We went to the Personal Democracy Forum and Andrew Raseij introduced us to a guy from Microsoft who might be able to get us sponsored! Apparently if we can get a legal structure, Microsoft would consider giving us free cloud hosting, event space, software, and even funding. Looks like it’s time to find a lawyer who can help us draft up a mission statement and some bylaws. We had originally wanted to pursue 501©(3) status right away, but after talking with some people familiar with the process, it seems like fiscal sponsorship is the way to start. According to Grant Space:
Fiscal sponsorship is a formal arrangement in which a 501©(3) public charity sponsors a project that may lack exempt status. This alternative to starting your own nonprofit allows you to seek grants and solicit tax-deductible donations under your sponsor’s exempt status.
Based on the feedback we’ve been getting, it seems this is the route many non-profits take toward eventually getting their own 501©(3) status. We’re going to be looking into it in much more detail as soon as we’ve gotten a bit further along in the project. Its amazing to see how far we’ve come, and just how far we still have to go!
If you’ve gone through the process of getting fiscal sponsorship, or know of an organization that might be interested in sponsoring Heat Seek NYC, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.