Frequently Asked Questions

Why does Jai Lao say that 100% of your donations go to help kids and families in need?  Doesn’t Jai Lao need part of my donation for administrative costs, such as salaries for directors and officers?

All operating and administrative costs of JLF are covered by private donors to JLF who have designated their donations for Jai Lao operating and administrative purposes.  All donations collected in the normal course from other donors are used for humanitarian efforts in Laos and the US. Therefore, 100% of your donations will go to supporting Jai Lao’s humanitarian mission. 

Jai Lao directors are not, and have never been, compensated and are required to donate a minimum of $1,000 per year to Jai Lao.  This donation often comes in the form of covering costs for travel and other expenses incident to board service. Jai Lao officers are not, and have never been, compensated.  JLF has no employees and relies on the efforts of volunteers to move its work forward.  From time to time, we have in-country support in Laos from local contractors who are paid local market rates for their services and expenses.  

All flight costs, hotel costs, personal meals and personal expenses for Jai Lao directors and officers are covered by the Jai Lao director or officer themselves via donation to Jai Lao or otherwise or are covered by donations specifically earmarked by a donor for Jai Lao administrative/travel purposes.  Transportation costs germane to the delivery of donations and services to Laos are covered by general Jai Lao donations, because such transportation to Laos is critical to the realization of Jai Lao’s mission. Jai Lao does not pay, and has never paid, anyone a finder’s fee or similar commission for donations.

What is Jai Lao doing to increase its transparency in its operations and finances?

Jai Lao is dedicated to furthering our mission and we believe that includes a commitment to transparency.  We have consistently documented and disclosed the work we are engaged in and the work we have completed.  As we grow larger, we will be required to expend more effort and funds to comply with the increased tax reporting requirements of a more mature foundation.  We look forward to this opportunity and challenge as it means that our work is growing and expanding.  Our transition to a larger, more influential charitable organization will take time and cannot be completed over the span of several days or several months, especially when considering that fact that we have no paid or full-time executive staff.  We are focusing efforts in this regard and Jai Lao has recently earned a 2018 Bronze Seal of Transparency on GuideStar.  

We encourage donors to reach out to Jai Lao for additional information and we welcome the opportunity to share our work with you.  Response time may be slow at times due to other pressing commitments, such as our ongoing preparation of our Phase 2 Attapeu relief efforts.  We will not be distracted from our main mission of helping the less fortunate in Laos.  We invite all to join us in our efforts and walk a mile or two with us on our mission’s path.  If you are interested in knowing more about our work, we invite you to reach out to our director of communications Nomi Rettich to set up a meeting.  Please visit the “Contact Us” section of our website or visit our Facebook page for ways to connect with us.

How long does it take funds donated to Jai Lao through Facebook to get to Jai Lao?

Facebook’s partner platform, Network for Good will release funds to Jai Lao approximately 60-75 days after your donation is made. See here for additional details. 

Why does Jai Lao have assets/money in its account at the end of the year?  Shouldn’t a non-profit spend all of its funds by the end of the year?

Similar to most other non-profit organizations, Jai Lao has a goal to build a solid fiscal base from year to year to ensure that we have adequate funding to (i) support our ongoing projects and the projects we intend to implement in the future and (ii) to further promote Jai Lao’s long-term mission.  Just like any prudent business, Jai Lao does not needlessly spend or otherwise liquidate our donations at the end of the year.  To do so would be irresponsible and unreasonable.  Jai Lao will continue to safeguard against the unexpected and will continue to responsibly plan for the future. 

Where can I find a copy of Jai Lao’s Form 990-N tax filings?

Our IRS Form 990 filings can be found here.

Why has Jai Lao filed its tax returns using Form 990-N?

For tax years 2009 through 2016, we have filed using form 990-N because Jai Lao has always averaged $50,000 or less in gross receipts for the immediately preceding three tax years (including the year for which calculations were being made).  Click here for the applicable requirements.   

When is Jai Lao’s fiscal year end and when will Jai Lao file its tax return for fiscal year 2017?

Jai Lao’s fiscal year ends on December 31 each year. Our tax return is due on May 15 of each year, unless extended. In 2017, for the first time, JLF had gross receipts of more than $50,000 on a three-year rolling average, which requires us to file on form 990-EZ instead of Form 990-N. As a result, we have filed an extension and our tax advisors will file our 2017 tax return by the extension due date of November 15, 2018. 

Is Jai Lao registered with the California Attorney General’s Registry of Charitable Trusts?

Yes, you can view Jai Lao’s registration as a charity with the Attorney General of the State of California here.  Just search for “Jai Lao” under the Organization Name field. Or click here to view a pdf file.

Where can you find Jai Lao’s Bylaws?

We have posted our bylaws on GuideStar.  GuideStar has awarded Jai Lao with a Bronze Seal of Transparency for 2018.