The U.S. non-profit FOLGES (Friends of La Gloria English School) will be closing its books and dissolving in July of 2013. Per U.S. law when a 501(c)(3) is dissolved, it must pass any remaining assets on to another 501(c)(3). FOLGES has chosen to donate its remaining resources to the U.S. non-profit PEACE MEXICO. They in turn have agreed to earmark the funds for other projects helping people on Isla Mujeres. This insures that any surplus will still be used to help improve the quality of life for people living on Isla Mujeres. Thank you so much for your support of this project!
Friends of La Gloria English School Inc. (FOLGES) is the U.S. 501(c)(3) non-profit started in 2005 to support the La Gloria English School AC (LGES), a Civil Association, which is the legal entity of the school in Mexico.
FOLGES' income comes through donations from many individuals and an annual fundraising event, the Cinco de Mayo Fiesta. FOLGES pays the living stipend and housing for the teachers at the school as well as capital expenses. Student scholarships are also accepted and transferred to the school. Members of FOLGES' Board of Directors receive no compensation. FOLGES' only paid staff is a part-time Executive Director.
La Gloria English School AC (LGES) in Mexico collects revenues in the form of tuition payments from students, donations from visitors, low-cost clothing sales and an annual fundraiser, the Treasure Island Fiesta. LGES also receives grants from PEACE Isla Mujeres. These revenues pay for the daily operations of the school, including the salaries of three part-time office staff and our communications director.
Message dated March, 2013
We are getting the FOLGES financial picture into focus and want to share the information with everyone who has contributed. Below are 3 financial documents:
1) A profit and loss statement for all finances regarding La Gloria English School for 2012,
2) The Balance Sheet for Friends of La Gloria English School as of Dec. 31, 2012,
3) The cash Balance Sheet for La Gloria English School as of December 31, 2012. (The inventory of the contents of the building is another project.)
The bottom line is that we have $50,968 to start 2013, and it looks like we took in another $6,800 in 2013, most of it end-of-year donations received in 2013. All to say that we are in excellent financial shape. (It makes me feel both great to be solvent, and horrible to be closing the school when we have the finances to carry on a bit longer.)
As many of you know, financial accountability is crucial for every non-profit. I made great effort to be as accountable as possible with every donation received, but the task is a challenge, to say the least.
Here is a peek in to what must be done with every scholarship donation received by FOLGES for a student at the school:
- The donation is received (by check in the mail or an on-line donation) it's noted that it's for a scholarship for a particular student.
- If the donation is received via Paypal, transfer it to the FOLGES checking account, or deposit the check into the account.
- Send out a thank you letter to the donor.
- Make sure that the relevant data is 'attached' to the transfer-deposit, including the name of the donor, the name of the recipient, the amount and for which course. (This can be difficult when it is part of a larger deposit into the account.)
- Notify the secretaries at the school that the donation has been received along with all relevant data.
- LGES Secretaries withdraw the scholarship money in pesos on Isla Mujeres, being careful to bring the relevant data with it. (The exchange rate is variable, so this is not an exact amount anymore!)
- Secretaries write a receipt for the course for the pesos received.
- Secretaries inform the communications coordinator (Rosi) that the funds have been received, and she notifies the donor of the progress of the student.
- When we start a new class, the whole process is repeated, starting with Rosi sending an email to the donor asking if they are interested in continuing to support their student.
About 1/3 of all students at the school are receiving some amount of scholarship funds. Since at least 3 different people are involved in these steps, challenges come when we are not sure if a donation received is for a previous, current or future class, or the student drops the course, or the relevant data is disconnected from the funds. Then a time-consuming effort must be made to reconnect the funds to the donor and recipient with the correct dates for the class. All to say there are some parts of this work that I will not miss.
Tuition charged covers about 1/2 the costs, nevertheless it has played an important role in connecting donors to particular students when scholarships were targeted to them. These donations have been critical to individuals attending the school. We have been overwhelmed by the thoughtfulness and generosity of these special donors.
Message dated March, 2012