Our 501(c)(3) Application
As stated, donations will be sought from supportive individuals, groups, and organizations. Corporate or governmental grants and assistance may also be sought. Unrestricted funds will be used at the discretion of the Friends of Ishmael Society's board, while other funds may be earmarked for a particular activity such as our school essay contest, book distribution, or our long-term goal of establishing an office/conference center. In the long-term, when significant principal has accumulated, we will wisely invest the funds to most efficiently capture long-term interest. However, no significant investment income is anticipated in the near future.
We have and will seek funding from these sources using a variety of methods detailed below:
Past and Present Fundraising Activities
- Website Solicitation – The primary means of solicitation to date has been through our website at http://www.friendsofishmael.org, specifically through the section entitled Society Fund at http://www.friendsofishmael.com/fund/ishmael_fund.shtml. Through this section, donors may contribute in their own names, as a gift, or in memory or honor of a person or event. Those donors who wish their gift to be publicly recognized are listed on the website. Donations are accepted directly online using the Paypal service or donors may obtain our contact information in order to pay through the mail via check. Contributions are solicited in the form of one-time donations, as well as through our sustainer program, in which donors pledge an amount to be contributed monthly on an ongoing basis.
- Book Purchase Referral Revenues – Through our related website at http://www.readishmael.com, our first attempt at marketing Daniel Quinn's work to a more mainstream audience, visitors are referred to Amazon.com, where they may then purchase Daniel Quinn's books and other related items. The Friends of Ishmael Society receives a percentage of revenues from Amazon.com for each sale that is referred through our website.
Future Fundraising Activities
- Website Solicitation – We will continue to accept donations through our website in the manner described above. A sample of our online solicitation forms has been enclosed.
- Grant Applications – The Friends of Ishmael Society will apply for grants from related organizations and foundations, corporate giving programs, and government agencies. We will focus our energies on applying for such financial support from funders with an interest in issues relating to sustainability, diversity, and Systems Thinking. Grant applications may be written by members of the Friends of Ishmael Society's board, as well as through the paid or volunteered services of talented members of the community of Daniel Quinn's supporters.
- Book Purchase Referral Revenues – We will continue to refer website visitors to Amazon.com through ReadIshmael.com and to receive a percentage of revenues generated by purchases resulting from our referrals. In addition, we will add such referral links to the main Friends of Ishmael Society website. In the future, we may broaden this activity by creating additional sites, marketed to various target audiences, which introduce visitors to Daniel Quinn's work and capture a percentage of referred sales revenues for use towards our mission. We may also take advantage of similar referral programs with other book and related merchandise vendors.
- Selective Direct Marketing – The Friends of Ishmael Society may solicit funds through the use of selective postal mailings, e-mailings, or telephone contacts targeted to those specifically interested in Daniel Quinn's work, as well as to those interested in the related fields of sustainability, diversity, and Systems Thinking. Selectivity will be maintained by concentrating efforts on those who have already expressed interest in these areas or participated in or donated to our organization or related organizations. No such solicitation has taken place as of yet, and therefore no representative copy is available to date.
- Sales of Merchandise or Educational Materials - Merchandise related to our mission, including t-shirts and bumper stickers, will be sold through our website and at related conferences or events. In addition, educational materials related to our mission may be sold.
- Advertisement – Appeals for funds may take the form of outdoor signs or advertisements in relevant media outlets including newspapers, magazines, radio, television or the Internet.
- Toll-Free Service Line – The Friends of Ishmael Society may establish a toll-free telephone line, allowing convenient donation over the phone by donors.
- Involvement in Federation Fundraising – The Friends of Ishmael Society may approach groups that actively solicit on behalf of other nonprofit organizations in order to examine the use of this means of fundraising.
Long-Term Fundraising Strategies
Activities that may help to raise additional funds within several years, but that we do not anticipate carrying out in the short-term, include:
Friends of Ishmael Society 1023 501(c)(3) Application Table of Contents
- Membership Fees – At some point in the future, we may consider establishing a membership program, which, for a given fee, would entitle members to benefits such as a newsletter.
- Benefit Fundraising Events – At a point in the future, when funds and manpower permit, events such as musical concerts or artistic events may be held in order to raise money for the Friends of Ishmael Society.
- Conference and Event Fees – When The Friends of Ishmael Society has raised sufficient funds, we will begin to hold conferences and other events related to our mission. At that time, revenues generated through nominal admission fees may represent another source of income.
- Planned Giving – The Friends of Ishmael Society will seek to establish a program allowing donors to contribute through longer-term instruments including bequests, charitable trusts, and annuities.