Thinking about it….we’ve been through a lot. When we originally thought about making Cardz for Kidz! a certified organization, we didn’t understand how much work needed to be done. We at first were thinking it would just be with immediate friends or coworkers. When someone told us we should make it certified we said “OK sounds good” before we knew what that entailed!
Here’s a checklist of things that we needed/need to do in order to continue to grow and connect with more children:
□ Submit Articles of Corporation to IL Attorney General (2 pages)
□ Submit Bylaws to IL Attorney General (7 pages)
□ Submit Charitable Organization Registration Statement (3 pages)
□ Submit IRS Form 1023 (40 pages)
□ Design/Animate Logo
□ Set up Bank Account (6 pages)
□ Design and Build a SECURE Website ($5,000)
□ Annual Attorney General Paperwork (2 pages)
□ Annual Federal 990 Form – would have been 4 more pages – “would” being the keyword!
That’s a lot! Especially since all the “staff” at Cardz for Kidz! are employed with 9-5pm (on good days it’s more of a 9-6:30) jobs, we understand there’s NO WAY we could do it by ourselves. What sparked this post was while we were trying to get together our annual Federal 990 Form. We reached out to our friend who’s a certified accountant, Robyn Fuller, to get her advice on how we should complete it. She told us based on how little we were bringing in we could simply complete the e-Postcard version. That was less than a page and took a maximum of 5 minutes (that’s on top of getting a national organization to make cards and put their logo on our site).
So we’re definitely missing a bunch of people, but we once again wanted to thank the people who made it so we exist and have had the opportunity to reach a total of 13,000 children in 6 different countries:
- The first four points on the To-Do list:
o We touched base on this during our first blog post, Once Upon a Time, we’re thankful that our three friends Veronica Farley-Seybert, Grace Adoroja & Ndu Ozor stepped in to complete the 50+ pages for us
- Logo Design:
o Originally started as a brief discussion, but thankful that Arron Davis quickly designed and animated the logo for us. Now that’s on our t-shirts, website, FB page, business cards…..
- Bank Account:
o To this day surprised with how AMAZING Zina Meltser has been! For example, after the Pledge Allegiance event we deposited the checks at a BMO Harris bank in downtown Chicago. BUT we forgot to get the check numbers so we could include that in our tax deductible receipts to the donors. Within a day of reaching out to Zina, she sent us scanned copy of each check and the donation slip!
- Raise Funds for the Website:
o This is all thanks to PHD Media. They held an annual #PHDBigHug day. During the event they raised money in order for us to build our site. In addition, we connected with the designers at their event. It was a long time coming, but as we always say, the website was worth the wait/weight.
- Annual Attorney General Paperwork and Federal 990 Form:
o Thanks to the help and direction of the people above….we can fill out those 3 pages all by ourselves!! J
In summary, in order to be a 501c3 certified organization that is recognized by global corporations, as well as aligning with government requirements there’s a lot that needs to be done. Thinking about how we guarantee that we’ll never require, or even suggest, people make a donation to participate, we’re always thankful when people volunteer to help out. So although everyone listed above told us their contributions were free, we’re still IN DEBT to you and #ForeverThankful for how you helped us!
To see more pictures and stories please check out our website www.cardzforkidz.org, like us on Facebook page, follow us on Twitter , visit our Google+ page, or visit our LinkedIn page! Also, check out some of our videos on YouTube!