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BENEFICENT TECHNOLOGY INC Organization Name provided in the GuideStar Exchange* as of 12/05/2014: BENEFICENT TECHNOLOGY INC

Organization Name as listed in the IRS Business Master File as of 11/10/2014: BENEFICENT TECHNOLOGY INC

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AKA  Benetech
Palo Alto, CA
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GuideStar Summary

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&1002; Registered with IRS Legitimacy information is available
&1002; Financial Data Annual Revenue and Expense data reported
&1002; Forms 990 2013, 2012, and 2011 Forms 990 filed with the IRS
&1002; Mission Objectives Mission Statement is available
&1002; Impact Summary Impact Summary from the nonprofit is available
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Basic Organization Information

BENEFICENT TECHNOLOGY INC Organization Name provided in the GuideStar Exchange* as of 12/05/2014: BENEFICENT TECHNOLOGY INC

Organization Name as listed in the IRS Business Master File as of 11/10/2014: BENEFICENT TECHNOLOGY INC

* 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.
Also Known As: Benetech
Physical Address: Palo Alto, CA 94306 1609
EIN: 77-0555413
Web URL: www.benetech.org 
Blog URL: benetech.org/news-research/blog/ 
Video URL(s): How Can Technology Help?
NTEE Category: A Arts, Culture, and Humanities
A02 Management & Technical Assistance
Q International, Foreign Affairs, and National Security
Q70 International Human Rights
B Educational Institutions
B70 Libraries, Library Science
Year Founded: 1989 
Ruling Year: 2001 
Top Funders: Bookshare revenue (main source of funding is from U.S. Department of Education) - $9,604,730
Contributions from grants - $1,071,357
Donates services/products - $424,512


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Mission Statement

Benetech develops innovative and effective technology applications for unmet social needs.

Legitimacy Information

This organization is registered with the IRS.

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

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Annual Revenue & Expenses

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December 2014)

Fiscal Year Starting: January 1, 2013
Fiscal Year Ending: December 31, 2013

Total Revenue $12,354,088
Total Expenses $13,289,834

Revenue & Expenses

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December 2014)

Fiscal Year Starting: January 1, 2013
Fiscal Year Ending: December 31, 2013

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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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December 2014)

Mr. James R. Fruchterman

Profile:

Jim Fruchterman is a leading social entrepreneur and founding CEO of Benetech. A technology entrepreneur and engineer, Fruchterman was a rocket scientist, founded two of the foremost optical character recognition companies and created numerous technology social enterprises. Fruchterman cofounded Calera Recognition Systems and RAF Technology, Inc., both of which were based on optical character recognition technology. In 1989, Fruchterman founded Benetech as a different kind of tech company – a nonprofit – with a pure focus on developing technology for the social good. In recognition of his work as a pioneering social entrepreneur, Fruchterman received the MacArthur Fellowship and the Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship, and was named a Schwab Social Entrepreneur. He is also the recipient of many other awards. He believes that technology is the ultimate leveler, allowing disadvantaged people to overcome achievement gaps and improve their lives. Fruchterman received a B.S. in engineering and an M.S. in applied physics from the California Institute of Technology.

Leadership Statement:

Technology has redefined what’s possible for our society and each week brings news of organizations doing great things with it for the social good. In addition, now more than ever, those who have benefited greatly from technology are giving back. For example, the Giving Pledge campaign that began with efforts by Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett is encouraging the world’s wealthiest individuals and families to commit to giving the majority of their wealth to philanthropy. It’s a powerful example of this “brave new world” we live in, where private resources are deployed to create and sustain public goods. So, yes, I do feel optimistic. I believe there’s a growing recognition that the world has become a global village and it’s our responsibility to see to it that all “villagers” can improve their lives. As social entrepreneurship moves from niche to mainstream, and the social enterprise economy grows, Benetech looks forward to growing our impact. There are many social needs that continue to go unmet and we have both a passion and a solid track record of successfully meeting those needs for the benefit of all of humanity. And, I hope more and more of the people behind our terrific technological advances join us in the effort to see to it that all of humanity benefits from our incredible technological innovations. [Excerpted from Jim Fruchterman's blog post, "Technology for All: From Gandhi to TED - Part 2." The full text is available here: http://benetech.blogspot.com/2013/05/technology-for-all-from-gandhi-to-ted_14.html.]

Board Chair (GuideStar Exchange,
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December 2014)

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Board Co-Chair

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Board of Directors (GuideStar Exchange,
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Board Leadership Practices (GuideStar Exchange,
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December 2014)
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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 December 2014

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Programs

Program: Global Literacy (GuideStar Exchange,
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December 2014)

Budget:
--
Category:
Education & Technology
Population Served:
Blind and Vision Impaired
Disabled, General or Disability Unspecified
None

Program Description:

Literacy and education are not a privilege, but a basic human right—fundamental to personal, economic, and social development. Yet, millions of people are denied this right because they face tremendous barriers of access to information: • Many have learning differences, like dyslexia. • Some have physical or visual disabilities, like blindness. • Others have developmental disabilities and have not been taught to read into adulthood. They remain locked out of living fully in our information-rich world. The Benetech Global Literacy Program was founded to address the needs of this underserved population. We do this by working on two fronts: 1) Creating and delivering affordable tools and services that provide equal access to information and literacy. Our Bookshare initiative is the world’s largest online accessible library of copyrighted materials for people with print disabilities. See www.bookshare.org. Our Route 66 Literacy initiative is an online instructional literacy application that pairs adolescent and adult beginning readers with literate volunteer tutors. See www.route66literacy.org. 2) Catalyzing the systemic change required to permanently improve the educational landscape for people with limited accessibility to literacy. Our DIAGRAM Center initiative is a research and development center working to promote inclusive publishing and to make it easier, cheaper, and faster to create and use accessible digital images. See www.diagramcenter.org

Program Long-Term Success:

Program Short-Term Success:

Program Success Monitored by:

Number of users; number of books provided and downloaded; cost of providing services.

Program Success Examples:

In 2006, experts estimated that merely 5% of print materials worldwide were produced in formats accessible to those with print disabilities, such as people who are blind. Bookshare, in collaboration with education, technology, publishing, student, parent, and volunteer communities, changed that reality. Bookshare today is the world’s largest accessible online library of copyrighted materials for people with print disabilities. When a person with a print disability requires a specific book for school, work, or they simply want to read a best seller, they are likely to find it in Bookshare in the format that best suits them, using a device of their choosing—from traditional assistive devices such as braille readers to mainstream technologies like MP3 players, smart phones, and digital tablets. They can also use any of the tools built by Benetech and provided at no cost, such as accessible readers for the iPhone and Android operating systems. Bookshare now serves more than 330,000 members with print disabilities and learning differences (the majority are U.S. students) with a collection of over 315,000 titles (and rapidly growing). Each month, we are adding thousands of new titles to the collection and our members download more than one million books per year, with Benetech delivering an accessible book for less than one-fifteenth of the cost of the previous approach for conversion and delivery of accessible materials. For U.S. students with print disabilities, this means being able to use the educational materials they need at the same time as their peers.

Program: Human Rights (GuideStar Exchange,
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December 2014)

Budget:
--
Category:
International Human Rights
Population Served:
General Public/Unspecified
None
None

Program Description:

Around the world, there are people whose fundamental human rights are violated on a daily basis. Victims, witnesses, as well as human rights advocates and fieldworkers put their lives at grave risk when they gather and store records of these abuses. Benetech’s Human Rights Program was founded to empower human rights defenders, fieldworkers, journalists, and other actors to securely collect sensitive information about violations and to effectively utilize it to achieve their goals. We do this by: 1) Providing free, open source, secure software tools for collecting and analyzing human rights information; 2) Extending capacity building and data security trainings to at-risk human rights groups in countries with state-sanctioned harassment; 3) Advancing the field of human rights by partnering with preeminent organizations, such as Amnesty International, The Guardian Project, Human Rights Watch, The Tor Project, and WITNESS. With these combined efforts we advance the global community of rights defenders and social justice actors. See www.martus.org.

Program Long-Term Success:

Program Short-Term Success:

Program Success Monitored by:

Number of Martus users; number of narrative accounts users crate and store in Martus; number of global Martus and capacity building trainings; number of human rights advocacy campaigns, publications, and policy recommendations that utilize information secured through Martus.

Program Success Examples:

Since Benetech first deployed Martus—our free, open source, strongly encrypted tool for human rights information collection and management—the Martus user community has stored hundreds of thousands of accounts of violations (that we know of). Today, human rights fieldworkers around the world rely on Martus’ strong encryption. Martus has helped human rights fieldworkers in a wide range of situations: from the most difficult circumstances of ongoing violence and repression, to situations where a transition to democracy is possible or legislation in democratic countries is needed to bolster rights protections, to the rare opportunities when it is possible to prosecute perpetrators for human rights crimes. Consider, for example, the story of ND-Burma (www.nd-burma.org)—a Thailand-based coalition of over 10 human rights groups that collect narrative testimonies from communities in Burma who endure abuses by the Burmese regime to challenge the regime’s power. Since 2004, Benetech’s Human Rights Program has extended Martus capacity building and technical support to ND-Burma. Today ND-Burma member groups have the capacity to carry out their documentation projects on their own and to use their collected information in regularly published reports that shed light on continuing abuses by the Burmese regime. In Guatemala, our team worked with the Historic Archive of Guatemala’s former National Police (AHPN, www.archivohistoricopn.org) after the discovery of tens of millions of documents, including critical records of security forces’ operations during Guatemala’s long civil war. With our guidance, AHPN staff embarked on a multi-year project to collect random samples of the Archive’s documents and secure the sample data with Martus. In October 2010, evidence saved in Martus and analyzed by Benetech helped convict two former members of the National Police force for the 1984 forced disappearance of union leader Edgar Fernando García. This was a landmark development for human rights justice in Guatemala that led directly to prosecuting perpetrators up the chain of command, including the 2013 trial against retired general and former dictator Efrain Rios Montt for genocide and crimes against humanity.

Program: Environment (GuideStar Exchange,
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December 2014)

Budget:
--
Category:
Environment, General/Other
Population Served:
General Public/Unspecified
None
None

Program Description:

In collaboration with environmental organizations, local communities, and industry partners, Benetech’s Environment Program is exploring open source technology solutions to help communities address sustainability challenges. The most recent environment initiative Benetech has scaled is Miradi (www.miradi.org), an open source tool that helps environmentalists more effectively design, monitor, and evaluate their conservation efforts. By meeting their management and measurement needs, Miradi helps conservationists apply best practices to their work and achieve better conservation outcomes. In 2014, after growing Miradi to a position where it can be self-sufficient, Benetech spun off Miradi to be independently managed by the conservation community so that it better serves its users. Benetech’s Environment Program continues with new sustainability-focused projects, which are currently developed as part of Benetech Labs. These include a clean water project, whose goal is to strengthen Latin American water organizations to more effectively deliver clean drinking water to communities in need.

Program Long-Term Success:

Program Short-Term Success:

Program Success Monitored by:

Program Success Examples:

Program: Benetech Labs (GuideStar Exchange,
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December 2014)

Budget:
--
Category:
Engineering & Technology
Population Served:
Adults
None
None

Program Description:

At any given time, Benetech has dozens of new ideas in our pipeline, coming from staff, donors, users, volunteers, social entrepreneurs, and industry leaders. We established Benetech Labs in order to determine the feasibility of these ideas, identify which of them could yield a successful project, and develop new technology applications so that, ultimately, we can launch successful new tools that address unmet needs of entire communities. See http://benetech.org/our-programs/benetech-labs/.

Program Long-Term Success:

Program Short-Term Success:

Program Success Monitored by:

Number of projects progressing through the Labs; number of Benetech new tools and enhancements to existing technology graduating from the Labs; number of stakeholders in the nonprofit and the technology sectors engaged through the Labs; number of new tools focused on the social good created by other organizations as a result of engagement with the Labs.

Program Success Examples:

SocialCoding4Good (SC4G), a Benetech Labs initiative, matches highly skilled technology volunteers with humanitarian, open source organizations to deliver better services around the world. Since its launch as a Benetech Labs pilot project in 2012, SocialCoding4Good has become a vibrant community driving social impact through humanitarian, free, open source software. During that time period: - More than 1,000 individuals have signed up to volunteer their technical skills; - Several hundred have actively contributed time and talent to help scale the work of twelve nonprofit partner organizations that build open source software addressing disaster response, education, health, human rights, and poverty; - Corporations including VMware, Google, LinkedIn, and others have partnered with SocialCoding4Good to facilitate skills-based volunteering and technical pro-bono programs for their employees. By matching mission-driven organizations that create open source software for social change, on the one hand, with corporate social responsibility programs and pro bono teams as well as individual technical volunteers, on the other hand, SocialCoding4Good is igniting sustainable, cross-sector collaboration and long-term volunteer engagement that accelerate social progress through technology.
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Impact Summary from the Nonprofit

Over the years, Benetech’s work has dramatically influenced the social entrepreneurial movement and the fields in which we operate. As of December 2014: - Our Bookshare library serves over 330,000 members with print disabilities in more than 50 countries, with a collection of over 315,000 accessible ebooks. Bookshare helps these individuals succeed in school, employment, civic engagement, and beyond. - Martus, our free, open source, secure software tool for human rights defenders and members of civil society organizations has been downloaded in over 120 countries and used to secure over 150,000 records documenting human rights violations. Martus protects the identities of rights activists, witnesses, and victims, and empowers them to be stronger in their fight against injustice and abuse. - Our SocialCoding4Good initiative has signed up over 1,000 software development professionals to volunteer their time and technical skills to nonprofit partners that develop and maintain free and open source software addressing critical social problems. SocialCoding4Good is a force multiplier: the nonprofit organizations we work with serve underprivileged communities around the world; SocialCoding4Good makes them stronger.
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