As an IRS-approved 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization, MAPS has a responsibility to use its limited funds wisely and strategically, and to be accountable to its members and the public about exactly where and how MAPS’ funds are being spent.
This annual report will provide you with a window into the inner operations of MAPS. It will permit MAPS members to assess how well their funds were spent, and evaluate MAPS’ capacity and potential for action. Writing this report gives me a chance to reflect on the accomplishments of last year, and the challenges of the next. MAPS’ total income for FY 93-94 was $106,650.48. This reflects the largest sum of contributions in MAPS’ eight year history. Though MAPS’ total income for FY92-93 was $113,962, over $22,000 of that was comprised of conference admission fees, almost all of which simply covered costs for MAPS’ 50th Anniversary of LSD events held in Santa Cruz and San Francisco.
The amount of money in MAPS’ bank account at the end of the year rose to the rather astonishing sum of $55,946.58. Of this sum, $48,820 was restricted for specific research projects. By the time you read this report, several months after the close of MAPS’ fiscal year, $1,568 of the restricted funds will have been spent on the Nicaraguan project, and $8,000 will have been spent on the water pipe/vaporization study. At the time of this writing, $39,252 remains earmarked for specific research projects
MAPS had a balance of $7,126.58 in unrestricted operating funds at the end of the fiscal year. Most of this sum has now been spent on this newsletter and to pay for operating expenses.
The research projects to which restricted funds have been committed include, 1) $22, 953 for the study of the use of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy in the treatment of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in Nicaraguan soldiers and civilians traumatized during the Nicaraguan Civil War, 2) $10,000 for the study of the effectiveness of water pipes and vaporizers in filtering marijuana smoke, 3) $4,399 for the study of the use of LSD in the treatment of substance abuse, and 4) $2,000 for the study of ketamine in the treatment of alcoholism.
The fact that MAPS had any carryover at all reflects both its success in raising funds for research as well as some disappointments in the pace of the research as it moves into the implementation phase. Of course, considering the kind of research that MAPS supports, delays are to be expected and the fact that anything at all gets accomplished is still rather remarkable. The Nicaraguan MDMA/PTSD study is still in the protocol design stage, the water pipe/vaporizer study was delayed due to complications in obtaining the marijuana needed for the study, the LSD in the treatment of substance abuse study has been approved by the FDA but is still without Institutional Review Board approval, and the small grant for the study of ketamine in the treatment of alcoholism will fund Dr. Krupitsky’s studies and lectures in the United States in the fall. While frustrating, these delays are temporary.
By the close of this current fiscal year, I hope that most if not all of MAPS’ carryover restricted funds will have been used for the research projects for which they are earmarked. I’d also like to raise an additional $160,000 in restricted funds specifically to support Dr. Grob’s Phase 2 MDMA research project exploring the use of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy and guided imagery in the treatment of pain and distress in end-stage cancer patients. This will be MAPS’ most ambitious fundraising endeavor ever, and I’ll discuss it in more detail at a later time.
MAPS’ accounting of restricted funds does not reflect the sum total of its efforts to raise funds for research. I’m very pleased to report that Dr. Grob’s Phase 1 MDMA research project received a contribution of $25,000 given directly to Harbor-Hospital UCLA Medical Center. This sum was donated by a single benefactor who fortuitously saw, on the Internet, Dr. Grob’s article from the last issue of the MAPS newsletter which a MAPS member, Robert Jesse, had helpfully posted.
In other MAPS-facilitated direct contributions, Dr. Donald Abrams’ study comparing smoked marijuana to the oral THC capsule in promoting weight gain among people suffering from the HIV-related wasting syndrome has received a pledge of $50,000. Once this study is finally ready to begin, and all the legal authorizations have been obtained, this sum will be made available to Dr. Abrams.
MAPS spent $10,930.50 for research during this last fiscal year. Of that sum, $4,260 went to support Dr. Grob’s Phase 1 and Phase 2 MDMA research projects, and $3,479 went to support Dr. Madriz’s effort to conduct MDMA research in Nicaragua. MAPS contributed $1,000 to the ibogaine research of Dr. Mash and Dr. Sanchez-Ramos, and sent $1,101 to support Drs. Richard Yensen and Donna Dryer’s efforts to get their LSD in the treatment of substance abuse study off the ground. A sum of $1,088 was spent on marijuana research, with the single largest expenditure being a patent search of water pipes to try to find methods of filtering marijuana smoke.
On the operating side, MAPS’ financial condition lacks any significant carryover surplus. MAPS’ operating expenses are covered by MAPS’ income by rather slim margins. The constant effort to manage MAPS’ cash flow limits my ability to work on long-term projects and prepare research grant applications.
In FY 93-94, MAPS spent $37,360.30 on communication and education. This sum includes the costs of the newsletters, books, videos, and articles that were sent to members along with phone bills, postage, staff travel, and conference expenses. The single largest item in this category is the MAPS newsletter, for which printing, postage and related production costs amount to about $20,000. This sum does not reflect the value of the time donated by the extremely talented and busy professional graphic designer who gives the MAPS newsletter its polished look. If MAPS’ staff time were to be factored into the production of the newsletter, the costs would rise to about $27,500, about one-third of MAPS’ entire unrestricted budget.
As many of you have commented, the MAPS newsletter has been growing in size and quality. Over this last year, I’ve chosen to focus a significant portion of MAPS’ resources on the newsletter. This decision was made partly to enhance the benefits to members, and partly to help the ideas expressed in the newsletter reach a wider audience and have more impact. This year the newsletter is sent gratis to an increasingly large circle of government regulators, policymakers, scientists and even to opponents of the medical use of psychedelics and marijuana, in the United States and abroad.
I think it is essential that the news about the renewal of psychedelic research be told in a professional and respectable manner and be shared with those who influence and make policy. I hope the MAPS newsletter will enable scientists and policymakers to gain knowledge, inspiration and courage from reports about the progress made by their peers in their own country as well as in other countries. And through exposure to views contrary to their own, political opponents may come to see that this line of research is not so threatening and can be considered on its own merits, distinct from larger issues relating to drug control. Ideally, if they can focus on the personal, they might even be able to see that they and and their loved ones can benefit from this research. Given the inexplicable turns of fate, the medical use of MDMA for treating pain and distress in cancer and terminal illness can be of potential benefit to anyone, since such illnesses don’t discriminate according to political views.
I have edited the newsletter with this larger audience in mind, and hope the membership agrees with this use of MAPS’ resources.
Staff expenses amounted to $27,373.71. This includes my salary of $1,000 gross per month for full-time work, Sylvia Thyssen’s gross salary of $1,440 per month along with a small educational fund to help her learn more about psychedelic research and its practitioners, and the fees to MAPS’ professional accountant. So far it has not been possible to raise my salary to a level more appropriate for professional work, so I continue to donate the majority of my time. If MAPS obtains more operating funds, I’d like to raise my salary to the level of Sylvia’s.
Additional operating expenses include office expenses of rent, office supplies, and bank and licensing fees in the amount of $4,891.74. A one-time capital outlay of $2,596 was used to purchase a portable computer which receives almost constant use.
I’d like to explain MAPS’ fundraising strategy. For the past several years, I’ve decided to use membership donations to cover operating expenses, and to solicit larger restricted donations from funders, with the commitment that 100% of their donation will go to the specific research project of their choice. I believe that this strategy has been successful, as evidenced by the considerable support attracted to various aspects of MAPS’ research agenda. However, as a result of the increasing number and importance of MAPS’ ongoing research projects, MAPS’ responsibilities have also increased. In addition, MAPS now has grown in size to 800+ members, and membership services take a greater amount of time than ever before. As many of you have found out, I am slower to answer mail these days than I used to be due to the increased work load.
As a result of the increased administrative demands on MAPS, it has been absolutely necessary for MAPS’ staff to take on one more staff person. Fortunately, Sylvia Thyssen, with whom many of you have spoken or corresponded, joined MAPS full-time in March. She is learning fast and doing an excellent job. The only reason that it was possible to hire Sylvia full-time (she had previously volunteered her services part-time for some months) was that MAPS received a grant of $15,000 for operating expenses from a single donor. This sum enabled MAPS to cover more than half of Sylvia’s annual salary, taxes and benefits. In order for MAPS to avoid collapsing under the weight of its growth and success, Sylvia’s continued service to MAPS is essential. In order to assure her long-term employment without jeopardizing the research, Sylvia’s salary will need to be generated from an expanded membership and increased contributions for operating expenses. Accordingly, I’m considering it a priority to try to increase MAPS’ membership to about 1250. In this project, every one of MAPS’ current members can play a vital role in keeping the organization thriving, and your continued support is sincerely requested.
I am pursuing three main strategies to help MAPS grow. The first is by conducting a few targeted mailings to groups of people who might be interested in becoming MAPS members, and receiving the newsletter. The second strategy is directed at MAPS’ past membership. We have started to phone past donors who have not renewed their membership to learn their reasons for discontinuing support, and to see if they might decide to renew. So far, this telephone outreach has more than paid for itself, and does not seem to have annoyed anyone overmuch.
The third strategy is an appeal to MAPS’ current membership, and to all of the readers of this newsletter. If you aren’t a member, please consider becoming one. If you are a member, please renew. Most importantly, if each member could find just one friend to join MAPS, financial stability would be assured.
There you have it, MAPS’ financial report for FY 93-94. MAPS continues to grow as does its research agenda, responsibilities, and membership. With your continued support, and that of new members who share an interest in MAPS’ priorities, the report from FY 94-95 will demonstrate even more accomplishments. This year’s priorities are to spend our current carryover funds, get MAPS’ operating budget on a more secure footing, and raise $160,000 for Dr. Grob’s study of the use of MDMA to reduce pain and distress in terminal cancer patients. With your help, it can be done!
Total Income 106650.48 Total Expenses 83052.25 Increase in Balance 23598.23 Balance as of May 31, 1993 32348.35 Balance as of May 31, 1994 55946.58 Total Restricted Funds 48820.00 Total Unrestricted Funds 7126.58
Nicaragua MDMA PTSD 24521.00 LSD Substance Abuse Treatment 4399.00 Ketamine Substance Abuse Treatment 2000.00 Marijuana Water Pipe/Vaporizer 17900.00
Category Expense Info/Education Staff Office Research Copies 2519.72 2519.72 Phones 6676.01 6676.01 Postage 6731.22 6731.22 Newsletter 11741.66 11741.66 Videos for Members 5524.78 5524.78 Books for Members 1637.46 1637.46 Reference Materials, Subscriptions 228.95 228.95 LSD 50th Anniversary Conference 1200.50 1200.50 Assoc. Humanistic Psychology Conf. 1000.00 1000.00 Staff Travel 5332.16 5332.16 Staff Conference Registration Fees 461.30 461.30 Professional Expenses; Accounting 1359.19 1359.19 Salary (Rick 1000/m; Sylvia 1440/m) 20227.06 20227.06 Office Rent 3100.00 3100.00 Office Supplies, Computer Repairs 1086.21 1086.21 Portable Computer Purchase 2596.00 2596.00 Bank Fees, Licenses 705.53 705.53 MDMA-US:Phase 1;Phase 2;Cancer Patients 4262.00 4262.00 MDMA-Nicaragua:PTSD 3479.00 3479.00 LSD:Substance Abuse Treatment 1101.00 1101.00 Ibogaine:Substance Abuse Treatment 1000.00 1000.00 Marijuana:AIDS;Water Pipe/Vaporizer 1088.50 1088.50 Total FY 93-94 Expenses 83052.25 37260.30 27373.71 7487.74 10930.50