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Friday, February 28, 2020
Tax Exempt Status Restored and Full Steam Ahead


We are pleased to share news with you that we have received confirmation from the US Internal Revenue Service that our status as a registered 501c3 non-profit organization has been reinstated. The official letter of reinstatement is expected to arrive within 4-6 weeks, and at that point, the IRS website should also be officially updated. 
This reinstatement is retroactive to the date the status was suspended, which means that there is indeed no impact to any donor or organization claiming a tax deductible donation to Mayan Families on their 2019 tax return. All donors who itemize their charitable donations can claim their 2019 gifts to Mayan Families as a deduction. However, if you plan to donate via a Matching Gift or Donor Advised Fund in 2020, we ask you to wait until the IRS has officially posted the reinstatement. We will be sure to send final confirmation once it is in place, if you have additional questions about your donations, please email us at
In light of this affirming news, we are delighted to be able to step forward with the confidence of both US and Guatemalan local and national agencies behind us and with your overwhelming support as well. Visits from sponsors, civic organizations, universities and corporations are underway, and the connections that are being made are deep and impactful. And, to our Education Team’s delight, we have exceeded the predicted number of students who have returned to secure school sponsorships this year, which is yet another indication that we have earned the trust of the local community.
Mayan Families has survived and is thriving under the brilliant leadership of our Executive Director, Erin Mooney, and her management team. Erin celebrated her one-year anniversary with us last week, and yet it feels as though she has blessed us with a decade’s worth of wisdom and service. What impressed us most about Erin during the selection process was her profound and genuine respect for the indigenous community with whom we partner.  As our Executive Director, Erin now demonstrates that reverence through the selection of her senior managers, the building of relationships with village leadership and the indigenous alcalde, and the agency that she insists be afforded to each and every individual who receives program support from Mayan Families. She, along with her team, will undoubtedly lift our organization to the next level in 2020.
As a Board of Directors, we are tirelessly committed to our financial and governance responsibilities. We have made great strides to use best practices to help guide our work. Perhaps you’ve already read our 2019 Year in Review?
Next week, the Board will gather to hold our Annual Meeting in Panajachel, and we are thrilled to welcome three new members since last year: Connie Newton, local Pana resident and author of “Doing Good… Says Who?,” Elizabeth Hagee Zambrano, former Mayan Families staff member and current Learning Solutions Specialist at Vitamin Angels, and Guillermo Gonzalez, Development Officer at SHARE Guatemala. With these talented additions to our Board, we now have two members residing full time in Guatemala, four bilingual members, and one Guatemalan Board member. The collective experience of our Board as business leaders, non-profit executive directors, human resource executives, international development professionals, civic group leaders, and intercultural educators prepares us well for the tasks before us, but it is, for sure and certain, our love for this organization and the community that lights our fire to serve.
Whether you are a current donor, a past supporter, or someone who has been waiting on the sidelines for an invitation to jump in, we warmly and enthusiastically welcome you to be part of the Mayan Families extended team. Together, and hand-in-hand with our community, we can and will achieve our vision.
In appreciation,
Beth McFadyen
Chairperson, Board of Directors

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