FOTSC/interview Mitch Jeff

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Call with Mitch 12/13/11:

(Sorry the format is messed up, I hate mediawiki)

The process of becoming a 501c3:
    bylaws and mission statement took time to develop, and NB didn't have any models to draw from
    You want to craft your 501c3 application such that the IRS examiner doesn't blink, they just approve your application. (slam             dunk)

    There is a link on NB site to i3detroit's application, which might be interesting to look it.

    NB spent about $2000 on a lawyer, which is a good price and it still took them a year to become a 501c3!

    Mitch can give us contact info for the lawyer who helped NB, she specializes in non-profits
        (carol gee?)

    Spiritual organization was seriously considered instead of education but ultimately NB didn't go this way (not sure why)

    NB is a 501c3 education public benefit membership organization
    You can be a membrship org that is a public benefit
    Board members have legal liability for the org, NB has D&O insurance to protect them

    Make a mission statement that fits in with edu public benefit

    don't need to change anything about what we do but we can if we want to

Day to day activities:
    There is some bookkeeping overhead for a nonprofit - who donates what, accept anon donations
        what percentage from what people
    There was/is a public benefit test - need to look into this.

How to reward volunteers?
    volunteer dinners, plaques, cool things
    org can spend money to reward volunteers and people who make the show run day to day
    giving people money is maybe not ok- tax fraud
    the big deal is making sure IRS doesn't see anything that looks like tax fraud

Benefits of being a non-profit:
    Google and microsoft are matching donations to noisebridge
    BUT membership dues are NOT donations.  that's an expense.  not covered under grants and not tax deductable

    Other donations - in kind donation - donation of stuff - is also tax deductable
    501c3 is not responsible for determining the value of stuff, the person who donates is

    Becoming a non-profit doesn't mean members can't sell stuff they make at the space!!!
    Most uses are cool except if you purposely use the org to defraud the govt

    When a *hackerspace* (the org itself)  makes money, there are challenges involved

Why non-profit?
    hackerspaces are where people do what they love, regardless of whether it makes money.
    If money is involved, some uses of the space may get prioritized over others (people making money for the space vs. people doing what they love)