Alex and I were sitting at a coffee shop struggling to figure out the best way forward. We were both excited about the idea of turning Drink for Pink into a reality. The main thing standing in our way? Paperwork.
As you might imagine, starting a nonprofit is incredibly complex. We immediately filed our Articles of Incorporation for Nonprofit Corporations in Colorado. Now, we were trying to establish Drink for Pink as a true nonprofit with tax-deductible donations. We were swimming in acronyms: 1023-EZ, 501(c)(3), 990 – the list goes on. The biggest hurdle was navigating the IRS landscape, not raising money, which brings us back to that day in the coffee shop.
Alex and I were meeting with a nonprofit advisor. She had guided others through the setup process, and we were desperately hoping she could do the same for us. Our ultimate goal was to get accepted into the Colorado Nonprofit Development Center. As the advisor walked us through the process, two details became readily apparent:
- This was going to take several months, further delaying our fundraising efforts.
- The process wasn’t going to be cheap.
We left the meeting unsure of how to move forward. On one hand, we were committed to making this happen. If we had to dive into the murky IRS waters, that’s what we would do. On the other hand, we knew a better way just had to exist. Thankfully, one did.
Collaborating With Cancer League of Colorado
Alex and I were originally introduced to Gary Reece, President of Cancer League of Colorado, through one of our board members, Matt Kulbe. The Cancer League of Colorado has been actively raising funds for over 40 years. Several aspects of the organization impressed us:
- They have over 400 volunteers that help to run events and fundraisers. In fact, the organization is entirely volunteer led (no paid staff or office).
- They have raised well over a million dollars a year for the past several years, and that total is only growing through major events like Over the Edge.
- All of their funds are donated directly to cancer-related research in the state of Colorado.
- They’re actively involved in support research grants. In fact, they have a Scientific Advisory Board comprised of Colorado medical doctors and research specialists that ensure funds are donated to the most promising research.
That last bullet point struck a chord. From the onset, we wanted to directly support research local to the state of Colorado. Here was an organization doing just that.
When we grabbed lunch with Gary, it became easily apparent that partnering with Cancer League was the right move. A partnership would provide us an alternative to establishing our own 501(c)(3) at the moment (we can tag along on theirs) and a powerful, established ally in the world of cancer fundraising. Thankfully, Gary agreed.
We’re beyond excited to work alongside Cancer League to further breast cancer research. From a day-to-day standpoint, not much has changed. We’re still actively recruiting breweries for our October efforts. We just have a powerful ally on our side.
Behind the scenes, all funds we raise will officially go to Cancer League with an earmark of “Drink for Pink” so we can keep track of the total. The funds will still be directed specifically towards breast cancer research in the state of Colorado. That will not change.
Everyone at Drink for Pink will also be contributing towards Cancer League events. Alex and I will both be at their Race for Research on Sunday, August 16th (see you there?). Also, look for us rappelling down a building for Over the Edge in September!
Photo credits: Over the Edge 2014 – Cancer League (Featured)