Annual Report 2005

Table of Contents

Alternatives was founded in 1973 as a protest against the commercialization of Christmas.

Up to 1995, the organization produced:

Also, the organization:

Since moving Alternatives from Georgia, to Sioux City, Iowa, in August, 1995, the new staff has:

We met our goals for our 30th anniversary of establishing a planned giving fund and an Honorary Board of Directors (see right).

We moved into a geodesic dome building named The Earth Dome – our headquarters and a Care of Creation Center (environmental demonstration project) in Sergeant Bluff, Iowa.

We published “The Anytime Game” (modeled after the popular “The Christmas Game”).

We issued a “gift” version of our annual Advent booklet for families “Whose Birthday Is It, Anyway?” appropriate for bookstores and newsstands.

We produced two series of radio programs – “Whose Birthday?” (six 28-minutes programs) and “More-with-Less Christmas” (30 90-seond spots) – and recruited over 15 stations to broadcast them.

We added to our audio CD series with “Carols with Justice,” “What Does JESUS Want for Christmas?” and “Christmas Trilogy” (“Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” “The Celebration Revolution of Alexander Scrooge” and “Let’s Get Off the Christmas Roller Coaster”).

We’ve expanded Trade Book titles and sales, introducing more videos, magazines and sidelines, such as bumper stickers, greeting cards, and Fair Trade items from Developing Countries

To conserve natural resources and to utilize North Americans’ changing learning styles, we use more CDs and DVD's and no more audio or video tape. Also, we plan more web-based services and resources with briefer messages.

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In 2005...


We produce a quarterly Resource Guide; a new donor newsletter called “You’re Making a Difference!” and a member/volunteer newsletter, now called “Inside Info.” We issue about a half-dozen national media releases per year and a free weekly email newsletter for over 8000 subscribers. We maintain an extensive, growing web site archive that can be used for personal inspiration and by editors.

Our national Speakers Bureau called the SLOW Down Network has over 800 volunteers who are Speakers, Workshop Leaders, Alternative Event Organizers, Simplicity Circle/Discussion-makers, and now Project Workers (local media contacts).

We are inspiring, training and supporting volunteers to be more proactive through our new Simpler Living Community Network.

To be even more interactive with our customers, we are planning a number of focus groups by conference call, in addition to product evaluations and our annual survey.

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In the next five years we plan to issue:


Year: Income: Expenses:
1996: $258,000 $250,000
1997: $277,000 $277,000
1998: $300,000 $289,000
1999: $222,300 $225,900
2000: $344,000 $306,100
2001: $334,000 $344,000
2002: $360,000 $351,500
2003: $312,850 $312,400
2004: $285,109 $291,151
2005: $291,884 $303,164


As a 501(c)3 nonprofit educational organization, we receive income from grants, memberships, donations and sale of resources. Since this is a mission-driven rather than profit-driven organization, any surplus income goes into projects to advance the mission.

Alternatives is operated by a small, committed staff. Our whole operation is lean and frugal. We embrace the message we espouse daily.

If you would like to read our business and privacy policies, visit, click on About Us, then Policies.

If you are in a position to help us reach some of our goals, please be in touch.

Thank you for your interest and support.


Gerald Iversen

National Coordinator

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Honorary Board of Directors

David Beckman

President, Bread for the World

Walter Brueggemann Professor, Columbia Theological Seminary

Tony Campolo

author, speaker, educator, Eastern University

Millard Fuller

Founder Habitat For Humanity
Founder & President The Fuller Center for Housing

Alisa Gravitz

Executive Director, Co-op America (publisher of The National Green Pages)

John McConnell

Founder of Earthday

Vicki Robin

author of Your Money or Your Life; Convener of The Simplicity Forum

Ronald J Sider

President Evangelicals For Social Action

Betsy Taylor

President Center for a New American Dream

Jim Wallis Executive Director, Sojourners Magazine
Convener Call to Renewal


Simple Living Works! *
MISSION: Equipping people of faith to challenge consumerism, live justly and celebrate responsibly // An all volunteer educational organization.