With your investment in Self-Help, you entrust us to make a difference in the world, and we take that responsibility seriously. Find the most recent annual Impact Reports featuring how your support improved the lives and livelihoods of those we serve here:

To request a printed copy of our most recent annual report, visit the Contact Us page to indicate the requested information and name and address where you would like the information sent. 

Downloadable copies of IRS Forms 990 are available by clicking to visit our Guidestar profile

Complete audited financial statements available on request. Visit the Contact Us page to indicate the requested information and name and address where you would like the information sent.


Self-Help International respects your right to privacy and we recognize the trust you place in us through your relationship with us. We do not rent, sell, or exchange our mailing lists. We value your faith in our organization and assure you that we will always strive to be responsible in our management, truthful in our advertising, and cost-effective in our fundraising.

What personal information we collect

We collect personal information about individuals including supporters, volunteers, contractors and employees for the purposes of carrying out our business, including fundraising activities. The types of personal information we commonly collect include:

  • Your name and contact details such as address, phone number and email address
  • A history of your donations, correspondence and other interactions with us
  • Your employer details, if you provide them and/or participate in workplace giving
  • Your preferences for mailings, invitations, and volunteer activities

How we collect and hold personal information

Where possible, your personal information is collected directly from you. This can be from donation forms, events or trip registrations, business cards, through our website or by direct request. Your personal information is stored securely in an encrypted database hosted on a dedicated private server cloud. You may access the privacy policy of our third-party provider by clicking here. Hard copy personal information is entered into the database and subsequently shredded. Where it is necessary to maintain a hard copy, the information is securely stored with limited staff access onsite for the necessary length of time and then shredded i.e., financial record-keeping.

Staff, Interns, Volunteers and Directors are required to sign a confidentiality agreement and comply with our Privacy Policy.

How we use and disclose personal information

We will use your personal information in connection with our business activities and will always treat your personal information as confidential. This may be to process a donation, to send receipts, newsletters or updates about our programs, to conduct marketing and fundraising activities or to invite you to volunteer or attend Self-Help International events. We may also send you requests for donations and will make every effort to honor any designation or preference you have stated. We believe it is important for you to understand how your support is making a difference to the rural families and communities we serve in Ghana and Nicaragua.

You are always welcome to request that your gift is not acknowledged publicly (is anonymous). If you choose to make an anonymous gift, we will not publicize your gift using your name or any associated personal information. Information about the gift will be confidential and disclosed only as required by law.

Self-Help does not sell personal information to outside organizations. From time to time we may disclose your personal information to volunteers, organizers or utilize printing companies in connection with a fundraising event, newsletter or promotional. In addition, contractors who provide database services may have access to your personal information on an as-needed basis. In each instance your information will be provided for a limited, defined purpose. 

There may be times when your name (but not contact information) will be shared publicly in order to recognize your generosity of time, talents or treasure to further our mission, such as on our annual report or in recognition of event sponsorship. Please contact us directly to if you wish that your gifts or efforts on behalf of our organization remain anonymous and we would be happy to honor your opt-out request.    

How we collect and process credit card information

Self-Help International utilizes the encrypted data services of third party vendors (see their data security policies here and here) to collect and process credit card information on our website and through other online giving resources. We do not collect or store credit card information made by any electronic method. Occasionally, during a fundraising activity, our organization will contract credit card processing services with a local bank. In this instance a hard copy may be generated and stored securely in keeping with other financial records. These records are shredded when it is no longer necessary to retain a hard copy, and any access to these records is limited to essential staff and only in the direct performance of their employment duties.


On this website, non-personal statistical information is possible to track for use in improving services to you. Self-Help International does not track cookies at this time but retains the right to do so in the future. As a website visitor you can disable cookies in your internet browser settings if so desired.

How you can access, update personal information or opt out of future communication

Self-Help International takes all reasonable steps to ensure that the personal information we hold is accurate, complete and up-to-date. We encourage you to contact us if there are errors in the personal information we hold about you and keep us informed of changes to information such as your name, address or email address.  If you would like access to the personal information we have collected, would like to correct or update information, would like to request anonymity, or would like to opt out of any or all further communications please contact us at:

Self-Help International
207 20th Street NW, Suite A
Waverly, IA 50677


Self-Help International, a nonprofit organization organized under the laws of the State of Iowa, encourages the solicitation and acceptance of gifts to Self-Help International (hereinafter referred to as SHI) for purpose of fulfilling its mission:

Self-Help International is dedicated to alleviating hunger by helping people help themselves. The following policies and guidelines govern acceptance of gifts made to SHI for the benefit of any of its programs. Donors are advised to consult with their tax professional if they have any questions about their donation.

Criteria for Gift Acceptance

Acceptance of any contribution, gift or grant is at the discretion of SHI. SHI will not accept any gift unless it can be used or expended consistently with the purpose and mission of SHI.

1. Cash is acceptable in any form. Checks shall be made payable to the SHI and shall be delivered to the SHI administrative offices or transferred by wire to the SHI bank account.
2. Publicly traded securities may be transferred to an account maintained at one or more brokerage firms or delivered physically with the transferor’s signature or stock power attached. As a general rule, all marketable securities shall be sold upon receipt unless otherwise directed by the investment committee. Any securities restricted by securities laws or subject to any other restriction shall be subject to a determination of acceptance of the restricted securities by the Gift Acceptance Committee
3. Gifts of in-kind services or items will be accepted at the discretion of SHI. The gift of in-kind services is generally not deductible by the donor.
4. SHI will accept gifts of life insurance, either by being named as a beneficiary on an insurance policy or by being made the irrevocable owner of a policy. For irrevocable transfers, the gift is valued at its interpolated terminal reserve value upon receipt. If the donor contributes future premium payments, SHI will include the entire amount of the additional premium payment as a gift in the year that it is made
5. Certain gifts, such as real property, tangible personal property, in-kind gifts, non-liquid securities,
trusts, cryptocurrency, bargain sales, and contributions whose sources are not transparent or whose use is restricted in some manner, must be reviewed by the Gift Acceptance Committee prior to acceptance due to the special obligations raised or liabilities they may pose for SHI.
Prior to the acceptance of any real estate property, an environmental study shall be conducted.
6. Gift of Grain: see attached SHI policy.
7. SHI encourages donors to make bequests to SHI under their wills and trusts. Language for such a
bequest is requested to be as follows:
          I give, devise and bequeath (specific amount or percentage of my estate) to Self-Help International, Waverly, IA 50677
8. Donors to SHI are encouraged to name SHI as the designated beneficiary of their retirement plans or as
pay on death or pay on transfer beneficiary of bank accounts or securities accounts. Such a beneficiary
designation should be shown as follows;
          Self-Help International, EIN 42-0844679
9. Donors are encouraged to make Qualified Charitable Distributions (QCDs) from their IRA accounts to
SHI. Donors are encouraged to consult with their professional advisors before making such a gift.
10. SHI currently does not offer charitable gift annuities.
11. SHI may accept designation as a remainder beneficiary of a charitable remainder trust with the
approval of the gift acceptance committee of SHI. SHI will not accept appointment as trustee of a
charitable remainder trust.
12. SHI may accept a designation as income beneficiary of a charitable lead trust. The Gift Acceptance
Committee will not accept an appointment as Trustee of a charitable lead trust.
13. SHI does not regularly issue sub-grants to other organizations.

Acknowledgment of Gifts

SHI will provide acknowledgments to donors meeting IRS substantiation requirements for property received by SHI as a gift. However, except for gifts of cash and publicly traded securities, no value shall be ascribed to any receipt or other form of substantiation of a gift received by SHI.

Restrictions on Gifts

SHI will respect the intent of the donor relating to gifts for restricted purposes and those relating to the desire to remain anonymous. With respect to anonymous gifts, SHI will restrict information about the donor to only those staff members with a need to know.

Gifts may be designated to:

1. Unrestricted
2. General Endowment Fund
3. Merry Fredrick Leadership Endowment Fund
4. Other program funds, subject to change, presently:
1. Ghana – General
2. Ghana – Improving Agriculture & Fostering Entrepreneurship
3. Ghana – Nutrition
4. Ghana – Empowering Women & Girls
5. Nicaragua – General
6. Nicaragua – Improving Agriculture & Fostering Entrepreneurship
7. Nicaragua – Accessing Clean Water
8. Nicaragua – Empowering Women & Girls
9. Country Unspecified – Empowering Women & Girls
10. Country Unspecified – Improving Agriculture & Fostering Entrepreneurship

Subject to policies relating to individual funds, a donor may set up a separate named fund to achieve current program priorities at any time with a minimum seed contribution of $10,000, or a minimum endowed seed contribution of $100,000. Endowed funds or Funds that do not address current budget priorities must be consistent with the mission of Self-Help and approved by the Board of Directors. Separate funds will be managed in a consistent manner with the Investment Policy Statement.

Fund Agreements

All fund agreements will be documented with Statutes (written fund agreements).

Conflict of Interest

SHI will refrain from providing advice about the tax or other treatment of gifts and urge all prospective donors to seek the assistance of personal legal and financial advisors in matters relating to their gifts and the resulting tax and estate planning consequences. SHI will not compensate, whether through commissions, finders’ fees, or other means, any third party for directing a gift or a donor to SHI.

Gifts Declined

SHI seeks to honor and respect the wishes of donors and use gifts in the manner designated at time of gifting. SHI maintains the right to refuse any gifts, including in such cases as when it deems the gift designation incompatible with current mission or budget priorities, or organizational capacity is insufficient to adequately comply with donor-imposed gift restrictions.

Use of Legal Counsel

SHI shall seek the advice of legal counsel in matters relating to acceptance of gifts when appropriate. Review by counsel is recommended for:

1. Closely held stock transfers that are subject to restrictions or buy sell agreements.
2. Gifts involving contracts, such as bargain sales or other documents requiring SHI to assume an obligation.
3. Gifts of real estate or tangible personal property.
4. Other instances in which use of counsel is deemed appropriate by the staff or Gift Acceptance Committee.

Gift Acceptance Committee and Procedures

The Gift Acceptance Committee shall consist of the SHI President, Treasurer, and the Executive Director and up to two other Board Members so appointed by the SHI President. Decisions to accept or reject a gift subject to Gift Acceptance Committee consideration may be by simple majority.

Changes to Gift Acceptance Policy

These policies and guidelines have been reviewed and accepted by the SHI Board. The SHI Board Approved on the 1st day of April 2022 


Publicly Traded Security: A company which has issued securities through an offering, and which are now traded on the open market. also called publicly held or public company. opposite of private company.

In-Kind: Payment made in the form of goods and services, rather than cash. Payments in kind are often made in the form of a concession or special privileges e.g. employee discounts or paid holidays for suppliers.

Life Insurance: Insurance to be paid to a beneficiary when the insured dies.

A Charitable Gift Annuity: A gift vehicle that falls in the category of Planned Giving. It involves a contract between a donor and a charity, whereby the donor transfers cash or property to the charity in exchange for a partial tax deduction and a lifetime stream of annual income from the charity. When the donor dies, the charity keeps the gift.

Charitable Remainder Trust: A charitable remainder trust is a tax-exempt irrevocable trust designed to reduce the taxable income of individuals by first dispersing income to the beneficiaries of the trust for a specified period of time and then donating the remainder of the trust to the designated charity. This is a “split interest” giving vehicle that allows a trustor to make contributions, be eligible for a partial tax deduction, and donate remaining assets.

Charitable Lead Trust: A charitable lead trust (CLT) is a type of irrevocable trust in which the donor sets a fixed annual gift for the charities named. The donor requires the trustee to pay a certain amount of the income (the lead) to charity for a specified period. At the termination of that period, the trust property passes to individual (non-charitable) remainder beneficiaries who could be the donor, the donor’s family members or other specified individuals. A charitable lead annuity trust requires that the lead interest be fixed as a dollar amount or percentage of the initial contribution.

Cryptocurrency: Sometimes called “digital currency” or “virtual currency,” cryptocurrency is a form of digital asset.