This blog post idea started with the consideration of all the effort that I’ve put in over the last year re-establishing the non-profit K2BSA Amateur Radio Association. However, I’ve begun to realize that I’ve also spent the vast majority of my career working for non-profit organizations. I’m not sure the U.S. Air Force counts as a non-profit, but it isn’t a for-profit organization. Right after my military service I began work for the Nebraska Educational Television Network, then the University of Nebraska, followed by Southeast Nebraska Community College. After 11 years with Heathkit, then one-year with Texas Education Corporation, and three years with the wildly profitable FlightSafety International, I’ve spent the last twenty years with Boy Scouts of America. That’s 15 years for-profit and roughly 30 years non-profit.
The point at hand today is that this past year is the first I’ve spent in the nitty-gritty work of establishing a non-profit. With K2BSA the structure was in place and done very, very nicely. Which means that the constitution had been established along with the bylaws and the amendments needed to meet IRS Charity status. All that was done in the late 1980s. However, without any guidance, I had to sift through all the documents and essentially reassemble the organization, after several years in hiatus. This meant contacting the State of Texas and updating officer lists and contact address, then contacting the IRS. That’s where the fun started. You’ve probably read the story elsewhere in my blog. Success was fully achieved in that area with the receipt this weekend of a letter from the IRS confirming our non-profit status along with an update on the IRS website.
The update on IRS status was important milestone. It was required first as I established a PayPal account and required PayPal’s recognition of K2BSA’s non-profit status for lower rates on handling donations and other e-commerce. Second, it was required as I setup a full disclosure report on Guidestar, the organization dedicated to non-profit disclosure and best practices. After all this was established I was able to set up a donation page on the K2BSA website. Guidestar has also published a full report on the K2BSA Amateur Radio Association.
It’s nice to get all that work accomplished and to know that the K2BSA organization is finally fully up to speed with all the regulatory requirements. Now for determine how best to move forward strategically to further its mission of serving Scouting and amateur radio. The 2013 National Scout Jamboree operation will be a wonderful next step but there must be more that can be done in the service of Scouting. Any thoughts?