Civil Rights, Social Action, Advocacy

Invisible Children Inc

  • San Diego, CA
  • http://www.invisiblechildren.com

Mission Statement

Invisible Children is a youth for youth movement that uses film, creativity and social action to end the use of child soldiers in Joseph Kony’s rebel war and restore LRA-affected communities to peace and prosperity.

Main Programs

  1. Schools for Schools
  2. Legacy Scholarship Program
  3. The Village Savings and Loan Association
  4. The Early Warning Radio Network and LRA Crisis Tracker
  5. MEND

service areas

International

Self-reported by organization

ruling year

2006

chief executive for fy 2004

Ben Keesey

Self-reported by organization

Keywords

invisible children, children in Africa, northern uganda, uganda

Self-reported by organization

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EIN

54-2164338

Contact

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Civil Rights, Social Action, and Advocacy N.E.C. (R99)

IRS Filing Requirement

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

Programs + Results

How does this organization make a difference?

Impact statement

Invisible Children entered into this year with incredible plans and, thanks to our supporters, we were able to translate those plans into groundbreaking initiatives and tangible results. Summer 2010 marked the implementation of our Protection Plan in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where the LRA is continuing it’s 25year long reign of terror by actively killing and abducting innocent children. Our holistic plan to protect community members from LRA attacks is well underway, and we are already seeing promising results. One integral component of this plan is the LRA Crisis Tracker, a multimedia platform that creates a near real-time account of LRA attacks on civilians. This tool reduces the time it takes for news of major attacks to be reported—from months to just hours, enabling the efficient and effective deployment of humanitarian aid.
 
We continued to focus on rebuilding schools in post-conflict northern Uganda; and the success of our partner schools is evident. Before our involvement, many of them had become some of the lowest ranking schools in Uganda due to the physical and mental damage caused by the LRA conflict. However, this year, due to our efforts, Layibi Secondary School ranked 54th in the entire country. These types of results can be seen at all 11 of partner schools. Additionally, the number of Legacy Scholarship Program beneficiaries is up to 850 students. Each of these students is paired with a mentor who provides psychosocial support and guidance in all aspects of student life and facilitates communication between the student, their families, and their teachers.
 
 
We take very seriously the responsibility that our supporters entrust in us when they invest time and resources in our organization. It is our commitment to continue to build and develop our programs with integrity and compassion in 2012.

Programs

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Self-reported by organization

Program 1

Schools for Schools

The Schools for Schools (S4S) program emerged from our overarching goal to raise the standard of education in northern Uganda back to a nationally competitive level. S4S links more than 1,000 schools worldwide with 11 secondary schools in Northern Uganda. Each of the schools abroad competes to raise money for its Ugandan sister school. With the money raised, we work on ‘hardware’ and ‘software’ projects at our partner schools. Hardware projects focus on renovating and/or building things like classroom blocks, latrines, water pumps, libraries, and science labs. Software projects provide schools with things like teacher capacity workshops, curriculum development, and scholastic materials. Campuses at each Ugandan sister school are being transformed, and student achievement is on the rise. This year, Layibi College was ranked 54th of 3,149 schools in the country, making it the first school in the north to be ranked in the top 100 since the LRA left Uganda.

Category

Budget

$938,355.00

Population Served

Children Only (5 - 14 years)

Program 2

Legacy Scholarship Program

The Legacy Scholarship Program (LSP) is an ongoing initiative started in 2005, which aims to increase access to secondary school education for children in northern Uganda. LSP is unique because it not only pays tuition, but also connects students with mentors in the community to provide psychosocial support and guidance in all aspects of student life. Pioneered by our Country Director, Miss Jolly Okot, and managed entirely by Ugandan leadership, LSP currently provides scholarships and mentoring to 700 secondary students and 250 university students from across five districts in northern Uganda (as of September 2012).

Category

Budget

$957,346.00

Population Served

Program 3

The Village Savings and Loan Association

The Village Savings and Loan Association (VSLA) program, was born as people began to make the transition from Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps back to the their original homesteads. VSLA is a localized banking system, which provides members with three immensely valuable benefits: a way to save money, a way to earn interest, and a way to access previously unavailable capital to start small businesses. As members save and loan money, interest is generated. At the end of a six or eight-month cycle, the savings are returned to individual group members, along with each member’s percentage of the group interest. As of August 2012, VSLA is comprised of 95 savings groups consisting of 30 members each. With structured support and financial instruction from VSLA staff, villagers who have never saved money before are learning life-changing personal finance practices.

Category

Budget

$186,386.00

Population Served

Program 4

The Early Warning Radio Network and LRA Crisis Tracker

The Early Warning Radio Network connects towns in theDemocratic Republic of Congo (DRC) andCentral African Republic (CAR) to security forces and surrounding villages, limiting the LRA’s ability to move from town to town undeterred. Twice daily, communities report security incidents into a central base in the regional hub of Dungu, DRC. The security information is then distributed back to the communities and to local humanitarian groups providing services to vulnerable communities. The first of its kind, the LRA Crisis Tracker draws on the Early Warning Radio Network and reports from the UN and organizations working on the ground, aiming to create a near real-time account of LRA attacks on civilians. This enables governments and humanitarian organizations to identify and respond to those most in need. The data is pulled into our custom designed mapping tool and iPhone application, displaying the incidents by type and date. This data will give humanitarians, actors on the ground and legislators access to life-saving information.

Category

Budget

$1,271,368.00

Population Served

Program 5

MEND

The MEND Project was launched in 2007 as a social economic venture geared toward facilitating financial independence and development for women formerly abducted by the LRA. In a sewn product workspace in northern Uganda, these women produce handcrafted designer handbags, which each carry the name of the seamstress who made it. Consumers of these products, which are sold in the US, are able to watch introductory video bios online and see how their simple purchase has positively impacted a Ugandan woman’s life.
 
As of September 2011, the program is employing 22 women who have each received SITI (Savings and Investment Training Initiative) training. The seamstresses have been given lessons in literacy, numeracy, budgeting and are assisted in their development of sustainable income-generating activities for the future. The seamstresses have opened individual savings accounts, which allow them to receive necessary medical care, as well as pay school-related fees for their children.

Category

Budget

$120,045.00

Population Served

service areas

International

Self-reported by organization

Funding Needs

Invisible Children’s most pressing current need is for financial support to cover our general operating expenses. As our programs continue to expand, the general fund provides us the flexibility to develop our programs within the ever-changing climate of the conflict.

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Financials

Financial information is an important part of gauging the short- and long-term health of the organization.

Invisible Children Inc
Fiscal year: Jul 01-Jun 30
Yes, financials were audited by an independent accountant.

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Invisible Children Inc

Leadership

NEED MORE INFO ON THIS NONPROFIT?

Free: Gain immediate access to the following:
  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2014, 2013 and 2012
  • Board Chair and Board Members
  • Access to the GuideStar Community
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CHIEF EXECUTIVE FOR FISCAL YEAR

Ben Keesey

BIO

Ben received his B.A. in Applied Mathematics, Management & Accounting from the University of California, Los Angeles. The day after senior finals, he hopped on a plane to Africa and unknowingly rerouted the course of his life. Prior to officially joining the organization in 2005 as CFO, he worked with Deloitte and Touche LLP, JP Morgan & Associates and Brentwood Associates Private Equity. Ben now serves as Executive Director and CEO of Invisible Children, Inc. He embraces the impossible and plots the course of our daring future. His hard work is unmistakably evident; a previously unheard of grassroots documentary film has transformed into an international movement that is revolutionizing culture, policy and lives.Ben received his B.A. in Applied Mathematics, Management & Accounting from the University of California, Los Angeles. The day after senior finals, he hopped on a plane to Africa and unknowingly rerouted the course of his life. Prior to officially joining the organization in 2005 as CFO, he worked with Deloitte and Touche LLP, JP Morgan & Associates and Brentwood Associates Private Equity. Ben now serves as Executive Director and CEO of Invisible Children, Inc. He embraces the impossible and plots the course of our daring future. His hard work is unmistakably evident; a previously unheard of grassroots documentary film has transformed into an international movement that is revolutionizing culture, policy and lives.

Governance

BOARD CHAIR

Ben Keesey

CEO

BOARD LEADERSHIP PRACTICES

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BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

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?


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CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?