Share |
Organization DBA Helping Hands: Monkey Helpers for the Disabled
Former Names Helping Hands: Simian Aides for the Disabled, Inc. (2010)
Organization received a competitive grant from the Boston Foundation in the past five years No


Mission StatementMORE »

Established in 1979, Helping Hands: Monkey Helpers for the Disabled is a national non-profit 501(c)3 organization that raises and trains capuchin monkeys to provide daily assistance to people living with spinal cord injury or other mobility impairments. Helping Hands supports each service monkey and his or her human partner during their many years together through interactive mentoring of the placement and close supervision of the monkey's behavioral, nutritional, and veterinary needs. Relying on private contributions, Helping Hands provides these specially trained service animals and their lifetime support free of charge to our recipients.

Mission Statement

Established in 1979, Helping Hands: Monkey Helpers for the Disabled is a national non-profit 501(c)3 organization that raises and trains capuchin monkeys to provide daily assistance to people living with spinal cord injury or other mobility impairments. Helping Hands supports each service monkey and his or her human partner during their many years together through interactive mentoring of the placement and close supervision of the monkey's behavioral, nutritional, and veterinary needs. Relying on private contributions, Helping Hands provides these specially trained service animals and their lifetime support free of charge to our recipients.

FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year Jan 01, 2016 to Dec 31, 2016
Projected Income $1,509,693.00
Projected Expense $1,508,954.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • Active Placement
  • Foster & Socialization
  • New Placement
  • Training
  • Youth Education Program

Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2014 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2013 (%)

For more details regarding the organization's financial information, select the financial tab and review available comments.


Mission Statement

Established in 1979, Helping Hands: Monkey Helpers for the Disabled is a national non-profit 501(c)3 organization that raises and trains capuchin monkeys to provide daily assistance to people living with spinal cord injury or other mobility impairments. Helping Hands supports each service monkey and his or her human partner during their many years together through interactive mentoring of the placement and close supervision of the monkey's behavioral, nutritional, and veterinary needs. Relying on private contributions, Helping Hands provides these specially trained service animals and their lifetime support free of charge to our recipients.

Background Statement

Helping Hands: Monkey Helpers has grown from an innovative idea into a national non-profit organization. We trained and placed the first monkey as helper and companion to a paralyzed individual in 1979. In 1983, Helping Hands became a 501(c)3 corporation under the IRS code. From the beginning, Helping Hands' mission has been to provide assistance to people with the greatest needs: people who have become paralyzed as a result of an accident, injury, or illness.

Early on, Helping Hands received major support from the National Science Foundation, the Veterans Administration, and the Paralyzed Veterans of America. There was interest in investigating innovative ways to support veterans who had received severe spinal cord injuries while performing military service.

During the research and development stage, Helping Hands investigated and solidified all of the components of the program—from determining which species of monkey was best suited to the kinds of tasks the human recipients would need, to working out training methods. Once these parameters were in place, Helping Hands was able to place monkey helpers at a steady pace.

A nation-wide network of foster homes was established, where volunteer families raised monkeys under Helping Hands' supervision and prepared them for the transition to the training center and, ultimately, placement as a monkey helper. As technology changed, new tasks replaced the old and training protocols were improved and solidified.

Knowledge of Helping Hands spread through the network of spinal cord injury care centers and specialty physicians, resulting in a growing list of people interested in a monkey helper.

In 1994, the final government grant came to an end. Outreach efforts and coverage in the media brought Helping Hands to the attention of the wider public, and donations from individuals began to replace government funding. Grants from foundations became a major source of support as well as workplace giving, especially by Federal employees giving through the Combined Federal Campaign.

The Thomas & Agnes Carvel Foundation Center (also known as The Monkey College) officially opened in 2004 in Boston. This specially modified building houses the admininstrative offices as well as the training center.

Today, we place 6-8 monkey helpers in new homes annually. Simultaneously, we continue to provide support to all established pairs, some of whom have been together for well over 20 years.

Impact Statement

2015 Accomplishments:

  1. New Placement Activities: Supported applicants and their families through the application process, matched service monkeys with new recipients throughout the country and conducted on-site placement week training with new clients, provided 24/7 intensive first-year post-placement support, and supplied all specialized equipment and supplies to new recipients for their homes.
  2. Active Placement Support: Provided 24/7 emergency support, veterinary care, food, and supplies for our monkeys in placement homes across the country, in addition to coaching and guidance for each recipient throughout the year.
  3. Board Development: Added new board members and evaluated board responsibilities, volunteer committee opportunities, and appropriate philanthropic goals for our new and current board members.
  4. Staff Development: Added members to our staff with specialized backgrounds such as a social worker and third veterinary technician to our training team.
2016 Goals:
  1. Expand our Board of Directors: In order to grow our donor and volunteer base, we must expand our reach. One of the best ways to accomplish this goal is to add to our board and board committees both in Boston and across the country in areas where we have our deepest connections.
  2. New Facility: We will take measured steps towards our new facility development. This will include space and design planning and an assessment on our current facility. Through board contacts we have identified several volunteers in the fields of architecture and real estate that will be contributing towards these goals.
  3. Capital Campaign: We will choose a consultant to conduct a capital campaign feasibility study and will continue to seek funding needed to advance our facility planning and to lay the groundwork for a successful capital campaign.

Needs Statement

  1. Design, fund, and build a new facility that will meet the program's evolving needs for housing monkeys in training as well as those in retirement. (Currently in planning.)
  2. Expand our Board of Directors and volunteer committee engagement to support development efforts, facility planning, and future capital campaign.
  3. Retain and expand experienced program staff to provide the highest levels of care for all of Helping Hands' monkeys in socialization, training, and retirement, as well as supporting our new and active recipient-monkey placement teams across the country. 
  4. Advance our applicant recruitment process to identify, educate, and train qualified, new monkey helper recipients and their caregivers throughout the country. 
  5. Maintain sufficient funding and staff to provide active placement support services to recipient-service monkey teams throughout the lifetime of their placements. $1.5 million

CEO Statement

The value our service provides is best described by Maryanne, monkey helper recipient since 2008:

"I don't have an extreme story to tell about how I was injured.  I was simply giving a lecture in my class when my legs no longer felt like they could support me, so I sat down. I sat down and I never stood back up again. In 2007 they found a blood clot on my spine.

The first year after a spinal cord injury (SCI) is scary. You're learning a new medical language in a body you no longer recognize as your own. After several months you are released from rehab to come home and find yourself a stranger in your own home. Tasks that were so simple, seem impossible. Tasks that took mere minutes to complete could take an hour.
I stayed diligent and positive. I worked hard with my outpatient therapy, but found little time or energy for recreational/fun activities. Then a relative mentioned they were using monkeys as service animals. I went to the internet and found the Helping Hands website.
It was as if so many new possibilities would be opened to me. I filled out the application, crossed my fingers, and waited. I didn't have to wait long to hear back from them. I was lucky because two of their staff members were coming to my town to deliver a monkey to a new recipient and wanted to visit with me. They answered any questions I had and promised I'd have my monkey before Christmas! I was so excited.
True to their word, Jessica was in my home before Christmas and we became best buds right from the start! I loved that not only was I not Jessica's first recipient, but she was a helper to a WWII Vet before he passed away. My father served in the Navy and my son is currently an Officer in the Navy. I was so proud knowing that Jessica had taken care of a hero of our country.
Helping Hands staff were there every step of the way, showing me how to interact with Jessica, and how to take the position of "alpha monkey." Jessica and I are a perfect team. Sometimes while she snuggles in my lap, I don't know where I end and she begins. I'd often find myself depressed, but with Jessica around, it's next to impossible. The time we spend together takes my mind off my troubles and pain, if only for a little bit. And when I'm in constant pain, her smiles are a vacation from my problems.
I try to look for the positive in everything. Had it not been for my SCI, I would not have met the staff at Helping Hands—who are truly an amazing group of people—and I certainly wouldn't have Jessica in my life.
Thank you for considering support of this worthy group—humans and primates alike!"

Board Chair Statement


Helping Hands: Monkey Helpers is a truly unique non-profit. We are the only organization in the country that trains and places capuchin monkeys as service animals to assist people who are mobility impaired. Our recipients include injured veterans and people who have spinal cord injuries, Muscular Dystrophy, and Multiple Sclerosis. Our service monkeys assist recipients in their homes with everyday tasks, such as picking up dropped objects, placing straws in drinks, turning pages in a book or magazine, flipping light switches, or even gently scratching an itch—a valued task for many of our recipients. However, it is the human-animal bond between our service animals and their human partners that makes what we do truly impactful in the lives of the population we serve.

Helping Hands: Monkey Helpers has come a long way since starting as a research project in the late 1970s. We have a full-time professional staff backed by an engaged Board of Directors. I’m proud to say that our financial standing has matured along with our program. We have always been committed to providing our service monkeys free of charge to all of our recipients and providing ongoing support throughout their placement. In addition, we are looking toward the future when many of our monkeys will reach retirement age. We are just as committed to providing for our animals’ care when they are no longer able to be teamed up with our recipients. With these goals in mind, we are currently planning a new facility that will house all of our monkeys, whether they are in training or have retired. All members of the Helping Hands: Monkey Helpers staff and board are committed to providing the highest level of care to all our monkeys throughout their lifetimes.

I joined Helping Hands: Monkey Helpers because I was looking to volunteer with an organization that was making a difference and was small enough so my contribution would have an impact. When I heard Helping Hands was looking for volunteers, I thought that working with an organization that trains monkeys to help people would also inspire my children to find something interesting, worthwhile, and “cool” where they might want to volunteer their own time. What I found in Helping Hands is an organization of passionate and compassionate people, a strong team of staff and volunteer leadership committed to their mission and the service monkeys, and also trying to make a difference themselves.

During the past five years, I have had the opportunity to meet many of our service monkey recipients. I’ve heard their stories and seen first-hand the difference we make in their lives every day. That transformation is what drives the mission at The Monkey College (what we affectionately call our one-of-a-kind training facility). It is why I continue to serve on the Board of Directors and help in every possible way. Once I learned the difference a service monkey can make, I couldn’t help but want to do more.

I hope you’ll consider supporting this life-changing work. And, if you’d like to get further involved by joining the board, please contact me to learn more.

Geographic Area Served

Throughout the United States
We place our service monkeys throughout the United States. To date we have placed 176 monkeys in 38 states.

Organization Categories

  1. Human Services - Centers to Support the Independence of Specific Populations
  2. Animal Related - Animal Training
  3. -

Independent research has been conducted on this organization's theory of change or on the effectiveness of this organization's program(s)



Active Placement

We are committed to ensuring the long-term success of all our partnerships with recipients. We routinely evaluate each placement to ensure that it is developing successfully and to actively address the ongoing needs of our recipients. As relationships between recipients and their monkey helpers grow and mature, Helping Hands ensures that the interdependence between partners progresses productively. Our recipients can reach us by phone 24/7 for consultation, guidance, or advice. And because we maintain ownership of our monkeys throughout their lives, we also oversee their ongoing health care and other needs. 
Budget  $114,965.00
Category  Human Services, General/Other Services for Individuals with Disabilities
Population Served Adults People/Families with of People with Physical Disabilities Veterans
Program Short-Term Success  Helping Hands has had 176 successful placements since 1979. We currently have 22 monkeys in active placement. 
Program Long-Term Success  Helping Hands will provide continuous support for recipients and their monkey helpers throughout the lifespan of their partnership. We will work with recipients to ensure their relationship with their monkey helper grows and their bond strengthens. 
Program Success Monitored By  Helping Hands retains ownership of all monkey helpers and stays in contact with all recipients throughout the lifetime of the placement to ensure that recipients' and monkeys' needs are being met. Trainers are available 24/7 for recipients to address any questions or issues that may arise. 
Examples of Program Success  "She doesn't see the wheelchair. Whether watching TV together or sitting outside, Melanie is never more than a few feet away. Always full of energy, ready to assist with what tasks I might need." - Scott and Melanie

Foster & Socialization

Helping Hands monkeys need to mature before they attend The Monkey College and begin training. For the early years of their lives, they are raised in loving homes where they learn to socialize with humans in a home environment. Families who raise and socialize Helping Hands monkeys are volunteers who commit themselves to the demanding but rewarding job of preparing these young monkeys for training and service. While our foster homes provide a loving environment for these monkeys, Helping Hands ensures that all monkeys receive the nutritious food that they need and veterinary care as needed. 
Budget  $128,085.00
Category  Animal-Related, General/Other Animal Training
Population Served People/Families with of People with Physical Disabilities Adults Veterans
Program Short-Term Success  Semi-annual checks of the monkeys and the home show that the monkeys are receiving appropriate care, healthy diets, and the home environment is stable. 
Program Long-Term Success  Monkeys in foster care will be transitioned to The Monkey College for formal training once they have reached the appropriate level of maturity. 
Program Success Monitored By  Animal care staff speak regularly with foster families to ensure all questions and issues are addressed. 
Examples of Program Success  "Helping Hands combines my love of animals with my desire to be a part of an organization whose mission is worthy and whose work fulfills the mandate to 'make the world a better place.' Through the programs and services offered by Helping Hands, individuals who face extraordinary challenges will see the world as a better place." - Judi, foster parent 

New Placement

Through a deliberate and careful process we gather detailed information about each applicant. Once an applicant is approved, we review our monkeys in training to select the right monkey for the individual.
We then spend 6-8 days conducting on-site training in the recipient's home. We also work closely with state officials to acquire all the appropriate permits to receive and house a Helping Hands service monkey.
During Placement Week, the team focuses on helping a recipient bond with his or her new monkey helper. They also conduct additional training to customize the monkey's skills to the recipient's specific needs and environment. Our staff teaches the recipient and his or her caregivers about how to care for their new service animal, and about the monkey's behavioral, health, and diet needs.
Our team watches over each partnership during this formative time, staying in frequent contact with recipients to ensure the long-term success of this remarkable relationship. 
Budget  $377,865.00
Category  Human Services, General/Other Services for Individuals with Disabilities
Population Served Adults People/Families with of People with Physical Disabilities Veterans
Program Short-Term Success  Helping Hands aims to place 6-8 new service monkeys per year. 
Program Long-Term Success  Helping Hands' service monkeys will play a crucial daily role in the lives of their recipients as long as they are needed. They will assist with daily tasks such as fetching dropped items, turning lights on and off, and grooming their recipients, that otherwise a recipient cannot do. 
Program Success Monitored By  Helping Hands retains ownership of all monkey helpers and stays in contact with all recipients throughout the lifetime of the placement to ensure that recipients' and monkeys' needs are being met. Trainers regularly check in with recipients to address any questions or issues that may arise. 
Examples of Program Success  "How has Minnie changed my life? I started focusing on Minnie and STOPPED focusing on being immobile. I now had the responsibility to care for a monkey as well as Minnie allowing me greater independence. I was no longer anxious to stay at home alone. Minnie became my 'life-line' if I dropped a phone, needed a drink of water, or just a good laugh. She helped me regain confidence, security, independence, and my sense of humor!" - Craig and Minnie


Helping Hands staff conducts education and training sessions for a changing population of approximately 50 monkeys who are developmentally ready to enter the final phase of concentrated training. During this phase of the program, monkeys are taught specific tasks (including, but not limited to, feeding, object placement and retrieval, and personal grooming) that they use to assist their mobility-limited partners. Helping Hands training staff and recipients employ only positive reinforcement training methods including praise, affection, and small food rewards. Trainers build trusting, affectionate relationships with their monkey students and training is customized to each monkey's personality and abilities. Every monkey moves at his or her own pace through a series of classrooms, learning more sophisticated tasks at each level. Working one-on-one with each monkey, our trainers use a laser pointer and simple words to teach and reinforce tasks. 
Budget  $543,944.00
Category  Human Services, General/Other Services for Individuals with Disabilities
Population Served Adults People/Families with of People with Physical Disabilities Veterans
Program Short-Term Success  Helping Hands currently has 60 monkeys in differing stages of training at our training facility, affectionately referred to as "The Monkey College."
Program Long-Term Success  On average, it takes 5-7 years for a monkey to be trained and ready for placement. Since monkeys have complex hierarchies, our staff also evaluates the type of home environment in which a monkey will be most comfortable. A monkey may be trained to perform many tasks, but be waiting for the ideal recipient before being matched. 
Program Success Monitored By  Trainers evaluate the individual progress of the monkeys they are training and provide insight into the best placement for each monkey. Each trainer takes great pride in being able to successfully train and place a monkey helper. 
Examples of Program Success 
"Technology is a wonderful thing. It can and has overcome many obstacles for myself and others like me. But it cannot do everything; it takes a hand to retrieve an item dropped onto the floor. When I tell people about my little Toby, I tell them 'my hands are broken but her hands work perfectly fine.' I cannot describe our relationship by what she does for me. The intangible things are often the very most meaningful." - Michael and Toby

Youth Education Program

Since 1998, Helping Hands has educated thousands of children about safety and ways to help prevent spinal cord injury by bringing informative and engaging educational programs to schools, camps, and youth groups. Our newest program is a fun and lively presentation focusing on disability awareness, traumatic injury prevention, and the concept of being permanently enabled in one's own life. 
Helping Hands staff members describe our service animals, and then focus on teaching strategies for resilience and making the choice to live permanently enabled. Through interactive activities, film clips, photos, and questions, our staff delivers a dynamic program promoting a message of resilience and awareness in an age-appropriate manner.  
Budget  $4,971.00
Category  Education, General/Other Educational Programs
Population Served K-12 (5-19 years)
Program Short-Term Success  Helping Hands presents 12-15 educational programs per year, educating 1,000-1,500 children. 
Program Long-Term Success  Participants will have a better understanding of what a spinal cord injury is and how to prevent one. They will also learn what it means to live permanently enabled. 
Program Success Monitored By  Helping Hands receives 20-30 requests per year to present "Living Permanently Enabled." Typically, students are inspired to hold a donation drive for Helping Hands after participating in the program. Many students also conduct individual service projects after learning about Helping Hands. 
Examples of Program Success  "Resilience: your ability to come back after something has happened to you. Having a monkey could help you feel more able to do things and less needy or even a little bit happier." - Student response to interactive question

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments



CEO/Executive Director Ms. Megan Talbert
CEO Term Start Aug 2006
CEO Email [email protected]
CEO Experience Ms. Talbert began her career at Helping Hands as a trainer in 1998. She graduated from Boston University with a B.A. in English in 2002 and after working in the public relations industry, returned to Helping Hands as a Placement Specialist in 2003. Ms. Talbert has spent many years traveling the country and bringing Helping Hands’ service animals to new recipients and advising the organization’s clients and their families regarding the care, behavior, and health of these special monkeys. She assumed the role of Director of Placements and Chief Operating Officer in December 2006 and was named as Executive Director in 2010. Today, she continues to head the Placement Team at Helping Hands and regularly speaks about the human-animal bond and the organization’s history and mission at universities, corporate events, and conferences. Ms. Talbert has supported Helping Hands’ media and outreach efforts as an interviewee on CBS’ 60 Minutes, NBC Evening News, and The Today Show, as well as in a variety of international media stories, People Magazine, and the Boston Globe.
Co-CEO --
Co-CEO Term Start --
Co-CEO Email --
Co-CEO Experience --

Former CEOs and Terms

Name Start End
Ms. Judi Zazula Nov 1995 Aug 2007
M.J. Willard Jan 1979 Nov 1995

Senior Staff

Name Title Experience/Biography
Ms. Angela Lett Director of Development & Communications Ms. Lett has spent the past 10 years honing her development skills at a variety of non-profits. She began her career at The Boston Conservatory, where she held the positions of Development Assistant, Development Associate, Annual Fund Coordinator/Alumni & Parent Relations, and Associate Director of Development for Alumni, Friends & Family. Ms. Lett then served as the Director of Development for the Graduate School at the University of North Carolina - Charlotte, followed by the position of Associate Director of Development, College of Social Science at Michigan State University. She then moved back to Boston and was the first Major Gifts Officer at the Women's Lunch Place. Prior to joining Helping Hands, Ms. Lett was the Director of Development and External Communications at The Food Project.

In addition to working for non-profits, Angela has also had the opportunity to start a successful non-profit as one of the original members of Boston Opera Collaborative (BOC). During her time with BOC, Angela served on the Marketing and PR Committee and was a Board-Member-At-Large on the Executive Board.
Ms. Alison Payne Director of Training Animals, especially primates, have been a lifelong interest of Ms. Payne. In the third grade, she decided that someday she would work with monkeys or apes. Throughout her education, she volunteered at pet clinics, an avian nursery and Zoo New England, and has always loved gaining knowledge about different animals. At Boston University, where Ms. Payne received her bachelor's degree, she focused her studies in cognitive and learning psychology and animal behavior. During her senior year, Alison began volunteering at Helping Hands and was thrilled to begin a full-time job upon graduation. As Director of Training, Ms. Payne follows the progress of each trainer and the monkeys in school. She considers the monkeys at Helping Hands to be part of her family and strives to give them love and support during their school years.


Award Awarding Organization Year
Best in America Independent Charities of America 2015
Four Star Charity Guidestar 2015


Affiliation Year
Independent Charities of America 1994
Member of state association of nonprofits? No
Name of state association --

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
-- --



CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments


Foundation Comments


Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 13
Number of Part Time Staff 1
Number of Volunteers 150
Number of Contract Staff 0
Staff Retention Rate % 88%

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 1
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 13
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): 0
Gender Female: 12
Male: 2
Not Specified 0

Plans & Policies

Organization has Fundraising Plan? Yes
Organization has Strategic Plan? Yes
Years Strategic Plan Considers 5
Management Succession Plan No
Business Continuity of Operations Plan Yes
Organization Policies And Procedures Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistle Blower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy Yes
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Yes
State Registration Yes

Risk Management Provisions

Workers Compensation and Employers' Liability
Automobile Insurance
Commercial General Liability
Commercial General Liability and D and O and Umbrella or Excess and Automobile and Professional
Directors and Officers Policy
Disability Insurance
Employee Benefits Liability
General Property Coverage
Life Insurance
Medical Health Insurance
Professional Liability
Special Event Liability
Workers Compensation and Employers' Liability
Accident and Injury Coverage

Reporting and Evaluations

Management Reports to Board? Yes
CEO Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Non Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually


Board Chair Mr. Robert Sanders
Board Chair Company Affiliation Howland Capital Management
Board Chair Term Jan 2016 - Dec 2019
Board Co-Chair --
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation --
Board Co-Chair Term -

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Ms. Michele Cunneen Animal Research Consulting LLC Voting
Ms. Susan Keyes Keyes North Atlantic, Inc. Voting
Mr. Eric Reddy BiddingForGood Voting
Ms. Stephanie Rogers PARTNERS+simons Voting
Mr. Robert Sanders Howland Capital Management Voting
Mr. Alan Solarz Bryan Cave LLP Voting
Ms. Lynn Trimby Retired Voting
Mrs. Jane Yusen Retired Voting

Constituent Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Youth Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Advisory Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Board Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 8
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): --
Gender Female: 5
Male: 3
Not Specified 0

Board Information

Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 2
Board Meeting Attendance % 68%
Written Board Selection Criteria Yes
Written Conflict Of Interest Policy Yes
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions 100%
Constituency Includes Client Representation No

Standing Committees

  • Board Governance
  • Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
  • Finance
  • Special Events (Golf Tournament, Walk / Run, Silent Auction, Dinner / Gala)
  • Strategic Planning / Strategic Direction

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

Helping Hands is always looking for talented people to join our Board of Directors. In particular, individuals with finance, fundraising, legal, communications/media, real estate/development, rehabilitation medicine, or veterinary background/experience are sought. 

Foundation Comments



Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2014 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2013 (%)

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
Total Revenue $1,190,457 $1,485,620 $2,100,655
Total Expenses $1,516,626 $1,420,386 $1,331,393

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
-- $896,250 $1,465,464
Government Contributions $0 $0 $0
    Federal -- -- --
    State -- -- --
    Local -- -- --
    Unspecified -- -- --
Individual Contributions $1,101,236 $489,839 $424,157
Indirect Public Support -- -- --
Earned Revenue -- -- --
Investment Income, Net of Losses $-19,578 $46,597 $174,375
Membership Dues -- -- --
Special Events $57,257 $52,934 $36,659
Revenue In-Kind $51,542 -- --
Other -- -- --

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
Program Expense $1,225,663 $1,283,918 $1,215,688
Administration Expense $121,486 $76,803 $79,195
Fundraising Expense $169,477 $59,665 $36,510
Payments to Affiliates -- -- --
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 0.78 1.05 1.58
Program Expense/Total Expenses 81% 90% 91%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 15% 4% 2%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
Total Assets $4,742,642 $4,784,634 $4,820,423
Current Assets $583,639 $2,143,945 $2,138,110
Long-Term Liabilities $717,139 $918,909 $1,015,025
Current Liabilities $139,953 $42,601 $47,520
Total Net Assets $3,885,550 $3,823,124 $3,757,878

Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
1st (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
2nd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
3rd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --

Financial Planning

Endowment Value $830,869.00
Spending Policy Percentage
Percentage(If selected) 20.0%
Credit Line Yes
Reserve Fund Yes
How many months does reserve cover? 5.00

Capital Campaign

Are you currently in a Capital Campaign? Anticipated In 3 Years
Capital Campaign Purpose --
Campaign Goal --
Capital Campaign Dates -
Capital Campaign Raised-to-Date Amount --
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? --

Short Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities 4.17 50.33 44.99

Long Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
Long-term Liabilities/Total Assets 15% 19% 21%

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

In 2015, Helping Hands switched auditors and, at their suggestion, made changes to our accounting practices to more accurately reflect our financial position. These changes will allow us to better communicate our financial data with our supporters moving forward. One of the most significant changes was restating our net assets for 2015. Therefore, since we are creating a new basis year, year over year comparisons will be possible once we close 2016.  

Foundation Comments

Financial summary data in charts and graphs are per the organization's audited financials. Contributions from foundations and corporations are listed under individuals when the breakout was not available.
Please note: as discussed in Note 9 to the FY15 financial statements, the Organization has restated its opening net assets as of January 1, 2015.


Other Documents

No Other Documents currently available.


The Impact tab is a section on the Giving Common added in October 2013; as such the majority of nonprofits have not yet had the chance to complete this voluntary section. The purpose of the Impact section is to ask five deceptively simple questions that require reflection and promote communication about what really matters – results. The goal is to encourage strategic thinking about how a nonprofit will achieve its goals. The following Impact questions are being completed by nonprofits slowly, thoughtfully and at the right time for their respective organizations to ensure the most accurate information possible.

1. What is your organization aiming to accomplish?

We serve a growing community of people nationwide living with a wide range of physical disabilities including veterans and adult men and women ages 18 and over. The expanding number of people who can benefit from our service was underscored in a 2009 study initiated by the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation. 5.6 million Americans--that's 1 out of 50--live with some form of paralysis whether caused by disease, spinal cord injury, or neurological damage.

Our goal: give people who live daily with physical disabilities a sense of independence and hope by providing them with the service of a monkey helper at no cost to them.
Every year Helping Hands aims to create 6-8 new placements, while supporting 30-40 active placement teams, 50 Foster Families, and 50 monkeys in various stages of training.
Helping Hands: Monkey Helpers for the Disabled is now 36 years old. The theory and practice of our mission--the training and placement of capuchin monkeys to be in-home assistants and companions to people with severe mobility limitations--has been demonstrated to have positive life-changing effects. The program is recognized nationally, is in a strong financial position, and is of proven value.
Continuing to evolve is essential given the dynamics of the service animal market today and knowing how much has changed in our culture since our first placement.
In its early years, the focus of our work was on developing and implementing the training techniques that allow capuchin monkeys to provide assistance with daily tasks to their human partners, within the context of a relationship that is mutually rewarding and emotionally satisfying. More recently, the executive staff and board of directors has invested strategic time and effort in maturing the organization from its roots into a not-for-profit that meets today's high standards for accountability, structure, and performance.
While the prior Strategic Plan was inwardly focused and aimed at establishing, improving, and maintaining excellent internal systems, our 2014-2018 Strategic Plan focuses on the continuation and expansion of the organization.
1. To increase and sustain the rate of successful placements with qualified candidates.
2. To ensure that Helping Hands monkeys have an excellent quality of life throughout their lifetimes.
3. To optimize the opportunities for and effectiveness of the Helping Hands training program.
4. To recruit, train, and fully utilize the talents of strong, sufficient, and committed groups of volunteer and professional staff leaders.
5. To move towards an appropriate, long-term facility that is sized and configured to meet the needs of all aspects of Helping Hands' mission and program.
6. To continue to strengthen Helpings Hands' long-term financial sustainability by developing a robust, broader base of philanthropic support. 


2. What are your strategies for making this happen?


3. What are your organization’s capabilities for doing this?


4. How will your organization know if you are making progress?


With each monkey placement we expect a minimum of the following results:

  • 4-8 hours per day of increased independence for each recipient

  • Less dependence on family and caregivers to complete everyday tasks

  • Significant reduction of time spent alone

  • Overall improvement in quality of life


5. What have and haven’t you accomplished so far?