This week we had Jason and Jennifer Helvenston as our guest speakers. They are the founders of Growing Food, an organization dedicated to growing healthy food and the community coming together to help each other grow food and have healthier eating habits.
While their presentation was full of information, what I learned about writing in the non-profit world is that it is critical how you word something in order to be considered “legit” or get what you want/need but still do exactly what is says in your print. They mentioned knowing many organization whose mission on paper is completely different from what they actually do. I thought it was interesting that they mentioned that before sending in their paperwork to the IRS, they started out with one wording and ended up changing it almost completely.
I was very surprised to hear how much paperwork is involved in getting a 501(c)3 status. My church is going through the same process at the moment, so I knew it was a lot of work and important to have an accountant, however, I never realized how tedious it truly was. As someone who would eventually like to start a nonprofit organization, I’m starting to realize that I have more work ahead of me than I imagined.
Based on what I learned from this presentation, I think in the future I will continue asking for second or third opinions on my writing. Since wording is so important, I would like to make sure that my word choices are very clear and that there is as little room for misinterpretation as possible.