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View Full Version : Incorporate CalGuns as a non-profit?


paradox
11-25-2006, 9:58 AM
As we have seen with Ramon and with surplusrifles.com, life can intrude on the best of us and force us to focus on things other than internet boards. I want CalGuns to have a long future, hopefully one that will outlast all of us. In order for that to happen, in order for my gandchildren to be able to read CalGuns, I think we need to move towards making CalGuns.net an independent entity: an incorporated non-profit. This won’t happen overnight, but with the community we have, I think we can hack together the by-laws and government forms to make CalGuns a true non-profit with all the elected posts, committees and separate books that goes with that.

I don’t want to turn CalGuns into yet another fundraising org with big budgets and paid staff, I think member dues should be set at just enough to pay for hosting, bandwidth, and vBulletin fees, all other work should be done by volunteers from our community.

Another advantage of incorporating CalGuns would be that we could set up a separate account for legal battles or even get some big guns on retainer for future use. We shouldn’t let any other bad court precedents be set in our state.

We shouldn’t turn CalGuns into a member’s only place, that would work against our purposes. All the current forums should be fully open to the public. The only private forums I’d recommend would be ones that dealt with the internal structure and finances of the organization.

So, what do y’all think?

SemiAutoSam
11-25-2006, 1:44 PM
This isn't our call its Kestryll board If he wants to do such a thing go with a 508 not a 503 but that's just my take on things a 508 does not require reporting from what I understand like a 503 and then there is always the thought of a his making the board into a private foundation.

Just like bill gates has. and not its not that hard to do from what Ive been told.

paradox
11-25-2006, 2:23 PM
This isn't our call its Kestryll board If he wants to do such a thing go with a 508 not a 503 but that's just my take on things a 508 does not require reporting from what I understand like a 503 and then there is always the thought of a his making the board into a private foundation.

Just like bill gates has. and not its not that hard to do from what Ive been told.


I realize that Kestryll has the only real say, this is just an opinion poll/thread to gauge the acceptance of the community. Kestryll is a great guy, but Iíd hate CalGuns to implode because he happened to have a coronary in the grocery store. Incorporation is something to think about at least.

TonyNorCal
11-25-2006, 2:55 PM
My opinion...

Seems unnecessary to me. Websites like this seem better run by one competent, caring individual...that's what we had with Ramon and that's what we have with Keystryll.

Making it into a nonprofit seems convoluted and cumbersome. Also, rules by boards of directors, etc sets the stage for secret forums, two-tiered membership, and moves CalGuns away from the grassroots nature that is its charm.

I think we're best served with one non-ego tripping person keeping things moving along and the rest of us just enjoying the relaxed, laid back nature of it all. And, that's what we have now.

If the board needs help, financial or otherwise, I'm sure he'll ask and people will respond.

Kestryll
11-25-2006, 6:46 PM
..Iíd hate CalGuns to implode because he happened to have a coronary in the grocery store.

What have you heard??? Do you know something we should discuss? :D :p

It is an interesting thought and one that may come up in the future.
Calguns is straddling an interesting line, right now we are an online community and group of friends. At the same time we are becoming a lite version of a political action commitee. As a simple forum we have managed to have an affect beyond our individual reach by being united. This is a balancing act that so far we've done quite well. As things grow and we continue to move within the political arena this type of incorporation may be a necessary move but for now we work best as a kind of 'voice of the people' site.
As TonyNorCal said, "..and moves CalGuns away from the grassroots nature that is its charm., a signifigant amount of Calguns' presence comes from not being part of an established orginization. no one can dismiss us as 'Oh that's just that gun group'. We are individuals and voters and we are allied only to one another and to the defense of our Constitutionally gauranteed freedoms.

It's a good thought and one to consider, at some point incorporation may become either beneficial or necessary and it is something I need to learn about and get more info on but we're not quite there yet. I'm glad we're not there yet, I need to find out how that all works first! ;)

hoffmang
11-25-2006, 9:19 PM
Kes,

One thing to think about would be to choose a Moderator you trust and give him power of attorney as it relates to Calguns if you should become incapacitated or can't be reached for eg 48hrs after a downtime.

Succession planning might make a bit of sense.

-Gene

50ae
11-25-2006, 9:24 PM
What would be the effects on political threads though? McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform may be a problem if it becomes a non-profit.

50ae
11-25-2006, 9:26 PM
Maybe a better idea would be for Kestyrll to assign a pecking order if he has a heart attack at Vons.

Kestryll
11-25-2006, 9:36 PM
Okay, I'm not liking this whole 'Coronary Concept' here!!!

:D

I was talking to my Wife about putting together a file with all the info on the server, I.D.s and passwords, and other pertinent info to be forwarded to a couple of Mods in case of accident.
It's not a bad idea at all.

kantstudien
11-25-2006, 10:05 PM
If calguns became non-profit, then wouldn't political discussions need to be censored?

hoffmang
11-25-2006, 11:16 PM
Don't confuse the speech of the organization with the speech of the membership. I'm not advocating Calguns going non profit, but what would be controlled would be a radio ad paid for by Calguns, not the speech on a forum hosted for members of the non profit.

-Gene

paradox
11-26-2006, 7:50 AM
If calguns became non-profit, then wouldn't political discussions need to be censored?

The ACLU and the Brady Bunch are both non-profits and they both have no problem getting involved in political discussions.

paradox
11-26-2006, 7:55 AM
What have you heard??? Do you know something we should discuss? :D :p

It is an interesting thought and one that may come up in the future.
Calguns is straddling an interesting line, right now we are an online community and group of friends. At the same time we are becoming a lite version of a political action commitee. As a simple forum we have managed to have an affect beyond our individual reach by being united. This is a balancing act that so far we've done quite well. As things grow and we continue to move within the political arena this type of incorporation may be a necessary move but for now we work best as a kind of 'voice of the people' site.
As TonyNorCal said, "..and moves CalGuns away from the grassroots nature that is its charm., a signifigant amount of Calguns' presence comes from not being part of an established orginization. no one can dismiss us as 'Oh that's just that gun group'. We are individuals and voters and we are allied only to one another and to the defense of our Constitutionally gauranteed freedoms.

It's a good thought and one to consider, at some point incorporation may become either beneficial or necessary and it is something I need to learn about and get more info on but we're not quite there yet. I'm glad we're not there yet, I need to find out how that all works first! ;)

I fully agree that our community and our grassroots nature is what makes us strong, and no matter where wind up in the future we need to retain that nature or perish. Incorporation doesnít mean things have to change. My county's little gun club is still going strong as a non-profit since the '30s and still retains its character and sense of community.

Oh, and here's a toast to healthy arteries. I'd hate to loose you more than calguns. Servers can be replaced.

SemiAutoSam
11-26-2006, 8:36 AM
Also think about this to become a non profit entity would require a contract with the IRS.

I call it a contract as there would be a signature requirement on IRS forms and any time you sign something you are a party to a contract.

Why would you want to join with this evil entity unless you were forced to do so ?

mblat
11-26-2006, 9:33 AM
No.

Not counting the fact that it is faily expensive ( around $800 ) only for tax return, now CAFTB will have legitimate reason come and look into calguns operations every single year....
While I am not expecting situation like OLL ever pop-up I surely would hate to have an audit in the middle of the OLL battle.
Do you know what interdepartment cooperation is? DOJ to CAFTB?

EDIT: besides transition from Ramon to Kestrill went pretty smoosly. And if Kestrill will want to drop it then I am sure replacement will be easily found. And if replacement isn't found then it means that the whole idea run out its' course and should be closed......

icormba
11-26-2006, 3:11 PM
Originally Posted by paradox
..Iíd hate CalGuns to implode because he happened to have a coronary in the grocery store.

What have you heard??? Do you know something we should discuss? :D :p



Stay out of grocery stores! :)


.

RANGER295
11-27-2006, 1:20 PM
I have been meaning for some time to suggest something similar to this. There are many different options for incorporation. If I were in Kestryllís shoes, I would want to incorporate just to cover my own rear end. Letís say someone gets some bad legal advice here and acts on it or even just says that they got it here. They could sue him being the owner of Calguns. If it were incorporated he would be protected by a corporate veil. Also when the server went down and people were offering $ to keep it running Kestryll said that he was trying to figure out how to keep contributions transparent. Incorporating would be a way of doing this. Then we would be able to take formal political action. That may not be a rout we want to take, but we are fairly large and could get considerably larger if we wanted to actively recruit other gun enthusiasts. We already have the power to make an impact and we could expand it. Just my $0.02 worth.

VeryCoolCat
11-27-2006, 4:47 PM
I think the best possible application for going NPO would be donations would be tax writeoffable. I'm sure plenty of people come out owing tons. Might as well put it to good use. Especially buisness owners.... some buisness owners will donate thousands to an organization because its going to the govt anyways might as well put it to something you like.

If it went NPO, calguns would be forced to expand though because a forum just isn't enough for NPO.

Can'thavenuthingood
11-28-2006, 7:05 AM
My thinking this morning is Calguns.net ought to stay as it is, not quite a legal entity.

We had a good time the last night of the Assembly meeting.

We as in ordinary citizens.

That means quite a bit to the politicians when a bunch of unattached, loose voters act on their own to defeat pending legislation. No lobbyist's, no organized IAW legal code block of voters. Just a bunch of ordinary citizens looking out for the country and whats right and wrong regarding firearms.

The prospect of becoming another entity under the control of government isn't very appealing to me. Aside from the mentioned legal advice someone may infer from this forum, what other liabilties are we as individuals exposed to once becoming a government controlled entity?

An individual entity is too easily minimized, but a couple thousand individual activist's are more difficult to deal with and stop. An entity merely requires a court order to stop it dead in its tracks.

How do you know that I am the same guy typing in this thread as I was last week?
Maybe there is several of us using the same user name and password on the same computer.

A legal entity invites government monitoring and investigating on a grander scale than is now possible with the individual. Who is in charge of government?

I don't see transparency as a problem.

Maybe I just don't see.

Vick