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Advice for Starting a Nonprofit

So I'm having to really set some boundaries with myself and and that's okay But three years was a wonderful time to put 150 million percent into this and we have grown tremendously, so I think if like, if you're looking to start a nonprofit, then there's a few things you have to ask yourself, you know, like can you put the money into it?

Can you do it outside of your home? Can you get people on your team that are not necessarily your. Family, but like people that are in the community, because I think that's important.

We started with people in the very beginning and, but then they, they are working it. They are working hard, hard, hard, hard. And you end up burning them out because you have so much that you need to do that You just delegate so much.

So with the 4, 500 nonprofits in Tucson, I believe. There's a few questions I would ask a non profit if you come across a non profit's in Tucson, and this is just as a donor. I would ask, one, are they an official 501c3, because that's different than just a non profit, you can be a non profit and take donations, but is that donation going to be tax exempt to you as a donor?

You might not care, like for me, it's not going to do anything for my taxes because I only make disability. So I don't, my taxes, I get nothing, you know, so it wouldn't matter to me, but it does matter to some people and that's a huge thing to ask. You need to know if they're an official 501c3.

You also should ask if they're an official Arizona tax credit. Now. When people started asking me that, I thought in the very, very beginning that was the same thing as a 501c3. So, the next question is to say, are you an Arizona tax credit? And if they say yes, say, I'm not, I'm not talking about a tax exempt 501c3.

I'm talking about Arizona specific QCO/QFCO, because some people don't understand the difference. And when you're talking to somebody who's created a nonprofit, this could literally just be your 19 year old. That just went out and filed to create a nonprofit. So you need to ask those questions.

The next question, Oh, and by the way, to become an Arizona tax credit, that's a very difficult application. And not only is it difficult, it's, it's very specific to certain things. So when you become an Arizona tax credit, it's a big deal. So some people that even just give to that, they don't know that, but that's a big deal to become an Arizona tax credit. So good job to those that put in for that. It took me a lot of back and forth because they asked a lot of questions.

So if you become an Arizona tax credit, that means that you're transparent and you have your stuff in line.

Understanding Nonprofit Insurance

The next thing is... You need to ask if you're the nonprofit that you're serving on, if you're helping the nonprofit in any way as a volunteer or as a board of director, that they have insurance, like a no brainer, but the majority of nonprofits.

When they first start probably have no clue that they need to get that. I had an amazing mentor So, you know Carlos and I knew like that was the one number one thing we needed to get it made sense for me though to get like liability insurance that it's like common sense, but To get D & O, which is Directors and Officers Insurance, was not common sense, and some insurance companies that you call might not even know about what that is, so you want to know that the insurance that you're calling is well versed in the nonprofit insurance world. So everything you do, once you become a nonprofit, you need to know that when you have any sort of with another business, if you're getting services that they know what nonprofit world is because it's different. So you always, if you're becoming a board of director on a nonprofit, what's the question you ask?

Do you have directors and officers insurance because when you become a board of director, you also should ask if they give an orientation and if they don't, and they're really, they're really young, give them some grace, but maybe ask if you can help create. Their orientation process, because we didn't do that in the very beginning.

We tried, and then we fell short. And that is the most important thing to have is a really strong onboarding of your boards because your board sets the tone for the rest of your organization. And the directors and officers insurance, your board is. They're legally liable, not reliable, liable to your organization, to the constituents, to your every, I mean, you're, I'm not, and that's crazy.

So the founder does not have any legal recourse, but the board does, and you want to protect your board because they are, they should be, they should be holding. Your organization up and I'm on the board, but I have no, like, I sit on the board, but I have no voting power. So I'm not an official board member.

I just sit on the board to, like, to listen to provide guidance right now, because we're still building the board, but we are getting in some very. Some experienced board members that have, like, when we've had experienced board members, but, like, I'm talking people that won't need any of that. So, eventually, I'll be able to step away from that and then it'll just be mainly Carlos working with the board and not being able to also to provide.

Much guidance, you know, so when you're starting a nonprofit, you should be creating that, which is something that we've learned. So ask them if they have directors and officer officers, they can explain it to you what it means. If you have questions, let me know. And if they have liability, cause that's huge.

You have to protect yourself. You have to protect. Your mission of what you're doing and why, because it's so important, but also ensuring that the funding you're getting from your amazing donors is protected. And so the insurance is huge. So if something happens, you're good.

Transparency and Financial Accountability

And then you need to ask your, your, the nonprofit that you're donating to really for their financials, you know, like, where's your money going?

You know, you have to do your 990 and your annual report? Because sometimes they don't know to put it on GuideStar and a lot of big donors will go to GuideStar, but a lot of the newer nonprofits don't, they just don't know to put it on there. And so just ask them, like, send it to me. So I think that... That is a huge thing to ask donors and, or to ask nonprofits, the donor should ask the nonprofit because we weren't really aware of that.

We had all of it, but we weren't aware that we needed to put it on the website or put it on guide star. And in the first year of a nonprofit, if you're under 50, 000, which we were the first 2 years, you only do a postcard for your, for your taxes and a postcard has nothing on it. It's just a blank pretty much piece of paper that says under 50, 000.

So when you put in for your taxes, you have to put a bunch of stuff. But when you get like your tax report, it's just. So, giving them that is silly, but when you hit over 50, 000, which I think when you're under 50, you're like a micro nonprofit or something, but when you go over $50k, then it actually lists it all out, and you're a 990EZ, and then when you go over another certain amount, you go to the 990 regular, which is even more information.

The Importance of a Well-Versed Team

So, knowing those things... Working with a CPA that is very well versed in non profits, not just any regular CPA, is huge. And then also having a bookkeeper on staff that is very well versed in non profits is huge. Having a treasurer is huge. All of those things are learning things that Carlos and I have come across that is big deal.

Being very transparent with your, with your what I call staff, even though we don't have staff, we have volunteers. And being very transparent with yourself and knowing when to grow and how to grow and asking the right questions is huge. So it's just, I know I could go on forever, but I just wanted to talk about that because there are things that come up sometimes that I don't think people quite grasp and it's a lot.

It's a lot. And we are very proud. Of ourselves, we, we wouldn't change where we are for the world. We love what we do, and some people make it very hard because Because of things that Carlos and I have found that we just don't have time for, unfortunately, and it has nothing to do with anything but the fact that we literally just We are going from, I mean, AM to AM every day, and we do it with a passion and with love and with a purpose.

The Mission and Vision of the Nonprofit

Our goal is big, but our goal is to save children's lives, to give them coping skills that will last them a lifetime. Give them inspiration. Hope to look into this, you know, hopefully the spiritual world, whatever that might be for them, so that they may find purpose forever.

Because purpose gives you life and. We, to save these kids from depression, anxiety, suicide, all that stuff. And we will, and we are, and that is our goal and it's big goal, but we will reach it and we will need help. So if you are on board, we are thankful. If you're not on board, that's okay. Because we will find somebody and that person or people will see, I just, I can't even imagine where we're going to be in a year, the next year, 10 years, 20 years.

It blows my mind how far we've come and just. So I am so excited. I'm so excited for these kids. I'm so excited for their hearts to heal their minds to heal and their souls to be driven and just excited about the future. When. They weren't. So join us if you can in any capacity.

Closing Remarks and Invitation to Join

We are grateful when people join.

And if I don't tell you enough, I'm sorry because I am. And I'll be back on here because I've got more to say. Don't forget to reach for the stars.

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