- The Alternatives Quarterly (10 years)
- Best and Worst Christmas Gift Contest
- Whose Birthday Is It, Anyway? booklet for families (10 years)
- Christmas Campaign for Congregations (packet for church leaders) (10 years)
- Lent/Easter packets (5 years)
- Alternate Celebrations Catalogs (6 editions)
- Various titles: Voluntary Simplicity, Simply Delicious: Quantity Cooking for Churches, Those Who Speak for God. Guide to World Hunger Organizations (with Seeds Magazine), Shalom Connections and Wedding Alternatives (Nuestra Boda Spanish version)
- Book Service Catalog
- A series of Bulletin Inserts for holidays and special occasions
- Three videos: Alexander Scrooge, Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas and Break Forth into Joy!
- bought an old general store and moved to Ellenwood, Georgia
- established a membership plan and member newsletter
- Published three titles of reissued material with WoodLake Books: Treasury of Celebrations, Alternative Wedding Book and Simplify & Celebrate
- Established a local corps of volunteers and a national speakers bureau (SLOW Down Network)
- Established an extensive web site:
- www. SimpleLiving.org
- Cataloged and organized an expanding library of over 4000 volumes
- Produced and marketed Whose Birthday Is It, Anyway? in 10-25 customized versions annually, including the Advent-Christmas calendar bulletin insert. Over two-and-a-half million copies of the booklet have been circulated!
- Produced a Spanish version called Adviento annually since 1997
- Produced a 40-Day Lenten Guide in English annually through 2005 and in Spanish (four years)
- Re-issued from other publishers Leaders Guide to Unplug the Christmas Machine Workshop and an updated edition of Living More with Less Study Action Guide
- Repackaged and marketed past resources, such as The Christmas Game, Christmas Campaign Kit, Let Jesus Come, Let Santa Go (3 audio CDs) and Whos Risen from the Dead, Anyway?
- Establishing a planned giving fund and an Honorary Board of Directors (see below).
- 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 issued a gift version of our annual Advent booklet for families Whose Birthday Is It, Anyway? appropriate for bookstores (2004 & 2005).
- We produced two series of radio programs and recruited over 15 stations to broadcast them (2004).
- Produced many new titles:
- Stories and Songs of Simple Living book, cassette and CD
- Simple Living Calendar for Any Year
- Sing Justice! Do Justice! hymn collection
- Simple Living 101: Toolbook for Activists
- Carols with Justice
- Spirit of Simplicity: Quotes & Art for simpler living and global justice CD-ROM and paper
- Simply the Best: 30 Years of Alternatives CD-ROM, the bulk of our work to date (upgraded each year)"
- Christmas Campaign Kit (upgraded annually), included Whose Birthday audio CD, a Christmas Pageant based on Carols with Justice, etc.
- Spirit of Simplicity greeting cards and guided journal"
- The Vision of Simpler Living DVD: 3 videos"
- Living Simply and Loving It! audio CD, which compliments Simple Living 101
- Unplug the Christmas Machine Workshop-on-a-CD (audio)
- The Good Life curriculum for Vacation Bible School and other uses on paper and CD-ROM, including music accompaniment, booklet & CD.
- 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 and sidelines, such as bumper stickers, greeting cards, and Fair Trade items.
- To conserve natural resources and to utilize North Americans' changing learning styles, we use more CDs and DVDs and no more audio or video tape. Also, we plan more web-based services and resources with briefer messages.
- We expanded our new initiative, Reaching Out to Young Adults (begun in 2005), which includes a new look for our Resource Guide, web site and other publications; recruiting more young adults to serve on the board of directors; and considerable travel by the National Coordinator to meet members and volunteers face-to-face and to meet students on college and seminary campuses.
- We issued "Worship Alternatives" on CD-ROM and packet, and "Sing Justice! Do Justice!" audio music CD.
- We changed the look and content of "Whose Birthday?" to be more young-adult friendly. Thanks to the ELCA and Presbyterian Hunger Programs we provided thousands of free copies to college and seminary students.
- We changed the name and focus of our corps of volunteers to Simpler Living Community Network. We strive to provide the motivation, support and skills for them to be more proactive in their communities. It incorporates the SLOW Down Network (below).
- We produce a quarterly Resource Guide, which has been trimmed down to one master catalog per year, plus three brief mini-catalogs primarily of new titles. This will save money and paper. We offer a complete downloadable version each quarter.
- Our new donor newsletter is being incorporated into our member/volunteer newsletter, Inside Info. We have reduced our national media releases to fewer than a half-dozen per year. Our free weekly email newsletter has grown to over 9000 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 850 volunteers who are Speakers, Workshop Leaders, Alternative Event Organizers, Simplicity Circle/Discussion-makers, and now Project Workers (local media contacts).
- To be even more interactive with our customers, we have focus groups and product evaluations, and we plan online questionaires and quizzes in place of our annual survey.
Annual Report 2006
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:
In 2007 we plan to issue a new video for the first time in over 15 years, as the centerpiece of our Young Adult Initiative. Tony & Shane Explore Simpler Living (working title) features Tony Campolo and Shane Claiborne in DVD dialog. Other resources, including the Simple Choices game are on hold.
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 2006: $306,098 $294,810 2007: $313,200 $309,747 (budget)
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 SimpleLiving.org, click on About Us, then Policies.
If you are able to help us reach some of our goals, please be in touch.
Thank you for your interest and support.
Honorary Board of Directors
President, Bread for the World
|Walter Brueggemann||Professor, Columbia Theological Seminary|
author, speaker, educator, Eastern University
Founder Habitat For Humanity
Executive Director, Co-op America (publisher of The National Green Pages)
Founder of Earthday
author of Your Money or Your Life; Convener of The Simplicity Forum
|Ronald J Sider||
President Evangelicals For Social Action
President Center for a New American Dream
|Jim Wallis||Executive Director, Sojourners / Call to Renewal|
Page updated 15 February 2013
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MISSION: Equipping people of faith to challenge consumerism, live justly and celebrate responsibly // An all volunteer educational organization.