BOZEMAN, Mont. (Aug. 11, 2014) — Central Asia Institute “is on the move again,” according to the nonprofit organization’s 2013 Annual Report.
The report, which includes a message from CAI Executive Director Jim Thaden, portrays an organization that has worked hard to carry on its work while addressing concerns and overcoming the devastating repercussions of critical allegations widely publicized in 2011.
“Time is a healer and CAI has proven its resiliency,” Thaden wrote. “Today, contrary to accusations in the press, CAI remains committed to the hundreds of schools, projects and programs it built and/or currently supports. And most importantly, that ongoing commitment means that even now tens of thousands of students, mostly girls, are enrolled in school.”
In the 18 years since its inception, CAI has provided funds to build 191 new schools and pioneered another 208 education and community-service programs, according to the report. Of the 399 projects, 219 are in Pakistan, 175 are in Afghanistan, and five are in Tajikistan.
“This is an accomplishment nearly everyone, including CAI’s critics, regard as nearly miraculous,” Thaden wrote in the annual report. “CAI does frontline work in regions where the need for literacy and education is desperate and where few others dare to tread. Many times this work is difficult and dangerous, and the difficulties and dangers increase daily.”
Most of the money to fund these projects continues to come from individual supporters, according to the report. During the 2013 fiscal year, CAI raised just a little more than $3 million. Of that, 91 percent came from individuals; 6 percent from organizations; 2 percent from corporations and 1 percent from foundations.
On the expense side, 68 percent of the budget went to international programs; and the other 37 percent went to overhead (25 percent), fundraising (3 percent) and global outreach (4 percent).
As expenses exceeded donations, the remainder of the $5.6 million budget was funded with money from an insurance settlement and CAI’s savings.
Meanwhile, CAI has working to fulfill its promise “to be an improved, more transparent, and efficient organization,” Thaden wrote.
The organization has successfully completed all the governance, management and operations changes required by the Montana Attorney General’s Office following its investigation of the allegations. In addition, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit upheld a lower federal court judge’s ruling that the lawsuit stemming from the allegations contained “imprecise, in part flimsy, and speculative” claims and theories and permanently dismissed the claims.
“But, CAI was far from vindicated,” Thaden wrote. “Grave damage had been done. These allegations directly led to a devastating 80 percent drop in CAI donations and CAI’s reputation was significantly harmed. Yet, in spite of this onslaught of adversity, CAI learned from its mistakes and has survived.”
Looking ahead, CAI has “CAI expects to halt the downward trend in donations while simultaneously consolidating its gains in international operations,” Thaden wrote.
On a personal note, he added: “I am filled with personal admiration for each and every member of the CAI team. Every day, I see them working with energy, enthusiasm and a deep sense of commitment to the worthwhile cause of promoting peace by enabling literacy and education.”
CAI’s Annual Report, the full audited financial statements, and Tax Form 990 are also provided on our Financials Page.
To see comments on the annual report, visit our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/CentralAsiaInstitute.
CAI’s mission: To empower communities of Central Asia through literacy and education, especially for girls, promote peace through education and convey the importance of these activities globally.