1. Where is Friends of Mongolia located?
  2. Does FOM have any paid staff?
  3. Is FOM a registered 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization in the United States?
  4. Is FOM a licensed non-profit organization in Mongolia?
  5. What is FOM’s connection with the Peace Corps?
  6. Where does FOM receive its funding from?
  7. Does FOM receive government funds?
  8. How do I get involved?
  9. Do FOM scholars study in America?
  10. What if a student wants to study in America? Are there programs to support him/her?

Where is Friends of Mongolia located?
Friends of Mongolia does not maintain permanent offices in the traditional sense, and instead it maintains permanent mailing addresses and representatives in Washington, DC and Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. Friends of Mongolia is a US registered 501(c)3 not-for-profit corporation and holds a non-governmental, non-profit license to operate in Mongolia. The majority of its work is conducted without face-to-face interaction by its individual board members and officers through a combination of information technologies, including e-mail, instant messaging, and VOIP telephony from home offices and work spaces literally located across the globe in Cairo, Ulaanbaatar, London, San Antonio, Baltimore, Washington, DC, and places in between where its volunteers live. This distinctive organizational quality makes Friends of Mongolia, for all intents and purposes, a virtual organization, with all the futuristic and sophisticated qualities the term “virtual” carries with it.

Does FOM have any paid staff?
<edit> No. FOM is entirely volunteer operated. FOM has on occasion paid for contract workers for special, one-time services, but to date no officer or appointed executive has received a regular salary from FOM. Moreover, the board of directors are prohibited by state and federal law to receive any remuneration from the organization except to cover direct materials costs.

Is FOM a registered 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization in the United States?
Yes. Donations and in-kind contributions made to FOM are tax-deductible in the United States.

Is FOM a licensed non-profit organization in Mongolia?
Yes. FOM is licensed to operate in Mongolia.

What is FOM’s connection with the Peace Corps?
<edit>No. FOM is a private non-profit organization unaffiliated with the US government agency Peace Corps. However, many of FOM’s members and official representatives are former Peace Corps volunteers, and FOM is also an affiliated organization of the National Peace Corps Association, the premier private non-profit organization dedicated to former Peace Corps volunteers.

Where does FOM receive its funding from?
FOM receives funding through a combination of donations from individuals, businesses, and other non-profit organizations, as well as from annual membership dues. FOM is an entirely volunteer run organization, so historically FOM has used more than 95% of all cash contributions to cover direct program costs as opposed to administrative overhead. This along with the fact that individuals and organizations can claim tax deductions with contributions to FOM ensures that the organization has a steady stream of revenue. In 2007, FOM raised over $15,000 from a combination of membership dues and cash donations.

Does FOM receive government funds?
FOM has on occasion received funds and in-kind contributions from the US Embassy in Mongolia, but in general the vast majority of funds have come from private individuals and organizations. FOM is eligible to apply for federal funding, but to date the organization has not pursued public funding opportunities.

How do I get involved?
It’s matter of you finding a need and filling that need, as well as finding the courage to try something new. Contact admin@friendsofmongolia.org about volunteering your time either in an official or unofficial, regular or periodic capacity. Everyone working for FOM is a volunteer, and many of us have not met in person because of the dispersed nature of the organization. Volunteering is a great way to acquire new skills and to experience the fascinating world of a 21st century grassroots organization which for all intents and purposes is “virtual.”

Do FOM scholars study in America?
No. The scholarships are for study in Mongolia at Mongolian universities, colleges, and vocational schools.

What if a student wants to study in America? Are there programs to support him/her?
For secondary and post-secondary education, there are several well known programs. The following list comes from the US Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs website. Keep in mind that the application process for international students is highly rigorous and competitive. An applicant to any one of these programs should prepare well in advance of the application deadline, should have very strong English skills (both written and spoken), and have nothing on his/her record that may prohibit him/her from receiving a US non-immigrant visa.

For Graduate Students

  •     Fulbright Foreign Student Programs
  •     Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowships Program
  •     Edmund S. Muskie Graduate Fellowship Program

For Undergraduate (University) Students

  •     Eurasian Undergraduate Exchange Program
  •     Partnerships for Learning Undergraduate Program
  •     Partnerships for Learning Undergraduate Studies (PLUS) Program
  •     Study of the United States Institutes for Student Leaders

For Youth & Secondary School Students

  •     American Council of Young Political Leaders (ACYPL)
  •     American Serbia Montenegro Youth Leadership Exchange (A-SMYLE)
  •     Armenia School Connectivity Program (ASCP)
  •     Building Respect through Internet Dialogue and Global Education (BRIDGE)
  •     Congress – Bundestag Youth Exchange (CBYX)
  •     Future Leaders Exchange (FLEX)
  •     German American Partnership Program (GAPP)
  •     Global Connections and Exchange
  •     Youth Exchange and Study Program (YES)
  •     Youth Leadership Programs