Alright, I know I promised to shut up about this, but since it looks like you're actually thinking about it, here's some practical tips:
1 - Lose the Wookie nonsense. We all do silly things at festivals, that's what they're all about.
Don't try to start a trusted non-profit charity organization based on some festival alter-ego.
2 - Lose the confused bio on your website. Replace with a well thought-through presentation like
it seems like you're attempting to make. Make me believe that you know what you're doing.
2 - It's 501(c)(3) not (501)(3)(c) [Silde 2]
3 - Don't EVER suggest that you're going to use 501(c)(3) proceeds to pay taxes [Slide 14]
The IRS has no sense of humor.
4 - Go through the 501(c)(3) paper work and see what kind of accounting
practices and reporting they require. That's the same requirements I will have before I give you a penny!
5 - If you want anyone here to contribute, stop trying to dupe us. It's a raffle where all (or some or most?)
proceeds will go to charity. It's ok. Tell the truth.
6 - Plan! Why should I give you $10 instead of giving it directly to my favorite charity? At least some %
will always be lost in the process. What's the motivation? So this time you have a drum. Maybe
it has some value to somebody. That raffle will go on until next April. Then what? What's your
business plan? How do you sustain the operation?
7 - Focus. Choose some similar charities that you believe in and cooperate with. If they don't endorse
you, nobody will believe you. Don't spread too thin. You say you're a one-man operation, then
you can't possibly work with all this.
8 - If Tom is your partner then who is he? How are you organized?
See http://www.irs.gov/charities/charitable ... 19,00.html
9 - All through your site there are references to "recreational activities" (I can't be more specific on
this forum) that I'm sure a lot of people can identify with, however I would advice against using
that as a main theme when you're soliciting money for charity.
10 - Think! Donors, charities and the IRS will look through all your stuff before deciding to work with you.
Statements like "A redirectional marketing element to furthur the life of Buehlerhead." in combination
with my point 9 is guaranteed to give people an impression that you probably don't want. (Amazing
what Google can find, isn't it?!)
11 - If you have no idea what I'm talking about, don't feel bad. 501(c)(3) is not for you, but you can
still be a good citizen and contribute wherever and whatever you can!
A finaly word: After every disaster like Katrina, Haiti or Chile you hear about unscrupulous assholes that
try to rip good-hearted people off when they want to help other people in their hour of need. How it is
even possible to get that rotten is beyond my comprehension, but that's the world we live in. Internet
has made the scams proliferate to a never before seen level. After every disaster, you always hear on
the news the same message: Check your charities. Go with large well known organizations. Be alert.
This is the reality in which you want to launch your organization. This is what you have to overcome.
Still want to do it? Good luck!