September 03rd, 2013
There currently is no "we," just "me," and that's the problem!
Actually, that's just problem number one; problem number two is that HikeFor
needs to become a 501c3 not-for-profit corporation in the USA ... but I'm in Canada.
What that means is that the first thing I need is a partner in the USA willing to take
on a role in the incorporation of HikeFor and provide a small amount of ongoing support.
What does HikeFor need?
A) One time pro bono legal support to incorporate as a 501c3
B) Annual pro bono accounting support for reporting
C) Someone to join the team, provide a US address and a bit of ongoing support
What, specifically, do you need from a partner?
You would serve on the company's board of directors or act as an officer of the organization
but the responsibilities would be minimal. First of all, HikeFor needs a US address -
both for incorporation, and for sponsors to send checks. Second, it'll need a bank account.
Third, someone at that address will need to deposit those received checks into that bank
account and record the donations to the site via a simple admin interface.
Receiving cheques would happen mostly in the fall each year and they could probably be
deposited once a week or two. There might be a bit of paperwork to sign during the
incorporation phase. Beyond that, there would be no additional
time required unless you wanted to get more involved in growing HikeFor.
Will there be financial compensation?
Short term, no. HikeFor doesn't keep ANY percentage of donations and has zero revenue.
Long-term, HikeFor has potential to grow and there could be opportunities for corporate
sponsorship and pay for a full or part time.
What about costs?
For now, I'm covering any expenses that come up: incorporation filing fees, etc.
Why not just let sponsors pay directly to the cuases?
Now that HikeFor supports multiple causes and allows hikers to split their pledges
between two causes, the ONLY way HikeFor can effectively report on what donations have
actually been made is to collect the donations directly and then forward them to the
target non-profits. Even with just the single cause in 2010, trying to track donations
was a significant challenge! Most sponsors sent their checks in with no memo about hikefor,
signed with a different name than that on the hikefor sponsor account, etc. It's impossible
for those target non-profits to isolate HikeFor related donations from regular
donations and then provide HikeFor with reports.
Why become a 501c3 in the USA?
The big trails are in the USA, almost all the sponsors so far have been American, and
most of the non-profits being hiked for are American, so it just makes more sense to
register in the USA. Also, there's the matter of being able to provide tax receipts to
sponsors. Lastly, from what I can tell, it is much easier/faster to register as a 501c3 in
the USA than it is to register as a non-profit in Canada.
If you're interested in getting involved:
Please get om touch via the
contact page. Timing is
urgent as this year's hikers are finishing up and sponsors are already
wondering how to make their donations. Thanks!