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INNOCENCE MATTERS Name provided directly to GuideStar from organization* as of: 02/15/2015: INNOCENCE MATTERS

Organization Name as listed in the IRS Business Master File as of 02/09/2015: INNOCENCE MATTERS

* GuideStar encourages organizations to regularly update information on their GuideStar Nonprofit Profiles. This provides richer and broader information about their programs, impact, finances, people and more.

 
Torrance, CA
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GuideStar Summary

&1002;      Updated Profile Committed to transparency ?
This is a Silver level GuideStar Nonprofit Profile, demonstrating this organization's commitment to transparency.

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&1002; Registered with IRS Legitimacy information is available
&1002; Financial Data Annual Revenue and Expense data reported
&1002; Mission Objectives Mission Statement is available
&1002; Impact Summary Impact Summary from the nonprofit is available
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Basic Organization Information

INNOCENCE MATTERS Name provided directly to GuideStar from organization* as of: 02/15/2015: INNOCENCE MATTERS

Organization Name as listed in the IRS Business Master File as of 02/09/2015: INNOCENCE MATTERS

* GuideStar encourages organizations to regularly update information on their GuideStar Nonprofit Profiles. This provides richer and broader information about their programs, impact, finances, people and more.
Physical Address: Torrance, CA 90505 
EIN: 27-0840481
Web URL: www.innocencematters.org 
Blog URL: innocencemattersblog.wordpress.com/ 
Video URL(s): John Klene's Innocence Matters
Susan Mellen's Innocence Matters
NTEE Category: I Crime, Legal Related
I80 Legal Services
R Civil Rights, Social Action, Advocacy
R60 Civil Liberties Advocacy
B Educational Institutions
B01 Alliance/Advocacy Organizations
Year Founded: 2010 
Ruling Year: 2010 
Top Funders: Annenberg - $10,000
Board Members - $139,550
Individual Donors - $36,799
Top Funding Needs: Ganging up on Innocence - $150,000
Investigating Innocence Courses - $95,000
Capacity: Board Staff Development & Recruitment - $25,000


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Mission Statement

We believe the innocent should not be incarcerated. Justice can only be served by a genuine search for the truth, and wrongful convictions only occur when there is a failure to discover, follow and honor the truth. Innocence Matters protects the innocent and prevents wrongful convictions by identifying and rectifying systemic practices that impede our search for truth. Because the disenfranchised are particularly vulnerable to systemic indifference, our work is focused on developing education, prevention and reform measures that will protect those most at risk and that will encourage the legal community to more quickly acknowledge and correct errors.

Legitimacy Information

This organization is registered with the IRS.

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990-N.

Institutional funders should note that an organization’s inclusion on GuideStar.org does not satisfy IRS Rev. Proc. 2011-33 for identifying supporting organizations.

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Annual Revenue & Expenses

(GuideStar Nonprofit Profile,
GuideStar encourages organizations to regularly update information on their GuideStar Nonprofit Profiles. This provides richer and broader information about their programs, impact, finances, people and more.
February 2015)

Fiscal Year Starting: January 1, 2014
Fiscal Year Ending: December 31, 2014

Total Revenue $220,165
Total Expenses $218,145

Revenue & Expenses

(GuideStar Nonprofit Profile,
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February 2015)

Fiscal Year Starting: January 1, 2014
Fiscal Year Ending: December 31, 2014

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Balance Sheet

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Forms 990 Received from the IRS Additional Information
IRS Form 990 is an annual document used by approximately one-third of all public charities to report information about their finances and operations to the federal government. GuideStar uses data from Form 990 to populate its database with financial information about nonprofit organizations. Posting Form 990 images on the GuideStar website is an ongoing process.

Forms 990 documents are not available for this organization.

Forms 990 Provided by the Nonprofit

Financial Statements

Audited Financial Statement is not available for this organization.

Annual Reports

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Leadership

(GuideStar Nonprofit Profile,
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February 2015)

Ms. Deirdre O'Connor

Term:

Since Mar 2010

Profile:

The Executive Director is an experience and successful criminal defense trial lawyer who has devoted the past 20 years protecting the rights of indigent criminal defendants.  She also has prior experience as a law school clinician where she supervised 6-8 third-year law students as they investigated and tried their first criminal case.

Board Chair (GuideStar Nonprofit Profile,
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February 2015)

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Board Co-Chair

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Board of Directors (GuideStar Nonprofit Profile,
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February 2015)

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Board Leadership Practices (GuideStar Nonprofit Profile,
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February 2015)

?

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices.

Board Orientation & Education ?
Why does this matter? Without clarity around their responsibilities and expectations, board members are not positioned to succeed. They may find themselves challenged to fulfill their governance responsibilities or frustrated by the expectations that the organization has set for them. BoardSource recommends that every new board member participate in a formal orientation process, and that all board members sign a pledge or agreement committing to their board service and to all of the responsibilities and expectations that come with service. Ideally, board members also should participate in a formal governance training program prior to serving on a board.

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?
Response Not Provided
CEO Oversight ?
Why does this matter? Oversight and management of the chief executive is one of the board’s most important legal responsibilities. The CEO or executive director is the board's single employee, and - just like any other employer/employee relationship - regular and written assessment is critical to ensuring that the chief executive and board are communicating openly about goals and performance. BoardSource recommends that boards conduct formal, written reviews of their chief executives on an annual basis, which should include an in-person discussion with the chief executive and distribution of the written evaluation to the full board.

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?
Response Not Provided
Ethics & Transparency ?
Why does this matter? A commitment to handling conflicts of interests is essential to creating an organizational culture of transparency. Boards should create and follow a policy for identifying and handling conflicts of interest, whether real or perceived. BoardSource recommends that organizations review the conflict-of-interest statement and require signed disclosures from all board members and senior staff on an annual basis.

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements within the past year?
Response Not Provided
Board Composition ?
Why does this matter? The best boards are composed of individuals who bring a variety of skills, perspectives, backgrounds, and resources to tackle the complex and strategic challenges confronting their organizations. BoardSource recommends that boards commit to diversity and inclusion by establishing written policies and practices, which include strategic and intentional recruitment of diverse board members, continual commitment to inclusivity, and equal access to board leadership opportunities.

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?
Response Not Provided
Board Performance ?
Why does this matter? Boards need to regularly assess their own performance. Doing so ensures that they are being intentional about how they govern their organization, which is a critical component of effective board leadership. BoardSource recommends that a board conduct a self-assessment of its performance a minimum of once every three years to ensure that it is staying on track with its roles and responsibilities.

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?
Response Not Provided

Officers for Fiscal Year (IRS Form 990)

Officers information is not available for this organization.

Highest Paid Employees & Their Compensation (IRS Form 990)

Highest Paid Employee data is not available for this organization.

People information was last updated by the nonprofit in February 2015

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Programs

Program: Ganging Up on Innocence (GuideStar Nonprofit Profile
GuideStar encourages organizations to regularly update information on their GuideStar Nonprofit Profiles. This provides richer and broader information about their programs, impact, finances, people and more.
February 2015)

Budget:
--
Category:
Civil Rights, Social Action & Advocacy, General/Other
Population Served:
Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General
Crime/Abuse Victims
Ethnic/Racial Minorities -- General

Program Description:

We represent innocent people who have been wrongfully convicted in Los Angeles County who have not been able to get the attention of existing innocence organizations. We re-investigate the claims of innocence, and once we are convinced, we bring the case to the prosecutor's attention and work closely with them to secure our clients' exoneration.

Program Long-Term Success:

John Edward Smith: exonerated 9/24/12 Susan Marie Mellen: exonerated 10/10/14

Program Short-Term Success:

John Edward Smith: exonerated 9/24/12 Susan Marie Mellen: exonerated 10/10/14

Program Success Monitored by:

freedom.

Program Success Examples:

John Edward Smith: exonerated 9/24/12 Susan Marie Mellen: exonerated 10/10/14

Program: Investigating Innocence Courses (GuideStar Nonprofit Profile
GuideStar encourages organizations to regularly update information on their GuideStar Nonprofit Profiles. This provides richer and broader information about their programs, impact, finances, people and more.
February 2015)

Budget:
--
Category:
Crime & Legal, General/Other
Population Served:
Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General
Ethnic/Racial Minorities -- General
Crime/Abuse Victims

Program Description:

In 2015, we are launching Investigating Innocence, a series of online courses that will teach future and current lawyers and investigators how to properly investigate claims of innocence.

Program Long-Term Success:

Program Short-Term Success:

Program Success Monitored by:

Program Success Examples:

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Impact Summary from the Nonprofit

In our first three years of operation, we secured the exoneration of two innocent people who had been rejected by every other existing innocence organization and who were doomed to die in prison for crimes they did not commit. We are on the verge of securing freedom for our third “lifer” client. Cumulatively, these clients have served over 53 years for crimes they did not commit. In each instance, many lawyers and investigators over the years repeatedly failed to discover evidence of innocence that was often hiding in plain sight. We are using the insights from these cases to develop a series of online courses for future and practicing lawyers and investigators that will teach them how to effectively investigate innocence.
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Reviews

Organization Data Available

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