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FREE WHEELCHAIR MISSION Organization Name provided in the GuideStar Exchange* as of 01/29/2015: FREE WHEELCHAIR MISSION

Organization Name as listed in the IRS Business Master File as of 02/09/2015: FREE WHEELCHAIR MISSION

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Irvine, CA
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GuideStar Summary

&1002; GuideStar Exchange Committed to transparency ?
This organization is a Gold-level GuideStar Exchange participant, demonstrating its 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; Forms 990 2014, 2013, and 2012 Forms 990 filed with the IRS
&1002; Mission Objectives Mission Statement is available
&1002; Impact Summary Impact Summary from the nonprofit and Charting Impact Report are available
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Basic Organization Information

FREE WHEELCHAIR MISSION Organization Name provided in the GuideStar Exchange* as of 01/29/2015: FREE WHEELCHAIR MISSION

Organization Name as listed in the IRS Business Master File as of 02/09/2015: FREE WHEELCHAIR MISSION

* The GuideStar Exchange allows nonprofits to regularly update key information directly to GuideStar. It provides richer and broader information about their programs, impact, finances, people and more.
Physical Address: Irvine, CA 92618 2602
EIN: 31-1781635
Web URL: www.freewheelchairmission.org 
NTEE Category: P Human Services
P20 Human Service Organizations
E Health—General & Rehabilitative
E86 Patient Services - Entertainment, Recreation
Q International, Foreign Affairs, and National Security
Q70 International Human Rights
Ruling Year: 2002 


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Mission Statement

Our mission is to provide the transforming gift of mobility to the physically disabled poor in developing countries, as motivated by Jesus Christ.

Legitimacy Information

This organization is registered with the IRS.

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

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 Exchange,
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January 2015)

Fiscal Year Starting: July 01, 2014
Fiscal Year Ending: June 30, 2015

Total Revenue --
Total Expenses --

Revenue & Expenses

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Balance Sheet (IRS Form 990)

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Forms 990 Received from the IRS Additional Information
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Forms 990 Provided by the Nonprofit

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Financial Statements

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Annual Reports

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Leadership

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Dr. Don W. Schoendorfer

Term:

Since Mar 2001

Profile:

Don Schoendorfer is a biomedical engineer who makes his home in Santa Ana, California, with his wife and three daughters. He has an undergraduate degree from Columbia University and holds a PhD in Mechanical Engineering from MIT. Professionally, Don has headed R&D Departments in numerous biomedical companies including Haemonetics and Baxter Healthcare. He holds more than 50 U.S. Patents in the field of medical technology and pioneered practical transdermal diagnostics as well as blood cell separation technology. About 15 years ago Don turned his God-given and MIT-developed engineering talents to solving the problem of immobility in developing nations. There are over 100 million disabled adults and children in the developing world, many of whom are poor and isolated. The causes of disability range from diseases that have been eradicated elsewhere, to injuries from land-mines and war. For many of these people, medical aid is simply not available - adaptive equipment is even scarcer. Dr. Schoendorfer devised an answer to the need for mobility: a low-cost, high-durability wheelchair made from a resin lawn chair, metal tubing, and bicycle tires dubbed the GEN_1. This innovative solution to a pressing problem can be manufactured, shipped and delivered at a low cost. In 2010 FWM introduced the GEN_2 wheelchair: an evolution of the iconic GEN_1 design, which is designed to be a more adaptable, but still low-cost, version of its predecessor. Articles have been written about Free Wheelchair Mission by USA Today, Readers Digest, The Orange County Register, The Los Angeles Times and People Magazine. Don was personally honored with the Above and Beyond Citizen Award by the White House Congressional Medal of Honor Society; one of three individuals selected to receive the honor in 2008 at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery, for the work that Free Wheelchair Mission has done around the world.

Leadership Statement:

Our mission is to transform lives through the gift of mobility as motivated by Jesus Christ. Our wheelchairs cost just $77.91 to manufacture and deliver, and are provided at absolutely no cost to the recipient. Thanks to the support of our donors, Free Wheelchair Mission has been able to manufacture and ship over 800,000 wheelchairs to those with disabilities all over the world. The need for wheelchairs in our world is staggering. In developing nations where poverty pervades, it is estimated that 100 million people are in dire need of a wheelchair, yet lack the resources to obtain one. Already suffering from the pain, isolation and indignity of a physical disability, many of these people must endure further burdens, many forced to live on the ground or wait to be carried to meet their most basic of needs.Poverty, disease, malnutrition, armed conflict, and lack of proper medical care are all major causes of disability in the developing world. Diseases eradicated in the developed world years ago are still prevalent elsewhere. Conflict is another contributing factor both in places where conflict is active and where the remnants (land mines undetonated bombs, IEDs) are left behind. Poverty, however, is the biggest issue. Without money to seek medical attention, simple injuries like broken bones that would be simple to fix in developed countries, go untreated. Birth defects tend to be more common and home child delivery is more frequent which can have more complications during childbirth. Factors like access to clean water and a steady, nutritious diet also play a role.Our wheelchairs are simple, cost-effective, and highly functional. They are designed with resources in mind, with the goal of providing the transforming gift of mobility to as many people as possible while still maintaining a standard of excellence. We partner with like-minded organizations to reach some of the most remote regions on the planet. And we do it for an astonishingly reasonable cost - all while being free to the recipient and their families.

Board Chair (GuideStar Exchange,
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January 2015)

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Board Co-Chair

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Board of Directors (GuideStar Exchange,
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January 2015)

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Board Leadership Practices (GuideStar Exchange,
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January 2015)
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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)

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Highest Paid Employees & Their Compensation (IRS Form 990)

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People information was last updated by the nonprofit in January 2015

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Programs

Program: Wheelchair Program (GuideStar Exchange,
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January 2015)

Budget:
$4,982,529
Category:
Human Services, General/Other
Population Served:
Other Named Groups
Other Named Groups

Program Description:

Free Wheelchair Mission is a humanitarian, faith-based, nonprofit organization that provides wheelchairs at no cost to people with disabilities living in developing nations. In collaboration with a network of like-minded partners, FWM has sent more than 800,000 wheelchairs to people in 91 countries, providing dignity, independence and hope through the gift of mobility.

Program Long-Term Success:

The Free Wheelchair Mission has distributed over 800,000 since the mission began in 2001. With an estimated 100 million people around the world today in need of a wheelchair without the means to get one, FWM strives to distribute over 100,000 chairs annually, and continues to pursue our goal to distribute one million chairs by the year 2017.

Program Short-Term Success:

Thanks to our donors, we were able to distribute over 90,750 wheelchairs during our last fiscal year ending June 30, 2014.

Program Success Monitored by:

We monitor our success by how many lives we are able to change through the gift of mobility. Every time someone receives a wheelchair, we consider this a huge success!

Program Success Examples:

There are so many examples of how a wheelchair can change someone's life. Children who were unable to leave their homes can now attend school. Adults who had no way to support themselves are now able to work and enjoy so many activities that many of us take for granted.

Program: Leading Partner Program (GuideStar Exchange,
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January 2015)

Budget:
$51,200
Category:
Human Services, General/Other
Population Served:
Other Named Groups
Other Named Groups

Program Description:

One of Free Wheelchair Mission's strategic priorities is to strengthen our distribution partner network. One way this is done is to provide ongoing training for international wheelchair providers on proper wheelchair service and delivery. The Leading Partner Program provides unique service opportunities for those with backgrounds in physical and occupational therapy who serve alongside trained staff members on a volunteer basis. Leading Partner Program participants receive instruction on wheelchair assembly, maintenance and fitting, as well as identifying the various causes and manifestations of disability. Additionally, participants receive training on wheelchair use, transfers, exercises, and proper pressure relief techniques.

Program Long-Term Success:

Deepen and strengthen our distribution partner network, providing them with training to further their work in their communities in prescribing the proper wheelchair. Free Wheelchair Mission would love to see all 91 distribution partners trained in the Leading Partner Training Program and have a Physical Therapist on staff to conduct trainings. FWM would also like to design an on-line module for re-training for distribution partners to have access to videos, supplements and other tools 24 hours a day.

Program Short-Term Success:

Leading Partner Program participants receive instruction on wheelchair assembly, maintenance and fitting, as well as identifying the various causes and manifestations of disability. Additionally, participants receive training on wheelchair use, transfers, exercises, and proper pressure relief techniques. FWM has a goal to conduct 20 trainings this year.

Program Success Monitored by:

Our Distribution Partners rely on us for more than just a steady supply of wheelchairs; they are asking for additional training. FWM has developed a 5-day course with classroom and hands-on-training. The classroom training includes a written test and thus far, 100% of the participants have passed.

Program Success Examples:

Free Wheelchair Mission has already seen successful outcomes from the trainings in Mexico, Vietnam, Rwanda, China and El Salvador. Distribution Partner staff and volunteers were successfully trained and able to train others.

Program: Gifts In Kind (GuideStar Exchange,
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January 2015)

Budget:
$1,665,000
Category:
Human Services, General/Other
Population Served:
Other Named Groups
Physically Disabled nec
Other Named Groups

Program Description:

In 2012, FWM launched a successful pilot program providing mobility aids and orthopedic medical supplies for recipients when it is evident a wheelchair is not the best solution. FWM can expand the gift of mobility to many more families as we partner with selected hospitals to provide much needed operations. These operations frequently eliminate the need for a wheelchair. In other cases, even though a wheelchair is still necessary, a person's quality of life is greatly improved.

Program Long-Term Success:

Goals include providing mobility to the disabled poor through the following channels: mobility aids, medical care, medical outreach, corrective surgeries and improving overall quality of life. Benefits to offering medical supplies include improving mobility for the disabled poor in developing countries, allowing FWM to collaborate with hospitals to offer free services to the disabled who cannot afford care otherwise, and enhancing our network of distribution partners' relationships with hospitals hospital staff, government agencies and local communities. They are providing for the whole person to improve quality of life.

Program Short-Term Success:

In Fiscal Year 2012, three containers of mobility aid and mobility care GIK supplies were shipped to Chile and Ecuador. In Fiscal Year 2013, three containers of mobility aid and mobility care GIK supplies were shipped to Peru, Uganda and Nicaragua. In Fiscal Year 2014, five containers of GIK supplies were shipped to Vietnam, Chile, and India and also included surgical supplies for corrective surgeries. FWM has a goal to ship eight GIK containers in Fiscal Year 2015, two have been shipped to Honduras already.

Program Success Monitored by:

Success for this program is monitored by the quality of reports received from both the distribution partners and the hospitals. Reports include pictures and data of patients, including number of patients, before and after surgery information and how medical supplies improved their quality of life.

Program Success Examples:

At an orthopedic hospital in Da Nang, Vietnam, a container of GIK medical supplies impacted the lives of 250 corrective surgery patients for free, and over 1,000 individuals received mobility aids such as crutches, walkers and braces.

Program: Transformation Investigation (GuideStar Exchange,
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January 2015)

Budget:
$60,000
Category:
Human Services, General/Other
Population Served:
Other Named Groups
Other Named Groups

Program Description:

Our Transformation Investigation is a longitudinal study of 600 Free Wheelchair Mission recipients across 3 countries, Peru, Uganda, and Vietnam. The purpose of this investigation is to quantify the impact that a wheelchair can make on a person's life by looking at 8 areas of transformation: Education, Financial, Social, Psychological, Physical Health, Mobility, Spiritual, and overall wheelchair durability. To do this, we have hired three native, in-country, college educated, analysts who interview the wheelchair recipients every 6 months. Each time, the analyst will ask the recipient (or their care taker) a series of questions regarding the wheelchair, their experience with the wheelchair, and the ways in which it has changed their life.

Program Long-Term Success:

By the end of this transformation investigation we will have gained invaluable information about the ways in which lives are impacted and changed thanks to the gift of mobility. We will also have valuable feedback on our product and program, which will allow us to improve the wheelchair experience for each and every one of our recipients.

Program Short-Term Success:

Free Wheelchair Mission has entered the 2nd year of the investigation study and have had two rounds of analysis and have seen some great improvements in the lives of recipients. We are pleased by what the first two surveys have shown us about the capacity of our mission to transform lives. Things we need to improve upon are coming into focus. We are confident this project will have a profound impact on the future of Free Wheelchair Mission.

Program Success Monitored by:

FWM's Program Relations Manager receives weekly progress reports from the in-country analysts in conjunction with weekly Skype calls to track their progress. The analysts meet with each wheelchair recipient every 6 months to conduct a survey, and those results are uploaded to an online platform which allows FWM to analyze the data in real time. Although FWM would like to see positive outcomes in each of the 8 areas, the data is more for seeing if a wheelchair actually transforms lives in a positive way.

Program Success Examples:

Whenever possible, our distribution partners provide a spiritual message to all wheelchair recipients. If governments restrict religious freedom, this message is subtle. So, for the time being, we must limit our spiritual analysis to Peru and Uganda as the Viet Nam government prohibited our questions pertaining to spiritualty. If we look at Peru and Uganda together, 93% said that receiving our wheelchair changed their idea about God, 94% said the gift changed their ideas about the church, and 99% believe the wheelchair was a gift from God. As evidenced by our client's responses, the gift of a wheelchair is directly impacting the way they are experiencing the love of God in a tangible way. In the area of social transformation, recipients report less difficulty developing family relationships and engaging in religious activities. Since receiving their wheelchair, clients are more comfortable going out in public, talking to strangers, using public transportation and talking on the telephone.
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Impact Summary from the Nonprofit Additional Information
A Charting Impact Report consists of an organization’s responses to the five questions. Helping validate this self-reported data are three reviews. Once an organization has used the online interface to complete its report, its responses will produce a document with a unique URL that will be shared on this website, on your GuideStar profile, on the reports of charities participating in BBB Wise Giving Alliance evaluations, and – in the future – with other websites and information sources about nonprofits. We encourage organizations to use this URL to share their report on their own website and through their own media channels. Participants will receive guidance about promoting their Charting Impact Report, along with other benefits, once they publish their report.

FWM recognizes the link between disability and poverty is a powerful one. Specially designed for rugged terrain, our wheelchairs are meant to be used in some of the most challenging rural and urban landscapes the developing world can offer. To date we have provided more than 800,000 wheelchairs to individuals in 91 countries around the world, free of charge.
For more in-depth information about this organization's impact, view their Charting Impact Report.
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