After a couple of very quiet weeks, we have much to look forward to.
First…a firm date…August 14th… has been set to tour the Piedmont Facility that has been mentioned in prior posts. A lot hangs on this visit to Piedmont.
Second…Brad has been in contact with another Foundation whose main purpose is to fund research in order to find a way to make heart transplants last longer than is anticipated at the current time. It is called enduringhearts.org and it was started by a mom and dad whose 2-year-old daughter, at the time, required and received a heart transplant. We are currently deciding on a date and time when our two Foundations can meet to discuss our mutual concerns.
And lastly…Mary was contacted by Pat at the Georgia Transplant Foundation asking if she had heard about the transplant house in Charleston. Mary googled it and found that a Foundation in Charleston is pretty much at the same place we are, in the planning stages, to build a transplant house. Mary contacted them and a call is scheduled with them to compare notes, so to speak.
It is so interesting to all of us how so many people that we meet or are put into contact with are so much “on the same page.” It seems that the transplant world is very interconnected. We had already realized that in a small way in the Atlanta area, but that knowledge is spreading rapidly to other places. And the more we learn, the more we realize the absolute need for what we are doing.
The wheels move slowly at times, but we are more than able to be patient. The three Evans all feel that we are on the cusp of something great. All in God’s timing and his way.
Mary had a great conversation with Brent Pease of kylepeasefoundation.org. The purpose of the Kyle Pease Foundation (KPF) is to create awareness and raise funds to promote success for persons with disabilities by providing assistance to meet their individual needs through sports. Betty Mills, who is a member of our Board of Directors recommended that I contact Brent to find out information about starting up a foundation. We discussed the legal requirements and then he went on to share other valuable information with me. One thing he said that I think I’m already learning is that you always feel a little behind the 8 ball when doing this! This is the same as running a business without making money!
We talked about forming a Board of Directors. It’s extremely important that anyone who is on the Board has a good network of contacts in order to possibly get grants and institutional funds. He suggested, when we can afford it, to hire an Executive Director. At this point in time, Brent is the Executive Director of his foundation. We also talked about fundraising and how it would be beneficial to have an Annual Event that would generate funds.
And finally we talked about the possibility of doing speeches, presenting our story to people who would be interested. Decide two things: 1) who would like to hear our story? 2) who would pay to hear our story?
Brad called this morning to tell us that Mendal Bouknight, our primary contact at Piedmont, had contacted him to tell him that Piedmont has its own 501(c)(3) and they are willing to let us use it until we get our own 501(c)(3) approved by the IRS (which could take up to one year). This means that as soon as the registration of our foundation is approved by the State of Georgia, we can much more easily begin to do the necessary fundraising. Donations will be able to pass through an established 501(c)(3) for tax purposes, which will obviously be much more appealing to people making the donations.
Our next step with Piedmont will be a tour of the facility, which will be sometime during the last week of July.
This is exciting stuff for us!
Bob, Mary and Brad met with Brian Annino, of Annino Law Firm. He is a personal friend of Brad’s, who had worked with other non-profit foundations. He first wanted to know about Jeff, so we told him Jeff’s story. Then we talked about the legal requirements for a non-profit. He will register us as a corporation (foundation) with the State of Georgia. And he will draft the Articles of Incorporation. He will also contact a CPA that he works closely with to get the application for 501(c)(3) status with the IRS.
After the State of Georgia approves us, we can then open a bank account and begin fund raising. Any donations made before the 501(c)(3) is approved will be retroactive for tax purposes.
This was a very information meeting for all of us. And it cleared up a lot of confusion in Mary’s mind.
Brian agreed to being a part of our Board of Directors, which takes us up to seven. Thank you, Brian!
This meeting was attended by Bill, Bob and Mary, as well as Brad, who met Bill for the first time. A lot of the discussion revolved around the Vision and Mission Statements for the Foundation. They need to be extremely brief, which, admittedly, is hard for Bob and Mary to wrap their heads around. Bill gave us excellent ideas for both, so we will review those and form the two statements for the present time.
Bill and Brad took some time getting to know each other. And in that process a few ideas were birthed. Brad met a gentleman a few days ago during a business meeting who happens to be on the Board of a non-profit foundation called “Enduring Hearts.” The founders of this foundation are parents to a little girl, who at 2-years-old needed and received a heart transplant. The emphasis for their foundation is research into ways to make a transplanted heart last longer. Because their foundation and ours are centered on the same issue – TRANSPLANTS – we will contact them to see if we can work together in some way.
It was also decided that we needed to contact Mendal Bouknight at Piedmont to arrange for a tour of the Piedmont facility that could possibly be our first “house.”
Honesty from Mary…I came away from this meeting with my head spinning. It seems like we just turned a corner into unchartered waters. But I was assured that this will happen throughout the process of forming our foundation. So after dealing with the emotions inside of me, I moved on and accepted where we are in this process.
Today, we had two more people agree to be on our Board of Directors…David Williams, VP & Treasurer at AGCO, and Betty Mills, formerly of Rabobank. But far more importantly, they are both great, long-time friends who have been involved with Jeff’s story from the very beginning. We are blessed. David made this comment to Mary,
“faith, passion and persistence will be the key to success.”
This puts our number of people on the Board at six.
Betty also put us in touch with another fairly new foundation…”The Kyle Pease Foundation.” The website is kylepeasefoundation.org. She connected Mary and Brent Pease, who will talk next Monday. Brent should have some very valuable insight into forming a foundation.
It’s been a good day for the foundation.
Bob and Mary met with Bill this morning. We had a thorough conversation about the mission statement for the Foundation. First draft: “Transform the way transplant patients and their families are cared for. And to raise awareness about….(the transplant process)…through education, legislation….”
For the purpose of attracting potential board members and the general public, we talked about getting a professional video done that expresses the mission,
We need a startup budget in order to legally get the Foundation set up. We will need an attorney and a CPA and we will need to set up a very professional-looking website. We also need to start seriously thinking about where we will get seed money to begin this project.
Hopefully, we will hear back from Piedmont Hospital (or we will contact them) to see if they are truly interested in being a partner with the Foundation. If they reply affirmatively, we will need to begin looking at the space at Piedmont to see if it truly will serve our needs, based on our Mission Statement.
Next meeting will be next week to finalize the ideas written about, above.