Monday, January 1, 2018

Once Fallen' 2017 Annual Report -- Request for assistance greatly increases, contributions greatly decreases


OnceFallen celebrated 10 years of operation on December 5, 2017. In time for our 10 year anniversary, we reached 1 million visitors and had the biggest year ever in amount of assistance offered by OnceFallen.

Doing more with less could be the unofficial motto of the 2017 OnceFallen annual report. While financial support decreased by a third for OnceFallen, requests for assistance from OnceFallen increased by the largest amount in its 10 year history (roughly 40%). Thankfully, a donation surge at the end of last year following the Xmas at the Camp event kept OnceFallen from plunging into debt (barely). Expect to see a decrease in activist activity for OnceFallen in 2018 as support for this organization has dried up considerably since the early part of the year.


This stat covers how I was initially contacted by a new contact during the year:


2016 total contacts and difference: 297 (+125 or 42.1% increase)

Total Number of States: 38 plus DC: 35 FL, 28 OH, 26 PA, 26 AL, 25 TX, 22 CA, 17 IL, 16 NY, 15 NC, 14 GA, 10 WA, 9 IN, 9 MI, 8 MO, 8 TN, 6 AZ, 6 NJ, 5 AR, 5 OK, 5 OR, 4 KY, 4 LA, 4 MN, 4 SC, 4 WI, 3 MD, 3 NE, 3 VA, 3 WV, 2 KS, 2 UT, 1 AK, 1 O, 1 DC, 1 IA, 1 MA, 1 MS, 1 RI, 1 WY
Include 3 UK, 1 EU, and 71 who did not specify a location; 11 were from the media

First contact locations:

Email 152, Phone 138, Mail/ Letter 70, Corrlinks 25, Texting 23, social media 10 (all from FB)
By Month: Jan. 45, Feb. 32, Mar. 32, Apr. 60, May 32, Jun. 27, Jul. 47, Aug. 36, Sep. 31, Oct. 34, Nov. 26, Dec. 24

Total Inmate Letters: 180 (2016- 121 letters, + 59, 48.76% increase) A number of letters are of ongoing correspondence, and dozens were merely requests for printouts of 50 state spreadsheets from ACSOL and CCRC. To offset the costs, OnceFallen has requested prisoners send two stamps for each of the printouts. Even then, some prisoners cannot afford the stamps but requests are still fulfilled.
Corrlinks Mailing list as of 12/31/17: 221 subscribers (2016- 155 subscribers, + 65, 41.7% increase)

Media appearances: Eight (down from 13 in 2016), though one documentary won’t be released until next year.


Total Visitors: 228,275 (133,491 visitors in 2016, +94784 or 71% increase)

Sometime on 11/27/2017, logged its one millionth individual visitor. Interestingly, during the week of September 20-27 and for three days between 11/17 and 11/19, there were interruptions in the access logs, so some visitors for that week was seemingly not counted. It is possible there were unreported service interruptions to OnceFallen operations during that time or even online attacks on the site that went unnoticed.


Financial support for OnceFallen declined by roughly a third over last year’s totals, with 55% of support coming from just three contributors. Expenses exceeded donations by 35% this year but was offset by a surplus of funds left over from last year that came in after Christmas and a surge of support early in 2017. However, contributions have fallen off a cliff since May, so the surplus quickly dried up.

Travel is always the largest expense because travel is expensive, even on a budget. OnceFallen traveled to Nebraska, Florida and Oregon to engage in activism projects (and Washington DC to witness the Packingham v NC case in person), and though we strive to find the cheapest hotels and travel possible (we never count food, souvenirs or any personal purchase as “business expenses”), travel is simply expensive, especially to Florida. Thus, 56% of the expenses for 2017 came from travel.

Office supplies is the next largest expense, including phone, letters, envelopes, stamps, printers and ink, paper, and other supplies necessary for answering inquiries. This represented 21% of the 2017 budget expenditure for OnceFallen.

It is a little known fact that OnceFallen sometimes sends care packages or other financial support to some who are newly released from prison as well as homeless registrants. I do not advertise this because I would be overwhelmed with requests, and rarely do I have the budget to offer much to those who request it. Funds that went to this purpose included donations to other websites, cash or supplies for homeless or stranded registrants, and stamps or free info packets for those in prison. This comprised 20% of the 2017 expenses for OnceFallen.

The Shiitake Awards is a fun project but by far the least expensive project, save for costumes and props. Cost for props for two award shows (got the 2017 awards show finished early) only represents 3% of OnceFallen expenses.


OnceFallen will be slowing down operations for 2018. There are a few things that are needed for this year (new computer, possibly an upgraded website) but travel-related expenses should be minimal, as we are expecting to engage in fewer in-person public awareness events in anticipation of a larger project to be announced for either 2019 or 2020. The main focus will be on implementing new ideas for the website and a larger focus on resource-gathering for prisoners and the recently released.

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