The meaning of the Foundation's name
The word FORTITUDE is chosen by our daughter Phuong-Thao Alex Nguyen, secretary of FEF. Webster's definition of Fortitude is strength of mind that enables a person to encounter danger or bear pain or adversity with courage. We all need to have that strength to continue to serve the people. We do realize that there will be up and downs and adversaries during our journey but we promise ourselves not to give up.
The word EDUCATIONAL by itself conveys how we at FEF strongly believe that education (schooling, life skills, etc) makes a huge difference in reducing poverty, in enhancing people's life in the long run. The majority of our projects are related to enhancing education and the lives of the youngsters, be it school building, bridge building, cook for the homeless, etc.
What are the different projects categories?
There are five main project categories and two supporting projects:
The five main projects:
The Two Supporting projects: to support the two charitable organizations in Vietnam whose mission are inline with FEF's. The fund donated into these two projects are 100% forwarded to these organizations:
- Unrestricted: The fund in this general categories can be used at the discretion of FEF. It can be used to pay unavoidable administrative expenses or allocated to specific projects. Administrative expenses include but not limited to bank charges, government charges, shipping/handling, postage, box rental, supplies, etc.
- Community Outreach:
- Vietnam Outreach: This category covers all the projects done in Vietnam such as building the preschools and/or elementary schools; building bridges to facilitate the travel of the villagers and the students; relief for natural disasters
- Global Outreach: This category covers all the projects done in for underprivileged people/students in other countries in the world such as Haiti, Sudan, Guatemala, Philippines etc.
- Scholarship: At this time, this category is put on hold until FEF has finalized the process and a feasible timeline.
- Disabilty Research and Development (DRD)
What are FEF viewpoints regarding volunteering and monetary donation?
FEF is not open to seek for money so that it can do charity. FEF wishes to be viewed as a place where people with the desire to do charity come together, partner with each other in the charitable journey. We want to have a diversity of community service projects and charity projects that fit various donors and volunteers passion as well as the Board of Directors' passion. We do not have membership since we believe at free-will giving and free-will volunteering, and we encourage everyone to participate in other activities from other NGO.
What is the guideline in reporting donor list?
We understand some donors wish to remain anonymous for various reasons. However, we believe that it is crucial for us to report openly and clearly the amount donated. Therefore, the amount will always be displayed.
If the donor wishes to be anonymous, we respectfully ask for a different/anonymous name or acronyms that the donor can easily identify from the list. The donation receipt will be given using the real name of the donor, but the "anonymous" name will be displayed to the public.
There are some rare cases that we have no choice but to use the word anonymous since the donor gives cash and walk away without giving the name. This happens only at events. In this case, we will note besides the word "Anonymous" where, when, and how we receive the money.
FEF also provides receipts for these non-monetary donation such as food, goods, materials for the projects.
This guideline is to build and maintain trust between FEF and the donors.
How does FEF make sure that we have enough fund for all the projects within the fiscal year?
While we want to be able to do as much as possible for the underprivileged communities, we strongly believe that funding stress will diminish the purity of the charitable goal. We believe in doing charity within our means. To be able to do that, we establish the following protocol for funding the projects
- Committed Capital Resource: Each year, FEF has a committed funding of $15,000 to $20,000 from its Board of Directors and the accounting firm Fortitude Professional Services. This committed capital resource ensures the survival and the sustain of the Foundation
- Initial Projects: Based on the Committed Capital Resource, FEF chooses the right amount of projects that can be covered regardless of the external donations. These projects are posted on FEF website and communicated to the public via email and other means such as FaceBook.
- Additional Projects: Any extra donation received will allow more projects to be added to the repertoire. We continue to do that until we exhaust the Committed Capital Resource and/or the end of the fiscal year
- No Financial Stress: By following the above protocol, we will not be in any financial stress.
Donation Protocol to streamline the bookkeeping and to easily manage the fund.