January 28th, 2005

Breaking News

Starting a charity

Pie Night has gotten too big really to hold in anyone's house. So I can't keep doing it with the facilities I have.

I was reading an Op-Ed piece in the New York Times about tsunami relief. If you don't read him, you should. Kristof's schtick is that he travels to dozens of places a year to talk to people involved in various situations. He went to Darfur. He went to Ukraine. He went to Thailand several times to research sex slavery and prostitution where he bought several prositutes and freed them from the brothels to see what would happen. Excellent writer. Anyway, one of his points about tsunami relief is that of all the industrialized nations, the U.S. gives the lowest percentage of G.D.P. in international development aid. Even with private giving, we were dead last as a percentage of our national income. We're generous sometimes when specific disasters hit, but out side of that we're stingy.

Thinking about that, I thought I wanted to do my part once the tsunami relief effort dies down. Add that to the fact that Pie Night is getting big. So my idea is to run Pie Night as a fundraiser for international development efforts. So I've been doing some research into what it would take to start a charity. It's a pain. But I can handle that.

To start one, I have a choice of either running a membership organization or having a self-perpetuating board. I'll probably go the latter route.

I also need to research what it would take to expand Pie Night out to a larger attendance. Getting a facility. Some promotion. Some local sponsorships. What would I (or someone helping me) need to do to make this feasible and ongoing?

Unfortunately, I don't know jack about promoting such a thing. I've got a line on some things like facilities I can use cheap or free. Promotion though I'm clueless. Sponsorships I know only a bit.

Stuff to ponder and research.