FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How is Lotus Outreach unique?
Lotus Outreach is international in its membership and scope yet remains small and flexible enough to act quickly and creatively. Our agility allows us to fund projects and partners that much larger non-profits might not reach. Our staff presence in countries like Cambodia and India allows us to meet and build trusting relationships with our partners in the field. Our relationships enable a great deal of cultural-relevance to thrive in the programs we support. Our direct involvement in the development and deployment of projects allows us to exert some measure of control over quality and design of the initiatives we fund. We enjoy terrific agility and can respond to needs much more quickly than other much larger organizations. Our international stakeholders help us to bring the "best practices" developed around the world to countries and regions that would otherwise find it difficult to do so themselves.We’re different in that we’re agile, in direct contact with trusting partners, and aim to preserve cultural diversity in the programs we support. We are also proud to align ourselves with other non-profit and NGO programs in the same parts of the world. What we have in common binds us as friends in pursuit of our mission.
What types of services does Lotus Outreach provide?
Lotus Outreach essentially provides the following services: • Fundraising efforts • Fiscal management not limited to allocation of funds at the direction of our Program Director who works directly with service provider “partners” in the field • Program design and scope of services • Research into Best Practices • Evaluation and selection of most qualified “partners” • Preparation of Agreements with direct service providers in the specific locale in which we expect our funds to produce the desired effect. These Agreements are written under the title “Memorandum of Understanding” (MoU) and are NOT technically and simply GRANT AWARDS. • Development of staffing plans within the “partner” agency • Training • Quality assurance activities not limited to basic supervision, site visits and document review • Direct staffing of such services as telephone hotlines (specific to projects) • Direct advocacy and outreach (specific to projects) • Budgeting and forecasting of services with “partner” agencies (those who have signed MoUs) • Prospective payment for direct services provided under MoU • Review of financials (and such things as receipts) submitted by providers/partners • Collaborative development of public relations and prevention messages • Collaborative development of reporting and measures of effect and impact
How is Lotus Outreach structured?
Lotus Outreach is structured such that there is an international organization based in California with an International Board of Directors. The Board includes members from affiliate Lotus Outreach organizations registered as non-profits in their respective countries. Each affiliate is responsible for its non-profit status and fundraising (among other statutory requirements dictated by local law).
Where does Lotus Outreach get its name?
Lotus Outreach is a name chosen by our International Board of Directors and has been incorporated into the names of our independent sister organizations, Lotus Outreach UK, Lotus Outreach Society Canada, Lotus Outreach Australia, Lotus Outreach Hong Kong and Lotus Outreach France. The Lotus flower represents the resilience and beauty of the people we serve while outreach – reaching out – is at the heart of our activities and mission.
Is Lotus Outreach a faith-based or religious non-profit?
No. Lotus Outreach is a secular non-profit organization. We are charitable but the programs we run are not charity. We work to develop sustainable, locally based solutions to the problem of child exploitation. In the US, we are classified by the IRS as a 501(c)(3) public charity. .
Is Lotus Outreach a Direct Service Provider or a Granting Organization?
This question is asked to distinguish two common non-profit types of entities. Our organization is a HYBRID in a sense. The correct answer is SERVICE PROVIDER. Lotus Outreach distributes funds via Foreign Grant Agreements.
Can I host a fundraiser for Lotus Outreach?
Lotus Outreach would be happy to provide materials and a general outline for an event’s agenda. Depending upon the date and place, Lotus Outreach staff and/or volunteers may be able to attend and share some compelling stories.
What options do I have for making a donation?
There are numerous ways to support Lotus Outreach. The quickest is to donate through this website. Donations can be made in monthly, quarterly, or bi-annual installments; matching gifts; or one-time cash, check, or credit card contributions. We greatly appreciate in-kind gifts, professional services in accounting, legal advice, grant writing, design, printing, or database management. We welcome introductions to potential donors and grant-makers, and are grateful to friends who sponsor an event for Lotus Outreach.
If I make a donation, will I get a receipt for tax purposes?
Yes. Lotus Outreach is a registered 501(c)(3) public charity in the United States, and also has charitable status in various other countries.
Are there other social conditions that Lotus Outreach helps address?
While our targeted population is children – young girls in particular – and our programs feature education, counseling, shelter and healthcare, we know we are having an indirect impact on other social conditions. When we counsel a survivor of the sex trade, we prevent mental health problems, substance abuse and suicide. When we provide child laborers with education, we promote freedom, choice and economic empowerment. When we advocate for the young girls and women of countries like Cambodia, we are helping to change political will. For the time-being, we are going to remain focused on our targeted populations and programs.
How does Lotus Outreach select its partners?
First, our Cambodian or Indian staffs conduct extensive research and meet potential partners in the field. Fundamentally, partners are chosen based on the quality of our relationship with them, their professional reputation, credentials and proven effectiveness.
How does Lotus Outreach assure the quality of its local partners?
Staff qualifications, reputation, quality of work, availability, cost and flexibility are all drivers of our decisions. Lotus Outreach requires detailed qualitative and quantitative reports from all of our partners but most importantly, our staff is present on the ground, making adjustments to our projects as needed. Lotus Outreach believes firmly that what constitutes a quality partner differs from one culture and country to another. Local reputation and trustworthiness are crucial. Professional and paraprofessional qualifications are also core determinants.
How do I call attention to a project I believe has merit for Lotus Outreach?
In general, we develop and/or seek out projects with specific development goals in mind. However, we are happy to look at potential projects which are compatible with our approach.