Well, we have a mission statement! Here it is: (I borrowed it from a friend in L.A. that does this for a living.)
"The mission of the foundation called Faith the Dog is to share the inspiring story of Faith the Dog with lower income communities and/or organizations and to support Faith's continued life needs, training, and medical needs so that she can continue to share joy and bring faith to those that she meets. We provide motivational and inspirational speaking and interactive workshops for lower income schools, organizations, churches, communities, and desire to benefit these groups to the best of our abilities."
Soon, very soon, as soon as Monday, I will filing the necessary papers to get the foundation off the ground. I'm allowed to accept contributions and donations as long as I save them and keep them separated from my personal checking account. I have a savings account they will sit in until the Foundation is up and running, and I have an attorney and an accountant to keep me in line! I also have Mike Laris of the Washington Post to keep me in check too. No one else needs to bother writing or asking me what my guidelines are, or what I'm doing with the money. Mike scared the bejeebes out of me in 2008 when he asked me about donations I was giving away and didn't keep records of because I literally gave them all away - but apparently that's not the way to do it! I have since become a bit more educated and I have learned to do things in a more professional and business type manner - no more simple hand-shakes! This is America! Do it right or get written up about - do it correctly and you may still be written up about! Freedom of the Press you know.
I'm excited to say that the Mission Statement basically states it all - we have every good and faithful intention to help those who can not afford to bring Faith and I out to their area. Now, we all know that I can't go everywhere or see everyone that asks, but we can try to do 10-12 shows a year using the money that is donated by others who are more fortunate. The money will go to help further and better Faith's life, condition, medical needs, traveling, lodging, insurance, all sorts of things that need to be covered and things I've been paying for on my own most of the time and giving away - my agents and managers are saying "No More" to me. I have to be more frugal, and I have to look at this as being a bit more organized. I'd give the world everything I owned and that's my own fault. I need to be a little more selfish than that.
I am taking a salary, and I asked the accountants and the friend in L.A. who sets up 501c3 accounts for a living what the best amount would be. Being in Oklahoma I will accept less than when I move to L.A., a complete 1099 or whatever form is needed will be filed and I will report every single penny - I promise. I don't have to, but I'm keeping receipts from my own personal use too from my own salary, just to be able to prove everything - I don't like accusations. How many times do we hear that going on in the world of non-profits? I know I was a witness to it, and it hurt my feelings as well as damaged my perspective on what a non-profit was all about - I want to be the best run, most organized foundation in the world if possible. Let's see how I do...my attorney is awesome, my accountant is awesome too.
I've hired my family - which is typical - to be on the Board. I think it's only right to give them responsibilities if I am putting them on the payroll part time. They have to submit time cards and show workability too - 10 hours a week. Reuben will be allowed to have his duties suspended for 1 year while he's in Iraq, but he will remain on the Board for decision making purposes and will not be paid during his suspended time frame. (Doesn't that sound official? Suspended time frame.) Anyway, it's going to be my full time position, and I'll speak and write part time. I will also submit time cards and journals of my work so that it can be fully in compliance and anyone who requests a look can do so if they are warranted to do so. I'll leave that stuff up to the attorney - you'll probably have to go to her office or something to review the time cards and what we did - but it will be filed and filed correctly!
I've never been a a CEO/President/Janitor before! This is exciting! I can't wait to get it started. If you care to donate please do - contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org to find out where - we'll have a PayPal button on the site soon. Lots of love to you all for your support, and hopefully we'll get to the communities fast fast....starting with Flint, Michigan! As promised.