Project Create

the biography of a nonprofit

Archive for the tag “Nonprofit”

Beni-Fest 2013 – Live Music – Live Art – Live Burlesque – Live Tattooing – Live Auction!

Project Create is about to have the awesome opportunity of being part of an upcoming festival on February 5th!

Come and join us for An Evening of Mardi Gras Mayhem to Benefit New Orleans Charities & Non-Profits.

Come enjoy a true New Orleans experience. Get body painted, dance to great music, add a few tattoos to your collection, see inspiring art work, be immortalized in a painting by Alex Harvie, and much more!!!

The purpose of this event is to introduce the public to great local charities! Proceeds go to support the following:
Southern Animal Foundation, Project Create, Hope Stone, Youth Empowerment Project, Cheer-Up Missions, St. Jude Community Center, Community Works of Louisiana, and others.

Tickets: $20
Auction and Raffle at 9:30

EXPERIENCE the ART of COMMUNITY

benifest

P.S. this whole event was put together by an amazing dude I have the pleasure of calling my colleague. I know he wouldn’t want to steal any spotlight, but you know who you are!

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Free Kids Art Activity At The Arts Council Arts Market – November 24th and 25th

Project Create is pumped to invited back to the Arts Council of New Orleans Arts Market this month. We will be there for the 2 day market providing another FREE Kids Activity Booth.

This month we will be making Origami Animals!!! Here are a couple of examples for the kiddies:

Here is the info for the event, and check out our write up on the Arts Council website!

Saturday & Sunday, November 24th & 25th

10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (Kids Activity from 10:30 – 3:30)
Palmer Park, S. Carrollton and S. Claiborne Aves in Uptown.
Free and open to the public

Hope to see you all there!

Little Wings, Big Dreams: The Louisiana 22q/VCFS Support Network Fall Picnic

A few weeks ago, Project Create had the great honor and pleasure of providing an art project at the Louisiana 22q/VCFS Support Network Fall Picnic.

For those of you who do not know about the condition, it is (in very simple terms) a chromosomal disorder that affects both physical and mental behavior. Here is an excerpt from the International 22q Foundation:

The 22q11.2 deletion syndrome is caused by a missing section (microdeletion) of chromosome 22 which is present from the time a child is conceived. Present in 1 out of every 2,000-4,000 live births, in 1 in 68 children with congenital heart disease, and in 5 to 8 percent of children born with cleft palate, the 22q11.2 deletion is almost as common as Down syndrome, a widely recognized chromosomal disorder.

The symptoms of 22q vary widely, but there is one thing every child with 22q has in common: dreams of a bright future! So Project Create and the Louisiana 22q/VCFS Support Network teamed up to bring a group art project to the annual picnic.

The project is called Little Wings, Big Dreams. The children at the event created unique birds out of construction paper and attached them to a cypress tree cut out. The piece represents the individuality of the children and their dreams of flying free. The tree represents their parents and the Support Network, providing them the stability they need before setting off on their own. Here are the pictures from the event, with a how-to tutorial to recreate this project:

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The project was a great success and everyone had a great time making their birds. If you are interested in having Project Create provide an art project like this for a private event, please contact Jordan at jordanfrankel@projectcreatenola.org.

Also, stay tuned for a tutorial on how to recreate this project and please donate so that we can open our studio!!!

The OCH Art Market: A Huge Success Story!

What an amazing first event Project Create had yesterday. Thanks to everyone who stopped by our booth and supported us. Our booth had painting supplies for art market customers to paint their own artworks for FREE!!!

We had 14 paintings created, and more importantly, 14 NEW ARTISTS!!! The whole point of Project Create is to make more people explore their creative selves…and we succeeded 14 times! On top of that, we raised over $100 in donations. WHAT A GREAT DAY!

Check out some of our pictures from the day:

Project Create Booth

First Project Create Customers!!!

New Young Artists!

New Young Artists!

First Dollar Raised From Project Create Services!!!

“First Time Painting In Years”

Masterpieces

Man Cat – A Project Create Mascot!

Family Day Out – Perfect Time To Make Art!

Painting Party

5 Brand New Happy Artists

A New Prodigy In Town!

Busy Makin’ Art

Is He Humming? Yes, He Is!!!

Creative Creature!

Having A Great Time At The Project Create Free Painting Booth!

The Art Market was also a great success for meeting new people and making some great networking connections (even some that may lead to a permanent space for Project Create to teach classes!!!). You can be sure to see Project Create at more OCH Art Market events, as well as other markets around the city. We will keep you updated on all of our events, and until then, don’t forget to like us on Facebook and share our page with your friends!

To help us raise the money for our own studio, you can DONATE here.

A Quick Update

Summer is here!!! Yay!!!

I know it has been awhile since Project Create has put up a post, but fret not, we are still moving forward.  As the summer progresses, I am finishing up work here in Chicago and getting ready to make the move to New Orleans in less than 3 weeks!!!

Here is a quick update on where Project Create is:

Now that we are incorporated in Louisiana and have our Employee Identification Number, I am currently (as in writing this post is a break during) filling out my application for our 501(c)3 tax exempt status.  This puppy is HUGE, and it really takes a lot of planning and preparation. I did not start working on it today, and I will not finish everything for at least another week or so. I do not suggest finishing it in one sitting.

If I can complete the application accurately the first time around, I should receive a response in about 60 days. This is a much better option than hastily submitting and having my application either rejected completely or assigned to an Exempt Organization Specialist. An EO Specialist is generally a helpful case worker who will further scrutinize my application and help me complete it more accurately. However, the timeline for approval increases dramatically if an EO Specialist is assigned, so I would like to avoid that altogether.

If all goes well, I should have a determination letter sometime this fall. This means there is a very real possibility of opening the Project Create facility in October or November of this year!!!

Once I complete my application, I will post about the process with some tips and hints. Until then, you can find out more here.

This is a slow but very important step, so bear with us! Until then, enjoy the summer and stay CREATIVE!!!

Project Create Obtains An Employer Identification Number!

Today I filed for an EIN – Employer Identification Number. The first thing I want to point out is that I will (hopefully) NEVER refer to this as my EIN Number. Just like a PIN, you don’t need to say “number” at the end. Unless you do actually have a Personal Identification Number Number.

But I digress. The purpose of this post is to keep you updated on one of the many legal steps a new nonprofit needs to take. Now that Project Create’s Articles of Incorporation are filed in Louisiana, I had to apply for my EIN with the IRS. There are a couple of reasons for this:

  1. The IRS requires all businesses that a) have employees, b) are corporations, and/or c) are nonprofit organizations to file tax returns. The EIN is the business equivalent to a Social Security Number.
  2. An IRS EIN is required for applying for IRS 501(c)(3) status (duh!).

Project Create is a corporation, a nonprofit, and will at the very least employ me. Therefore, an EIN is necessary.

Fortunately, applying for the EIN is most likely the easiest step in this whole shebang. This can be done online here, which means you don’t have to manually file a Form SS-4 which is awesome.

Here is some of the information you will need handy:

  1. Type of Business – Project Create is a corporation. There is also a sub-question asking which type of corporation.
  2. Why you are applying for an EIN – I am starting a new business.
  3. Who is the Responsible Party – I am an individual person starting this business. If there was already a company in place with a valid EIN that was starting Project Create, then that information would be entered.
  4. Individual Personal Information – My name and SSN.
  5. Business Information – Project Create’s name, address, and purpose (i.e. Art Education Organization)

That’s it! So easy, and believe it or not, its FREE!!! Stay tuned for more updates as Project Create gets closer to actually being in business and raising money!

It’s Alive!!!!!!

As of today, April 3rd, 2012, Project Create is an active corporation in the state of Louisiana. Project Create officially exists!!!

In a previous post, I discussed some of the legal steps to forming a nonprofit. The first of those steps is filing the Articles of Incorporation with the state. Since Project Create is in Louisiana, that is where I filed. The process is very straightforward, and I was able to complete it quickly online for $65 ($60 filing fee, $5 service fee).

I have included the questions used for online filing. The form can be found at the following link, and by clicking the Domestic Business Reg. Articles of Incorporation ($60 filing fee) radio button: http://www.sos.la.gov/tabid/1009/Default.aspx.

 
  • The name of this corporation is: 
  • This corporation is formed for the purpose of: engaging in any lawful activity for which corporations may be formed under Chapter 2, Title 12, of the LA Revised Statutes (Non-Profit Corporation Law)
  • The duration of this corporation is (may be perpetual): 
  • This corporation is a nonprofit corporation.
  • The location and municipal address (not a P.O.Box only) of this corporation’s registered office is:
  • The full name and municipal address (not a post office box only) of this corporation’s registered agent(s) is/are:
  • The full name and address of each incorporator of this corporation is:
  • The corporation’s initial board of directors, municipal addresses (not a P.O. Box only) and term of office are:
  • This corporation is to be organized on a non-stock basis.
  • Other Provisions:
 

As you can see, the information is fairly basic as long as you know some definitions. Here is an explanation of some of the necessary information taken from The Citizen Media Law Project (Note: this is not state specific information, so you should always check the applicability of these definitions in your state):

  • Name of the Nonprofit Organization:

As discussed in Forming a Nonprofit Corporation, you must include the name of the nonprofit corporation, which typically must include “Corporation” or “Incorporated” or an abbreviation of one of these words, such as “Inc.” or “Corp.” Most states will not allow two companies to have the same name, nor will they allow your corporation to adopt a name that is deceptively similar to another company’s name. For state-level information on naming requirements, see State Law: Forming a Nonprofit Corporation.

  • Name and Address of Registered Agent:

Most states require the name and address (not a P.O. Box) of the nonprofit corporation’s registered agent in the state of incorporation. The purpose of the registered agent is to provide a legal address for service of process in the event of a lawsuit. The registered agent is also where the state government sends official documents such as tax notices and annual reports. If your nonprofit corporation incorporates in the same state where you do business, an officer of the nonprofit corporation can usually serve as the registered agent. If your nonprofit corporation incorporates in a state other than where it does business, then you will have to hire a registered agent in the state of incorporation. You can find registered agent service companies online. Shop around and compare rates because there are many registered agent companies available.

  • Legal Address of the Nonprofit Corporation:

Some states require that you include the address of the nonprofit corporation’s principal office (whether or not that address is inside or outside the state of incorporation). This is distinct from the address of the registered agent discussed above, although in some circumstances this address could be the same (e.g., when a corporate officer is serving as the registered agent).

  • Duration of the Nonprofit Corporation:

Some states ask how long your nonprofit corporation will be in existence. You should answer “perpetual” unless you know that the nonprofit has a definitive termination date.

  • Name of Incorporator(s):

An incorporator is the person preparing and filing the formation documents with the state. Most states require the name and signature of the incorporator or incorporators to be included in the articles of incorporation. Some states also require that you include the incorporator’s address.

  • Name and Address of Director(s):

Some states require that you list the names and addresses of the initial directors of the nonprofit corporation in the articles. In other states, you are not required to identify them (although you may do so if you want). See State Law: Forming a Nonprofit Corporation for details on the number of directors required by the fifteen largest U.S. states and the District of Columbia. When the initial directors are not named in the articles, the incorporator or incorporators have the authority to manage the affairs of the corporation until directors are elected. In this capacity, they may do whatever is necessary to complete the organization of the nonprofit corporation, including calling an organizational meeting for adopting bylaws and electing directors.

There are a few other things I want to point out. First, this is organized on a nonstock basis because it is a nonprofit organization. If you remember from my previous post, nonprofits do not operate for a profit for shareholders, rather the profit flows back into the company. Therefore, there are no stock investors.

Second, you may be wondering what the “other provisions” section is for. Here is where you can (but do not have to) put information about what your nonprofit is meant to, and allowed to, accomplish, i.e. something saying that this is a nonprofit dedicated to art education, and that per state law, no lobbying activities will take place. This type of information should be pretty clear from any business plans and bylaws you have drawn up (I will post about that as well!).

Last, it is very important to note that right now Project Create exists as a nonprofit corporation, but it is NOT  federally recognized 501(c)(3) organization. This means that I still cannot solicit donations and make them tax deductible. I still need to apply for that status with the IRS, or achieve it through a fiscal sponsorship.

In a few days, I should be receiving a Certificate of Incorporation which, together with my Articles of Incorporation, are the legal “body” of Project Create. However, just like a baby is alive before it gets its birth certificate, Project Create officially exists as of today!

Next Steps: Within 30 days after filing the Articles of Incorporation, I have to file a copy of the Certificate of Incorporation and either a certified copy of the Articles of Incorporation or an original signed copy to the recorder of mortgages in the Orleans parish (where New Orleans is seated. I will also apply for an Employer Identification Number.

So how excited are you for Project Create’s birth!?!?! As usual, if you have any questions or concerns, please leave a comment.

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The “Hold Your Horses” Disclaimer: Nothing in this blog is intended to be legal advice. If you are thinking about starting your own business, these are very important steps that should not be taken lightly. The internet is an amazing place and there are plenty of resources available on filing these documents. Please do enough research to ensure you are comfortable with the relevant legal jargon, or seek the help of an attorney.

Like Project Create On Facebook!

Remember that time when your parents asked you to be their friend on Facebook? So awkward, right? They practically had to beg you to accept their friendship.

Well, begging isn’t just for parents! Project Create has finally launched its Facebook page and I am BEGGING (read: politely asking) you to Like us.

Here is the link: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Project-Create/304465866286550

Make sure to leave some comments and share the word with all of your friends (especially your parents!!!).

Does Nonprofit Mean No Profit?

I have had a lot of people asking me why I am starting a nonprofit organization rather than a for-profit. The most common questions have something to do with how nonprofits stay in business, and more importantly, how  I will pay my student loans, which are depressing to say the least. These are great questions, and ones I have definitely had to consider myself.

While everyone knows nonprofits exist, there are a lot of misconceptions about what they do and how they operate. The biggest misunderstanding is that “nonprofit” means “no profit”. To shed a little light on what a nonprofit actually is, here are a few differences between nonprofits and regular businesses from nonprofit.about.com:

  • When you start a business, it is for the financial benefit of its owners and/or shareholders. Profit is the goal and the business pays taxes on that profit.
  •  A nonprofit entity has a mission that benefits the “greater good” of the community, society, or the world. It does not pay taxes, but it also cannot use its funds for anything other than the mission for which it was formed.
  • Nonprofit organizations can and do make a profit, but it must be used solely for the operation of the organization or, in the case of a foundation, granted to other nonprofit organizations.
  •  When a for-profit organization goes out of business, its assets can be liquidated and the proceeds distributed to the owners or the shareholders. When a nonprofit goes out of business, its remaining assets must be given to another nonprofit.

There are many ways that nonprofits operate just like a regular corporation. For example, a nonprofit is also controlled by a board of directors. It is the board’s responsibility to ensure the nonprofit is fulfilling its mission, whether this is through direct action or supervision over an executive director.  

Another important similarity is that nonprofits can, and commonly do, have paid employees.  I won’t go into the politics of how much (or little) salaries should be, but they generally vary based on location, mission, and operating budget. For example, in an art nonprofit with an annual budget of $100,000, it would not be proper for a salary of $50,000/year. Also, while the major benefit of 501(c)(3) nonprofit status is that the company itself is not taxed on income, paid employees pay income taxes just like everybody else.

I know this is only a brief explanation, but I hope this helps clear up any confusions about how a nonprofit operates. My friends (and parents) can now rest assured that I am not signing up for a life of servitude without recourse. I don’t plan on becoming a millionaire through Project Create, but I certainly plan on being able to eat!

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