View in #plan-all-the-things on Slack
@bigfleet: Morning, all, thanks for doing meeting minutes.
If it’s helpful, I can schedule some time with someone to share what we’ve learned about non-profit status at Code for Charlotte.
It’s quite the process.
@kirillian: A number of us did have a meeting with Jill Bjers late last year and we came away thinking we needed to concentrate on incorporating as a not-for-profit first. This is separate from 501c status (non-profit according to the IRS)…this will actually be one of the items on the agenda for this week’s meeting - both to make sure people are clear on the distinctions and to let people know where we are at in the process
@john: yes pretty please @bigfleet that would be great. Also any tips on not becoming bureaucratic would be .
@bigfleet: Fortunately incorporation is a lot easier
@john: you mean incorporating as a for-profit like an LLC?
@bigfleet: Your minutes and non-beauracratic inclination are at odds
Yes, regular LLC is first step
File your paper with NC Sec State, pay your fee, apply for EIN
Then go get a bank account or two
@kirillian: not quite…a not-for-profit is an LLC but with some caveats
the LLC part is fairly easy tbh.
@bigfleet: Yes, this sounds familiar
My recollection was that it was just a different form, but if you’ve talked to Jill she was the one doing the actual work
I know we got an EIN
@kirillian: yeah…you have to be a not-for-profit before you can even begin the 501c stuff…
@john: @bigfleet what are the benefits to incorporating? seems to me that one big one is to have an EIN and create a bank account…
@kirillian: They give you legal status
until you are incorporated, you have no legal status. You can’t accept donations technically (we have done so, but we are not a legal entity, so most people just plain won’t do so). You do have to pay taxes on donations, but 501c status is expensive for us right now
@john: can you accept donations as for-profit?
@kirillian: It’s also imperative from the organizational status for people to know where to turn imo. That’s been our primary problem for a time. This is part of the long-term plan to deal with that
@bigfleet: In many cases, an organization the size of this one can find either a pro-bono tax accountant or something close
@kirillian: i engaged a pro-bono lawyer…I think I may have someone that can help us with taxes for a time if it comes to that, but I havent engaged anyone yet
@bigfleet: “It’s also imperative from the organizational status for people to know where to turn imo.” I don’t understand this sentence, sorry I am not even part way through my coffee yet
@john: yeah tbh, I feel kinda uncomfortable having a separate bank account for CLT Devs stuff
@christopher.p.brown: @christopher.p.brown has joined the channel
@kirillian: one of the constant pieces of feedback we get is that people don’t know what to do because they aren’t sure who can answer their questions of what should I do. We sometimes get feedback along the lines of “this feels disorganized”, etc…but the main gist of it is that even those who have volunteered aren’t really sure where the boundaries of responsibilities are and so they are reticent to do much if at all.
I’d love to have an army of self-directed people that can figure out what to do and have no fear of reprisal, but the truth is, we have a mixture - the occasional few have that right mixture, but most people need a structure to work within. We keep getting that feedback. The main purpose of organizing officially is that it becomes “official” in a way.
@bigfleet: Ah, that certainly makes more sense
Is there any sort of recognition for (e.g.) the people in this channel? Like “organizer” status or ~
@john: @kirillian are you talking about incorporating a leadership chain?
@bigfleet: No one is going to appreciate more than me the upside of building in anti-burnout protection for leadership
@kirillian: did that message just disappear?
but I will suggest that your group is asking for some
This is where CfC started
“Y’all tell me how we should do it!”
It worked for 60 days and then everybody left
Y’all have already been going longer than that
but it’s the expectation management that’s really the crucial part
@john: burnout protection for leadership sounds wonderful
@bigfleet: Have one part of the job be: “I go to every meeting. I don’t do a lot, but that’s what I do.”
And give them a fun title
Every group does need a secretary
@john: we’re really lucky that so many people have stepped in. especially @kaity in particular .
@bigfleet: Yeah, she’s a dynamo!
Another part is “When there is a tough judgement call, I pick”
All they do besides that is read
These are just spitballs
The idea to not make one person have to chair every committee and deliver every initiative, that’s good
But what I am hearing is that the lack of structure is standing in the way of growing the group you’re trying to make sustainable
Because if people see that involvement will definitely take their time, but maybe not let them shine in the way they want, there’s lots of choices out there
More than ever
@john: yes, we ultimately need to build systems so this community rolls along
and no one person is a single point of failure
@bigfleet: But it does look like a really hopping community, so I wouldn’t take these problems to heart
Try some things, see if they work
@kirillian: in my meeting, but that’s definitely an agenda item for this week’s meeting
@john: @bigfleet big thank you for your thoughts man. really good to get your opinion especially with your experience from CFC
@bigfleet: CfC was just the last item in the chain
At my first meeting, the Charlotte Ruby group was 4 guys in slacks at a country club, because a sales rep from Engine Yard lived in the neighborhood.
We’ve come a very long way
@john: yeah you’re right. CLT is definitely growing in a good way
@bigfleet: Along the way I learned a ton of difficult lessons about community organizing
My initial thought was “I’m not especially skilled at this, let this work show that everyone can do it!”
In time, I ended up in situation after situation where I know not everyone would have the remotest desire to perform service in this way
So my experience is not necessarily, design something inspiring and bring people in and see what they do.
And that colors my reflections here
I would say, form some intentions about what you’d like, share them, see if people respond
if not, doing the same stuff seems fine!
if so, the learning continues
You have a more engaged group here at the beginning than I ever had, certainly
So that’s great
@az: (Can we archive this somehow? @bigfleet has dropped so many gems)