I am going to speak pragmatically from the perspective of a member of the board for the past 3 years. This vote is not on fun stuff, nor tools, nor even space, but it is a needed investment to ensure the sustainability of our community and to ensure that our 501c3 corporation is strong.
tl;dr – We’re passionate about, and awesome at making things, not writing legal documents and interpreting statutes. We’ve outgrown our current by-laws, but to ensure that we have a thorough, fair, and legal re-write, we need to retain a non-profit lawyer.
Vote is to set aside $2000 to be spent on legal expenses, fees, etc to make Hive13’s by-laws, financials, and legal matters more awesome.
Jim Maltry, a retired businessman and non-profit advisor with 40+ years of experience advises the board through an organization called SCORE (google it). He has recommended a non-profit specialist lawyer. This lawyer has estimated fees for needed bylaws and legal updates to be $2000.
Our community has grown a lot. We have a new and diverse member group. We’re more involved with the greater Cincinnati community as well. Our bylaws, corporate documents, procedures were not written with all of this in mind. As part of a normal growing process, we need to invest in a tune-up of the organization.
Leadership has started drafting documents in the past 2 administrations. Not much progress has been made, as our organization is complex. It is also, perhaps, a bit too “close to the heart” for all of us. We’re all passionate about Hive13 and want to see it grow and succeed in one way or another. However, when dealing with bylaws, laws, and formal organization we need a third party working for us. That is what lawyers are for.
Currently we have more than $25k in the bank. Our average monthly income puts us well in the black. $2000 is less than the average one month gross income for hive13. We could break even for this expense in a couple months.
I see this expense as a necessary and normal part of being a 501c3 corporation. The immediate outcome of legal consultation and organization will not be exciting, however, it will serve to protect and strengthen Hive13 whatever may come.