Financially, 2015 was a great year for NutritionFacts.org thanks to the book advance for How Not to Die. But without new book income in 2016, we are back to relying on our steadfast supporters. The average donation we get is less than $30, but we reach so many millions that even if 1 in 1,000 people pitch in a few bucks we are able to thrive. Please consider doing your part and make a one-time end-of-year donation (we’re a 501c3 nonprofit so donations are tax-deductible). Or even better, become a monthly supporter. 59% of our operating budget now comes from regular supporters who sign up to make small recurring donations every month—they build up!
Where do donations to NutritionFacts.org go? I don’t take a salary or receive any compensation (other than all the warm fuzzies from helping everyone :), but we do have a growing staff. As you can see in the pie chart, the greatest cost is our research budget. This includes access fees for journal articles and our burgeoning research team.
My goal is to not let a single nutrition study fall through the cracks. There are 30 to 40 papers published on straight nutrition alone every day, in addition to 100 daily studies on cancer, about 20 on heart disease, 20 on obesity, and 20 on diabetes, etc. Even I can’t read 200 papers a day. Twenty people, though, can read 200 papers a day. We can’t afford 20 people, but total coverage is my ultimate goal; otherwise we fall hopelessly behind.
For example, I have an email folder of PubMed alerts on the critical nutrition topics that I follow. (The National Library of Medicine will send you free email alerts any time a study is published on any topic of your choosing—one of the uses of my tax dollars for which I’m most grateful!) In part, because of the 8 months I had to set aside to write the book, I now have 5,000 of these emails sitting in my inbox. That’s when it really struck me. Since each alert can contain up to 200 research summaries, that could be a million citations to go through, with new ones arriving every day. That’s when I realized I needed more help.
Sadly, in order to hire more researchers I’ve had to cut the RD position. So, this will be Joe’s last month. In his all-too-brief tenure with us this year, Joseph Gonzales, RD, answered more than 2,000 questions on the site and responded to innumerable emails. Please join me in wishing Joe a heartfelt thanks for all his hard work. I’m hoping our volunteer army of medical and nutritional professionals will step up to help take up the slack to respond to the multitude of comments and questions posted daily.
Even with this freeing up of funds, hiring additional researchers still puts us $80,000 over our projected 2016 budget. We’ve already raised about $16,000 towards that year-end goal. Would you consider chipping in?
As a token of gratitude, anyone donating $30 or more (or becoming at least a $5 monthly donor) will receive a coupon code that can be shared with anyone for a free digital download of any of my nutrition DVDs (must be used by the end of the year).
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Book Update—WE DID IT!
In it’s first week, How Not to Die sold 25,000 copies, propelling it to #6 on the New York Times Best Seller list. The list will run in print on December 27th, and so hopefully that will dazzle media outlets into covering my work in their new-year-new-you type segments. Keep your fingers crossed!
I’ve started to get feedback from those who delved right into it, and the reviews have been overwhelmingly positive. It’s so heartening to hear that my voice really came through and is resonating with so many people. My favorite endorsement this week came from Dan Buettner of Blue Zones fame:
“This is absolutely the best book I’ve read on nutrition and diet.”
-Dan Buetter, Blue Zones Founder and CEO
Together, let’s save some lives this holiday season. Consider sharing copies of How Not to Die with your friends and family (or at least the ones you want to keep around :)
Michael Greger, M.D.
PS: If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my free videos here and watch my live year-in-review presentations Uprooting the Leading Causes of Death, More Than an Apple a Day, From Table to Able, and Food as Medicine.