MAPS Bulletin Winter 2014 Vol. 24, No. 3 – Annual Report
Fiscal Year 2013–14 (June 1, 2013–May 31, 2014)
This year-end financial report from the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) is a key element of our commitment to transparency and clear communications. The report depicts our year-long focus on strategically leveraging resources that our donors have so generously empowered us to use towards realizing our shared purpose of transforming psychedelics and marijuana into FDA-approved prescription medications. The medicalization of psychedelics and marijuana is an essential part of our larger mission to facilitate the mainstreaming of psychedelics and marijuana into our culture for a wide range of beneficial uses.
As I write this report, we’ve just completed an independent audit of our financial information for the fourth consecutive year. MAPS’ financial reports, along with our audits, and tax forms can be found at maps.org/about/fiscal. If you have any questions about anything in this financial report, you are invited to inquire at askMAPS@maps.org.
MAPS’ income in Fiscal Year 2014 (June 1, 2013–May 31, 2014) totaled $4.9 million, and expenses were $2.3 million, bringing our net assets to $9.5 million. Because pledges are included as revenue in the year they are made, just over $840,000 of our fiscal year revenue, and year-end assets, are multi-year pledges.
Our year-end assets include $5.4 million in the Board Restricted Ashawna Hailey Fund, with $5.3 million reserved for our Phase 3 studies of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for the treatment of PTSD, and $102,041 for a study of MDMA for the treatment of social anxiety in adults on the autism spectrum. In the coming fiscal year, we estimate spending $325,995 of our temporarily restricted assets on our research projects, leaving just over $9 million in assets (including multi-year pledges) at the end of Fiscal Year 2015. Although this is substantial amount of money, it does not cover even half of the $20 million we estimate we will need for completing our Phase 3 research required to transform MDMA-assisted psychotherapy into a prescription medicine for PTSD. In addition, MAPS has annual expenses of over $1 million for our other research (MDMA-assisted therapy for autistic adults with social anxiety, MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for anxiety associated with life-threatening illnesses, marijuana for PTSD, and ibogaine and ayahuasca to treat drug addiction), our publishing and public education programs, as well as fundraising and administration.
Total contributed revenue was just over $4 million in Fiscal Year 2014. The majority (93%) came from roughly 40 individuals and family foundations. Of the total, $1.9 million was an unexpected bequest from Tim Butcher’s estate, and $1 million was a five-year pledge from Dr. Richard Rockefeller. In addition to these large gifts, MAPS saw increases in both revenue and the number of donors at all giving levels; the number of donors giving $1,000 or more grew 21%; the renewal rate increased to 64%; and the number of donors grew 30% to 1,574.
Our crowdfunding campaigns in Fiscal Year 2014 exceeded expectations. After raising $2,500 through Causes two years ago in our first campaign, this year we raised $17,000 through Indiegogo for our Zendo Project psychedelic harm reduction program, followed by over $44,000 for our study of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for veterans with PTSD. Bitcoins added $30,822 in revenue this year after we began to accept them in December 2013.
Grants revenue of ($197,755) was received from family foundations and donor advised funds, all cases where we have a strong relationship with the foundation family. We hope that there may be a shift to more traditional foundation funding once our Phase 2 MDMA studies are complete, and we will continue to develop relationships with foundation staff until then. However, support from major foundations, like government funding, will come only after pioneering studies funded by courageous and visionary individuals and family foundations have helped us to overcome social resistance and stigma. I learned this lesson during a meeting several years ago in England with the Wellcome Trust, the largest foundation in England with a major focus on neuroscience, funded initially by pharmaceutical company stock. During our meeting, Wellcome Trust staff spoke about the “reputational risk” of supporting MDMA/PTSD research. I immediately countered that this was a “reputational opportunity” but that reframing fell on deaf ears. Still, hope springs eternal and maybe one day, MAPS will receive support from major foundations and governments.
MAPS’s long-term account, The Curing Fund, began the fiscal year with a balance of $4,381,336. Contributions for the fiscal year came from the Hailey Bequest ($1,142,389) and Butcher Bequest ($1,000,000.) Total invested capital at fiscal year-end was $6,523,725. During the fiscal year, The Curing Fund’s investment activity, net of fees, resulted in a 9.6% or $626,872 increase in net assets. The Curing Fund’s closing balance for the fiscal year was $7,150,597.
Our fiscal sponsorship program continues to grow, with revenue collected ($186,908), an average 5% administrative fee charged, and the balance disbursed to projects in alignment with MAPS’ vision and mission.
Product sales and event registrations are each less than 1% of our revenue, but remain important aspects of our work as the income offsets the costs of events and products, which serve to draw new supporters, strengthen our relationships to current donors, and promote our message.
In Fiscal Year 2014, program costs totaled 77% of all expenses. Programs include Research ($1,149,747), Education ($447,332), and Fiscal Sponsorships ($193,433). Our primary focus is research into MDMA-assisted psychotherapy, and especially Phase 2 research into MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for the treatment of PTSD. See Chart 7, MDMA/PTSD Phase 2 Research Projects, for multi-year study actuals and budgets.
In addition to our core clinical research, this fiscal year we began to prepare a series of studies in collaboration with researchers who work with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ National Center for PTSD, using MDMA along with more traditional methods for treating PTSD including Cognitive-Behavioral Conjoint Therapy (CBCT), Cognitive Processing Therapy (CBT), and Prolonged Exposure Therapy (PET). In Fiscal Year 2014 we spent a total of $4,721 on this project; this will increase to roughly $27,000 in fiscal year 2015 as we develop protocols, and to $500,000 in fiscal year 2016 as we start to conduct the studies.
We also began our study looking at the safety and efficacy of using MDMA-assisted therapy for anxiety in adults on the autism spectrum ($44,720), and began preparations for a study of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for end-of-life anxiety ($9,033). Both studies will grow significantly in the coming year.
Over half our Clinical Research expenses are personnel costs. These include personnel at each study site, including the principal investigators, co-investigators, independent raters, overnight physicians, attendants, and study coordinators as well as MAPS internal staff, inc
luding the clinical director, research associates, information specialists, data coordinators, and statistical analysis.
MDMA research-related program expenses include costs of video data storage and streaming systems development, budgeting, contracting, and meetings ($68,667); the costs of developing the treatment manual ($694); training therapists ($6,559); blinded therapist adherence training ($6,716); and costs of reviewing and documenting all published MDMA literature ($5,264). We also have the costs of MDMA-study related supervision of therapists, presentation of our data at conferences, and speaking to the media ($53,003). There are costs to manage the MDMA purchased early in our work and to secure the drug for Phase 3 ($6,782); we will need to purchase 1 kilogram of medical grade MDMA certified under Good Manufacturing Practices for our Phase 3 studies, at a cost of about $400,000, over the next two fiscal years.
Clinical Research General ($234,654) is primarily staff costs related to developing the infrastructure needed for our clinical trials, including work with communications and fundraising departments, staff professional development and conferences, and video streaming and statistical software. The clinical research general expenses are primarily related to our various MDMA studies.
Ibogaine research expenses in Fiscal Year 2014 were dedicated to completing our studies in Mexico ($3,816), and New Zealand ($6,329). LSD research expenses ($12,185) were primarily used for the March 2014 publication our LSD end-of-life article in the Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease.
Marijuana research ($14,905) covered the costs of MAPS staff working with Dr. Sue Sisley to develop the protocol for a pilot study in which marijuana will be tested to manage symptoms in 70 veterans with treatment-resistant PTSD, and our efforts to end the Public Health Service (PHS) review and the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) monopoly of the sale of marijuana for clinical research. We expect the new study to begin in mid-2015, as we wait for NIDA to grow the marijuana with the required CBD (cannabidiol) and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) ratios.
Education ($447,332) expenses include harm reduction, events, publications and communications programs. Our Zendo Project psychedelic harm reduction program ($63,725) provided services at festivals in at five major events in Fiscal Year 2014: Burning Man (Black Rock City, NV), Envision (Costa Rica), AfrikaBurn (South Africa), Bicycle Day (San Francisco, CA), and Lightning in a Bottle (Bradley, CA).
In Fiscal Year 2014, in order to share recent findings and motivate and inspire existing and new support, MAPS produced events on psychedelic and marijuana research in Colorado, Vancouver and Santa Cruz; and attended more than 17 events that others produced, providing speakers, exhibits, sales of books and MAPS Bulletins, and free distribution of clinical protocols and articles from peer-reviewed journals. ($69,404)
Communications ($266,926) include publishing three MAPSBulletins (the Spring 2013, Special Edition on Psychedelics and Education, the Summer 2013 Research Edition, and the Winter 2014 Annual Report) and 12 Email Newsletters. We also maintained maps.org, mdmaptsd.org, mapscanada.org, psychedelicscience.org, and launched mdma-autism.org. MAPS was a partner in publishing several books this fiscal year, working closely with North Atlantic Books to produce Manifesting Minds: A Review of Psychedelics in Science, Medicine, Sex, and Spirituality. We reprinted LSD: My Problem Child by Albert Hofmann, and began work with Stanislav Grof on his new book, The Visionary World of H.R. Giger. In Spring 2014, MAPS offered its first webinar, “Psychedelic Science: How To Apply What We’re Learning To Your Life,” a five course series in collaboration with Evolver Learning Labs.
MAPS saw significant growth in coverage of its work in social, online, and traditional media in Fiscal Year 2014. Facebook: New Likes increased 171% compared to the previous year; at the end of the fiscal year, MAPS had 89,282 Likes. Twitter: Followers increased 140%, to 17,099. YouTube: Subscriptions increased 256% to 5,313, with 286,160 views and 983 comments. reddit: MAPS organized two Ask Me Anything (AMA) sessions, with a goal to expand the number of reddit AMAs in the 2015 fiscal year. Websites: maps.org had 511,449 unique visits and 1,809,246 pageviews (a 54% increase from the prior year).
MAPS received 344 unique media mentions from online and print publications with significant reach in Fiscal Year 2014, up 42% from the prior year. Mentions do not include reprints of the same article in different media, and ranged from full stories to inclusion of MAPS’ name. Media outlets include the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, Reason, Scientific American, CNN, USA Today, MSNBC, Time, Associated Press,FOX News, Forbes, NBC News, Playboy, Santa Cruz Sentinel, Tricycle, Business Insider, NPR, VICE, and Southern California Public Radio (KPCC). For a full media list see maps.org/media.
This year, MAPS operationalized its long-running Fiscal Sponsorship program ($193,433), clarifying and updating contracts, process, and structure. This program supports projects that are in alignment with MAPS mission and vision by offering donors a way to give to a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization (see note 1, above). MAPS monitors the project budget, takes a small fee, and sends the donor a receipt for their contribution.
Fundraising expenses ($233,162) are primarily for staff, mail and delivery, donor research and database costs, fundraising events, and travel and lodging for individual donor visits. Operations ($350,124) are the unglamorous but necessary unallocated expenses of staffing, occupancy, taxes, fees, accounting, information technology, equipment, supplies and postage.
Phase 2 and Phase 3 Long Term Planning
The charts on page 12–13 show the actual and projected expenses for each of our Phase 2 MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for the treatment of PTSD studies. Phase 2 costs will peak in fiscal year 2015, then decline as we begin our Phase 3 studies. The completion of our Phase 2 studies will provide us with the data from about 90 subjects with PTSD for an End-of-Phase 2 meeting with FDA in the first half of 2016. The purpose of this meeting is to come to an agreement about the design of our Phase 3 multi-site MDMA/PTSD studies. Once we have FDA approval for the design of Phase 3, our MDMA/PTSD Phase 3 Cost Projections will be updated and the path forward will be even clearer.
Sustainable Business Development
We currently project that MDMA-assisted psychotherapy will be approved for prescription use in 2021. Because of our growing belief that we will be able to accomplish that objective, MAPS’ Board of Directors is engaged in a series of discussions with lawyers and accountants about how best to leverage the prescription use of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy and the potential income from the sales of MDMA into a source of support for further research and educational efforts consistent with MAPS’ mission. This vision of a sustainable non-profit is the new vision that we’re working to make possible, to provide a flow of resources for continued efforts to develop the healing, therapeutic, and spiritual potential of psychedelics and marijuana.
As always, every donation, no matter the size, brings us closer to realizing the dream of a transformed culture that values rather than suppresses catalysts of non-ordinary states of consciousness. As MAPS enters its 29th year, we present this financial report for your review along with an appeal to existing MAPS donors for continued support and an appeal for new support from those who feel ready to become part of this collaborative evolutionary pr