Our Blog

Benj and Jessica launched a nonprofit. Follow our journey as we built a 501(c)(3) and a web site, and now usher in an endless stream of worthy charity nominees and monthly grant winners!

Shortcuts: News | Winners | Nominees

Back in the Office

Like us, follow, & share:

Looks like you've been missing a lot of work lately, Benj.

"I wouldn't say I've been missing it, Bob." I packed 6 months of travel into 6 weeks, but got it out of my system. Let's hope.

You'll recall before I left, the IRS totally punk'd us with a letter saying "We got your application, now sit tight for 6 months while we think about it." Then after I left town, they followed maybe two weeks later with a letter saying, "Just kidding, we love you guys, don't change a thing, you're totally in." I'm paraphrasing, the actual letter of determination is here.

If you want to know what goes into a full-fledged Form 1023 these days (not the shortened -EZ version) you can take a look at that here.

I thought I'd be taking my time getting the web site up, and that the IRS making donations to Charitocracy tax-deductible would be the long pole in the schedule. Suddenly I'm the weakest link! Charitocracy's only obstacle to going live is me. The pressure is back on, friends. Jessica be all like:

Yeah... I'm going to need you to come in on Sunday, too. Usual Time.

Nailed It!

Like us, follow, & share:

Benj is away so the kids and I eat lots of meat, watch horrible (nay, amazing?) movies, and sleep in the big bed. I have the pleasure of taking out the trash and getting the mail. Glamorous life, I tell ya!

Bison chili? Nailed it. Watching the very 80's and mildly inappropriate for kids Adventures in Babysitting? Oh, we SO nailed that! Middle of the night visits to my bed by each kid? They each nailed it. Recycling? Well, I missed the first week's pickup but I totally nailed it this week!

Getting the mail? Yeah, I'm mostly terrible at stopping by the post office even though I drive by it multiple times a day. I mean, why bother? Christmas card season is over. It's no one's birthday. And I have enough credit cards, thank you very much.

But, OMG, YOU GUYS!!! Look what came in the mail this week!!!

Letter Of Determination

Getting approved for our 501(c)(3) tax-exempt public charity status on the first try?

Yeah. WE NAILED IT!

On the Road Again

Like us, follow, & share:

vacation

I'll be on the road for the next five weeks. First a couple of weeks in Seattle and London visiting dear friends and family, then three weeks in Massachusetts prepping our old house for sale. My Boston to Portland flight on Tuesday was the first since... August?! I used to fly at least monthly. It was good to be back up in the friendly skies after six months on the ground!

On my way up the east coast, before dropping off my car with Dad & Maryann near Logan Airport, I spent a day in New York City snowed in with my cousin-in-law, Hillary. We had an insightful and timely conversation about the next phase of Charitocracy development: cause nomination, discussion, and voting. It's just what I needed to psych myself up for tackling this next and most critical aspect of Charitocracy functionality.

Hillary also suggested including a portal for non-profit nominees to join the discussion without being donors themselves. Brilliant. This way they can correct any well-intentioned but inaccurate information in the nomination pitch, provide more details about their mission and current activities, and respond to any criticism. Hopefully it keeps a grass roots feel without too much of a polished marketing department aftertaste. But it will certainly add an important voice to the discourse.

I'll be constantly on the move until March 1st without much opportunity to code, but I am looking forward to killing off the last few known bugs in the signup/donation process so I can start in earnest on nominations. I'm as excited as ever, but will use this self-imposed downtime to reflect on what's coming next. For now, it's Adventure Time with my buddy Kerry and his fam!

Adventure Time