Today Land of Lincoln Bookshare had our first event!
In honor of that I thought that you should know how we got here. When Tina and I dreamed up Bookshare I had this image of us just setting up a table and handing out books. In my dream there was a line of people waiting and an unlimited supply of books. There might also have been rainbows. Shockingly, it turns out things don’t really work that way.
There are in fact ridiculous amounts of paperwork, fees and stress. Tina and I sat down one Saturday to get everything together and complete our applications. To become a registered tax-exempt charity, we had to file paperwork with the Illinois Secretary of State, the Illinois Attorney General’s Office and the IRS. After a couple of hours of reading instructions online, staring at forms and learning about potential penalties if we made a mistake there was a joint nervous breakdown. You may think that I am exaggerating, but I promise that we were seconds away from tears and professional help. At one point during the IRS forms we had a discussion about whether or not we would look good in orange and could we get adjoining cells. (Just in case this needs to be said, Tina and I had done absolutely nothing wrong. There is just something about filing official paperwork with the Attorney General and the IRS that makes you think that one typo will send the FBI to your door.) Also, in case you were wondering it was decided that orange was not particularly flattering for either of us.
In the end we had to phone a friend to talk us down, but the paperwork was completed and submitted. All the stress and time we spent was totally worth it, because today we received our 501c3 status from the IRS!!! I guess that checking and rechecking every line paid off because we were told that it can take six months to a year to be approved and we got it in less than a month. Yay us!!!
We cannot wait to see what comes next.