I’m going to start a series that documents my journey of forming and operating SHAFT Foundation, Inc. – my family’s nonprofit organization – inspired by years of participating in the Operation: Christmas Child project, doubled growth year-over-year, and our desire to do more of God’s work and being a smarter steward of the funds tithed by my family and donated by that of our generous friends and family who have been critical to the cause.

I won’t get into the backstory here since I wrote about it weeks ago. 

I’m going to call this series “Elevator SHAFT” because I think I’m clever (and humble, lol!), and because documenting the ups and downs of this adventure will resemble an elevator shaft that takes us where we need to go (and that is not always “up”). Hope you’ll enjoy it; and if you don’t – this is for me any way, so it’s been hater-proofed =P

Anyway – I received our approved entity documents from the state of California a few weeks ago, and the official date of formation is February 7th, 2017. My first choice of entity name was accepted, so that’s awesome news.


I am now in the fun phase (and I mean that in the most sarcastic tone possible) of startup applications – to obtain an EIN (Employer Identificataion Number) and for the IRS to recognize us as a nonprofit organization. I always knew that nonprofits were heavily regulated, but knowing and feeling are two different things. I’m currently completing Form 1023 – to prove I am a legit nonprofit, so that I can receive tax-exempt status – and this application requires about 30 pages of not just filling in numbers or checking boxes, but writing paragraphs and paragraphs of explanations, getting letters from my CPA vouching for me, and supplying a lot of sensitive documents.


One easy thing for us is the fact that this organization isn’t complicated with bloated hierarchies of officers and directors – it’s just Christine and I – so the bylaws and ownership certificates are minimal.

I can’t wait for this necessary evil to be done with; and to finally reach out to my family and friends and announce that their generous contributions not only go far in helping other people, but there is an immediate benefit in that they have tax deduction opportunities. I feel that this will increase the donation amounts and the amount of donations – which will be important this year as we focus on doubling the amount of shoeboxes from last year, and have plans to spend even more time doing work to help others in need.

Until next time…

One thought on “SHAFT: Startup documents

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