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Miss Janet
06-07-2007, 00:28
Now that most of you know that I am not running away to start Miss Janet's House... the PCT version... nor am I getting married, or involved with Robert Redford in any way...

What is next? Many of the basics for the new version of Miss Janet's House have been thought about for a long time. But there is a lot of work to be done. Now comes the gathering of ideas and ideals, the research and the planning and the naming of the working concept. Beyond the expected UNICOI HIKING CENTER, UNAKA HIKING CENTER... Does anyone have any thoughts for the ________???

Thanks to everyone for the good wishes, excellent ideas, advice and offers for help when the time comes.

Miss Janet
06-07-2007, 00:35
What do you think?

Appalachian Tater
06-07-2007, 00:45
First define your market and then choose a name to appeal to it. If your primary market is A.T. thru-hikers, "Miss Janet's" would be the obvious choice. Hikers are going to call it that regardless.

RedneckRye
06-07-2007, 00:47
The Most Awesome Hiking Center Ever.
Simple as that.
Also, there is no need for you to head out to the PCT to do what you do, The Saufley's already have that covered.

spittinpigeon
06-07-2007, 00:49
What do you think?

Looks expensive.

serenityrich
06-07-2007, 01:32
I kind of like the Pacific Yurts. Various sizes from 12' to 30' in diameter. Buy more as you grow. What fun...
Hope your open next year, if not then I just wait.

peanuts
06-07-2007, 06:32
i, too like the yurts idea. very nice.

ImkerVS
06-07-2007, 06:47
Location, location, location.

Egads
06-07-2007, 06:51
Very cool. :)

Alligator
06-07-2007, 07:14
I've looked a little bit into getting a yurt myself. They do cost less as compared to small cabins. However, given that you are approaching this as a business venture, I would be concerned that yurts probably depreciate more in value vs. small cabins. Just something to think about. On the other hand, your startup costs will less. It was my impression that yurts were about 1/2 the cost of cabins, even more as the sizes grew.

RockyBob
06-07-2007, 07:27
First define your market and then choose a name to appeal to it. If your primary market is A.T. thru-hikers, "Miss Janet's" would be the obvious choice. Hikers are going to call it that regardless.

I agree. "Miss Janet's" is already an icon in the hiking community. :sun

jlb2012
06-07-2007, 07:38
Beyond the expected UNICOI HIKING CENTER, UNAKA HIKING CENTER... Does anyone have any thoughts for the ________???


Well the first thing that came to my mind given the above was "Uncle Janet's Hiking Center" but then I figured that was not going to work :rolleyes:

How about "Billville Hiking Center" :eek: err maybe not

ImkerVS
06-07-2007, 07:59
Call it

MJ's

Gaiter
06-07-2007, 08:38
First define your market and then choose a name to appeal to it. If your primary market is A.T. thru-hikers, "Miss Janet's" would be the obvious choice. Hikers are going to call it that regardless.


I agree. "Miss Janet's" is already an icon in the hiking community. :sun

i agree as well, a large majority of people who know enough about the trail to not ask you 'aren't you afraid' have a high probability of at least hearing about "Miss Janet's"

D'Artagnan
06-07-2007, 08:58
Miss Janet's Ewok Village :D

Wanderingson
06-07-2007, 09:34
R&R

ROOTZ and ROX

veteran
06-07-2007, 10:29
Xanadu Hikers Resort

Johnny Thunder
06-07-2007, 10:32
What was it on M*A*S*H?

The Swamp?

jesse
06-07-2007, 10:35
"Miss Janet's" is already a recognized brand. You are your business. I would think you would want to build on that. Trying to Brand a new idea is tough, besides, like A.Tater said, people are going to call it that anyway.

Just don't do a Martha Stewart, and go to jail. Kinda kills the brand.

I wish you well. I never met you or visited your house, I hope to some day.

berninbush
06-07-2007, 11:02
I'm a noob at hiking, but I have a degree in public relations, and I think an expert would say you'd be nuts to leave "Miss Janet's" out of the name of your new place. Brand name and goodwill is often the most valuable thing about a business. Corporations launch million-dollar lawsuits to protect their names from infringement. I've never met you or been anywhere near your place (and not sure I could even find Erwin on a map) but I've heard of your reputation!! Unless you have a really compelling reason for needing to change the name, I think any consultant would tell you to cash in on that.

Frolicking Dinosaurs
06-07-2007, 12:22
Miss Janet, I would make the official name something like Erwin Outdoor Center or Unicoi Outdoor Center and the working name Miss Janet's Erwin (Unicoi) Outdoor Center. This would still ID the owner to hikers, but would not affect the name when you get ready to retire or sell the business for other reasons.

briarpatch
06-07-2007, 13:27
Miss Janet, I would make the official name something like Erwin Outdoor Center or Unicoi Outdoor Center and the working name Miss Janet's Erwin (Unicoi) Outdoor Center. This would still ID the owner to hikers, but would not affect the name when you get ready to retire or sell the business for other reasons.

I would vote for "Miss Janet's (anything you want here)". Your rep is too strong in the AT community to use anything else.

If you choose something place related, try to use a place name that is unique - Like Erwin. There is a Unicoi Gap and Unicoi State Park in GA, and lots of other place names get repeated along the trail. You don't want to risk someone going to the wrong place.

There is a motor court style hotel in Dawsonville that uses Amicalola Inn or Amicalola Lodge. Whenever I drive by I wonder if anyone has made a reservation there thinking they are making one for the Lodge at Amicalola Falls State Park.

The Recreation Supervisor for the Chattahoochee-Occonee National Forest tells about talking to a couple at Lake Winfield Scott looking for "the canyon". They were trying to get to Providence Canyon State Park near Lumpkin, GA and ended up in Lumpkin County, GA - about 300 miles away.

Miss Janet
06-08-2007, 10:04
Thanks for the input!

I am considering THE VALLEY OUTDOOR CENTER and Miss Janet's Village as the working title for the concept.

Yurts have appealed to me for many years. I am lucky to have a former hiker that actually manufactures his own line of yurts and can build to specifications. They are very affordable, earth friendly, QUICK and FUN!!! This would allow me to build slowly into what I envision Miss Janet's Village being. The Valley Outdoor Center encompasses the plans for a recreation center that would appeal to a market beyond "Thru Hikers"... you know, like normal people that like to hike :). There is a difference! I would like to provide backbacking and related workshops, hike planning services,retreat type hiking experiences for beginners... etc.

Right now I am very interested in becoming a Not for Profit educational organization. This would allow some growth in a community direction rather than a personal direction. It would also allow a venue for a lot of people to participate and contribute in thier own way. It would also allow me to go after available funding for projects through grants, etc. I would love to hear from the attornies on Whiteblaze about the logistics behind this.

berninbush
06-08-2007, 10:57
"Miss Janet's Village"-- I love it. :banana This "normal person who likes to hike" thoroughly approves. :D

I'm certainly not a lawyer, but I have a masters' degree in Nonprofit Management (the P.R. degree is my bachelor's) so I can tell you a little bit about the things to consider.

Do you need or want to draw an income from this venture? If so, it's still possible to incorporate it as a nonprofit, but this will involve surrendering some control of it and drawing a fixed salary rather than receiving the profits. You would need to have a volunteer Board of Directors who have ultimate control over the organization. Then they can hire you as the Executive Director to actually run the place. Essentially they would be your bosses, paying your salary.

If you don't need income from it, you can be on the Board yourself and retain more control.

Another option would be to set it up legally as two organizations-- one a business (for the hostel, perhaps) and one a nonprofit (for the educational programs).

In any case, you probably want to consult a lawyer who is familiar with Tennessee and federal nonprofit law. It's one of those things where you can get in huge trouble if you don't know what you're doing. (Take what I said as general information, not legal advice!! As I said at the start, I'm no lawyer.)

Lone Wolf
06-08-2007, 11:01
The Valley Outdoor Center encompasses the plans for a recreation center that would appeal to a market beyond "Thru Hikers"... you know, like normal people that like to hike :). There is a difference!

yeah normal people don't mind paying for services and such. they're not looking for freebies cuz they're a "thru-hiker".

D'Artagnan
06-08-2007, 12:31
Miss Janet's Ewok Village :D

Does this mean I get partial credit? Just kidding! Wishing you only the best!

Bilko
06-08-2007, 14:10
MJ. I think THE VALLEY OUTDOOR CENTER is to vague or indistinct. I think using a nearby river, mountain, town name (Erwin) would help seperate it from other Outdoor Centers.

I would take a survey or research other places with yurts. I'm not convinced that is a strong selling point. I like them, but more research is needed there.

I like the idea of a 'Not for Profit educational organization'. Look into that more. I also like the idea of opening up to more than just thru-hikers. I don't see how anyone can make a living or keep up a modest hostel relying on hikers. Berninbush had some good suggestions. Go with how you feel, you have the best knowledge of your vision. The rest will follow.

My two cents.

Appalachian Tater
06-08-2007, 14:12
Google "valley outdoor center":

http://www.google.com/search?q=%22valley+outdoor+center%22&num=100&hl=en&safe=active&filter=0

chief
06-08-2007, 14:33
"Miss Janet's Village"-- I love it. :banana This "normal person who likes to hike" thoroughly approves. :D

I'm certainly not a lawyer, but I have a masters' degree in Nonprofit Management (the P.R. degree is my bachelor's) so I can tell you a little bit about the things to consider.

Do you need or want to draw an income from this venture? If so, it's still possible to incorporate it as a nonprofit, but this will involve surrendering some control of it and drawing a fixed salary rather than receiving the profits. You would need to have a volunteer Board of Directors who have ultimate control over the organization. Then they can hire you as the Executive Director to actually run the place. Essentially they would be your bosses, paying your salary.

If you don't need income from it, you can be on the Board yourself and retain more control.

Another option would be to set it up legally as two organizations-- one a business (for the hostel, perhaps) and one a nonprofit (for the educational programs).

In any case, you probably want to consult a lawyer who is familiar with Tennessee and federal nonprofit law. It's one of those things where you can get in huge trouble if you don't know what you're doing. (Take what I said as general information, not legal advice!! As I said at the start, I'm no lawyer.)
In addition, I think it would be desirable to gain ownership of all property and improvements in your own name, which you would then lease to the non-profit in whole or part.

berninbush
06-08-2007, 14:58
In addition, I think it would be desirable to gain ownership of all property and improvements in your own name, which you would then lease to the non-profit in whole or part.

That might work, but again, you have to be careful with that depending on how it's set up. If you're on the board, I know it can be considered unethical (and/or illegal) to have a profitable financial relationship with the organization... in other words, to take rent money from it.

The reason behind this principle is simple: the board of a nonprofit is supposed to have the mission of the nonprofit as their sole concern, with no conflict of interest. If it's in the best interests of the nonprofit's mission to move to a new location, on property you don't own, then it would be a conflict of interest if you're voting on the board and facing the prospect of losing that rent money.

Check with a lawyer.

leeki pole
06-08-2007, 14:59
In addition, I think it would be desirable to gain ownership of all property and improvements in your own name, which you would then lease to the non-profit in whole or part.
Yep, a holding company of sorts. Gives you some legal protection as well.

c.coyle
06-08-2007, 15:21
What do you think?

Pretty classy! You gonna let hikers stay there?

Maybe "Planet Janet". How about "Chateau Janet", pronounced Ja-NAY?

QHShowoman
06-08-2007, 15:36
What do you think?

I stayed in a yurt strikingly similar to the one on the left down in Bryson City, NC -- it was fabulous and a terrific compromise between camping and a fancy hotel room. I think yurts are a great approach -- and extremely affordable.

Johnny Swank
06-08-2007, 15:44
My lady and I lived in a yurt I built for 2 years during our masters degrees. I loved that space, but it was a little tight at 250 square feet for the 2 of us.

Still - love the way that place was. Good times.

kyhiker1
06-08-2007, 15:58
Just wanted to comment on the yurts,I have spent several nights in these in the mountains of Oregon and just thought they were great.A very simple idea but stood up to wind,snow,rain,I was very impressed.

mweinstone
06-08-2007, 16:21
yurts are out. they burn. period. miss janets is out. new is in. it will still be called that anyway. the name will be" cognative hiking center" the buildings will be shaks made entirely from recycled gathered materials built to code useing all volenteer hiker family members at two weeks work apeice. miss janet will use money to do plumbing, roofing and electrical only. the instalations for learning will be as follows: passive solar workshop building designated to the production and maintenance of windmill, solar hot water units, rainwater collection systems and thermal mass wall contruction. cencentric ring above ground organic gardening plot with toolshed will produce outdoor edibles as well as teaching and growing forced dark room tubers, endive and shrooms. an indoor classroom and an outdoor observatory platform for astronomy lessons. a caterers kitchen made with used materials and living quarters for janet in a small , new, timberframe barn style house complete my dream. all we need is land. empty land.

Miss Janet
06-10-2007, 21:53
AS usual... Matty has managed to shotgun all over the place and actually make a few hits... kinda...

aaroniguana
06-10-2007, 23:05
Rock the Yurts! I've built two, working on a third. We live in them at the Pennsic War every summer. Glad to see they're getting around.

Trillium
06-10-2007, 23:20
Miss Janet's Little Slice of Heaven Outdoor Center

Jester2000
06-10-2007, 23:54
"Miss Janet's World of Yurt and Monkey Sanctuary."

mweinstone
06-11-2007, 08:26
"stenaj" "stay tent eat now at janets"

and the website," [email protected]"

and the meaning," janets backwards

no, i mean it. miss janet is backwards.her parents named her stenaj and a mirror fell into the nametag and she was switched with janet. janets not her name. stenaj. it sounds like a singers name. stenaj.......

ill go to work now.......

The Weasel
06-11-2007, 10:29
Janet:

I would be very leery of becoming a "nonprofit corporation" under North Carolina (or any state's) law, which is NOT the same thing as becoming a federal tax-exempt organization under Section 501 of the Internal Revenue Code. Nonprofit corporations generally must be formed for a public or charitable (or educational) purpose and act specifically towards that as their principal activity. Simply put, a lawyer now will cost you some money, but will be far cheaper than making terrible mistakes and hiring one later. Johnson City is, I believe, a county seat, and will have a number of good attorneys, as will Bristol. Contact one; if you don't know how to find a decent one, PM me and I'll tell you how.

The Weasel

,
"Miss Janet's Village"-- I love it. :banana This "normal person who likes to hike" thoroughly approves. :D

I'm certainly not a lawyer, but I have a masters' degree in Nonprofit Management (the P.R. degree is my bachelor's) so I can tell you a little bit about the things to consider.

Do you need or want to draw an income from this venture? If so, it's still possible to incorporate it as a nonprofit, but this will involve surrendering some control of it and drawing a fixed salary rather than receiving the profits. You would need to have a volunteer Board of Directors who have ultimate control over the organization. Then they can hire you as the Executive Director to actually run the place. Essentially they would be your bosses, paying your salary.

If you don't need income from it, you can be on the Board yourself and retain more control.

Another option would be to set it up legally as two organizations-- one a business (for the hostel, perhaps) and one a nonprofit (for the educational programs).

In any case, you probably want to consult a lawyer who is familiar with Tennessee and federal nonprofit law. It's one of those things where you can get in huge trouble if you don't know what you're doing. (Take what I said as general information, not legal advice!! As I said at the start, I'm no lawyer.)

The Weasel
06-11-2007, 10:54
Thanks for the input!

Right now I am very interested in becoming a Not for Profit educational organization. This would allow some growth in a community direction rather than a personal direction. It would also allow a venue for a lot of people to participate and contribute in thier own way. It would also allow me to go after available funding for projects through grants, etc. I would love to hear from the attornies on Whiteblaze about the logistics behind this.

I'll add a little more:

First, Janet, despite all the internet nonsense, getting grants isn't "free money." The work involved to get them is immense, and the paperwork to keep them is equally immense, and you're likely to get grants only after you have become established.

Second, regardless of how you set things up (and you can keep a lot of immediate control in nonprofits), you have a lot of public filings and a lot of public oversight. That's more non-productive time spent.

Third, nonprofit corporations tied to a 501(c) status (which allows charitable contributions) are expensive to set up, legally, and even more expensive to keep in place, far more than 'for profit' organizations. And the tax rules for nonprofits with a federal status are very complex and mean you'll definitely need a decent CPA.

Plenty of lawyers will do the work for you if you want it, but frankly, I would be very surprised if it makes sense to do so.

Sorry to be negative, but the best advice is that above: Find a competent corporate/business attorney in Johnson City or Bristol, and listen to her/him carefully. Not a general practicioner, but someone with experience. They won't charge you for your first visit, and you'll get far better advice than from anyone (including me) here.

The Weasel

Frolicking Dinosaurs
06-11-2007, 11:02
Miss Janet, I wrote the documents that lead to my former employers getting grants. I can verify that what The Weasel says is true about grants -- a lot of work goes into getting and maintaining them -- and there are often stipulations associated with grants that make it hard to apply common sense solutions to everyday problems. If you really have your heart set on starting a non-profit, I'd advise you to separate the business of running the hostel from the non-profit educational entity so the stipulations don't tie your hands.

warren doyle
06-11-2007, 11:26
It would be much less of a financial risk if you could rent a classroom space for your workshops and utilize your present home and yard for lodging for your staff and participants. You could also make an arrangement with a local, non-chain motel (or Uncle Johnny's) to house your workshop participants at a special rate and a local, non-chain eating establishment to offer meals.
This arrangement would offer you more flexibility as well.

berninbush
06-11-2007, 11:47
Miss Janet, I wrote the documents that lead to my former employers getting grants. I can verify that what The Weasel says is true about grants -- a lot of work goes into getting and maintaining them -- and there are often stipulations associated with grants that make it hard to apply common sense solutions to everyday problems. If you really have your heart set on starting a non-profit, I'd advise you to separate the business of running the hostel from the non-profit educational entity so the stipulations don't tie your hands.

In a previous job, I wrote a grant that got funded for $100,000 from the State of Texas. But I will echo Weasel and FD: it was a *lot* of work and came with a lot of strings attached.

Applying for private foundation grants can sometimes be less work pre- and post-grant (the requirements may not be as stringent). But the overall trend is for more "accountability" (i.e. more paperwork). With a lot of private foundations, you pretty much already need to "know someone" to even get your application read. The foundation is managed by a small group of people and, as it is "their" money, they have the right to spend it on organizations they know and trust.

Almost all the foundations and governments grants I've seen require 501(c)3 status (i.e. federal nonprofit status). Weasel can correct me if I'm wrong, but my understanding is that you first incorporate as a nonprofit organization at the state level, and then apply for 501(c)3 status from the federal government. I haven't done this process personally, so I can't say for sure how complicated it is. I know you can end up in huge trouble if it's not done right (massive taxes if you aren't exempt).

But there are some definite advantages to nonprofit status, too. Obviously there are tax advantages if people can make deductible contributions to your organization, and the organization doesn't have to pay business tax. If your program truly exists for educational purposes, you might also find a lot of opportunities out there for an educational nonprofit that might not be open to a for-profit entity.

FD's advice about separating a for-profit hostel business from a non-profit educational organization might prove to be the best road. The most important thing is to know exactly what your goals are for each aspect of the business, and get good legal advice.

The Weasel
06-11-2007, 12:10
***
Almost all the foundations and governments grants I've seen require 501(c)3 status (i.e. federal nonprofit status). Weasel can correct me if I'm wrong, but my understanding is that you first incorporate as a nonprofit organization at the state level, and then apply for 501(c)3 status from the federal government. I haven't done this process personally, so I can't say for sure how complicated it is. I know you can end up in huge trouble if it's not done right (massive taxes if you aren't exempt).

But there are some definite advantages to nonprofit status, too. Obviously there are tax advantages if people can make deductible contributions to your organization, and the organization doesn't have to pay business tax. If your program truly exists for educational purposes, you might also find a lot of opportunities out there for an educational nonprofit that might not be open to a for-profit entity.

FD's advice about separating a for-profit hostel business from a non-profit educational organization might prove to be the best road. The most important thing is to know exactly what your goals are for each aspect of the business, and get good legal advice.

Thanks for the echo. Note also that most grants aren't for capital expenses, i.e. buying equipment and buildings, but are for implementing a particular program, i.e. operations. Most grants aren't renewable past about 3 years. And the competition for them is intense because of the reductions in federal funding of almost everything, so small outfits without experienced grant writers aren't likely to get much, if anything.

If you're going to actually try this, just start up and operate on a test basis, and then, if it works at all, spend the money for the legal/accounting infrastructure.

The Weasel

berninbush
06-11-2007, 12:21
A few questions to consider:

1. How do you have your current business set up (assuming you've got some kind of legal structure)? If you've currently got a sole proprietorship or something like that, can you just transfer it to a new location to get you started? Then you could consider changing all or part to a nonprofit later on. As Weasel suggested, you could see how the concept works before sinking a lot of money and effort into converting it.

2. What is your goal for the hostel/ hiker services part of the organization? Is your *primary* goal to provide income to support yourself? Or is it to help hikers, regardless of whether you make a living off it or not? Can you afford to live if you don't make any money off this at all?

Note that there's *nothing* wrong with having a profit motive here. We've all got to live on something, and it's noble to want to make a living doing something that also benefits other people. But if you really need income here, that probably affects whether you want to set up as a for-profit or non-profit.

3. Same question for the educational part. Note that the answer for this part could be different from the answer to 2, in which case you could set up related for-profit and non-profit entities.

mweinstone
06-11-2007, 20:01
my art will sell and ill give her a few grants. dont get grants. you want franklins. .
do something! ummmmm. lets donate now, for a nights tenting each. or,..i could sell my kidnys. i bet i could live without em.whos in ?

and another thing while im not reading this thread and still answering......who put janet in charge of herself? me? no. you? no. her? no. who?.............................................. .............................. god.


and who has all the money? god. and whos in charge of givin it out? god. and who.......................matthew weinstone is being held at the roundhouse in philadelphia charged with preaching in a public fourum. bail is set at one million dollars.

public safty reminder: dont type and preach.
this message is paid for by philadelphians for preachless typeing

Frolicking Dinosaurs
06-11-2007, 20:05
::: Dino prays for Miss Janet's success and happiness :::

Krewzer
06-12-2007, 07:45
...I guess I shouldn't be, but I'm continually amazed at the amount of really good information and advice available from the hiker community.


Uhhhhh...how much are kidneys bringing these days?

Miss Janet
06-12-2007, 15:41
You guys are really giving me a lot to think about. I appreciate the advice. There is no immediate need to make changes in the business structure. It will be a while before we are up and running. Operating as a sole proprietor has been fairly simple but very expensive. I will continue to look carefully at all the options. As with most legal things there are so many different scenarios that I will need an attorney to help sort it out eventuallly.

I wrote grant proposals for several non-profit programs when I was a graduate student at UT. I was very successful in geting grants for some very different kinds of programs. I agree, the funding always comes with a lot of stipulations. I understand that grants are not usually for start up costs and capital outlay. I did write a grant for start up costs for a child care center in Knoxville. Levis Straus finded that start up.
I am more interested in smaller local grants such as "1,000 $ educational grant from the Modern Woodsmen", "500 $ grant for a 5th grade curriculum on the flora and fauna along the Appalachian Trail." Most of the kinds of things I have done in the past; school programs, information booths at local events and festivals and even the Appalachian Trail Summit I started a few years ago... have all been abandoned because I can not afford to fund them personally. Of course, I must make a living doing this business. But I am really cheap labor and I am available about 20 hours a day. Looking at my "salary" this past year... wow, I made about .73 cents an hour!!! That may be a 3% increase from the year before!

mweinstone
06-12-2007, 16:01
ill give ya anything for a 16th of a biscit with a single level teaspoon of any of your trailfamouse gravies. tommatoe, blackberry, white,..............mmmmmmmmmmmmmm miss janets cooking. mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

sell your resipies or have a cook show or just sell gravy! your a millionair what with all our huggs around you at once,...hugging,...........mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm miss janets hugs..........

berninbush
06-12-2007, 16:26
Sounds like you've got a solid understanding of what's involved, Miss Janet. :) Good luck with the venture! Keep us posted on how it develops.

The Weasel
06-13-2007, 00:08
*** I am more interested in smaller local grants such as "1,000 $ educational grant from the Modern Woodsmen", "500 $ grant for a 5th grade curriculum on the flora and fauna along the Appalachian Trail." Most of the kinds of things I have done in the past; school programs, information booths at local events and festivals and even the Appalachian Trail Summit I started a few years ago... have all been abandoned because I can not afford to fund them personally. Of course, I must make a living doing this business. But I am really cheap labor and I am available about 20 hours a day. Looking at my "salary" this past year... wow, I made about .73 cents an hour!!! That may be a 3% increase from the year before!

Janet, you may be missing an important point that most people miss: The "I am cheap labor" concept is wrong.

I don't know if you work way from the hostel, but it sounds as if you have a college degree and real world experience. Even in the Erwin area, which is a lower wage area than, say, Ashville, I suspect, you probably could get a job at $15 an hour, net after taxes, if you have a degree and experience. (You put your own number in your thoughts. Others can choose theirs, too.)

Assuming that's the number, if you get a grant for $500 that takes 10 hours to write and get (including phone callls, meetings, letters and so forth, that's a minimum) and another 10 hours to do the bureaucratic reports and so on afterwards, and 20 hours to perform, that's 40 hours, or $12.50 per hour. On that basis, you've LOST $100, on the basis that you could have worked for someone else and earned $600 in the same time period, and hired someone else to do the grant work.

So grants only really work when they're like grocery coupons: When the time spent times what you can earn exceeds what you get back, they're not worth it.

Keep that in mind as you do your bizness plan. Don't mean to rain on your parade, but remember: Pessimists are never unpleasantly surprised.

Good luck!

The Weasel

berninbush
06-13-2007, 09:51
Weasel does have a point... but on the other hand...

Grants have an "economy of scale" just like business. By that I mean, the more you apply for, the easier it can get, because many of them ask for the same kinds of information. Once you've got your core information assembled, and key descriptions of your programs written, it's sometimes just a matter of filling in the blanks. So you might spend 40 hours getting that first $500 grant, but then only do 15 hours of work to get and keep a $1,000 grant. (Miss Janet, with your previous grant-writing experience you probably know a lot of this already, but I'll say it anyway!)

At the nonprofit where I worked (and got a $100,000 grant funded) their ESL program had some fairly impressive successes for its size, but they had never kept good records of the outcomes for their students. Much of the raw data was there in the student folders, but nobody had compiled it to see how many students actually succeeded. I devoted two or three days to doing this so that I could accurately answer the questions on the application. This work paid off, as the application was funded.

Grant requirements can be onerous, and sometimes unreasonable, but they can also function to force you to keep track of your achievements, which I think is a positive thing. If you habitually keep good track of your incoming contributions, outgoing expenses, volunteer hours donated, in-kind contributions, and program achievements, the grant-writing process becomes much easier. I personally believe that it's good "business" practice to keep track of all this anyway, even though it does take time and effort. So you can choose to view it negatively as a demand from your funders, or positively as something you do for the sake of your program.

Another thing to consider: when you've established a good reputation as a nonprofit in the community, and can demonstrate your successes, it's much easier to get no-strings-attached private contributions. Only you can decide whether all this is worth it.

Pessimists may never be unpleasantly surprised, but if they're too afraid to try, they may never be pleasantly surprised either! ;-)

warren doyle
06-13-2007, 10:43
Since when does someone in Laguna Beach, CA know about the job situation/salary scale in Erwin, TN?

The Weasel
06-13-2007, 10:50
Since when does someone in Laguna Beach, CA know about the job situation/salary scale in Erwin, TN?

Since when does a smart mouth like you know who I am, and where I've been?

Take a look at the Gallery. Not the only times I've been in the area.

Keep on being a jerk, Warren. No one really is surprised when you are. anyhow.

The Weasel

Lone Wolf
06-13-2007, 10:52
you wrote the book on jerkism

The Weasel
06-13-2007, 10:52
Weasel does have a point... but on the other hand...

***
Pessimists may never be unpleasantly surprised, but if they're too afraid to try, they may never be pleasantly surprised either! ;-)

Good post.

As for pessimists, well, there's a difference between fear and pessimism. :-?

The Weasel

The Weasel
06-13-2007, 10:53
you wrote the book on jerkism

No, Wolfie, I didn't. I learned a lot from watching you. Thanks for the education.

The Weasel

Lone Wolf
06-13-2007, 10:59
Since when does someone in Laguna Beach, CA know about the job situation/salary scale in Erwin, TN?

he spent a few days in the area over 5 years ago. expert

The Weasel
06-13-2007, 11:25
he spent a few days in the area over 5 years ago. expert

God, I love people who don't know what they're talking about, Wolfie. Keeps me not only employed but able to pay most of my bills. Please don't stop being wrong, and tell your friends. A lot of our economy depends on people shooting their mouth off when they're out to lunch on the topic. Thanks. Respond a lot to this, I hope.

Nice how you and your sidekick are trying to hijack the thread, too, and just as subtly as usual. Miss Janet will use, or not use, sincere advice from the rest of us, and, no doubt, chuckle as she ignores the rest. Oh, yeah...go ahead...have the last word. You're so predictable. Can't resist, can you?

The Weasel



The Weasel

berninbush
06-13-2007, 11:50
I think the point, really, is not whether Miss Janet could conceivably earn more money doing something else and then use the profits to fund hiker education. Weasel, in your "40 hours" you included 20 hours of program implementation. I assume you're including in that actually teaching the class or whatever program the theoretical $500 grant was supposed to be funding. Miss Janet may decide that the satisfaction of doing this herself outweighs the prospects of making more money doing something else. That's a very personal decision, and Miss Janet's qualifications or the local job market may be irrelevant to it.

Miss Janet, has this thread given you the amount of feedback you wanted? Or are there any other aspects you'd like to get more thoughts about?

The Weasel
06-13-2007, 12:15
***. Miss Janet may decide that the satisfaction of doing this herself outweighs the prospects of making more money doing something else. That's a very personal decision, and Miss Janet's qualifications or the local job market may be irrelevant to it.

Miss Janet, has this thread given you the amount of feedback you wanted? Or are there any other aspects you'd like to get more thoughts about?

You're very right. But I mentioned it because I've had a lot of clients and people I know well think, "Wow! I could 'do well' and 'do good' at the same time," and who have seen all the "free money" ads about grants and think it's easy. It's not. It's also not productive in a lot of cases, and (as it appears Ms. Janet and some others here know) it sometimes is more of a pain than it's worth. My comments are for her (and perhaps others) on an 'eyes wide open' basis, so they can be realistic about it.

The Weasel

Appalachian Tater
06-13-2007, 13:00
Since when does someone in Laguna Beach, CA know about the job situation/salary scale in Erwin, TN?

At least he's making an effort to be helpful instead of coming across like a trouble-making and/or self-centered [email protected] like you do most of the time.

:banana

Appalachian Tater
06-13-2007, 13:03
Miss Janet, it might be useful to first figure out exactly what goals you want to accomplish and work backwards from there as to how best to achieve them and how to best support the efforts with the proper legal and tax structure. A brainstorming session such as this one is an excellent way to explore what to do and how to do it. You're fortunate in having a lot of people who are predisposed to helping and supporting you.

smokymtnsteve
06-13-2007, 16:39
Good post.

As for pessimists, well, there's a difference between fear and pessimism. :-?

The Weasel


a pessimist is just an optimist based in reality:eek:

warren doyle
06-13-2007, 16:42
"Even in the Erwin area, which is a lower wage area than, say, Ashville, I suspect, you probably could get a job at $15 an hour, net after taxes, if you have a degree and experience. (You put your own number in your thoughts. Others can choose theirs, too.)"

Based on my observations, from living about 35 miles from Erwin for the last three years and also talking to the locals sporadically over the last 34 years, jobs at a starting wage of $15 a hour (net after taxes) are pretty scarce in the Erwin area.

I guess you need a combative personality to be in the legal profession. By the way, most educators get paid far less per hour for the advice we give than lawyers.

Happy trails!
From a smart-mouthed, self-centered, trouble-making, jack&55 of a jerk.

The Weasel
06-13-2007, 18:00
Well, Warren, I guess it helps to go for low wages if you don't have much education or experience. But I read what Ms. Janet had to say, and it sure sounded like she has quite a bit of both. So I don't really think she's at the "starting level", and I think I mentioned a little wider range than just Erwin. So maybe it helps to read, and think, rather than attack; you like the latter, but shy from the former.

As for educators, my wife and daughter both teach. They aren't getting rich, I well know, and they should. Maybe instead of whining here, you should write your local school system and complain about low teacher salaries. But that would be useful, woudn't it?

The Weasel

berninbush
06-13-2007, 18:22
I've hung around WhiteBlaze long enough to know that controversy often surrounds Mr. Doyle. I have nothing to do with that, and have always tried to steer clear. In this particular thread, however, I have to say that from an unbiased point of view, he does not seem to be the most sensitive or reaction-stirring person present. I think Miss Janet might appreciate it if we steered the conversation back to the question at hand, her business plan.

I live in a large city and have several intelligent, college-graduate friends who have had difficulty finding jobs that pay more than $10 or $12 per hour (when they can find work at all). But regardless of whether Miss Janet could make $15 per hour or not in Erwin, it's clear that her desire is to have her own place and work with the hiking/ outdoors community. So her earning potential isn't very relevant, unless she is calculating a salary for herself into a grant proposal. Then, indeed, she might need to examine the market to see what her skills are worth. Some funders like to see proposed salaries compared with similar positions in other organizations.

The Weasel
06-13-2007, 18:43
I've hung around WhiteBlaze long enough to know that controversy often surrounds Mr. Doyle. I have nothing to do with that, and have always tried to steer clear. In this particular thread, however, I have to say that from an unbiased point of view, he does not seem to be the most sensitive or reaction-stirring person present. I think Miss Janet might appreciate it if we steered the conversation back to the question at hand, her business plan.

I live in a large city and have several intelligent, college-graduate friends who have had difficulty finding jobs that pay more than $10 or $12 per hour (when they can find work at all). But regardless of whether Miss Janet could make $15 per hour or not in Erwin, it's clear that her desire is to have her own place and work with the hiking/ outdoors community. So her earning potential isn't very relevant, unless she is calculating a salary for herself into a grant proposal. Then, indeed, she might need to examine the market to see what her skills are worth. Some funders like to see proposed salaries compared with similar positions in other organizations.

I agree, Bern. My use of the number was - very explicitly - an example. Let's help her, rather than let jerks enmesh us in stupid little arguments.

The Weasel

MOWGLI
06-13-2007, 19:13
Based on my observations, from living about 35 miles from Erwin for the last three years and also talking to the locals sporadically over the last 34 years, jobs at a starting wage of $15 a hour (net after taxes) are pretty scarce in the Erwin area.



Jobs @ $15/hr are scarce in Chattanooga, which has probably 10X the population of Erwin, along with a large manufacturing base.

warren doyle
06-13-2007, 19:57
"Well, Warren, I guess it helps to go for low wages if you don't have much education or experience. But I read what Ms. Janet had to say, and it sure sounded like she has quite a bit of both. So I don't really think she's at the "starting level", and I think I mentioned a little wider range than just Erwin. So maybe it helps to read, and think, rather than attack; you like the latter, but shy from the former.

As for educators, my wife and daughter both teach. They aren't getting rich, I well know, and they should. Maybe instead of whining here, you should write your local school system and complain about low teacher salaries. But that would be useful, woudn't it?

The Weasel"

Lawyers react and attack. Teachers reflect and question.
Regulators create and then profit off of people fears.
Educators encourage hopes/dreams and we profit when our students realize their hopes and dreams.

Please take your advice (underlined above) and go look in the mirror. I wasn't whining about low pay. As a matter of fact, I consider it a privilege and an honor to be an educator. I have always been satisfied with what I got 'paid' to be an educator.

I believe there is a higher % of adults who have gotten bad advice from their lawyers at $100-$200 a hour then the % of children getting a bad education from their teachers at $12-15 a hour.

Your advice/example was not realistic.

The Weasel
06-13-2007, 20:19
Lawyers react and attack. Teachers reflect and question.***

Your advice/example was not realistic.

Warren, you're just a jerk. Miss Janet had legitimate questions, and some of us have reacted to them, with more or less useful -for her to decide - advice, ideas and suggestions. You don't offer a single useful thing - here or anywhere - except petty little arguments, insults and nastiness. You haven't made suggestions for her, or, for that matter, anyone else other than being simply nasty. You're hijacking the thread, and that's one of your typical tricks here on Whiteblaze.

If your behavior here is typical of whatever kind of educator you are, I am not surprised you are paid little. Educators - good ones, at least, and I'm married to a special ed teacher, father to a high school teacher, and father-in-law to a college professor (and have represented several thousand teachers - yes, thousand - over the years) - don't act like you. They aren't snide, they aren't insulting, and they don't interfere with people trying to help others.

So take your sorry little bag of nastiness outside, will you?

The Weasel

warren doyle
06-13-2007, 20:26
"You haven't made suggestions for her, or, for that matter, anyone else other than being simply nasty."

(in my patient, gentle teaching voice) - Please see post #45.

Happy trails!
From just a nasty, snide, insulting jerk.

Nightwalker
06-13-2007, 20:32
God, I love people who don't know what they're talking about, Wolfie. Keeps me not only employed but able to pay most of my bills.

And whatever you do, don't lose his pants! :D

Nightwalker
06-13-2007, 20:34
Happy trails!
From a smart-mouthed, self-centered, trouble-making, jack&55 of a jerk.

Yes, but you do have your positive points.

From someone who you probably mistake to be an enemy. :D

The Weasel
06-13-2007, 20:38
Ah! You're very right. If you stayed in that vein, perhaps things would be helpful, rather than not.

The Weasel

Dranoel
06-13-2007, 21:04
This thread just got derailed.



/Goes to get some popcorn...

warren doyle
06-13-2007, 21:05
(sound of gavel) Case closed!

smokymtnsteve
06-13-2007, 21:08
This thread just got derailed.



/Goes to get some popcorn...


is uncle johnny handling the news about erwin well..is he overjoyed???

(well since the thread has been derailed anyway...I had controlled myself :D

Miss Janet
06-13-2007, 22:37
"Miss Janet, has this thread given you the amount of feedback you wanted? Or are there any other aspects you'd like to get more thoughts about?"

Yes, I have been getting a lot of things to think about and much of this conversation is very helpful...

The direction we WERE headed in sounded more like a bunch of name calling jocks at a high school ball game... I am sure we are done with that now.... right boys???

smokymtnsteve... don't be mean

Heater
06-13-2007, 23:13
"Miss Janet, has this thread given you the amount of feedback you wanted? Or are there any other aspects you'd like to get more thoughts about?"

Yes, I have been getting a lot of things to think about and much of this conversation is very helpful...

The direction we WERE headed in sounded more like a bunch of name calling jocks at a high school ball game... I am sure we are done with that now.... right boys???

smokymtnsteve... don't be mean

Blue Devils, hoot hoot hoot. :D

Heater
06-13-2007, 23:17
[quote=Miss Janet;371934
smokymtnsteve... don't be mean[/quote]

What he said. T'was the first thing crossed my mind. :(

:banana <<< UJ

The Weasel
06-14-2007, 11:15
[quote=Miss Janet;371934
smokymtnsteve... don't be mean[/quote]

Steve is NEVER mean (he has no clue about how to be mean...I think he is missing the "meanness gene" but in AK, no one minds if you're missing a few things as long as you eat fish). And the rest of us should emulate him.

Any more questions, Janet?

I do have one more suggestion, and it's a timing one: Find a decent lawyer in Johnson City or Erwin (it appears there is only one attorney in Erwin) now, while you are at the "thinking stage". Virtually all lawyers wil give you a free consultation, usually half an hour to a full hour, and give you their initial thoughts, including the costs involved. This is the time for you to have someone who can give you specific thoughts about some of the ideas mentioned by you (and the rest of us, too) about how to go about accomplishing your goal. There's no obligation, and it can help focus your efforts. [For those of you who like to slam lawyers, there aren't a lot of other professions or jobs where you'll get real service of that value for free; if you doubt me, try going to see a doctor for free.]

To find one, the second best source is www.Martindale.com (http://www.Martindale.com) This is the site of the dominant (for 50 years or more) legal directory, and lists every lawyer in the US. It's easy to use, and you can just type in the city you want to check (I tried it with Erwin) and it will list all the lawyers, including their primary fields of expertise (tabs for "practice" lists self-selected areas of focus; TN appears to have special certification for some areas of law, but not corporate law). The best source is from friends who have used someone for the area of law you need. A good bankruptcy lawyer may not be a good business lawyer, for instance. But ask other business people you know who their lawyer is, and then, when you make the appointment, mention the source of the referral. You'll get some extra consideration that way from the attorney.

Good luck.

The Weasel


The Weasel

QHShowoman
06-14-2007, 12:33
At the nonprofit where I worked (and got a $100,000 grant funded)...

Out of curiosity, what was the size of your nonprofit, Bernin (overall operating budget, etc.)? I've only worked for large nonprofits, so my perspective is skewed.

berninbush
06-14-2007, 13:32
It was me, the Executive Director (who only drew a salary in theory, and actually funded a lot of the organization from his own pocket), and an administrative assistant. Then there was an Americorps volunteer and some other volunteers. The grant I wrote probably funded the bulk of their operating expenses for the next year. Unfortunately, there was almost no room for "administrative" expenses in that grant, so I either had to become an ESL teacher myself to get paid, or resign, because they had run out of other money. I chose to move on to more financially stable pastures, and go back to school.

QHShowoman
06-14-2007, 13:37
Wow, that's really small! I think you probably learn a lot more working at small non-profits, where you get to have a hand in everything as opposed to larger non-profits. At the non-profits I've worked at, I only really got to focus on one particular area, like major giving, planned giving, foundation relations, direct response, etc. And now that I work in a position where I work with 50+ non-profits, it's really great to see how gloriously screwed up many of them are.

berninbush
06-14-2007, 15:00
:-D I know what you mean about "gloriously screwed up." I have compared the place where I worked to a ship already 3/4 full of water and sinking fast. I was hired to bail it out financially. I don't think they would have survived at all without that grant. I saw enough behind the scenes to realize how bad things can get when well-meaning people with good program ideas don't know how to run the "business" end of things. That experience was what inspired me to get the Nonprofit Management degree, so I'd know how to do it right.

And yet, many of the little "screwed up" places do manage to stay afloat somehow, and do good work. There's just a lot of financial stress and they're always one step from running afoul of regulators or a scandal. Unfortunately some of them don't make it for that reason.

Working in such a small place, I *did* get to wear a lot of hats and see every aspect of the business. I was into fundraising, program planning, trying to "herd cats" to get a quorum of board members together for a meeting, answering the phone in Spanish for our ESL students (since no one else there, including the teacher, knew Spanish!), and even substitute-teaching a beginning ESL class one time! It was quite an educational adventure.