PLATINUM2024

BLESSMAN INTERNATIONAL, INC.

aka Blessman Ministries Inc.   |   Urbandale, IA   |  www.blessmaninternational.org

Mission

Blessman International, their donors and volunteers focus on offering South African children and young adults God’s love and eternal hope through faith formation and programs to: • feed hungry people, • foster food-secure communities, • and offer dignity through provision of basic water and sanitation needs. Vision - Within the next ten years, every child in Limpopo, South Africa, will have access to food, water and sanitation, and hope through Jesus Christ.

Ruling year info

2002

CEO

Dr. James Blessman

Main address

2557 106th St

Urbandale, IA 50322 USA

Show more contact info

Formerly known as

Blessman Ministries

EIN

42-1523757

NTEE code info

Food Service, Free Food Distribution Programs (K30)

Christian (X20)

Economic Development (S30)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Sign in or create an account to view Form(s) 990 for 2022, 2021 and 2020.
Register now

Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

We are focused on addressing several issues, including hunger, lack of access to clean water and sanitation, and the spiritual well-being of South African children and young adults. Blessman International is working to alleviate poverty, improve health, and promote spiritual development in South Africa.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Feeding Program

60,000 children are fed weekly through a network of feeding centers

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

Empowering the future leaders of South Africa through education and fostering relationships with Christ that goes far beyond their physical needs to break the cycle of hopelessness and poverty. Over 150 children are fed a hot meal daily and are provided with computer and life skills training in this after school program

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

Blessman International staffs and funds two local churches - Lighthouse Church and Hope Christian Church. These churches are providing ministry to children and adults.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Children and youth

Blessman International drills water wells and builds safe, sanitary toilet facilities for school and for rural communities. Each well or block of four toilets costs $15,000.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Adults

Lethabo Sewing and Training Center focuses on job creating for women employing four local women and providing them the opportunity to earn a fair wage, learn new skills, and express themselves creatively. Products are marketed and sold locally in South Africa and online in the U.S. In addition, the center produces school uniforms for children who cannot afford them.

Population(s) Served
Women and girls
Children and youth

The bakery provides employment to local women and provides bread for children being fed in our Del Cramer Children's Campus after school program.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Women and girls

Farming operation that provides fresh vegetables to our feeding programs and jobs for local men. This campus is being prepared to house local students and adults for farm training in vegetable, chicken, and tilapia farming.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Men and boys

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of meals served or provided

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth, People of African descent, At-risk youth, Economically disadvantaged people

Related Program

Feeding Program

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of people reached with the Gospel of Jesus Christ

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of water projects built

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Water and Sanitation Projects

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of communities provided clean water

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Water and Sanitation Projects

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of people with improved water access

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of youth programs offered

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Number of hygiene kits distributed

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of youth mentored

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of children served

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Feeding Program

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of clients who complete job skills training

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Mountain View Training and Research Farm

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

We exist to show South African children and young adults God's love and eternal hope through faith formation and programs to feed hungry children, foster food-secure communities, and offer dignity through basic water and sanitation.

We are focused on addressing several issues, including hunger, lack of access to clean water and sanitation, and the spiritual well-being of South African children and young adults. Blessman International is working to alleviate poverty, improve health, and promote spiritual development in South Africa.

Blessman International created a network of eleven feeding hubs across South Africa, Eswatini, and Lesotho. Our strategic partnerships with Meals from the Heartland and Convoy of Hope provide the meal packets and shipping from the US at no cost to us.

We partner with service organizations and corporate and private donors to install safe and sanitary bathroom facilities. The Enviro Loo system is sustainable, waterless, and uses no chemicals. Many of these partners, including US churches, also donate funds to drill wells so families have clean water for drinking and bathing.

The pandemic taught us we needed to source food for African children locally. We partnered with a South African food mill to provide us with nutritious meal packets that we can distribute to our food hubs. Each hub must pay 10% of the cost to receive packets. As of 2023, they were paying closer to 20%.

Nutrition and sustainability are essential to our feeding initiative. When we drill a well, we also plant a garden with drip irrigation so the community members can supplement their diet with fresh produce. We have a company dedicated to the upkeep and service needs of the Enviro Loo toilets.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We share the feedback we received with the people we serve, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don’t have the right technology to collect and aggregate feedback efficiently, It is difficult to find the ongoing funding to support feedback collection

Financials

BLESSMAN INTERNATIONAL, INC.
lock

Unlock financial insights by subscribing to our monthly plan.

Subscribe

Unlock nonprofit financial insights that will help you make more informed decisions. Try our monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights?
Learn more about GuideStar Pro.

Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

BLESSMAN INTERNATIONAL, INC.

Board of directors
as of 03/01/2024
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Dr. James Blessman

Blessman International, Inc.

Term: 2002 - 2023


Board co-chair

Glenn DeStigter

Retired, CEO The Weitz Company

Term: 2022 - 2024

Carole Beth Blessman

Blessman International, Inc.

Jeff Ostrander

Reach Church

Forrest Ridgeway III

Bike World

Barb Halverson

E.T. Video

Richard Mathson

Raccoon Valley Partners McDonalds

Jim Blessman

Blessman International, Inc.

Scott Blessman

Albaugh, LLC

Glenn DeStigter

Weitz Company (retired)

Gary Goodhall

Hy-Vee (retired)

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? No
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 10/13/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

Transgender Identity

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 09/04/2023

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We measure and then disaggregate job satisfaction and retention data by race, function, level, and/or team.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.