Friday, July 31, 2009

On Becoming a Non-Profit: a Message from Joy Lane Director Marin Goldstein

Great News...

Our official listing with the IRS as a 501c3 Public Charity has been
achieved! With this achievement, all donations are tax-deductible
(retroactive to our date of incorporation in December 18, 2008) and a new array of doors of public resources are now open to us!

For those of you who have never gone to business school but felt the itch of entrepreneurship, here are the gory details. It was a process for us at
Joy Lane that begin in November 2008. Using the best resources and guides in print, we followed the standard path that many others have taken before. First, we created and filed Articles of Incorporation with the State. This hurdle was the first of many, facing the daunting bureaucracy and feeling stomach-churning of our own inner uncertainties. It was a very serious moment: signing on that dotted line, committing to a new level of responsibility.

But this first hurdle was really only a baby step that takes no special training or study. From here began the truly arduous journey up the IRS mountain. Compiling lengthy documentation of Board of Director bylaws was by far the most intense; while we could simply cut and paste from a template, our desire was to be unique and use this founding document to express our fundamental beliefs and principles. This meant a much more intense path of research and writing. Then, utilizing the rough outline of a business plan, we created and recreated and made another draft (we probably went through 6 versions in all) of 3 annual budgets with no previous accounting and very little test on the publics' interest in our business.

There was much more to consider: contracts for instructors, property leases and so many more administrative guidelines and paperwork that one takes for granted when not starting from scratch!

Then the Board needed to convene and agree by consensus to all of our basic principles and the various policies and procedures, as well as hire our first Executive Director. Due to a couple uncertainties, we took the time to meet with a lawyer and a CPA, each with their spheres of knowledge, to ensure they thought we were presenting ourselves in the best light.

Finally, after 3 months of work-- approximately 240 hours of diligence-- we filed our paperwork with the IRS in February 2009. So it is with a mix of relief, happiness and gratitude to all involved that I am able to announce today our official Non-Profit Status.

Thank you to all who worked so hard with me to make this possible!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Shaping the Future of Joy Lane

Just as I'd mentioned in our August newsletter, our new official designation as a non-profit organization creates an opportunity for us to shape the future of Joy Lane. What would you like to see at Joy Lane? What are you itching to experience, or hoping to learn? Is there a teacher that you'd like to see return, or visit anew? A particular tradition or skill you've read about that you are interested in exploring? Please use the Comments section to let your opinion, hope and suggestion be heard; simply click the phrase "Leave a comment". Note that you may leave a comment using your name, or anonymously. Now's the time to play. Please join us!