MAPS estimates that another $8M will be required to fully fund the EMA Phase 3 program. We anticipate that the total cost of making MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD into a legal prescription treatment in Europe through the EMA will be approximately one-third the cost of the FDA program. This is because EMA will consider the data collected in the FDA studies as confirmatory data to support approval, requiring only one additional Phase 3 study while FDA is requiring two Phase 3 studies, along with other safety data.

The largest variable that impacts research expenses is the number of subjects needed in Phase 3 trials. The number of subjects is dependent on how effective the treatment is; the more effective the treatment, the fewer subjects needed to achieve statistical significance. We won’t know how many subjects we are going to need for Phase 3 until the interim analysis of our first Phase 3 study, expected in April 2020.

MAPS has achieved an enormous success in funding projected expenses for FDA approval, assuming no major delays, cost-overruns, or a large number of additional subjects needed for statistical significance. There are still funding gaps anticipated in FY20—most critically, funding for EMA Phase 3 research. Fortunately, our cost-estimates are becoming more precise as we now have a clear path to FDA approval for the prescription use of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD.


MAPS received a total of $14.98M in contributed and earned revenue during FY19, $4.97M above mid-year projections for FY19 (Chart 2).

The previous fiscal year, FY18, was an outlier year in many ways, impacting comparisons between FY18 and FY19. In FY18, MAPS reached its primary multi-year fundraising goal of $28M for Phase 3 FDA MDMA/PTSD trials in large part due to a windfall of support from cryptocurrency philanthropists totaling over $7.067M. Major contributors included The Pineapple Fund ($5.29M; $4M which was given as a 1:1 matching grant) and two anonymous supporters ($1M and $769,203). These cryptocurrency gifts were included in the individual contributions total for FY18 ($12.12 million).

Compared to FY18, individual contributions (including sponsorship contributions) for FY19 returned to historic levels ($2.65M), a decrease of 78%, which can be attributed largely to the one-time cryptocurrency gifts mentioned above and multi-year pledges for the FDA Phase 3 program received in FY18. Foundation contributions increased 55% from $5.92M in FY18 to $9.18M in FY19, and net revenue decreased 21% from $19.06M in FY18 to $14.98M in FY19.

As FY18 was an outlier year, comparing FY19 to Fiscal Year 2016-17 (FY17) highlights the incredible growth over the last two years. When compared to FY17, individual contributions for FY19 (including sponsorship contributions) increased 36.7% from $1.80M in FY17 to $2.65M in FY19, foundation contributions increased an astonishing 676% from $1.18M in FY17 to $9.18M in FY19, and net revenue increased 279% from $5.97M in FY17 to $14.98M in FY19.

In FY19, MAPS raised $8.2M for research of which $8.16M was raised for MDMA-related research and $60,634 was raised for other research projects, and $152,001 for harm reduction and other projects.

Support totaling $7.71M was received for MAPS’ Phase 3 MDMA-assisted psychotherapy studies. This includes $2.91M towards the production of the GMP MDMA study drug for the research and $314,249 for other MDMA research projects.

For research other than with MDMA, MAPS raised $4,422 for our study of marijuana for treating PTSD in 76 US veterans. This study was largely funded by a $2.156 million cost reimbursable grant from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), the income of which will be recognized monthly as received.

MAPS received additional revenue of $2.18M from its educational initiatives. This includes $350,951 from the MDMA Therapy Training Program, $311,200 from psychedelic harm reduction crowdfunding, services, and training, $216,510 from events and sales, and $1.3M in fiscal sponsorships (see Notes 1 and 2).

The balance of MAPS’ funds raised in FY19, in the amount of $4.65M, was designated for unrestricted use.


In FY19, about 79% of net revenue was contributed by 3,590 individual donors and family foundations. FY18 saw a considerable increase in number of donors (44%) compared to FY17, and the upward trend continued in FY19 with an additional 4% increase to 3,590 total donors. The major increase in total donors witnessed in FY18 can be attributed largely to Psychedelic Science 2017, which took place in April 2017 with over 3,000 attendees. The conference brought a wave of new contacts into MAPS’ database at the end of FY17, many of whom became donors in FY18. Additionally, the number of major donors (donors giving $1,000+) has nearly doubled from 185 to 316 individuals and foundations over the last two years.

From FY18 to FY19, the number of renewed donors has decreased from 35% to 28%, returning to historic levels following the outlier FY18 year. However, despite the percentage decrease, the total number of renewing donors has increased by 135. Of renewing donors, 38% increased their gift, 27% remained stable, and 35% decreased their gift.

FY19 was a banner year for MAPS’ Monthly Giving Program. It is noteworthy that monthly recurring donors nearly doubled from 236 in FY18 to 462 in FY19, 290 (63%) of which established their gift in FY19. This growth can be attributed to increased promotion of the monthly giving option, including a component of the 2018 Year-End Fundraising Campaign incentivizing new monthly donations by offering a limited-edition MAPS Dichroic Glass Pendant for donors who established a new recurring gift of at least $15/month. At the close of FY19, monthly donors contributed $81,230 towards MAPS’ total income for the fiscal year.

MAPS had the most successful Year-End Fundraising and Zendo Project crowdfunding campaigns to date in FY19:

From November through December 2018, Year-End Fundraising raised over $426,916 from over 1890 donors in 41 countries. Roughly 60% of donors were first-time donors, with 31 first-time donors giving $1,000 or more. There were 55 returning donors who gave $1,000 or more. In total, there were 86 donors who gave $1,000 or more, which is the largest number of major gifts to any single campaign in MAPS’ history. Most funding came from returning donors (60%). There were $90,000 in matching grants provided by Justin Rosenstein ($50,000) and Ed Littlefield ($40,000).

From July through September 2018, the Zendo Project raised over $129,000 from nearly 460 donors, the most successful Zendo Project campaign to date. This campaign raised 26% more than the FY18 campaign and more than twice as much as the FY17 campaign. There were $31,500 in 1:1 matching grants during the FY19 campaign from the Riverstyx Foundation and other donors.

In FY19, MAPS hosted or collaborated on 8 fundraising events and 11 donor cultivation events, which cumulatively raised over $395,000 in gross revenue. These events were typically small- to medium-sized dinners or receptions which offered opportunities to build relationships with our core supporters, connect with new supporters, and establish new audiences in new places. These events included: Breakthrough for Psychedelic Medicine benefit in NYC ($100,523); Sleeping Octopus Assembly on Psychedelics (SOAP) conference in Pittsburgh ($45,990); SXSW dinner in Austin ($145,660); Arcview dinner in Los Angeles ($39,940); Assembling a Psychedelic Clinic benefit in NYC ($35,790) and dinners in San Francisco, CA ($3,000), Boulder, CO ($18,625), and Carmel, CA ($6,400).

MAPS continues to grow its relationships courageous and visionary granting foundations. FY19 grant revenue of $9.18M is the highest revenue from foundations in MAPS’ history, largely due to $4.14M in grants awarded from the Psychedelic Science Funders Collaborative.

MAPS’ long-term account for our assets, The Curing Fund, is managed by the San Francisco Foundation and has been invested in the stock market. In May 2017, based on cash flow forecasts that showed drawdowns beginning in December 2017, the MAPS Board of Directors reallocated the portfolio with all stocks being sold and proceeds allocated to a short-term investment strategy with a closing balance of $13.75M at fiscal year-end.

MAPS generous fiscal sponsorship program provides support for a few dozen smaller organizations to start their work raising awareness and increasing knowledge and research in psychedelics. This year over $1.3M was processed through our fiscal sponsorship program is an example of MAPS ethos around generosity and expanding the capacity for our entire community.

Product sales (books, art, and wearables) and event registrations generated $216,510 in income. Notably, a total of 2,906 orders were placed in FY19, reaching more than 45 countries. This fiscal year, the Zendo Project hosted a harm reduction webinar series of five 90-minute sessions which generated over $24,800 in net revenue from registrations and shared harm reduction education with 400 attendees. Events and products remain important aspects of our work which serve to draw new supporters, strengthen our relationships to current supporters, and promote our mission.


In FY19, total expenses were $11.61M. Program costs totaled 85.7% of all expenses and include research expenses ($7.73M), education and communication expenses ($2.01M), harm reduction expenses ($320,004), and fiscal sponsorships ($1.15M). Fundraising expenses were $534,321 and operations expenses were $1.18M. For an in depth look at detailed expenditures, please see Chart 6.

MAPS’ primary expenditure in FY19 was MDMA-assisted psychotherapy research with expenses totaling nearly $7.03M. Of that amount, MAPS spent $6.07M on FDA Phase 3 research into MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD and associated projects. Additional MDMA expenses included $112,843 on Phase 2 studies; most notably $32,250 towards completing the study for anxiety associated with a life-threatening illness and $10,010 for the study examining the effect of MDMA on startle response in healthy volunteers.

Marijuana research expenses totaled $671,294. In FY16, after seven years of struggle, MAPS finally received DEA and IRB approval to move forward with its study examining the efficacy of smoked marijuana in 76 veterans with chronic, treatment-resistant PTSD. This research is funded by a $2.156 million grant from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE). This study has completed enrollment and publication of the results is under development.

Education expenses of $1.34M include events, conferences, publications, communications and psychedelic harm reduction. Of that amount, conferences, events, and initiatives had expenses of $670,551. In FY19, MAPS provided sponsorships, speakers, tables, formal representatives and/or promotional support for over 120 outreach events.

Communications expenses of $671,251 include active engagement in public education through media contacts, website and social media presence, publishing the tri-annual MAPS Bulletin, 12 email newsletters, and the MAPS Podcast hosted by Zach Leary. We maintain maps.org, mapspublicbenefit.com, mapseurope.eu, mapscanada.org, zendoproject.org, psychedelicscience.org, psychedelicdinners.org, and mdmaptsd.org. In FY19, MAPS received 471 unique media mentions from online and print publications including: Chronicle of Philanthropy, Nature, Inc. Magazine, CBS Evening News, Business Insider, the New York Times, PBS News Hour , and many more.

The Zendo Project psychedelic harm reduction program incurred costs of $320,004, with $86,738 of that supporting the Zendo Project’s work at Burning Man. The Zendo Project provided services at several major events including: Burning Man, Insomniac events with Project Opentalk, Envision, and Lightning in a Bottle. The Zendo Project provided support to over 380 guests at one central location at Burning Man in 2018. The Zendo Project’s location was highlighted on Burning Man’s official map of Black Rock City and the Zendo Project collaborated closely with medical staff, law enforcement from the Bureau of Land Management, and Black Rock City Rangers. A public 3-hour training on the principles of psychedelic harm reduction was hosted for several hundred people.

In FY19, MAPS spent $534,321 on expenses related to fundraising, an increase of 38% from FY18. However, current fundraising expenses account for only 4.5% of all contributed revenue for FY19, which is significantly lower than national averages (10-20%). Thought of another way, MAPS efficiently spent about $0.05 for every $1 raised in FY19.

Operational costs were nearly $1.18M. These are the unglamorous but necessary expenses of staffing, office rent, taxes, fees, accounting, information technology, equipment, supplies, and postage. Operational costs account for 9.87% of MAPS expenses.


In FY20, our focus remains on the multi-site Phase 3 studies required for FDA and European Medicines Agency (EMA) approval of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD as a legal prescription treatment. The first Phase 3 study for FDA is actively enrolling study subjects at sites in the United States, Canada and Israel. The interim analysis for our first Phase 3 study is going to take place in March 2020. We expect to begin enrolling for the second Phase 3 study for FDA and the Phase 3 study for EMA in April or May 2020, pending regulatory clearances. If the studies remain on schedule, we anticipate the New Drug Application will be submitted to the FDA in 2021 and the Marketing Authorization Application to EMA in 2022. Starting the studies in Europe is dependent on raising the remaining $8 million needed to fund these studies, making EMA Phase 3 MAPS’ primary funding priority for FY20.

In FY20, there are projected total research expenses of over $13.54M with approximately $11.8M for FDA studies and $1.65M for European studies (Charts 7 & 8). Projected expenses for other programs include $2.76M for our education programs including the Zendo Project and fiscal sponsorships, and $2.11M for fundraising and administration (Chart 3).

Estimated spending in FY20 is projected to be nearly $18.43M, an increase of over $5.1M over FY19, and by far the largest expenditure in a single fiscal year in MAPS’ entire 34-year existence due to the ongoing Phase 3 studies.


FY19 was another exceptional year, successfully initiating Phase 3 research on MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD. Expenses were greater than any other fiscal year to date, yet MAPS managed to raise enough contributions and multi-year pledges to increase our net assets by nearly $4 million. However, as FDA Phase 3 continues and EMA Phase 3 starts up, expenses will grow substantially. The inspiring news about FDA granting MAPS Breakthrough Therapy Designation for MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD has motivated supporters to step up, confident in the impact of their gift to heal trauma and legitimize MDMA-assisted psychotherapy as a legally available treatment available by prescription.

As MAPS continues its Phase 3 MDMA/PTSD studies for FDA, research and educational expenses will continue to increase through FY20 when we anticipate completing the gathering of Phase 3 data. In FY21, MAPS’ FDA Phase 3 research will shift to much less expensive data analytic work and submitting a New Drug Application to FDA.

Now, our fundraising focus for research turns to EMA Phase 3 studies, which we anticipate will cost approximately $10 million, of which about $2 million is already raised. MAPS is seeking to raise these funds by the end of FY20. It will be substantially less expensive if we can enroll subjects for the one Phase 3 study for EMA and continue until we have treated enough subjects, rather than if we must stop the study to raise more funds.

In FY19, we have conducted discussions with EMA for scientific advice about the study designs for the Phase 3 study, and discussions with FDA and DEA regarding our Breakthrough Therapy Designation. MAPS still needs to demonstrate statistically significant evidence of efficacy in our Phase 3 studies with an acceptable safety profile before FDA will authorize prescription use, but the Breakthrough Therapy Designation allows for discussions about potential commercialization issues prior to the completion of the Phase 3 studies. These discussions will focus on topics related to Expanded Access (compassionate use for PTSD patients prior to actual approval for prescription use), brand names, manufacturing of commercial quantities of GMP MDMA, the Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategies (REMS) that will control how MDMA-assisted psychotherapy will be provided by prescription, as well as other topics related to commercialization of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD.

We are not there yet, but with the continued support from the MAPS community, the legal prescription use of MDMA will become more than a dream and will become available initially for people suffering from PTSD, then other indications. We are already seeing a tide change in the curiosity, acceptance, and interest in the use of psychedelics for depression, addiction, and other challenges in our communities. Your ongoing support of our work makes all of this and more possible. You are not only helping PTSD sufferers; you are helping to change the face of mental health services worldwide and making them more resilient, creative, and impactful – exactly how we want to see the communities of the future.

If you have questions or comments about anything in the financial report, or would like to become more involved, we invite you to contact giving@maps.org.