Providing Lesotho's Children with Keys to the World

This is the story of our efforts to end the vicious cycle of poverty, disease, inadequate education, and early death
in a remote rural community in Lesotho, Africa, by providing quality education and life skills
to the young children there. Join us on our journey ...

Friday, December 25, 2009

the dreaded IRS Form 1023

The IRS form for getting tax-exempt status as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, Form 1023, is incredible ... 14 pages of questions, many of which request very, very detailed "narrative" answers about past, present, and projected activities. Yikes!

This thing will take days to complete, and since we are just starting, it will contain lots of your-guess-is-as-good-as-mine answers. Project our annual gross receipts for the next three years?!?!!! I haven't a clue how successful we'll be at fundraising.

And filing fees are expensive! $400 for under $10,000 gross, $800 for over.

Time to stop complaining and wade in ...

-- Janissa

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Laptops to Lesotho is finally Incorporated!

I got the official incorporation papers today from the Idaho Secretary of State. We are now officially Laptops to Lesotho Inc.

Next step >> IRS nonprofit registration Form 1023 ...

-- Janissa

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Tagline: Opening doors to hope with keys to the world

We've now got a tagline to use in all our communications:

"Opening doors to hope with keys to the world."

This brief slogan defines our mission with a catchy, and hopefully memorable, play on words ... "keys" referring to computer keys, "keys to the world" referring to the internet, keys "opening doors" refers to providing opportunities that lead to "hope."

-- Janissa

Conduit - giving & donation campaign

Once we get our nonprofit status, I'll apply for this ...

"New Giving and Donation Campaign from Tech Company
Mon, 12/14/2009 - 9:51am — Kevin Lo

Conduit, a company that helps content publishers distribute content using browser add-on technology, unveiled a year-long campaign to donate money to U.S.-registered nonprofits, and at the same time help them connect with their constituents. Using their Conduit Platform, every time someone clicks on the "Conduit Gives" button on a particular nonprofit's "conduit," the company will donate some money to that nonprofit.

Adam Boyden, president of the company, noted that they wanted to make a difference in these tough economic times, and has dedicated a team of experts to help nonprofits use this platform for outreach and fundraising. As they've seen success in enterprises of varying sizes, Boyden believes that the nonprofit sector can benefit from this technology as well.

As many as 100 501(c)(3) registered nonprofit organizations would be chosen (without NTEE restrictions), and the deadline to apply is February 15, 2010. For more details check out their website and their application form.


-- Janissa

No new PCV at Ketane

I got word from Aaron that all the new PC recruits have been placed, and none were sent to Ketane to replace Andrew. This will be a huge disappointment to the school. It shouldn't have a huge impact on our project, but it will mean Aaron and Mapesh will have a heavier work load.

-- Janissa

Packages are in the mail

I finally got the prizes for the winners of the naming and logo contests in the mail, along with some extra school supplies, calendars, and additional gifts for future contests, plus cash for Mapesh to pay for internet access.

The postage cost twice as much as the stuff inside the two packages! You used to be able to send stuff to Lesotho via surface mail. Not anymore! Postage is outrageous. I will have to be more careful about sending stuff and looking for people from FOL or PC going over there to carry any packages I send.

-- Janissa

L2L Articles of Incorporation rejected

I got the Articles of Incorporation for Laptops to Lesotho back from the Idaho Secretary of State. They were rejected because of one inappropriate clause and the absence of names and addresses of the initial directors. I hadn't expected this since I used the exact wording posted by the Idaho Nonprofit Center, and I followed all the statutes in the Idaho Nonprofit Act, but what do you expect when dealing with lawyers and legaleze!

I've made the corrections and will re-submit it. Hopefully, this doesn't drag out much longer. We still have one more hurdle after this, getting official non-profit status from the IRS. I had hoped to have that all done before Christmas so we could start applying for grants. Just have to be patient ...

-- Janissa

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Laptops To Lesotho Website

The website for our nonprofit organization, Laptops to Lesotho, is up and running! Check it out!


Wednesday, December 9, 2009

no luck with 'Help Lesotho' funding

I contacted 'Help Lesotho' in Canada to find out about funding, and unfortunately they don't fund third-party projects. Otherwise, still plugging along ...


Thursday, December 3, 2009


Things are progressing. We received a very generous donation from Ruth & Robert Balcomb recently. Thanks, Ruth and Bob!!! I've also sent invitations to other friends and family asking them to join our Cause, spread the word, and make a donation.

I've been actively recruiting donations of XO laptops as well, especially targeting dissatisfied owners who got one through the Give One Get One program. I found Andy Roberts on Facebook, and he has promised us his XO laptop. Thanks, Andy!!!

I still need to get cracking on developing a more detailed budget. I've got it roughed out, but need to start researching current prices for everything.

If all went well, Andrew left Lesotho today and is on his way to Tanzania.

-- Janissa