Room for Growth
Around August 2019, when I first envisioned beginning a nonprofit for our disabled veterans, I never realized just how different this journey would be from the three "for-profit" businesses that I had previously owned. I discovered that even the most well-thought out plans will come crashing down if you aren't familiar with all of the rules. As I begin to get everything in place, the little nuances of law began to throw out road blocks that ultimately moved my ideas in a different direction.
Our original intention was to purchase a boat around January or February 2020 and just take a disabled vet or two fishing with me on the weekends. This ultimately would have been the simplest route to take, but as I began to share my dream with friends and build a network of contacts, the ultimate decision to begin a nonprofit corporation really began to take shape. In late November 2019, a boat became available that I thought would suit our needs perfectly, so after much deliberating with my wife to determine what our maximum budget would be, we made our only offer to the seller. Immediately our hopes were smashed as he let us know our offer was too low. Not to be deterred, we immediately began looking to see what other suitable boats were available. We knew we had a little time and we didn't want to inherit someone else's problem. To our surprise, we received a call several days later from the owner of the boat we had made the offer on, and he was ready to sell.
Fast forward to February 2020 and my wife Vicki had suggested "Casting for a Cause" as a name for the organization. After much discussion, that concept became "Casting for a Cause Disabled Veterans Foundation." From that point on, things started moving rather quickly as we reserved the business name, filed our articles of incorporation with the state and began to look for ideal participants for our Board of Directors. However, about the time things really began to fall into place, the nation was struck by COVID and all of the social distancing measures that really began to impact businesses that otherwise would have flourished. This was the defining moment where my wife and I knew the money we had spent and would need to spend would have to likely come out of our own pockets for a few months. This also meant we would take the slow approach to really getting things in place. After a few discussions with our Board of Directors, our Executive Vice-President and General Counsel, Stephen Albright suggested we file for nonprofit status using the EZ form. This would limit the amount of donations we could receive in a given year, but it also meant taxes would be a breeze. Since we are in our early years, we don't expect our donations will exceed the maximum limit and easier is better until we gain the competency to handle a more complex operation.