Our mission to end the stigma around mental illness was fueled by 131 hikers and 495 sponsors, a five-fold increase over the 26 hikers and 110 sponsors in the prior year.
Altogether, our hikers raised $30,911, thanks to the support and generosity of our many sponsors and supporters. To read about some of the highlights of the year, click here.
Where the money goes
In December, 2013, we distributed 100% of the $29,669 in hike donations we received up to that point. That makes a total of more than $37,400 we have awarded since our founding.
Note: Donations received December 1 or later are given out in the following year’s disbursement.
Mental illness research
Brain & Behavior Research Foundation received 80% of the funds. President Jeffrey Borenstein, M.D., was presented with a check for $23,576.96.
Read HIKE for Mental Health’s award letter to the Brain & Behavior Research Center.
Veterans mental health
Our Veterans Day hike, which is dedicated to providing self-help materials for patients on the behavioral ward of a US Veterans hospital serving active duty service men and women, raised almost $200 that was used to purchase DVD’s about coping with depression and coping with anger, as requested by Rosa, the VA nurse there.
In addition, hikers also made direct donations of books through an Amazon wish list posted by Rosa.
The New York New Jersey Trail Conference received 20% of the funds raised; a total of $5,894.24 was presented to Executive Director Edward Goodell. Of that amount, $1,000 was directed to their capital project to convert the Darlington Schoolhouse into an education center and program headquarters, helping them to receive a $500,000 challenge grant.
Our operating expenses – credit card processing fees, website hosting, software licensing, shirts and other logo-ed items, printing and administrative expenses – came to just under $6,000 in 2013.
Approximately $5,300 of these costs were paid by the founders and leaders of HIKE for Mental Health. I wish we didn’t have to publicize that fact, and we don’t do so to toot our own horns.
But it is important to help everyone understand how 100% of the donations raised from hikes can go to our mission.
The reason is that HIKE for Mental Health is an all-volunteer organization. Its leaders all have day jobs (thankfully), and we pay from our pockets for most of the operating costs.
We think it is important, if we are going to ask for donations from others, that we do not exempt ourselves from that request.
The remainder of the operating support came from shirt donations, some corporate donations, and donations made expressly to offset our operating costs, for which we are very grateful.
Want more information?
If you would like more information about the financials of HIKE for Mental Health, please contact us for more information.
We are committed to complete transparency, so if anything is unclear please ask us so we can make it clearer for everyone. Thanks!
Our fundraising goal for 2014 is $50,000.