About Us

Friends of Mongolia (FOM) is organized and operated exclusively for charitable, educational, and developmental purposes.  Our mission is to develop partnerships with the people of Mongolia in furtherance of cultural exchange and human development. In fulfillment of this mission, our membership and fundraising supports the core programs, listed below, that contribute to the future of Mongolia.

FOM was founded by volunteers, and it has remained a volunteer-operated organization ever since. Membership was and still remains open to all people with an interest in cultural and educational exchange between the United States and Mongolia. Current members include returned Peace Corps Volunteers, individuals from the private sector, people who have served in the diplomatic corps, and those who have an interest in or family connections to Mongolia.

The Board of Directors oversees Friends of Mongolia, and Officers manage day-to-day operations.  Both the Board and Officers are elected by FOM members, and all serve as volunteers without salary. A Country Program Representative is appointed by the board to coordinate activities in Mongolia.

FOM is incorporated in the United States of America as a 501(c)( 3) nonprofit organization, conducting activities in both Mongolia and the United States. It is also affiliated with the National Peace Corps Association, but Friends of Mongolia membership is open to anyone with an interest in Mongolia.

History

Friends of Mongolia was founded in 1999 by a group of volunteers who had served in the Peace Corps in Mongolia.  At the time, Mongolia had only recently established diplomatic relations with the United States, and these newly returned volunteers were from the seventh and fifth annual “class” of Peace Corps Mongolia volunteers, also known as the “M-7’s” and “M-5’s.”  These volunteers fell in love with Mongolia and its people, and they founded the organization to help others connect with Mongolia and contribute to the country’s future.

Operating Model

Friends of Mongolia relies almost exclusively on support from volunteers to initiate and administer programs.  Most of FOM’s expenses fund programs that take place in Mongolia, and we depend on members and donors to fund these operations.  FOM periodically conducts activities in the United States which are focused on cultural exchange or connecting members, and these activities are either very low cost or simply require a donation of time from our Board and Officers.

Strategic Goals and Programs

Friends of Mongolia operates in three strategic areas that reflect FOM’s mission of promoting cultural exchange and human (or community) development. These areas are Education, Community Development, and Community Outreach. Each category is comprised of one or more programs with explicit objectives that connect back to FOM’s mission.

Governance Details

Friends of Mongolia Officers manage its day-to-day operations.  These officers serve without salary as volunteers, and they are elected by FOM members. The organization is governed by a Board of Directors.  Board members are elected by FOM members, serve three-year terms, and may be re-elected.  FOM is largely operated by volunteers; there is currently an in-country Mongolian Program Representative who receives a small stipend.

Officer Positions

The Board of Directors and Officers have the legal responsibility to act as trustees of members’ and donors’ funds and to ensure that those funds are utilized in keeping with FOM’s public service mission. The Board of Directors and the Officers meet via teleconference monthly.  Members, as well as interested individuals, are encouraged to join these meetings.

The Executive Committee of the Board of Directors and the Co-Directors have the authority to form committees and appoint individuals to supervise particular official duties. Those interested in contributing to FOM’s mission by volunteering in an official capacity should contact one of the Officers about either becoming an Officer or working to further FOM’s growth as an organization. Working for FOM is professionally rewarding and allows volunteers to acquire important skills while contributing to Mongolia’s development and increasing understanding between the Mongolia and the United States.