THE CUSTODY PROJECT

In a world where custody can be lost for lack of funds ... We assist.

El Sobrante, CA   |  http://www.thecustodyproject.org

Mission

To promote the general welfare, both directly and indirectly, of women and their children as a unit as related to care, custody, and visitation issues.

Notes from the nonprofit

Our IRS Determination Letters and Financials sections are found on our website under the About Us section.

Ruling year info

1995

Principal Officer

Donna Signorelli (Call, email not watched!)

Main address

PO Box 20753 (94820-0753 = zip)

El Sobrante, CA 94820 USA

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EIN

95-4521373

NTEE code info

Civil Rights, Advocacy for Specific Groups (R20)

Women's Rights (R24)

IRS filing requirement

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

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

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

Heart to Heart

Heart to Heart assists qualified mothers with care, custody, and visitation expenses, including reference, consultation, and caseload costs, via grants and the revolving door program.


Helping families for over twenty years, The Custody Project recognizes that when circumstances arise such as domestic violence, abuse, legal attempts to remove custody, inadequate or absent child support, or legal restraints that prevent mothers from improving the quality of life for their families, economic challenges compound, life is made infinitely harsher, and survival becomes extraordinarily more difficult.


Mothers commonly stretch dollars daily to feed, clothe, and care for their children and themselves, often working for $4 – $12 per hour, through babysitting, waitress, piecework, and other occupations paying below or near minimum wage. However, the protection and defense of custody of children usually includes the costs of attorneys and experts requiring substantial retainers of $500-$10,000+ and charging $25-$300+ per hour, as well as additional court, legal, and ancillary expenses and fees. If not broken by its financial crush, mothers must withstand such relentless expenses to protect their children: the overarching cost to mothers defending the custody and best interests of their children can seem insurmountable. With the ability to afford legal costs compromised, representation may be spotty or nonexistent; the economic disparity faced can jeopardize custody and contact, and cause financial ruin and devastating familial hardships, when imposed upon disadvantaged and overextended mothers.


Mothers without recourse often must represent themselves and their children in courts of law without training or understanding of the judicial system. It is unacceptable when custody and visitation are at issue that loss of custody and contact with children results from lack: lack of money, good representation, and/or legal knowledge.


While most of the challenges our mothers face are resolved with adequate funds for legal representation, there are very few resources nationwide responsive to the plight of these families.


The Custody Project's Heart to Heart Grant Program has been operational for over two decades. The generosity of our donors allows The Custody Project to help qualified mothers meet legal expenses and provide for their children, assisting with legal costs when they are defending the custody and visitation of their children, and providing funds for common necessities when such legal expenses prevent it and they are unable.


Occasionally, assistance is extended in other ways including telephonic support, information exchange, providing references, agency contacts, giving brief lectures/presentations, meeting with mothers, and as applicable when a grant is dispensed, negotiating a pro- or low-bono arrangement, or an affordable payment plan at zero percent interest with their attorneys.


In addition to TCP's grant program, the revolving door loan program serves when, as mothers repay their loans, the funds become available to help other families in need.


The compassion of our donors has kept deserving families afloat, often, at perilous junctures. And, although the daunting hardships such mothers face make complex stories where excerpts barely, or will not, do justice, our yearly newsletters share a little about our families so a light may shine on these cases, although confidentiality precludes names and pictures. (For more information, see our site's About Us: Case Excerpts and Annual Newsletter for Donors and Mothers; Mothers, see our Services Section).


Through our donors, we have helped families in the U.S. Virgin Islands, Washington D. C., and all 50 states with the exception of Alaska, and our range continues to expand.


Donations come from caring individuals and from businesses, including those Contributors listed on our site (http://thecustodyproject.org/contributors.php). To all: We thank you for your gracious donations, contributions, and services. It is an honor to stand with you to help make the way easier for these voiceless families in need.


Budget: Heart to Heart receives 75% or more since 1994 up to the present Fiscal Year (FY), except for 55% in FY 2016-17, due to the costs of The National Drive.


Fund & Friend-Raising, Public Awareness Actions, in combination with Educational Outreach, Property & Program Grants, and General Purposes and Overhead, receives 25% or less, while Heart to Heart receives 75% or more of yearly donations.


Our nine-digit zip code is provided here as it is not always transmitted by Guidestar to its partner sites:


Address: The Custody Project, PO Box 20753, El Sobrante, CA 94820-0753.


Telephone: 850.682.3460


Email: Not watched. Contact The Custody Project by telephone.


Info: T-H, 10-4, CST.


Financials: If you are elsewhere, including having come through Network For Good, Just Give, or Amazon, please visit our site or Guidestar for additional information about our Programs. On Guidestar, try visiting as a guest without logging in, use 95-4521373 at the search box, click on our name, scroll down, pick Programs, and look for Heart to Heart, Fund & Friend-Raising, The Drives, Educational Outreach, and for our Funding, Volunteer, and In-Kind Contributions Requests. More information may show than when logged in on Guidestar.


For some financial information through Guidestar's partner sites: use 95-4521373 at the search box and click on our name. If our IRS Determination Letters and 990N / Financial Information are unavailable through Guidestar or its partner sites, visit our site's About Us. For the IRS Determination Letters, choose that option under the About Us section, and for additional financial information, visit Financials (http://thecustodyproject.org/about.php and http://www.thecustodyproject.org/financials.php) or visit irs.gov.


Who We Are: Assisting qualified mothers, when in financial crisis, with care, custody, and visitation expenses in accordance with its Mission Statement, The Custody Project is a charitable, tax-exempt 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, Fed Tax ID #95-4521373, founded in 1994.


Note: Although we help mothers and their children, this group is not listed in the target population list below, so we have chosen: females - women and girls (i.e., mothers), and children and youth (0-19 years):


The Custody Project assists mothers and their children in accordance with our mission statement, using R (Civil Rights, Social Action & Advocacy), R20 (Civil Rights, Advocacy for Specific Groups) and R24 (Women's Rights). When updating GuideStar, we have also designated this population as female adults and their children as males and females, infants through age 19 years.

Population(s) Served
Women and girls
Children and youth

Fund & Friend-Raising, Public Awareness Actions include raising awareness about the issues and hardships affecting mothers and their children involved in custody and visitation proceedings. Some of our actions include:


1) Matching Drives on Giving Tuesday, throughout the Christmas Season, and during Mother's Month of May to raise donations for our families;


2) A Nationwide Drive during 2016-2017 to increase awareness about the difficulties these families face and to raise funds for our services to mothers and their children. We thank all those who donated to make The Drive possible.


3) A Nationwide Drive during Summer 2008 to honor mothers relocating with their children and those affected by custody, visitation, and move away issues, to bring attention and support to their plight. (To read about it, visit Events: Caravan 2008 (http://thecustodyproject.org/caravan2008.php).


4) A newsletter mailed yearly, sharing stories about families helped and listing many ways donors can assist. It is updated to the web site periodically. To find a prior Annual Newsletter for Donors and Mothers, go to About Us, and choose that option (http://thecustodyproject.org/about.php). To be on our mailing list, receive bulk mailings, or to arrange speaking engagements, call us @ 850.682.3460.


5) Listing many ways to help raise awareness, including through small grants and matching gifts at work, distributing flyers, sharing us online, by mail/email, and in person, and sharing easy donate online options using secure Donate Now Buttons for Guidestar, Just Give, Network For Good, PayPal, Causes/Facebook, GoodSearch, and the PayPal Giving Fund on our site. Or, visit their secure sites directly to donate to us: Type in The Custody Project or 95-4521373 in their search bars to find us.


For information and other ways to help raise awareness, please visit The Custody Project: You Can Help: Fancy, Business, and Service sections; and Events; About Us: Mission and Programs; and Donate: Online / Mail sections.


Budget: Fund & Friend-Raising, Public Awareness Actions, in combination with Educational Outreach, Property & Program Grants, and General Purposes and Overhead, receives 25% or less, while Heart to Heart receives 75% or more of yearly donations.


Note: Although we help mothers and their children, this group is not listed in the target population list below, so we have chosen: females - women and girls (i.e., mothers), and children and youth (0-19 years).

Population(s) Served
Women and girls
Children and youth

Educational Outreach includes teaching mothers about custody and visitation proceedings, preparing and filing legal briefs, gathering exhibits, discussing individual cases, and protecting children.


Often benefiting mothers in the defense and protection of their children, educational outreach usually occurs when speaking privately with a mother about her case. It is a service we hope expands in time.


Budget: Educational Outreach, in combination with Fund & Friend-Raising, Educational Outreach, Property & Program Grants, and General Purposes and Overhead, receives 25% or less, while Heart to Heart receives 75% or more of yearly donations.


(The Custody Project assists mothers and their children in accordance with our mission statement, using R (Civil Rights, Social Action & Advocacy), R20 (Civil Rights, Advocacy for Specific Groups) and R24 (Women's Rights). When updating GuideStar, we have also designated this population as female adults and their children as males and females, infants through age 19 years).

Population(s) Served

Property & Program Grants includes for event expenses, teaching fees, land acquisition, capital, building, renovation, program development, and technical assistance.


Funds are rarely allocated here as our budget is minimal. Volunteers offering their time, technical assistance, equipment, and ongoing patience have built the long term successes which make helping our families possible.


Budget: Property and Program Grants, in combination with Fund & Friend-Raising, Educational Outreach, and General Purposes and Overhead, receives 25% or less, while Heart to Heart receives 75% or more of yearly donations.


(The Custody Project assists mothers and their children in accordance with our mission statement, using R (Civil Rights, Social Action & Advocacy), R20 (Civil Rights, Advocacy for Specific Groups) and R24 (Women's Rights). When updating GuideStar, we have also designated this population as female adults and their children as males and females, infants through age 19 years).

Population(s) Served

General Purposes and Overhead includes for general operating support to continue and to expand the operation of The Custody Project.


General operating support allows the completion of tasks generating increased services and revenues for our families. To expand services to mothers, continue web and brochure improvements, further future events, cover many other administrative and program expenses yearly, reach other goals, and make it possible for us to help many more families in the years to come, funding is always needed.


The amount which can be set aside for required program and administrative expenses is currently insufficient. Both traditional and restricted donations (tax-deductible), as well as private sponsorships as non-tax-deductible gifts for program and administrative expenses, can help us meet our goals more swiftly, complete essential tasks, and help ensure assistance to families for years to come.


To make a private gift [not tax-deductible], call us. Private gifts will be used towards the goals stated above and The Board will oversee both tax-deductible donations and non-deductible contributions, and ensure they are used to fully benefit the goals of The Custody Project.


Budget: General Purposes and Overhead, in combination with Fund & Friend-Raising, Educational Outreach, and Property & Program Grants, receives 25% or less, while Heart to Heart receives 75% or more of yearly donations.


(The Custody Project assists mothers and their children in accordance with our mission statement, using R (Civil Rights, Social Action & Advocacy), R20 (Civil Rights, Advocacy for Specific Groups) and R24 (Women's Rights). When updating GuideStar, we have also designated this population as female adults and their children as males and females, infants through age 19 years).

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Financials

THE CUSTODY PROJECT
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Operations

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

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
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THE CUSTODY PROJECT

Board of directors
as of 3/3/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Donna Signorelli

The Custody Project

William Freeman

Jennifer Edwards

Donna Signorelli

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and 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? No
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? No
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? No
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No