The Benefits of a Bureaucracy – 3/30/15

Often, the paperwork necessary to perform certain steps in accordance with state and federal regulations can be a burden. But when you’re starting a new venture, feeling your way through each step and taking the steps that you think are right, it’s nice to get occasional confirmation, that you are doing some things “right”, according to the systems that have been established.

The Illinois Attorney General has compiled a checklist, Checklist for Illinois Charitable Organizations, and I’m happy to report that we have completed eight of the ten steps outlined there.

Sure, as I’ve talked about my venture with friends and people in the industry, I’ve received encouragement on all fronts. But, on the other hand, there’s nothing like an official piece of paper from the government that says “We acknowledge that you have completed the steps necessary to be recognized as official”. It was not difficult to file articles of incorporation with the state, but I knew it was a necessary first step to establish 501(c)3 status. What surprised me was that when I received the letter with the official stamp, the extent to which their acceptance felt like official recognition of this enterprise.

When I first started this endeavor, I came up with lists of items to do in many areas of focus. I recently came across that list and was gratified to see how much of it had been accomplished, though daunted somewhat by the reminder by how much there remains to be done. While I have confidence that I will at some point be frustrated by dealing with the paperwork and bureaucracy of the state and federal government, at the moment I’m grateful for the structure they define to make it clear that the steps I’m taking are recognized by somebody as the correct steps that need to be done.

And at this point, as I prepare to reach out to the Microsoft registered refurbishers to ask if they see value in this enterprise, filling out forms and submitting them to the state gives a degree of stability at a time of great unknowns.

I look forward to the next steps.

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