Monday, January 15, 2024

Sanitary Pads for the Young Women of La Libertad

Thank you to HIS Handiwork Guild, the Long Beach-based group that makes and donates washable reusable sanitary pads.  Muchas gracias, Nancy and Irene!

HIS Handiwork Guild donated 100 pads to the young women of La Libertad.

At first, we didn't know if the women would like and use them.  It turns out that the villagers loved the pads and the fabric patterns!  We plan to take 200 more the next time we visit the village in August.  Would you like to help us?  Take a trip to the Amazon and bring some with you!  Please contact us for more information at

From Nancy, one of the coordinators of the group:

"HIS Handiwork Guild gathered yesterday to continue making Washable Reusable Sanitary Pads.  We meet approximately once a month for two days, so we will be sewing today as well.  In 3 years we have made 23,000 Pads that have gone to 19  countries around the world!  It truly is a blessing for all involved. We have more fun than we should be allowed to have and the girls receiving the Pads are blessed beyond measure!  The need for these is dire! The Pads allow girls to stay in school and just be able to leave their homes."
The group works in Long Beach, California.

In addition to pads, we have had donations of baby clothes for the mothers and babies of the village.  Thank you, Crystal and family!


Sunday, January 7, 2024

Amazon Pueblo: How we procedurally became, and continue to be, a nonprofit organization

A step-by-step accounting of what we have done!

After helping a friend who is planning to start a nonprofit, we thought it might be interesting or helpful to others to know how we did it and what we continue to do to keep our nonprofit organization up and running.  Here is our story.

It seems like a lot.  We guess it is!  We have been doing it little by little since 2012.

Steps we took to becoming a nonprofit
1) ​Initial plans
We formed a board of directors.  We learned how to meet and record the meetings, keep the records, and appointed a registered agent to be responsible for the filings.
Next, we registered as a nonprofit business with the Maine Secretary of State by filing articles of incorporation and paying $40.  The registration must be renewed yearly, also at a $40 cost.  Below is a link to our articles of incorporation.

2) We wrote and submitted our bylaws at this time.  The bylaws formalize how our organization is governed.

3) We incorporated Amazon Pueblo in 2012.  In 2015, we applied for and became a 501c3, federally recognized nonprofit.  A simplified application and yearly reporting are required because we have an income of less than $50,000 yearly.  We also had to apply for a tax ID number as part of the application process.  Here is the link to their site:
4) After we had our 501c3 status, we had to register in each state where we fundraise.  Maine's fundraising requirements are met with our yearly registration.  California's requirements are complicated, including $50 in application fees and three forms to be filled out each year.  Below are examples of California's documentation from last year and a copy of our IRS 990N form.

Mission, Vision, Values
As we formed the nonprofit and developed our program, our principles were formed and have been evolving.  Ours may be found here: .

Below are the guides we used to help develop these.

We were required to have certain policies in order to apply for specific grants or to meet other requirements.  These are found below, numbered one through five.

Our Internet and social media presence

This really helps us to get people involved by volunteering time and work, donations, and to help spread information about our work.

Domain service:
We used Google Domains ($20/year) to register our domain.  A domain allows us to have our personalized website address, blog address, and email address (like  However, Google Domains transferred their domain business to Squarespace in 2023.  We haven't renewed our domain yet, but when we do in late 2024, it will be with Squarespace. 

We use GoDaddy for hosting.  They have a managed WordPress service.  They take care of many background programs and security updates we need.  It costs $130/year.  It includes a secure website with encryptions, which is absolutely necessary to look legitimate and protect data.
We use Elementor to build and maintain the site.  For us, the plan costs $30/year.  It makes it much easier to use WordPress; at times, it's fun!
We use Blogger, by Google, to host our blog.  They were recommended by a woman who started a nonprofit in Camden.  Blogger, as Google owns it, has very good indexing services for what we post.  Many people see it.  The blog page was easy to set up and free.

We use GNU Cash to do our accounting.  It is open source and has the advantage of being able to store our records within our own cloud storage.  It is based on a double-entry accounting system. 
Logo, business cards, etc.
We recommend hiring someone.  Alternatively, one can do the research and work (a lot of design and graphics work) to get something that looks good.

Google for Nonprofits

This program has been very helpful.  It is available to registered 501c3 organizations.  It is completely free.  It gives us access to Google's suite of business tools like email management, Docs, Sites, Sheets, business YouTube, and many apps that integrate with their systems.

Additionally, it includes up to $10,000 per month of Google Ad Grants.  This allows the nonprofit to post free ads, up to $10,000 in value, on their search pages.  We have an ad running, but we haven't had many referrals.  Google Ads takes significant time to learn, practice, set up, and maintain.  I believe that when we have spent this time, it will be a valuable resource.

There is an application process to sign up for Google for Nonprofits found here: 


This nonprofit business helps other nonprofits (must be a 501c3) receive donations (after paying a 10% administration fee) of software and other tech items or services.  We have had multiple donations of the Windows operating system, Microsoft Office, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Acrobat, and Adobe Photoshop/Premiere Elements.  This has saved us thousands of dollars. 

Find, use, and maintain a good. cloud-based document storage platform

We mostly use OneDrive by Microsoft.  We have the documents used for our blog (and some other things) on Google Drive.  The amount of info and number of documents can grow rapidly.  Including selected photos (a lot), we now have over 5000 documents in 800 folders.  When needed, we can easily share and edit documents from the cloud.

We hope this guide has helped.  Good luck!

Sifting sand to build the health center