43: Number of Service Dog Teams Created since our inception
10: Task trained service dogs we will place with their respective handler in 2020.
200: Number of Veterans on our waiting list
0: Number of paid employees
$0: What Freedom Fidos charges a recipient to receive a service dog
$25,000: Median cost to train a service dog
100%: Amount of your tax-deductible donation which goes towards training the service dogs.
10: Existing Board Members and growing
95%: Amount the Co-Founder Loans to Freedom Fidos on a monthly basis from his SSDI, VA 100% permanent and total disability, and combat-related special compensation.
-VA disabilty is not taxed. Therefore this removes the potential for Tax Shelter to be implicated.
2: Amount of service dogs which have been placed during 2020.
Is Freedom Fidos a legitimate IRS Approved 501(C)(3): YES
Is Freedom Fidos a legitimate GA Approved Corporation: Yes
Is Freedom Fidos currently compliant with all IRS and Ga nonprofit mandates; Yes
Is Freedom Fidos compliant with the 1990 Americans with Disabilities ACT: Yes
Does Freedom Fidos incorporate the following:
Bylaws: Yes, written consistent with Ga Nonprofit Code
990 filing: Yes, yearly. We do so firstly like everything at Freedom Fidos as an extension of who we are. Secondly we want you to have the latest and most current information regarding how YOUR funds, NOT OURS are spent. We are like an investor, literally are your investors,and want you to have adequate information so that you can determine if your money is spent in a manner consistent with our mission. We want you to have this information so that you can then determine your perception of Freedom Fidos We do not participate in the practice of some nonprofits and wait till about year 2.5 right before the IRS is about to revoke their 501(C)(3) status then quickly file it which then allows them to not report one years of income. When we see any practice which isn't beyond impeccable integrity we feel saddened for the individuals who so graciously send their contributions.
Articles of Incorporation: Yes
Fidos 4 Heroes, Inc.
Federal ID: 81-3891401
The organization is organized exclusively for charitable, religious, educational, and scientific purposes under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or corresponding section of any future federal tax code. Upon the dissolution of this organization, assets shall be distributed for one or more exempt purposes within the meaning of section 501(C)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or corresponding section of any future federal tax code, or shall be distributed to the federal government, or to a state or local government, for a public purpose.
Does Freedom Fidos provide access to their 990s; Yes, 2017, and 2018 are posted on the website: Our 2019 990N(Fidos4Heroes was under $50,000. We were under $15,000) will be posted once the IRS fixes the following statement on their website. "Important:Copies of returns for February and March 2020 are delayed due to technical issues. This alert will be updated when the issue is resolved."
A State Yearly Corporation filing; Yes
Board of Directors: Yes
Officers; President, Secretary, Treasurer; Yes
Does the Freedom Fidos Board President have a leadership/mentor/ accountability team: Yes
The use of a professional paid for fundraising Corporation: No
Potentially risky investments; No
The use of Lobbyists: No
An IRS approved Fraud Certified Accountant: Yes:
Have their most recent 990 available for public viewing at public events: Yes
-Preventative and detective
Segregation of Duties: Yes
Checks and Balances: Yes
Donor Return On Service Investment: Yes. Tenants of that document include urgency, transparency, repeatable, verifiable, safe, non-risky, and more.
Donor Bill of Rights: Yes
Guidestar Rating; Yes.While we are aware of how psychology works sometimes becoming the catalyst for how quickly something becomes the accepted practice and social norm of what to do or where to go for information: Please be aware that while they ask for some documentation this is still done online. It is very minimal if any at all vetting.Maybe 10% of 100%. If we were vetting an organization personally, as we all do frequently, their Charity Navigator, Or Guidestar profile would be the last thing we looked at.
GA State license allowing Raffles: IN process
Does Freedom Fido have and adhere to the following written policies: Are they also current?
Conflict of interest: Yes
Document Retention: Yes
Sexual Harassment: Yes
Criminal Background Check: Yes
Equal Opportunity: Yes
Open Books: Yes
Stolen Valor: Yes
Political and Religious IRS mandates: Yes
Canine Health and welfare, neglect, Abuse: YES
Mission and Vision Statement; Yes
Current Business plan; Yes
Succession plan: Yes
Drugs and alcohol: Yes
Code of conduct: Yes
Mission Drift: Yes
Risk Analysis? Yes
Volunteer Release and Waiver of Liability Form:Yes
VMOSA (Vision, Mission, Objectives, Strategies, and Action Plans): Absolutely. This acronym and all its exponential, multi-faceted ramifications cross the Co-Founders mind on a daily basis. During countless sleepless nights He walks the mental pathway of this acronym as he feels countless emotions and replays the voices of 200 individuals seeking a Service Dog which re-creates the burning desire to do much more.
Metrics: YES. We LOVE contemplating the ones we chose and how we feel as they are a continuation of our Organization as they embody who we are and our joyous, pinch me living, purposeful why, and commitment to how we engage with the Canines and Populations we serve. For us, this is the good stuff in life which fuels us.
Social Return On Investment: Online Definition:(SROI is similar to ROI but shows the double bottom line: the financial impact AND the social impact of your nonprofit’s work. SROI helps you determine the cost of what would happen if your nonprofit did not exist.)https://www.thebalancesmb.com/using-sroi-to-show-your-nonprofit-s-impact-2501977 .
Absolutely. This describes an exhilarating daily journey we are blessed to travel as we hear from our Service Dog Handlers as they inform us of the miraculous life they are living because of their Service Dog. We are intentionally committed to sharing what they tell us with you. We are beyond speechless and inspired by the kindness of humanity who so graciously provide the monetary funding which is what allows us to witness such exponential rewards on your investment in humanity. Thank You.
All of the above documents are open for public inspection. Within a timely manner(defined as within 72 hours)the Freedom Fidos Board President and Board Attorney will meet with you in person.(Within a 150 mile radius of Columbus,Ga. EX: Atlanta Airport) These requests are of such importance to us that we only fulfill these requests in person. Best Practices, Documentation Mandates, and our Board Lawyers require us to provide an affidavit you will be required to sign once we provided a visual inspection of the documentation.
The only document within Freedom Fidos which is not available for public inspection are the completed applications due to our utmost respect for the privacy of sometimes traumatic and very sensitive information of the individual. We are committed to maintaining their trust. Sharing their information is not acceptable.
Does the Freedom Fidos CEO receive a salary; NO; In contrast, Loans $36,000 per year to Freedom Fidos from his disability income.
Has the Freedom Fidos CEO ever monetarily benefited from contributions made to Freedom Fidos? No
Is the Freedom Fidos CEO Personal Bank Account Statements open for public View: Yes
Will The Freedom Fidos CEO ever accept a salary? No
Has the Freedom Fidos CEO ever benefited in any manner from Freedom Fidos. OH YEAH. He has constantly re-found his life's purpose and passion. He has witnessed,learned, and is still learning, just how AMAZING canines are. They inspire him with heartfelt emotions and gratitude. His own Service dog has brought him back from over 7 heart attacks, saved his life several times, shown him his life purpose, done countless demonstrations while still being my service dog, been part of the training of every SD we have placed, and much more. Brinks is my hero. I have repeatedly seen the best of humanity. I have been had countless people give me grace and believe in me since the first day I announced my intention to create Freedom Fidos. I have had Phenomenal people coach,mentor, and help me which has shaped where I stand today. I am grateful they helped me which was paying it forward to all the canines and individuals we have helped and countless more we are committed to helping. I set my intentions not to let them down on a daily basis. Despite not having many fears I do fear there to be any slightest optic of their belief in me to be unfounded.
While the bank account my say typically $17 or less Freedom Fidos has made me extremely rich. A lengthy book could not adequately describe all the amazing relationships and high caliber individuals I have met; which has a cascade of great feeling emotions behind them created by these people's action and words. I have experienced in a great way not being able to process the care and kindness of so many people who care for their fellow brothers and sister by providing the funding which allows our mission to go on.
I have the honor to live my life with a never ending replay of so many individuals who despite tremendous adversity and often loss of their humanity still: somehow, find the resolve and resilience to have faith and belief leading them to obtain a Service Dog. Then once they do I smile old fashioned heart smiles when I see and hear them filled with emotion tell me what their service dog is doing, the fulfilling life they are living, the healing they are experiencing, how they are again giving back to their community, and experiencing the Knowing they so hoped was possible. They believed there was hope which has created their limitless possibilities life. They inspire me and become the best "Chevron" I like to go to in order to "gas up."
I have observed other nonprofits come along to help Freedom Fidos with the same commitment to help humanity. The mission statement might be different while the mission, and the why behind the mission statement is the same: HUMANITY. Impossible to describe the joyous emotions and win,win, win, when what we have in common not only becomes the focus, but also, transcends what might be different. I have been the humble recipient of watching our Board Members work tirelessly with passionate exuberance committed to our mission. Sometimes behind the scenes without being the recipient of so much of the feel good aspects as the more front line individuals such as myself receive. For example the lawyer(s) who create our policies yet might not be able to personally hear the inspirational reports I am privy to. Yet they continue because they believe in humanity. They all are the ones responsible for the 43 Service Dog Teams created and all the far reaching ramifications of each one of those teams. They are the ones who will create hundreds of other inspirational life changing collaborative journeys between canines and the populations we serve.
YUUUP, the Freedom Fidos CO-Founder has made out like a bandit. I am grateful to be living,large, abundant, pinch me living. I have every confidence the continuation of this journey will be just as exhilarating. Much Love and Gratitude.
Does any member of Freedom Fidos receive a salary? Currently; No. When this changes (Secretary,(not the Officer Positioned Secretary) Grant writer, dog trainer, and facility caretaker) with their salaries being consistent with IRS mandates we will be forthcoming and transparent with those salaries.
Has any member of the Freedom Fidos Team ever received a monetary benefit from contributions? No
How much of my contribution goes directly to the organization, canines, and the populations served? 100 %( Graphs and charts of the specific breakdown which will coincide with our 990's are in progress and will be posted on this website shortly)
Am I able to designate how I want my donation used: Yes. Please fill out the donor-advised sheet and send it to Matt@Freedomfidos.org
Has any Veteran on the Freedom Fidos Team committed stolen valor? No, Additionally the Freedom Fidos CEO medical records, Combat Related Special Compensation, VA Determination Letter, DD 214, and military performance reviews,are all available for public inspection.
What percentage of my contribution goes to swag gear? 0
What percentage of my contribution goes to marketing? 0
Is Freedom Fidos benefitting any individual under IRS definition of a tax shelter: No.
How many times has Freedom Fidos been thoroughly vetted?
Governor Kemp and the State of Georgia:1
Is Freedom Fidos curriculum based? Yes
Is Freedom Fidos committed to remaining a culture and values Organization? Yes
Does Freedom Fido’s clearly understand their why? Yes
Are we filing the correct Form 990? Yes
Do we have $1,000 of gross revenue from unrelated business sources? No
Are governance documents available for public inspection? Yes
Are our representations regarding the following written governance policies accurate: conflict of interest, whistleblower, document retention, and joint venture? Yes
Do we use rebuttable presumption rules in determining executive compensation? There is no executive compensation
Did we endorse any candidate for public office? No
Are we required to file an annual report with the Secretary of State Charity office? Yes
Are we providing a written acknowledgment for gifts over $250? Yes
And disclosing the fair value of any goods or services provided in exchange for a $75 donation? Yes, we would if the Board chose to unanimously go in that direction. Our current tax receipt states" no goods or services were provided" consistent with IRS mandates. We plan to remain in this current position which is intentional. We do not like the feeling of blurred lines.
Did our organization make loans to any of its officers or directors? No
Did we do anything to violate our tax-exempt status with the IRS or the State of Washington? No
Is our return signed and complete? Yes
Do we operate like a commercial business? Yes
Are our programs real and substantial? Yes
Are minutes being kept for all board meetings and other authorized meetings? Yes
Consistent with Georgia Nonprofit code do you have a corporate record-keeping location: Yes. Additionally a filing cabinet under lock and key consistent with Georgia Nonprofit Code.
Is your website current and active: Yes. We are intentionally committed to updating it as we have new material to post. Our website is a joyous experience for us as we pass along the life we are blessed to live. There are strategic, specific, targeted, plans regarding what will be added going forward. Much like a good Business Plan our website will be living and breathing.
Do you provide a yearly reporting update: No is the short answer for those who prefer that form of communication. For those who prefer longer communication the answer follows. We are aware of the countless nonprofit resources which promote that activity as general, one size fits all advice. Our Board determined that like all written materials a yearly update is only as good as the people behind the document. The Freedom Fidos specific approach is that we believe what we are doing daily is our " yearly update." Between social media, the website, our commitment to relationships,(dishearteningly slower and not as consistent as we would like which rips our hearts daily because two people are responsible for 95% of the Organization) our Service Dogs and their respective handlers, we believe we provide a snapshot for an individual to have adequate information to choose their opinion of our Organization. We are grateful to our AMAZING followers who so actively follow us on a daily basis that providing a "yearly update" would not provide them with any information which they don't already know.
Can I sign up for a monthly newsletter? Yes. We are intentionally committed to finding the right individual who will be responsible for completing that important and joyous storytelling activity for the Organization. We are also performing due diligence to find the best platform,(ex; possibly MailChimp) which best suits the needs of our Organization as well as the individual who will be the designated storyteller. We will have such individual in place by July 1, 2020. We are grateful for your patience with anticipation to start sharing the pinch me living we are blessed to live daily when we remain committed to our calling, commission, and purposeful why.
If as a potential donor I want to know the mindset of the person at the top of Freedom Fidos because I believe the best way to vet any organization is to meet with the person at the top and learn their mindset, heart set, morals, values, and belief systems as the rest of the organization will follow suit is he available to meet with me: Yes. Thank you for asking.I will be honored.I look forward to connecting. We can go do a leisure activity of your choosing. We can sing cumbyah, drink sweet tea, go "snipe hunting", solve all the worlds problems, and have a wonderful time.
If as a potential donor, I want to meet with a Board Member(s) are they available to do so? Yes
If as a potential donor I want to meet with an individual who is a recipient of the services Freedom Fidos provides is this an option? Yes
If as a potential donor I wanted to attend a Freedom Fidos Board Meeting is this an option? Yes. Bring kleenex.
As a high caliber individual with morals, ethics, and zero tolerance for the slightest hint of immoral, criminal, unethical behavior, if I stepped into the CEO role of Freedom Fidos is there anything I would have to immediately change in order to have a clear conscience and sleep at night? No
Has Freedom Fidos ever been audited by the IRS.:Yes. The audit was finalized in May 2020 with nothing found. WHAT AN AMAZING PROCESS AND JOURNEY we were blessed to experience. The Freedom Fidos Family is grateful to the IRS auditor for her professionalism, recommendations, and commitment to incredible people who donate to nonprofits ensuring we are compliant with and there is no unethical behavior. When the Freedom Fidos Founder first started Freedom Fidos he read the IRS Audit manual which he has used as one of many tools to build Freedom Fidos.
Freedom Fidos is grateful to our Phenomenal Accountant John Michael Kledis not only for his expertise, knowledge, mindsets-skillets-heart sets, countless emails and phone calls, helping Freedom Fidos build and maintain our accounting system, but also his guidance as we blissfully and gratefully experienced the blessings associated with navigating the IRS audit.
Freedom Fidos is an organization which is an extension of each individual within the Organization’s Family. Consequently, Freedom Fidos becomes a collective of each individual’s integrity-
- mission only
-our personal unwritten codes
-not doing anything which could jeopardize our ability to live the dream of our purposeful why as we serve canines and Veterans in a collaborative journey
-maintain how we feel about ourselves when our personal code feels good to us
-asking if we individually and collectively have in any fashion deviated from our alignment with who we are
-our intentional focus regarding the question we ask ourselves daily, Is there anything within Freedom Fidos which we are not proud of?
We focus on the following quote daily. “You wont rise to the level of your dreams. You will sink to the lack of your systems.” Freedom Fidos is committed to continuously strengthening our systems.” Any “deficits” and/or components of Freedom Fidos which are not at the level of excellence we expect; understandably so stem from lack of time, money, or personnel, infrastructure, as the two individuals at the Facility are only two people. The Freedom Fidos CEO has the same levels of responsibly as a Corporate level CEO without the resources, secretary, finances, Vice Presidents and their teams which a Corporate CEO has. One tenant of that multifaceted approach will be strategically and intentionally finding the right individuals for our organization to help us execute those systems; which not only will coincide with Freedom Fidos commitment to run like a corporation with a more balanced and evenly dispersed workload, but also, increase the quantitative and qualitative optics to be consistent with what we already know as an Organization committed to high standards of excellence.
Similar to a corporation which is owned by its stockholders Freedom Fidos is owned by the individuals and corporations who are often referred to under the definition of donors while we prefer to say they are people which mean a great deal to Freedom Fidos. The Family within Freedom Fidos is committed to our “bosses” as those individuals have trusted us to be the stewards of their trust, intent, support of the Freedom Fidos mission and vision, and their monetary gifts. The Freedom Fidos Family experiences multiple emotions, which includes feeling blessed, grateful, and pinch me living as well as the continuous weight of solemn responsibility.
The Freedom Fidos Pledge:
Declaration of Contribution
I will make good things happen for other
people. For those here now and those who
come after us.
When things get tough and I fall short I will
remind myself I can accomplish anything,
with time, effort, patience, and resilience.
When my situation is not the best I will do
the best with what I have.
I will be resourceful and responsible…
I will get over myself and expect more of
I will be obligated to this world and the
people in it.
I will give more. I will enjoy more..
I will love openly
I will fearlessly pursue my dreams
I will express unlimited gratitude
I will fearlessly connect
I will remain committed to my internal
authentic state of being.
I, Matt Burgess attest that all the above information is true, factual, valid, and verifiable. I have provided transparent information with my personal standards of integrity, truth, consistent with my internal locus of control and the person I am. With humbling gratitude for your trust and support, I remain committed to nothing but your utmost certainty your support for Freedom Fidos is saving the lives of Canines and Veterans. Much Love and Gratitude. Matt Burgess. Freedom Fidos CEO and Co-Founder