FAQ

You’ve got questions, we’ve (usually) got answers. We’ve listed a few of the more frequent queries here. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, be sure to contact us via our contact form or down further below. 

FAQ SECTIONS
Click on a category to be taken to that section 
GENERAL QUESTIONS
  • ABOUT OPEN HANDS

    How long has Open Hands been around for?
    Where is Open Hands based?
    Does Open Hands do any work anywhere other than Nepal?
    Where does the money go?
    But what about your website and branding? Doesn’t that all cost money?
    Do you know what you’re doing?
    Do you partner with other organisations in the field?
    How do you decide to open a project?
    I like your photos – can I use them?
    How long has Open Hands been around for?
    Open Hands began as a Gofundme campaign in May 2015 when founder Angela Han got back from experiencing the devastation of the earthquakes in Nepal. She began the fundraiser to help her Nepalese heart brother Anish Rawal rebuild his village in Masel, Gorkha. From one village to the next and one string of ideas and people to another, the cause outgrew itself and began to quickly grow into something that wouldn’t look out of place in the Himalayan ranges!

    Since then Open Hands has become an Australian registered NGO with Donations and Gifts Recipient (DGR) Status. We’re endorsed by the ATO as an Income Tax Exempt charity, which means all donations of $2 and over are tax-deductible.

    Where is Open Hands based?
    Open Hands is an Australian NGO based in Melbourne, Australia where five of the six core team members reside. We also have a strong team on the ground in Nepal, and close partner organisations that we engage core projects with. You can find out more about all of us here.

    Does Open Hands do any work anywhere other than Nepal?
    At present Open Hands is only focused on rebuilding in Nepal since the earthquake.

    Where does the money go?
    100% of it goes back into the villages and rebuilding programs. To date we’ve had 0% admin costs – the ACNC registration, set-up of governance, marketing material, web development and trips to Nepal have all been absorbed out of our own pockets. While we understand this isn’t plausible for the long term, we’re committed to keeping it at 0% for as long as we can help it. We take the stewardship of your donations very seriously, and are committed to getting it through to those most in need. Our team members are all passionate volunteers and often dedicate large amounts of time and finances to the cause.

    Angela’s trips to Nepal are covered out of her own pocket, likewise the food, lodging and commute for our local Nepalese team members when they travel together between villages. Again this serves to further reduce admin costs and put less of a burden on our local team who often take time out of their trekking schedule to help out in other villages. More details will be provided in our Annual Report.

    But what about your website and branding? Doesn’t that all cost money?
    It does cost money, and it should cost money, but Angela is a geek and comes from a background of branding and technology. She thinks her entire life has amounted to this very moment where she’d finally use it to good use!
    Do you partner with other organisations in the field?
    Yes. At the heart of doing good works is good people. If we don’t network and build strong relationships with others on the ground, it’d defeat the whole point of trying to live with open hands and open heart! At present we have two close organisations we work with in Nepal, Build Up Nepal for all of our training and rebuilding programs around Compressed Earth Block (CEB) technology, and Himalayan Garden for Disabled and Orphaned Children (HIGADOC), a small but dynamic NGO with a dedicated team who we have a strong relationship with. We’re more like family than we are partner organisations. Right dhai?

    How do you decide to open a project?
    We determine our projects based on numerous criteria, mainly surrounding sustainability and long-term good. We’re in this for the long haul – we could build a house or a school and move onto the next building but at the heart of what we do, we believe in imparting skills through training and empowering locals through education where ever possible. This is why our main focus is on the Compressed Earth Block (CEB) technology and earthquake-proof rebuilding modules. You can read more about it in under our projects.
    I like your photos – can I use them?
    The photos on this website are usually taken by Mitchell, Angela or Bjorn through their village visits. They’re protected and cannot be used or reproduced without written consent. Having said this, we’re all firm believers in open source humanity and welcome the opportunity to work with others in creating awareness and sharing in media and information.

    To get the ball rolling, just email us with the image of your choice and how you’re gong to use it.

    Open Hands is about to launch a gallery whereby you can purchase the high resolution images as a means of donation. 100% of all photo purchases go straight back into Open Hands.
  • SO WHAT IS THE RESOURCE HUB?

OPEN HANDS PROJECTS
  • COMPRESSED EARTH BLOCK

  • REBUILDING PROJECTS

  • SPONSOR A VILLAGER

  • 'MY VILLAGE NEEDS AN ENGLISH TEACHER'

  • SISTER SCHOOL PROGRAM

DONATIONS & FINANCIALS
  • General Donation Queries

    How is my money used?
    Are my donations tax-deductible, and do I get a receipt?
    What percentage of my donation actually goes to the cause?
    How can I make changes to my donation?
    Can I reduce or increase my recurring donation amount? How do I cancel my recurring donation?
    How much notice do I need to give if I want to cancel my donation?
    Can I make an offline donation?
    What is your policy on refunds?
    Are there any other entities that Open Hands does not take money from?
    How is my money used?
    Open Hands relies solely on donations and voluntary contributions for our funding and work. We take this responsibility very seriously and have a dedicated financial team to ensure that we’re getting the most out of every single dollar. We even have money-saving brainstorming sessions!

    In a place like Nepal where the average local lives on USD$1.50 a day, every little bit counts. As a result, we do our best to keep costs down and pay administration costs out of our own pockets. As a result, 100% of your donations are currently going back into our programs to rebuilding the lives of the Nepalese.

    Having said that, it can often be difficult to track finances in Nepal due to its lack of resources and overall infrastructure. As a result, we do everything we can to minimise cash transactions and purchase items directly from trusted sources and suppliers for our building material grant programs. We avoid direct financial grants and take every care to ensure that we are working with them to build their future. We pass on your donations in the form of training, machinery, building materials and education which we believe is a more responsible and sustainable way to help rebuild their homes and lives.

    Click here to see our projects and to see how your donations are changing lives.
     
    Are my donations tax-deductible, and do I get a receipt?
    Yes, Open Hands is ACNC registered ((ABN: 63 343 358 811) and has tax Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) Status. We’re endorsed by the ATO as an Income Tax Exempt Charity so all donations of $2 and over are tax-deductible.

    What percentage of my donation actually goes to the cause?
    To date, 100% of your donations have gone back into the cause. Open Hands be publishing our first Annual Financial Report this year and will be sending it out via our mailing list. If you haven’t already done so, please subscribe to our newsletters to ensure you’re receiving all updates of what’s happening on the ground.

    How can I make changes to my donation?
    Send our team an email with your new details and your phone number and we can give you a call to ensure that your information remains safe. We take your privacy very seriously.

    Can I reduce or increase my recurring donation amount? How do I cancel my recurring donation?
    Living costs can get very high and we understand that there are a lot of expenses and that you may need to change your donation amount or cancel your recurring donation. If you wish to change the amount you donate, please email our team and we’ll get back to you within 48 hours to fulfil your request. Please note depending on the payment cycle, we may not be able to immediately cancel for that month, but we will do everything we can to put through changes promptly.

    While we understand that times can be tough, we ask that you consider reducing your recurring contribution instead of cancelling it altogether. Keep in mind that USD$50 can help a whole family in Nepal with food for a month, which allows them to save up to purchase their own building materials to rebuild their home.

    How much notice do I need to give if I want to cancel my donation?
    As outlined in our Terms & Conditions (3.1 – 3.4) , you must notify us in writing at least 14 days ahead of your next transaction date.

    Can I make an offline donation?
    Yes. You can download a donation form and mail it to us or provide details over the phone. As we’re trying to keep costs down, we currently do not have a commercial mailing address. Please email us your phone number and we’ll call you to provide our mailing details.

    What is your policy on refunds?
    As outlined in our Terms & Conditions (3.1 – 3.4), Open Hands takes any dispute seriously. If for any reason you would like a refund, we will take every bit of care to handle the matter with procedural fairness and confidentiality to ensure we resolve the process in good faith. Please read our Terms & Conditions for more details.

    Are there any other entities that Open Hands does not take money from?
    In accordance with our governance and policies, Open Hands takes every bit of due diligence to ensure that our donations are received from under

    Open Hands
    won’t take funds from entities with religious or political agendas. Even though we know that we may be forgoing a potential revenue stream, we stand by our policy to respect and preserve local cultures and customs of those we work with. We have been supported by religious institutions and churches without motive or prejudice and welcome this opportunity to work together, as long as our missions are aligned to do good and help others – no strings attached!
  • EOFY Tax Receipt Enquiries

    I haven’t got my annual tax receipt and it’s past 30 June. What should I do?
    Can I get my annual tax receipt early?
    Why haven’t you sent me receipts during the year?
    There’s an error on my final receipt. What do I do?
    I haven’t got my annual tax receipt and it’s past 30 June. What should I do?
    Just send us an email with your details and we’ll get back to you within 48 hours with the tax invoice.
     
    Can I get my annual tax receipt early?
    Yes you can. Just can send us an email and we can provide you with a summary to date, but depending on your recurring donation schedule it may not be the final sum. Your final annual donation amount will be sent to you separately, which will be your final donation summary.
     
    Why haven’t you sent me receipts during the year?
    For scheduled donations we send an annual tax receipt which allows us to keep administration to a minimum. If you’d like to receive a summary to date, please email us.
     
    There’s an error on my final receipt. What do I do?
    No need to worry! Our accounts department are super friendly and incredibly helpful. Just send us an email with details of the erroneous transaction and we’ll get to the bottom of it.
  • Goods & Services Donations

GETTING INVOLVED & VOLUNTEERING
  • How can I get involved?

  • How can my company get involved?

  • What volunteer programs are available?

  • What are the T&Cs of volunteering?

  • Do you have placement programs in Nepal?


DIDN’T FIND YOUR ANSWER?
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