“To be or not to be . . . 501(c)(3)?”
I just read through the PCNRC’s document/presentation on the pros and cons of creating an incorporated nonprofit organization and felt the need to intone a little paraphrase of The Bard and the honorable Marilynn Fauth.
That intonation is an important question, to be sure, whether you’re a royal citizen of the quaint but evidently gloomy Elsinore, or a concerned citizen of any modern day burg.
As the PCNRC’s document breaks down the pros and cons of nonprofit status for an impending organization, it also asks some other very important questions, like, ‘What kind of a plan does the organizer have?’
I think this is an excellent question to ask, because so often I find that I procrastinate on forming a solid plan and regret the state of unpreparedness that results as events unfold. You know, ‘coulda, shoulda, woulda’ sort of stuff, but now, let me interject, and anecdotally capture something about the nature of plans. Even good ones can go wrong.
I recently planned a bachelor’s outing to Chicago. I did my homework, wrote down addresses, phone numbers, made sure we had a smart phone available for last minute assistance . . .
We got to the Bulgarian restaurant fine for lunch. As lunch wound down I consulted my next address and laid some plans with the group on how we were going to get to 3145 Halsted. It was a good try, unfortunately the bottom fell out of it when we got to 3145 and found it to be an empty lot. It took me awhile to realize my mistake.
I had written the address down . . . correctly.
I had read it back to myself . . . incorrectly.
When ink is scratched hurriedly onto paper,
314 S Halsted can look an awful lot like
The time involved in my mistake cost us a trip to the Berghoff.
Now, that’s kind of a downer, but things would have gone much worse if I hadn’t made some plans.
1. We would have eaten at McDonald’s because that would have been something we could find easily. Planning often leads to discoveries, see, like local restaurants that serve flaming cheese, which I find more interesting than Chicken McNuggets.
2. Since I made an attempt to plan well, I opened myself up to learn how to plan better, which means my trips to Chicago are just going to get more and more successful . . .
So, we’ve got to plan, and learn from mistakes, and ask the difficult but productive questions of ourselves that this PCNRC document poses (or come into the PCNRC and let Marilynn Fauth and Lettie Haver ask the questions for us.)
But we should also always remember (and here I believe I shall end with a last quotation, from yet another gentleman with ‘bard’ in his sobriquet)
“The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men. . .”