Discuss if funding can be granted to help local chapters with incorporation and filing fees
Thanks for the invitation. And thanks for starting this thread.
Thanks for the invitation as well. I look forward to any discussions that take place.
I too look forward to the discussions that start here. I would also be interested should it take that turn.
As someone who has started up with zero funding, I think funding materials like a printer or filament for established businesses is more reasonable rather than administrative costs to start up. I would refer to regional and university support for that. That being said, a competition may incentivize a prize to deal with establishing a new business.
Thanks Chad, you touch a very important point. Regional funding should be the main means for supporting the chapters. However, more often than not, getting it requires the formality of a registered organization. So back to square one.
As we know, e-NABLE has no central location and is made up of chapters that operate in a self-sustaining manner. Our cause is noble and there is often no shortage of willing sponsors for local chapter operation. Problem is, for most government or private sector grant requests, a degree of formality is required. This varies from location to location, but basically it requires a formal registration as a not-for-profit organization, and others such as tax-exemption status or similar.
Going through the registration procedures is expensive, and it may seem counterproductive that in order to qualify for funding, you need to have funds first!
The scope of this discussion is not about buying printers or hardware for these chapters.
These local organizations would have the means and responsibility to get operational expenses through local funding after being kickstarted by the e-NABLE mini grant.
Disclaimer : My chapter is stuck in this situation. Cant get any funding without formal registration/cant register because it takes funding to do so.
Forming a chapter involves many administrative considerations.
http://enablingthefuture.org/?s=Chapter+formation . Although this link is a start to a guideline it does not set criteria to be eligible for funding. We all have right intent, but to reduce the bumps in the road a certain amount of familiarity with business should be associated when funding. Each state has unique regulations involving requesting and accepting charity or grants..
1- In my opinion the primary issue is that the person forming the chapter has the reasonable track record of some experience in e-NABLE before forming a chapter.
2- If the president of a chapter if going to incorporate or apply as a charity he/she should show that they have Articles of Organization that meet the state and federal rules.
3- The administrative members (officers) should be documented.
4- There should be a “Definition of Purpose”.
5- An accounting of the organization budget or administrative fees and equipment, possibly rent, etc. should be formulated.
These are just a start of, in my opinion, the requirements Loomio voters should require when contributing funding.
It not just states in the US that have unique regulations, consider that each global region has different requirements. That would make #2 very hard to enforce by us.
However its not an issue as this is a self-fulfilling requirement. Chapters intending to incorporate will certainly have to met this requirement since their local government officer will make sure they do.
The scope of approved funding for chapters should also be predefined.
I do believe there is already a precedent where it has been decided not to fund the purchase of 3D printers, is that right @jonschull ?
Recurring operational expenses such as rent are out of the scope of this thread.
The whole point is helping them become eligible for regional funding so they are self-sustaining. Other that this, I do agree with @richb
Funding regarding Materials and Equipments is much appreciated to start a chapter or to support a chapter.
It's not clear to me that forming a non-profit entity is necessary for new chapters.
http://enablealliance.org/ is already offering fiscal sponsorships.
Rochester Enable (Re-NABLE) hopes to offer that soon using the opencollective platform. The chapter could advertise for, accept, and document tax-deductible donations through their opencollective page. The money goes into a bank account maintained by REL. All donations and expenses are documented transparently on opencollective. There is a 10% total transaction fee between OpenCollective plus Re-NABLE).
Agree, forming a non-profit is not for the faint of heart.
There are also yearly legal and financial requirements that must be met, which drain time and funds.
So unless you are able to utilize your non-profit to greatly enhance your fundraising or grant applications, think
about it before proceeding.
re funding of material and equipment for new chapters
I dont think we've made a general policy decision on that. But I'd be concerned that in any specif case its hard to predict how successfully good intentions will translate into substantive contributions.
For example if a team had already acquired a track record by (for example) ....
* using a local makerspace or shapeways for fabrication
* demonstrating quality assembly
* identifying a team
* providing one or more devices to documented recipients through EnableWebCentral)
* demonstrated some success at raising money locally
...I'd be inclined to vote for matching funds.
That's just an example to illustrate the kinds of reservations community members might have, and to illustrate how a new chapter might address them.
I agree and the REL affords a great opportunity to avoid the annual grieve of a 501c3. In short 10% fees will probably be less over the long run than the costs to maintain and register a corp. or 501c3.
Rich Brown,D.C. President, Handling The Future, Inc. Picture
Senior citizen volunteers from diverse professional business backgrounds
who, as a group of individuals from a private community in the Tampa Bay
Region, are affiliated as a chapter with and to assist the global e-NABLE network WWW.EnablingtheFuture.org ( http://WWW.EnablingtheFuture.org )
Handling The Future, Inc. (WWW.HandlingTheFuture.com ( http://WWW.HandlingTheFuture.com ))
purpose is to achieve through creativity and
education the Three-Dimensional (3D) printing quality that provides a potential
solution to those who have all or partial loss of a hand either from birth or
trauma. The use of 3D printing is also being explored for use in other disabilities.
Handling the Future, Inc. Is a registered Florida Non-Profit Corporation and a 501(c)3 Charity REGISTRATION #: CH54785 - A COPY OF THE OFFICIAL REGISTRATION AND FINANCIAL INFORMATION MAY BE
OBTAINED FROM THE DIVISION OF CONSUMER SERVICES BY CALLING TOLL-FREE
(800-435-7352) WITHIN THE STATE REGISTRATION DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT,
APPROVAL, OR RECOMMENDATION BY THE STATE.
I Agree that incorporating and seeking out tax-exemption is hard and not for everyone.
In the United States, REL should be sufficient to relieve regional chapters from the burden of seeking out 501c3 status. But remember that e-NABLE chapters exist not only in the USA. It is unclear how effective a chapter on any particular country will be able to persuade their government or local sponsors to send money to a foreign entity.
Talking from experience, in Mexico tax-exempt status is the key differentiator between panhandling for private donations for getting by or establishing a Foundation with formal, permanent funding channels. The Mexican Department of Health and Human Services funds ALL worthy causes. There are also several private entities that actively seek out beneficiaries. But guess what all of these have in common? You must be a tax-exempt organization!
This is just Mexico, there surely are similar situations globally.
I would root to support startup FILING and ADMIN fees for new chapters OUTSIDE the USA, when its reasonably expected to enhance or even enable the flow of local funding.
Yes, in the US they also want 501c3 status for most grants or donations.
As many groups do need the startup to assist in these types of deployments, there should be a standard for "identified need" and for "geographical necessity when all options have been exhausted." There may be cases were groups may need a "reflow" or "help with a machine or idea" and as such those in my opinion are always something to think about. It has to be outlined that these are folk with the individuals who themselves would require the help. Essentially, if they are doing the work, or have done the work, and "supply line" is cut, there needs to be an evaluation on how to move forward.
This thread was meant to get us thinking about this particular need and I believe it has achieved its purpose. Each case is different based on the region or maturity of the chapter.
Summarizing the comments above, this would be my conclusion :
Each startup grant request will have to be analyzed for identified needs, geographical necessities, potential to enhance fundraising efforts, and of course track record (as a measure of commitment).
@jonschull could we discuss outlining a standard during the next SPC meeting?
From the topic sentence I sense a contradiction to my previous comment but I do not see it yet. I am going to come back to this and re-read/answer more throughly, but I do like this back-and-forth we have initiated. Pretty coherent board!
Edit* I agree with drafts!
I do see that you agreed on the "logistic aspects", so my first sentence is not %100 accurate. That's what drafts are for!
I do admire the adherence to "need" while weighing other variables too. I know nothing, but I am excited for whatever the leadership & team can put together as I am excited to help!
@marcovaquera1 We can absolutely discuss it at the SPC meeting, but this forum may well be the place to begin drafting it. (You go first!)
Haven't dropped the topic. Im still thinking!
I like the idea. Cannot give "handouts" but must give support to a proven structure if groups & individuals can commit to moving in a forward direction. What goes out comes back in! Creating an ecosystem is osmosis and diffusion!
Couldn't have said it better!
"Proven" and "commit" are the keywords here.
Sorry I did not weighing earlier. I agree with the directions the discussion has gone. So likely can’t add much. Each chapter is an individual case. I for example am unlikely to start another 501c3 Inside the US. I would likely join with another organization like my makerspace, local university, or E-nable Rochester.
It would be useful to have some guidance or outline to help anyone applying to mini grant
I'm not sure what emoji I just sent you. I meant "heck yes", but positively, in a sense of approbation.
ya'll want to meet and talk this week? This month? This question keeps coming up.
Do you have a better idea for time? I literally just "madlibbed it" with 3. AND I do not want to rush this, seems like a lot of excitement around this currently.
Suggest you declare and announce a spefic time....
My first response had something to do with yodeling, a better response has everything to do with 4PM central? Is that neutral enough for everyone and practical?
Just to add, where I am currently doing Enable is the Philippines (I'm from Houston, Texas). Its almost impossible to actually get an NPO or NGO here and would cost a small fortune. You must incorporate it which could take over a year and need to have at least 5 investors. That being said it is illegal to ask or take any funding from the Philippines, this requires me to fully sponsor the project on our own or get funding from the USA. There are most likely other countries/ chapters like this which I would think are really needed to enhance quality of lives in these regions.
So do you mean to add to this one or not? Opinion respected regardless! just Curious as to how to allocate effort. Always a solution!
From my particular experience here I think that money would be wasted on the incorporating an NPO/ NGO in these cases. Also the ongoing maintenance required is heavy. I would rather see chapters that face the same situation pull funding from Enable in the USA for actual manufacturing of devices.
Hm I can see what you wrote, but maybe this is a different proposal? We are talking about providing research materials to people interested in the field. These materials would help them succeed in however they wish to proceed. Hope this helps.
@chrisblanchard , that is true mostly for the USA. But consider that each country has different laws, and in many of these, incorporation is the only way to go. In some cases its even illegal to collect funds if not registered as non-profit.
Id like to steer this discussion towards the WHEN and HOW to fund chapter incorporation:
* WHEN - Grant is CONSIDERED if its reasonably expected to enable or significantly enhance the chapter's ability to function. This is a one-time grant, and meant to create self-sufficiency.
* HOW - We need to do our due diligence to verify, to the best of our knowledge, that the grant will be used appropriately, and will produce the expected outcome.
Grant will be APPROVED if requester can demonstrate a sufficient level of commitment : ongoing involvement with e-NABLE, some track record of hands delivered plus a filling-fees written estimate and government issued documents showing the process has been started.
Pulling funding from the USA its an interesting idea when local socioeconomic conditions make it prohibitive for a chapter to function. This would likely be a long term arrangement, so sustainability would have to be considered. You should open a discussion on this idea!
@chrisblanchard Think of this like a "team effort v1.0". So using Jeremy;s template I'll draft a rough. Then we meet about the rough. You would then bring up these ideas. We then meet again to meet on this new "crowdsourced" or collective effort and it will then be another draft such as this. Make sense? Am I correct? Someone fact check me.
Jeremy got it from somewhere else or A priori? Sorry watched the World Cup monty Python. Sharing is caring! Some bear said that? The fire bear? Smokey, I don't know.
@marcovaquera1 @chrisblanchard Marco, what is a good email for us to share the draft 1.0 beforehand? Chris, for the next draft, if interest and work exist, you then come onto v1.1 post meeting. Make sense? Keep it MUCH simpler than all of this.
Patrick, I do believe you have my email from our earlier communications
(when I was looking to earn the chapter badge), otherwise let me know and I
will post it.