April 1, 2009

VivaVegie Society Report:
fiscal-year Ending March 31, 2009

VivaVegie is a nonprofit 501(c)3 educational organization. All donations are tax-deductible. Because the VivaVegie Society's receipts for fiscal-year 2008-09 were under $25,000, the VivaVegie Society is not required by the IRS to file a Form 990.

The following report and unaudited statements of financial accounts are being provided to inform current and potential contributors of the activities and financial condition of VivaVegie.

The mission of VivaVegie Society is to educate the public and dispel misinformation about the vegetarian lifestyle. To that end, the group conducts the following activities:

VivaVegie publishes high-quality pamphlets and leaflets for free distribution to interested passersby in public places.

The primary printed piece is a regularly updated document called "101 Reasons Why I'm a Vegetarian," written and referenced by VivaVegie president Pamela Rice. The document has been available free online since 1994. For a pdf version of the 2009 edition (an exact replica of the printed version), click HERE. There have been seven distinct editions (7 major updates) of the document since 1991.

The most recent printing of the document (produced during fiscal-year 2008-09) was in fact a major update.

VivaVegie regularly sets up a table in well-trafficked public places to distribute this pamphlet to passersby. This is a primary focus of VivaVegie Society. It makes a point of targeting big New York City crowds that gather for special public events.

VivaVegie maintains an office, two Web sites (www.vivavegie.org and www.veggieprideparade.org), a Yahoo! Groups list of about 330 members, and a podcast.

There are no employees at VivaVegie, only volunteers, who handle all of the tasks and business of the organization. The VivaVegie Society may hire consultants from time to time to work on special projects.

VivaVegie exhibits and sends speakers (representatives) to certain conferences several times per year. However, this is not something it emphasizes. Again, reaching the uninitiated via pamphlet distribution in local (New York City) public places is more of a primary goal of VivaVegie.

To that end, "the Veggie Pride Parade," an event under the sole auspices of the VivaVegie Society, was a whopping success.

Veggie Pride Parade

At present, at the end of fiscal-year 2008-9, VivaVegie Society already has one Veggie Pride Parade under its belt. And efforts to take on another — VEGGIE PRIDE PARADE— are currently in progress.

To see income statement for the 2008 (the first) Veggie Pride Parade alone, click HERE.

With the benefit of hindsight, it bears noting that because of the efforts of the VivaVegie Society—in particular, those of VivaVegie president Pamela Rice—the 2008 parade was a spectacular success. Uploaded videos and images, a media-coverage report, a sponsor report, an exhibitor list, a sponsor list, a prize-donor and prize-winner list, and a general rundown of information about the Veggie Pride Parade in all of its aspects are available at the parade's Web site (www.veggieprideparade.org).

The Veggie Pride Parade Web site was designed, constructed, and is maintained by VivaVegie Society president Pamela Rice. It was, has been, and continues to be a hugely time-consuming task. The Veggie Pride Parade Web site (www.veggieprideparade.org) includes a blog, a bulletin board, links to two listserves run by the VivaVegie Society, a volunteers's page, a links page, a FAQs page, and much more. To get a good idea of the extensive level of participation in the parade, download the PDF of the program guide/ad booklet.

For a quick overview of the parade parade itself, please view the inspiring online slide presentation (www.veggieprideparade.org/slideshow/index.htm).

The parade received extensive media coverage (http://www.veggieprideparade.org/dept/media.htm), much of it surprisingly "matter-of-fact". The world today demands straightforward reporting of any vegetarian event. In fact, such efforts are a cause for celebration. Yet, all too often media stories about vegetarianism, and the events sponsored in name, tend to be derisive and even contemptuous.

Ms. Rice believes strongly that media coverage of the parade—as well as that of the accompanying post-parade rally and expo—was crucial to the event's goals. As stated in the press release:

...With this parade, "vegetarians will be just a little less invisible, their lifestyle just a little more tenable, and the misconceptions about vegetarianism just a little less pronounced."
To read the press release in its entirety, go to www.veggieprideparade.org/dept/pr.htm.

Again, the extensive and straight-forward nature of the media coverage gained for the parade is due to the valiant efforts and vigilant attention to detail given by parade organizer and VivaVegie president Pamela Rice. Such widespread media coverage of the parade, before and after the event, did not just happen. It took a lot of hard work and smart thinking.

Two strategic mailings of the parade's press release (via the U.S. postal service), one of which included the impressive program guide/ad booklet (www.veggieprideparade.org/pdfs/programguideonline.pdf) worked to ensure an extensive turnout of reporters and photographers from the mainstream media at the parade as well as post-parade rally and expo. The press release was also distributed widely to all media outlets via e-mail and fax.

VivaVegie Office:

The group keeps a small office at:

One Union Square West
Rm. 512
New York, NY 10003

[NOTE: office is temporarily closed]

which is directly across the street from the bustling Union Square Park, an excellent place to reach lots of people at almost any time of day or night with educational literature, such as the outreach pamphlet "101 Reasons Why I'm a Vegetarian."

Much of the expenses of the group go to maintaining the office: rent, phone, Internet, electric bill, and other costs.

The office was invaluable during the planning of the May 18, 2008 Veggie Pride Parade.

Furthermore, the office serves as a meeting place for volunteers who engage in public education as well as a place for visitors to engage in informal discussions and film screenings.

The office also serves as a store room for many thousands of pamphlets the group needs to draw from for its educational activities. Orders for multiple copies of "101 Reasons Why I'm a Vegetarian" (in the thousands) are fulfilled from this inventory every year.

The office contains the computer needed to keep the group's records, to tap into the group's Internet projects, and to create its educational pamphlets.

The office holds the Penelo Pea Pod costume that the VivaVegie Society uses to attract passersby when doing educational outreach. The costume actually takes up considerable space.

The office holds a library for visitors to obtain information about vegetarianism. Books are organized by subject: Philosophy, health, environment, animal issues, religious connections, cookbooks, and economics.

The library contains all back issues of the magazine that VivaVegie used to, and hopes one day again, to publish -- The VivaVine: The Vegetarian-Issues Magazine. It also holds copies of all former editions of "101 Reasons Why I'm a Vegetarian."

The library also contains magazines, videotapes, DVDs, audiotapes, vertical files on research subjects (now being converted to digital PDF files), and files containing information about other vegetarian groups across the nation. In addition, the library holds an excellent collection of vintage copies of Vegetarian Times.

The following are VivaVegie's unaudited income statement and balance sheet, prepared on a cash-method basis for fiscal-year ending March 31, 2009. Although VivaVegie does not formally comply with the generally accepted accounting principles for not-for-profit organizations, the statement is produced by VivaVegie in managing its operations and as such is intended to be reflective of VivaVegie's receipts and expenditures during the fiscal-year.

The catagories should be generally self explanatory. VivaVegie representatives are more than happy to explain any term upon request. Pamela Rice, the group's president and treasurer can be reached at 212-243-0011.

Thank you.

Pamela Rice
VivaVegie Society