Our 501c3 application is moving right along. It is very exciting! When we started BraveHoods I spent a lot of time trying to figure out the best way to set up the organization. Should we do an LLC and be for-profit but with a good heart like TOMS? Should we try a new B Corp (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benefit_corporation)? Or, should we just go for it and do a non-profit corporation? I decided to do an LLC. It seemed easier, less expensive, quicker and I was familiar with it.
It worked really well, but then I realized we were not selling enough BraveHoods to make it a viable option. I think in order to stay true to our mission and using a limited budget, we needed to be able to apply for grants. And the only way to apply for grants is to become a 501c3. So, off I started on that road. And what a road! If you have ever been involved with this process then you know what I am talking about. If you have not been involved, then my recommendation is to have a lot of time, a husband who is a CPA and a sister who is an attorney. Isn’t there some quote about surrounding yourself with very smart people? I subscribe to that thinking!
The application for the IRS is about 25 pages long and the questions are not easy. I learned later that the whole process might have been easier if I started as a non-profit rather than converting from an LLC, but I lived and learned. It also is quite expensive for a small organization like ours, so, to be honest, it took some time to save up the money!
Once completed, I sent my application off with a kiss and some good thoughts. I received a letter back that I needed to give them some more information, which I was expecting. It was also nice because now I had a contact at the IRS I whom could call and actually speak!
I heard last week that we have tentative approval and we just have to get one more person to sign off. My fingers are crossed so tightly it is hard to type! Once this happens, I feel like we will be in a much better position to raise more money and get more BraveHoods to more kids.
Stay tuned for an update!