Forums > Help! > Advice on setting up a troupe non-profit / charity status VS company

Login/Join to Participate

DeepSoulSheep
DeepSoulSheep

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Berlin
Member Since: 25th Sep 2002
Total posts: 2617
Posted:Is it is possible to be non-profit / charity etc and still charge money under the same name...bit of back ground...

I taught my first workshop the other day, it went really well and it was loads of fun. I've decided that since I'm now finished college and have so much time on my hands that it'd be a good idea to set up a some kind of fomal-er fire thingy type deely.

I'm not fully decided on exactly the line I want to take but I'd like to start somewhere, let it grow and see where things go. I'm not driven by money but more by meeting people, teaching, learning and being a part of something.

Maybe do regular workshops and get more people interested and the likes. Perhaps aiming for a community something along the lines of what I saw in London last w/e. There's nothing close over here but I'm convinced there is enough interest as long as someone initiates something.

I have a friend who recently set something similar up and she managed to get a grant from the government because it is perfomance art and is non-profit. I'm not interested in profit and I believe a grant might be nice for buying equipment and such.

Also a property has recently become available in Temple Bar (the cultural centre of Dublin) and they are looking for groups who are "organised on a community / not-for-profit / voluntary or cooperative basis, and whose remit lies within the areas of community development, culture, media, research or personal development." Here's the advert thing - tis only short...

So clearly non-profit is the way I want to go but I'm also aware that reputation can be a usefull thing and am a little worried about what implications there might be if say for example we were to start selling poi or doing gigs. Would this sort of thing have to be kept seperately? Is it possible say for me and a few others to get paid for doing stuff in the future and still be associated with something like this.

Has anyone any advice or experience, ideas or advice along these lines? Any help would be appreciated....

[ 09. July 2003, 05:32: Message edited by: DeepSoulSheep ]


I live in a world of infinite possibilities.

Delete Topic

ben-ja-men
ben-ja-men

just lost .... evil init
Location: Adelaide
Member Since: 12th Jun 2003
Total posts: 2474
Posted:a few points to consider

1 - supplying kero, is it going to be supplied by you or will everyone bring along their own/ donatition tin etc, it can get quite pricey when you are paying for everyones kero and they are burning for hours at a time

2 - having a safe well light area that is inviting to new comers and away from main roads beeping cars really throw you out of the zone

3 - do you have someone else to come along regularly with you, to start with it can take a while for numbers to build and you dont want to be there along by yourself

4 - if you are going to make fire gear look at how much you are prepared to spend, i make fire gear to sell along with my own designs to play with so i have a roll of kevlar, chain and several lengths of al pipe, a box of self tapping screws and washes, a box of key chain circle things etc so i can make a staff quite alot cheaper than if i was to buy just enough of everything to make one staff. but make sure to allow for your time in the cost as well, but do some designs before you start selling stuff. also i always have gear at fire nights for ppl to play with and if they want to buy stuff they ask i hate it when ppl try to sell u stuff. if you are going to do this do it as something you do not the group does

5 - unpaid performances are great to do and get ppl involved in

6 - paid performances are even better and definately have to be done only by experienced fire twirlers otherwise you will make a bad name for yourself, its worth considering if you want to choerograph material if so to what level what level of commitment do u want from everyone etc.

7 - keep paid stuff seperate from play, if you do rehearsal etc keep them closed so that only the ppl that have to be are there it is much faster and more efficent use of everyones time

8 - if you do paid stuff be very care of ppls egos, have one person that has the final say over everything welcome all input but you need to have a decision maker

9 - have ice for burns

10 - have drinking water

11 - music if you can drummers are good gives it a heaps nicer feel

12 - be a patient teacher and make sure that everyone who comes along has a good time so they will come back

most of all make sure its fun


Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourself, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous and talented? Who are you NOT to be?

Delete

DeepSoulSheep
DeepSoulSheep

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Berlin
Member Since: 25th Sep 2002
Total posts: 2617
Posted:Thanks for the advice Ben-ja-min, what I'm really wondering though, is if it is possible to be non-profit / charity etc and still charge money under the same name. I'll edit that post a bit actually....

I live in a world of infinite possibilities.

Delete

ben-ja-men
ben-ja-men

just lost .... evil init
Location: Adelaide
Member Since: 12th Jun 2003
Total posts: 2474
Posted:you are better off having two seperate entitys even though all of the performers may twirl with the group it avoids confusion for all involved. i twirl with a group and perform with a different group both with different names and different ppl. i guess it depends how serious you want to make it all, but if you want to perform festivals n stuff will only deal with you if you are a registered business that they can send a cheque to and get a reciept from(from my experiences neway)

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourself, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous and talented? Who are you NOT to be?

Delete

Pele
Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA
Member Since: 15th Dec 2000
Total posts: 6193
Posted:Oh...you are going to get me started!

I don't know what it is like there, since I have the US to draw reference from but here goes....

Not-For-Profit status is a bitch to get. Loads and loads of paperwork. You can not be a not-for-profit alone. There needs to be a board of directors which holds regular DOCUMENTED meetings.
You will need a tax exempt number for all purchases and a seperate checking account. The benefits of NFP is that it is easier to get a direct monetary grant to help defer costs. A lawyer on retainer and a good accountant are helpful as well. Not-for-Profit can charge for services BUT all of the money MUST go back into operation costs, and none of it will go to the board of directors.

Incorporating, that is becoming a legal business. Again, you are looking at insurance, tax id number, and if you plan to sell stuff a retail license. There is a couple of forms of Incorporation available.
For normal Corporations (refered to in the US as S Corporations) the shareholders (and there legally are supposed to be shareholders) are taxed on their own income and then the corporation is taxed as well. Again, there is ALOT of book keeping involved

In an LLC, Limited Liability Corp., not only serve as the shareholders are more of a partnership. This helps to avoid double taxation (the business gets taxed, not you).

Incorporating helps just in case the business goes bust, it doesn't reflect on your personal credit, and vice versa, if personally you become broke, they don't take the business to pay debts.
However, it is difficult to get grants without a third party supplier who will take a percentage of the grant money for their help, and they require alot of time, energy, money, upkeep, book keeping and legistics.

If I were you this is what I would do...

Apply for a DBA (Doing Business As..) title for your company name. In the US it runs around $25. Then apply for a Tax Id. Get insurance (I believe Equity over there is a decent provider) and start small. Open a business bank account (preferably checking). Everytime you make money, put it in the bank. Everytime you spend money related to the business do it through a check card or paper checks. This allows you to maintain a strict and recorded paper trail. Just make sure 1/2 the money stays in the bank at all times. This will assure you have enough money come tax paying time. If you want to apply for a grant, go the 3rd party route. It is worth the small percentage they take out. Keep in mind that grant MUST BE SPENT on tools, education and such for the art specified. Keep everyting all together...a booking calendar, your account book with receipts/stubs, etc. Do alot of self-promotion as this helps to cut down initial costs.
When doing things for No-Profit, make certain that you have statements signed by the owners of the org. you work with that state what you are doing is a charitable donation, and to what amount because then it can be used as a tax write off.

I have worked setting up 3 of these and am now on my 4th, all with great success. It is alot of work and research but well worth it. And if you start out small and it grows, then you will be in a better place to apply for nfp status..and even maybe have backing from outside sources to help you do so.

Best of luck, keep us posted how it goes!
P~


Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK

Delete

DeepSoulSheep
DeepSoulSheep

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Berlin
Member Since: 25th Sep 2002
Total posts: 2617
Posted:Thank Pele, I'm meeting up with the person who's successfully gotten a grant in Kilkenny and we're gunna have a chat. I'll keep you posted on how things pan out.

I live in a world of infinite possibilities.

Delete