As we come to the end of the year, I thought I would take a moment to share the state of MaleSurvivor as I see it. In reviewing where we are, and what we have accomplished, I think we have a lot to be proud of. If the information in this post, or anything here on the website, has been helpful to you, please make a donation to MaleSurvivor today.

2015 was a milestone year for MaleSurvivor. Between our recovery events (Weekends and Days of Recovery), professional trainings, and Dare to Dream awareness events, we provided a direct service to more than 5,500 people across the United States in 2015. Globally, hundreds of thousands of people connected to us via the website and discussion forums and on our Facebook and Twitter pages. We have never offered support to that many people in one calendar year for as long as we have been tracking these numbers.

We didnít accomplish everything we set our sights on, but no organization ever does. What I can say is that everything we have done this year has helped us grow as an organization. I am very excited for what we may be able to accomplish in 2016 and moving ahead. None of this would be possible without the tireless efforts and contributions of your time and energy, and first and foremost I thank each and everyone of you for your time, your commitment, and your support for our work. No survivor can heal in isolation and MaleSurvivor truly is one of the most remarkable communities of hope, healing, and support for any group of survivors of abuse.

Here is a brief overview of some of our accomplishments this year:

WEBSITE
We welcomed more than 100,000 visitors from all parts of the earth to MaleSurvivorís website, where more than 2 million pages of content was viewed. When we include the impact of our social media platforms on FB and Twitter (thank you Peter!), MaleSurvivorís core message that Hope, Healing, and Support exist for male survivors of sexual abuse and our loved ones has been seen by millions of people all over the world.
  • I want to especially thank the team that works so hard behind the scenes to make sure our online community is a supportive and safe one for survivors and their loved ones. Please join me in thanking Site Admin Andy Schmoldt and Webmaster Nathan LaChine along with key community volunteers:
  • Discussion Board mods: TJ jeff aka Jeff , Anomalous, peroperic2009 aka Igor , Don Laufersweiler, CCDC, LPC aka Don , Chase Eric aka Eirik
    Chat Room Moderators: blacken aka Paul , newground aka Jeff , Suwanee aka Will
    Greeters: Esposa, Rich1967 aka rich, and Anomalous has been helping the greeters as well.
  • Starting this past July, I began a redesign of the website along with the assistance of a Weekend of Recovery alumus who generously donated his and his companyís time to create a new look for the MS website.At Septemberís Board meeting I shared the new design to our board and we voted to move forward with the project, knowing that it would take some time to build a modern online home for MaleSurvivor. As of this moment, ABC WebService (our web host company) is still in the process of implementing this redesign, which is taking a little longer than we had anticipated due to customizations required. But I am excited that after all the hard work we will be able to unveil a website that will truly stand out and serve our needs.

HEALING PROGRAMS
Following another successful year of Weekends and Days of Recovery Iím proud to share we have now held more than 65 recovery events since 2001, and have helped over 1300 male survivors and their loved ones.
  • This past year we held the first ever joint Weekend of Recovery with male survivors and female survivors from the Taking Back Ourselves weekends. This coming together of male and female survivors shattered silos that have so long kept these communities apart and I believe it has helped create a paradigm that will encourage and inspire more collaboration and cooperation between all survivors.
  • We also held a number of Day of Recovery events, and I am so thankful for all the work the Leadership Team (Howard, Lynne, Jim, Sharon) have done along with the full facilitator team to continue to develop this important expansion of the WoR program. Many people donít realize this, but the facilitator team donates thousands of hours of their time every year to administering our recovery programs. It is only thanks to their generosity and tremendous teamwork that we can offer these unique recovery programs to more men around the country.

TRAINING PROGRAMS
Our training programs are growing and expanding!
  • In 2015 MS personnel trained more than 4000 professionals at conferences and workshops all around the US and also including more than 700 in Italy (thank you Howard and the US Army SHARP leadership for making that happen!).
    Moving forward we are getting more and more requests to provide training on male sexual abuse issues, including both clinical training and informational sessions from around the world. We are working on university campuses, with child advocacy centers, the military, and in community centers to increase the overall knowledge of male sexual abuse issues and the skills of people on the ground supporting boys and men who are sexually abused.
  • Itís important to remember that providing these trainings creates valuable connections for the organization that help foster our work, and it also greatly multiplies our impact in communities across the country. The unparalleled and important work we do at the Weekends and Days of Recovery can still only connect with so many survivors. The training work we do has the potential to exponentially improve how male survivors are treated in their communities.
  • Perhaps most critically, our work with the military these past two years is really starting to pay off as more and more requests for trainings at bases and installations around the world are beginning to come in.
  • Lastly, it also generates critically important revenue for the organization that helps to supplement our fundraising efforts. As sexual abuse charities that help men still face immense challenges in gaining public acknowledgement and funding we canít understate the importance of this last part.

OTHER HIGHLIGHTS
After starting 2015 with the unexpected departures of a some key board members, Iím thrilled that we welcomed 3 new board members Ė Dr. Andrew Smiler, Steven Procopio ACSW, Lois Olivera Beekman who are all bringing energy and new perspectives to the work!
  • I also want to ask everyone to please join me in thanking Ken Followell who is stepping down from the Board of Directors after a decade of tireless service to the organization. Ken has been one of the most important volunteers and itís not overstating the case to say that without the work he and his wife Vicky have done for years, there might not be a MaleSurvivor today. Ken will remain a key advisor to me and the board, but I want to encourage
  • I also want to thank Peter Ruggiero for his outstanding work helping me program our social media pages on Facebook and Twitter this past year!
  • After some great engagement and support from our alumni, MaleSurvivor regained itís status as a Top Rated non-profit on Great Nonprofits' website once again. This puts us in elite company with only about 1700 other US based non-profits.
  • We invested in a new donation processing platform, Classy.org, which offers us a host of tools that I believe will significantly improve our fundraising capacity moving forward. Weíve already seen an increase in average gift size in the past month alone, and I remain hopeful that we will end the year on a strong note with regards to fundraising. More importantly, this empowers members of the MaleSurvivor community to set up their own fundraising pages, host events, and do more to give back to MaleSurvivor! To learn more see https://donations.malesurvivor.org/fundraise/get-involved?cid=22720 and http://go.classy.org/guide-how-to-throw-third-party-fundraising-events
  • Earlier this year, we identified over 100 WoR Alumni who stepped forward to offer their help on various MS projects. Iím pleased to share that Das Chapin has agreed to help me with volunteer coordination. A key project Das will be overseeing is the development of a resource guide that will empower survivors and allies to hold events to raise awareness and create more support in their communities. These events could include clinical trainings and Days of Recovery.

KEYS FOR MOVING FORWARD
In 2016, I think there will be some key opportunities and partnerships that we should be prepared for.
  • We are working with Dr. Joan Cook of Yale University to build a collaboration between the Trauma Psychology program she oversees at Yale and MaleSurvivor. This would allow us to potentially expand some resources on the website and create some important areas of research collaboration between our community and Joanís department that would help identifying major obstacles to help seeking and engagement with males and male survivors of sexual abuse and other forms of trauma in particular.
  • We are part of a collaboration with the Joe Torre Safe At Home (SAH) Foundation that is funded by a grant through the Office of Violence Against Women. As part of this grant we will be providing training to clinical staff in 4 NYC schools that host DV services for students who are survivors of DV in their homes. We will be providing a general trainings for school staff on male victimization issues. Meanwhile our clinical team will be providing trainings for the direct service staff in the 4 resource centers operated by SAH in NYC schools.
  • By all indications there will be an increase in requests for training from the military and other groups throughout the coming year. I am committed to expanding our training operations for the reasons outlined above.
  • We are also in the very early stages of planning for the 2016 conference. Steven Procopio is taking the lead in this. We will be working together with Steve Gold and his students in the Trauma Resolution and Integration Program at Nova Southeastern University to hold another great event!
  • Iíve also been approached by a few people who are interested in holding fundraising events/benefits to support MaleSurvivor. Iím working with our Board Development Committee in the early stage of planning for a possible event in the spring of 2016 in NYC. I should also mention that anyone who is interested in creating a fundraising page/event for MS should look at the information and resources on these two pages: https://donations.malesurvivor.org/fundraise/get-involved?cid=22720 and http://go.classy.org/guide-how-to-throw-third-party-fundraising-events

ONE LAST THOUGHT
  • Our revenues for 2016 were less than $300,000. This means we accomplished all of this at a cost of LESS THAN $60 per person served. When you include in that count the thousands of people who found support through our website, the cost per person falls even further. Yes, this is miraculous - however it is unsustainable.
  • The lack of adequate financial resources and reserves creates limitations and obstacles that are almost insurmountable. Instead of celebrating what we manage to accomplish in spite of those obstacles, we should think about what we could do if we had the support and resources that really would allow us to grow. Just as survivors need help in order to do the work of healing, MaleSurvivor needs help in order to thrive as an organization. If we hope to maintain this level of impact, let alone expand we need a lot more support.
  • A goal I have for 2016 will be working with the board and key advisors to develop long term goals and a budget that will allow us to transform MaleSurvivor into a leader in national advocacy. This is a shared challenge in which each and every single person connected to MaleSurvivor has a role to play. There is no question that the work we do Ė providing hope, healing, and support to male survivors and our loved ones has the potential to transform millions of lives for the better. The question is how do we find more partners and supporters to see the value and importance of our work, and make the kind of investments in MaleSurvivor that will ensure our long term stability. If you have ideas that can help, please email me at canderson@malesurvivor.org and we can set up time to speak in the new year.

In closing, please know how deeply grateful I am to each and every one of your for your tireless efforts to support MaleSurvivor and also to help us create a society in which the sexual victimization of men and boys is finally beginning to be more openly acknowledged and within which more men and boys have a great chance of being heard, believed, and supported than ever before. While we have much to celebrate, a brief glance at the emails I see every day and the posts in the discussion forums makes it clear there is far more work to do.

I hope you all have a joyous and restorative holiday and year end season.

Again, if the information in this post, or anything here on the website, has been helpful to you, please make a donation to MaleSurvivor today.