And welcome to our blog. Boy it has been crazy the last two months but I am happy to report I am finally able to get a few minutes to sit down and blog. As a person interested in our ministry you are vitally important to us for many reasons.
1 - first of all and most important, you are an opportunity for prayers for our ministry and for the Lord's leading.
2 - you may have something you would like to donate, time, energy, means, machinery, etc, all of which is vital to making our ministry work.
3 - you may know someone who would like to help with our ministry. Maybe a Dr., Nurse, Personal Trainer etc.
4 - You may know someone who needs to come through the program or
5 - You may just like to pass the word on about what we are doing in order to get more people interested in the ministry. All of these are valuable assets and we want to thank you right now for helping us in any of these ways.
Being a valuable part of our ministry we would like to keep you informed on how the process of starting the ministry is going.
It has been amazing how the last two months have gone and to be quite honest a little bit overwhelming. We have never run a non-profit and boy has it ever been a learning curve. Every step of the way God has guided us to the exact people we have needed to talk to in order to get things set up.
When we got the idea for this ministry several months ago Jeremy started on the website. We really didn't do any paperwork per se. We did a ton of research and were amazed to find not many options for help. The more we studied the more on fire we got. We talked to people, gathered information. The work on the website was slow going so I started talking to people about how to get a non-profit started. Amazingly, the information came together quite quickly. First we had to incorporate with the state of Idaho (as we would like our first location to be somewhere in Idaho.) That required a board and a friend of mine volunteered. We also needed a physical address, in Idaho, and Kathy happened to be willing to be the secretary for the board so that worked out well to use her address.
Next was sending in the form and the $30.00 for the non-profit registration with the state. I faxed that in on the 10th of February expecting the typical 6-10 business days for approval. Surprisingly an hour later they called and said, you made a mistake on the paperwork, and by the way, as of now you are approved for a non-profit corporation." Whoo hoo!!! Okay, Lord, thanks for confirmation number one that this is your will for us. After the call I popped into the pregnancy center in Grangeville Idaho. (If you want a neat place to donate to, feel free to contact them. They are the Hope pregnancy center. They aren't just for pregnant families but for everyone, they have classes on a hundred different topics, from finances, parenting, stress management, suicide, depression etc... Tell them Bitsy referred you.) while I was there it was amazing. I had just popped in for a visit. I told Nancy the manager what we were doing with the PTSD ministry and I ended up staying for over 3 hours. (Conformation number 2) The Lord Just kept bringing people in that I needed to talk to. It was so neat to have people come in that happened to be working in one facet or the other helping veterans or people struggling with PTSD. It was great encouragement and also great networking.
While I was in Idaho I started working on the business plan. (Boy that is a big undertaking!!!) my friend Stephany (Who writes them professionally) said it should be pretty easy and straightforward. Phew, yeah, I'm wishing I had paid her to write it. It never seems to end. I have all of it written besides a few of the financial aspects (Which is taking a lot of research to figure out. So, basically for the most part that is done but will have some ongoing work as I have a feeling we will always be altering it and having it grow with our company.
We were able to have some help in reference to applying for our 501C3. A gentleman who is a CPA is excited enough with our project that he is donating all of the hours that I need for one of his staff members to assist me in filling out the application. It has been a blessing to be working with both of them and we appreciate their support. As soon as I can I hope to have them do our bookwork as I hate doing that part but both of the other board members don't want to do it. (I don't blame them a bit!)
In filling out the 501C3 form (Which makes you tax exempt, and gives you tax deductible donations to donors, if you didn't know, which I didn't until we really got into this whole process.) We found out that we had allocated the assets incorrectly and the last day before they posted the business online with the state we were able to change it. That was a frantic day trying to call other ministries to see if they would be willing to take it and run it if we were unable to for any reason. We are very proud to announce that It Is Written will take the ministry and run it as we intended as a PTSD center. Whoo hoo!!! At that moment there was a huge sigh of relief. (Confirmation #3)
Over the next few weeks we were able to get the bylaws set in place (The rules for how our corporation operates.) We were also doing research to see if we can find a Doctor willing to work with our ministry. Although we are able to pay unfortunately it's not high enough to be able to tempt a doctor. So we need someone who has a heart for the ministry and is licensed (or willing to get licensed in Idaho.)
We were able to secure a Licensed family counselor along with several other specialties one being a military Chaplain for over 30 years. Bob Davidson of Family Institute. We are very blessed that he is willing to join our team as not only a counselor but also as a board member. We highly value his opinions and have had a long relationship beings that he did our premarital counseling and officiated our wedding.
As of right now, I am taking a much needed rest. This has all been a lot of work and I am shocked at how quickly and how inexpensively the Lord has provided. Our original estimate for establishing the 501C3 was going to be $1,600 minimum but looking at excess of $2,000. With the help of our CPA, so far we have only spent $30.00.
As far as filing for the tax exempt status we considered two different ways of doing it.
1) We get our own 501C3, and pay $850 out of pocket for a filing fee with the IRS or
2) We work under someone else's 501C3. The ministry "It Is Written" was the first place on our list. We have submitted a letter and a copy of our bylaws to see if they will allow us to work under them. If they approve it, that allows us to not only save the filing fee, it will also save us 9-18 months until approval by the IRS. So, keep that in your prayers that God will work according to His will. However, I have a feeling that He will cut the timeframe one way or another with how He has led thus far.
This week we will be Voting Bob in as a fellow board member and finalizing the Bylaws. Right now as far as It Is Written is concerned, they will let us know as soon as they know something although it will take a few months to finalize if we are able to work under their non-profit.
So, please stay tuned. Your support through prayers and sharing the website are greatly appreciated.
Wishing you many Blessings,
Bitsy and Jeremy Zimmer