As of Valentine’s Day, Story Night officially became a non-profit organization. I’ll address what that means to you. First, though, I want to thank Rob McDermid, an attorney, CK school board member and friend to Story Night, for his assistance in helping me incorporate. The state makes it easy, but there were a couple of spots where Rob’s expertise came in handy. He did it for free, so he deserves many thanks.
How this affects you depends on you, really. For many it will have no impact at all. Story Night will go on as it has.
The difference this makes for Story Night is it increases the ability to raise money. This isn’t a terribly expensive undertaking, but there are expenses. There are the medals, the copying of paper for judge sheets and anonymous questions, pens and website hosting. The last two months I advertised on Facebook, which seems to have drawn new people.
In the past I have made small requests for donations. For example, if you do your Amazon shopping by going through the link posted on StoryNight.org, Story Night gets a cut. You don’t pay any more, but the event benefits. But I’ve felt a little sheepish about making any big pitches for money without accounting for how it’s spent. There is also a “contribute” button on the site. Between the two ways of contributing, Story Night has received no more than $50 total.
I will continue to donate monthly to the event, but in the future you may see more pitches asking you to pitch in a little as well. I’m still figuring out how that will happen, and I will probably post a survey here asking whether and how people would be willing to contribute. One thing I’m still considering is whether it’s worth it to file as a federal 501(c)3 corporation. My understanding is it’s necessary in order to be able to tell people their contributions are tax deductible. If you know of a CPA who’d be willing to do offer pro bono advice and other assistance, I’m all ears.
The first goal of fundraising is to create a sustainable source to keep the event going. The added benefit is having people care enough about the event to invest in it. The second goal is to improve the quality of the event, such as buying equipment so people don’t have to use the lavalier mic to get recorded. The third goal is to expand Story Night’s reach into other communities, such as Poulsbo and Port Orchard, or even to help in Ocean Shores, if asked. It would also be fun and valuable to have school kids doing this.
So, in the next few days look here for a survey that will help me guess what we could reasonably hope for should we request your help. In the meantime, we look forward to hearing your story. See you Thursday!