getting better foundation


If you believe everything you read and hear about crime, violent conflict and poverty, you might think that the world has become a very troubled and dangerous place.

The facts tell a different story.

Our world today is safer, healthier and more positive and productive than ever before. Never in history has the per-capita involvement in crime and war been lower. Never have human beings been healthier and better educated.

Unfortunately, the gap between reality and people’s perceptions is great. Grim views of the world around them deprive people of optimism, generate fear and create a sense of hopelessness. They stifle creativity and innovation, causing society to live and suffer under a pall of negativity. The most damaging effect has been the decline of trust. People who do not trust one another do not help one another. The lack of trust has resulted in stark societal divisions.


Editorial coverage motivated primarily or solely by profit: Many U.S. media outlets meet high journalistic standards. Too many, however, are driven by the need or desire to capitalize on sensational news. Countless outlets give undue weight to stories about crime, conflict and poverty and under-report news of positive human behavior and progress.

Lack of media literacy: Consumers, because of a widespread inability to objectively absorb and weigh news, fail to gather and disseminate truthful information about vital issues. “Alternative facts” and “fake news” are nothing new. Our nation’s freedom of the press has long given publishers, broadcasters and, more recently, writers on social media platforms and fake news sites free rein to make up scandals and conspiracies and to sensationalize their reports.

Frequency of exposure to negative news: “Always on” mobile devices deliver content nonstop from proliferating news sources, crime-related TV shows, blogs, texts, emails and social media (Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, etc.). As a result, more of us are increasingly exposed to negative and/or false information. Add to that the "click bait” options from "fake news" websites, and it’s easy to see that people are dealing with an unprecedented onslaught of negative, untruthful news. To put it simply: They’re getting hit from all sides, and they need the skills to sift through the rubbish to find reliable information.

These factors are undermining trust. Trust enhances empathy. Empathy encourages people to help one another. Caring people must learn to cope with the onslaught of information so that they can best use their knowledge for the common good.


Getting Better Foundation seeks to build trust through truth. People who trust one another are more likely to help one another. The more people help one another, the better our world will be.

We’re helping to create a culture of trust built on scientific research and unimpeachable facts, shared in the media and on the ground through a network of advocates who are passionate purveyors of truth.

We will fight falsehoods with facts. We will beat negativity with positivity and replace suspicion with trust. We will work to spread truth, optimism and a sense of well-being.

Our mission is to promote trust through education about positive trends in human behavior.


Truth is our highest value. The power of our message is propelled by the integrity of our organization. Honesty and attention to detail are the foundations for building our credibility.


Our vision is to build an organization, with thousands of members influencing millions of people globally, to communicate that the human race is becoming more loving and responsible.


  • Educate people about the positive trends in crime, conflict, poverty, and the general well-being of humankind, while monitoring and reporting on outlets promoting inaccurate, agenda-driven and potentially dangerous data.
  • Educate as to why the media delivers unbalanced news and why people are inclined to consume and believe negative stories.
  • Gather and guide a group of talented and passionate believers, social scientists, researchers, strategists, financiers, other specialists and administrators to execute the plan.

The Getting Better Foundation is a 501(c)(3) public charity. We are non-partisan and not aligned with any political organization.

Joe Phelps Chairman/Founder

Susi Manners

Father of two and an avid tree planter, Joe is also a former recording studio engineer, musician and founder of The Phelps Group, a renowned California marketing communications agency.  Phelps started his agency in 1981 with Fender Guitars and grew to many years of service for Tahiti and Swiss Tourism, Fairmont Hotels, Public Storage,  Bushnell Optics, City of Hope, Blue Shield and LAX, among others. He was named ‘Entrepreneur of the Year” by Western States Advertising Association, is a Belding Award winning writer and was featured on the cover of “Inc” magazine.  Joe’s “client-facing teams in a full-feedback environment” business model has been used as a case study at a number of universities, including Northwestern, University of Colorado, UCLA and USC.  In 2005 he  authored “Pyramids are Tombs” -- a book on how organizational design affects behavior -- which instructs business leaders how to empower workforces in a flat organization using trust as the accelerator.

In 2015, Joe founded the Getting Better Foundation (GBF), with the objective of “Building trust through truth” with the strategy of helping people understand how to properly consume media.  Media literacy helps to find the truth and protects us from mis-and dis-information..  He says, “The more people trust one another, the more they are willing to help one another. Trust is the foundation of civilization and creates upward spirals.”  In 2020 GBF finished the production of “Trust Me”, a feature documentary about the problems caused by media ill-literacy and the solutions at hand. The plan is for the film to be GBF’s calling card by helping to raise the awareness of the need for media literacy.  Joe is a thinker, sharer, and is passionate about inspiring growth in others. 

He resides at his “Rancho Relaxo” on the Yellowstone River, just north of The Park.

Contact Joe

Rosemary Smith
Managing Director

Passion for making things better for the people she meets and the environment she loves makes Rosemary a perfect fit for the Getting Better Foundation. Her media, financial and marketing communications experience are well suited to further the Foundation’s mission of building trust through education about the positive evolution of human behavior -- as well as media literacy. Rosemary and her husband, Kent, were co-founders of the Eagle Radio Group in Michigan.

Contact Rosemary

Watch our movie trailer for "TRUST ME" here:

Go to and sign up to be one of the first to watch the movie.

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