About a year ago I founded a non-profit organization “The Bucket List Foundation.” This foundation started after the responses I received from a post I did in remembrance of a dear friend who lived at the nursing home I worked at. All I did was throw out an idea I had to help make the lives better for our oftentimes forgotten elderly. This post helped unite the founding members of the foundation. The founding board members changed a bit but the core members came together and everything started to take off. At first we were going to apply for the Pepsi Refresh Grant to get us off the ground but Nicole and I were concerned of the impact that would have on us come tax time. We decided to start from the ground up, and build from there. I must admit we were a bit awkward. Despite this we started to make some real progress, until recently where we hit a major hurdle in our development.

Our last meeting was months ago. The end result of this meeting was we were going to figure out how to break up the writing of our business plan. Nicole was put in charge of researching everything that went into writing a successful business plan, once completed she was to delegate sections to each member to complete before our next meeting. I do not think we were fully prepared for the sheer scope of this project. In reality we had just set ourselves up for failure because this was far more than one person could handle by themselves, when you added in Nicole’s workload the task was almost impossible. Time went by with no progress being made. The days turned into weeks, and the weeks into months. I was afraid with all the time which had passed the dream of this foundation just sort of sizzled out. I honestly thought the foundation had died completely.

I ended up talking to our president to see if she was still interested, and she confirmed that both her and her father were still very much interested in making this dream come true. She sent out an e-mail to all the board members to make sure we were still on board, and to see about scheduling our next meeting. I responded to the e-mail letting everyone know I was still interested in proceeding and advised we should either get together or brainstorm via e-mail on how to get us back on track. I am sorry to say I have not received a response from anyone.

I am a bit discouraged by the lack of response. I am worried that our first hurdle may end up being the last hurdle we ever face. I feel without the unity of the board this foundation may be dead in the water. This is a sad day for many people because the foundation could have made a difference and changed so many of our aging population’s lives. I wonder how we can proceed if we cannot all pull together. Could I place an ad in the paper saying we are looking for board members to join our foundation to fill the spaces of the departed? I think one thing which caused this foundation to falter after hitting this bump was the lack of members on the board. We were a group of five individuals trying to accomplish a daunting task, and perhaps this task was too much for just five people to handle.

I truly hope The Bucket List Foundation is not dead. I know this foundation would make a difference in so many peoples lives, and if this doesn’t get off the ground than it is a shame this idea rested in my head instead of someone who could have made it a reality. When we were chugging along I kept thinking of all the peoples lives we were going to change for the better because of this. Now I am afraid I will be thinking how many people’s lives we didn’t change because we just kind of gave up.

I have spoken in posts recently about failure and I feel this is yet another example of failure on my part. I think back and if I would have been more organized and vocal as a leader perhaps this foundation would still be moving forward instead of being stuck in the mud. If you want my opinion; we need more members on the board to make this thing work. I have honestly thought then as I do now that we require members with specialties in the hurdles we are trying to overcome. How can you ask a group of people to come together and figure out how to write a solid business plan? The answer is you can’t. I place full blame on myself for allowing this thing to die down. Like I said earlier I hate that this idea was wasted on me. All I am able to do now is do what I can in hopes the individuals still interested come back together. If we are able to ignite a spark and move towards finding the right people to join the board; I feel confident this thing of ours can come back to life.

If you are interested in knowing more about the foundation you can check it out under “The Bucket List Foundation” in the categories drop down menu. I think some posts may be missing. If so let me know and I can point you in the right direction or give you more information.

  1. gingerclub says:

    I am confident the project is not dead. It just takes a little bit more time, patience and consistency to develop. It is for the elderly, so probably the speed has to be adjusted. It is certainly not your fault or failure, it is just not ripe yet.

    I will look into it. Maybe it sets examples for me too.

    Peace and smiles


  2. Karen says:

    Tim, apply for 501(C)(3) status from the irs. This is tax exemt status for charitable organizations. Most organizations giving grants require this. Any grants would not affect your personal taxes.

  3. OK, I have a bunch of questions.
    1. What do you mean by a “foundation”? As Karen points out above, you need to apply for 501C(3) status OR, at least, register as a nonprofit with the State of Minnesota.

    2. If grant-making is not a high priority, then why is your organization called a foundation in the first place. That is the primary function of a foundation — granting money to others to do their work.

    3. Have you contacted an attorney to help you draw up the basic legal documents of a nonprofit corporation?

    4. Have you contacted local colleges or various state agencies to help you with this process?

    I have a lot of experience in nonprofit management. Most people simply do not realize the amount of work involved in setting up and running a nonprofit. In the past, when I was part of a group that set up such an organization (have done it more than once), we made sure to avail ourselves of every free resource available.

    If you’d like some help with some of the specifics, send me an email. I’ll work for free. 🙂

    • Trey,

      The Bucket List Foundation was created about a year ago. We were/are in the infancy stages of trying to get this thing up and running. Where we stopped came to a halt was trying to write a solid business plan. We got the name registration, mission statement, articles of corporation, and our by-laws. We had yet to reach the point of trying to become an official nonprofit. What we thought when we first started in our wide eyed ignorance is that if we applied for the grant and received it we would be able to use the funds to get us off the ground, but since it was in Nicole and mines name we were fearful of our tax obligations. I think what happened is a few people came together around a good idea which would help so many people, but we had no clue the scope of our endeavour so it sizzled out. I thought months and months ago that our board was to small and we needed to bring more people on board who have real experience doing this sort of thing. It was one of those things where the other people involved didnt agree. I am unsure where we stand right now. I have sent two e-mails one to the board and another to the president. If I do not get a response by the end of next week then I just need to accept that this fizzled out. I would love to continue to pursue it, but I do not think Nicole and I could do it on our own. If I move forward with this I am going to need all the help I can get. I think of all the people who would benefit from this and I feel guilty for the outcome thus far

      • Okay, so it sounds like you are merely in the conceptual stage. In that case, don’t worry so much about it fizzling. It can often take groups 2 or 3 attempts to get up and running. Maybe you and Nicole should simply start over and try to build the kind of organization you envision.

  4. Johanna says:

    Hey, How’s it going? I ve been in the hospital lately just wanted to check in. If you have some time, listen to the song Love Me by JJ heller on youtube. I thought you might like it.

    • Johanna,

      You have been in the hospital? Are you okay? I am happy to see that you decided to drop by. If you had a chance to catch up I hope you enjoyed. Thank you I will have to check out the video. I hope you stop by again, make sure you check out the post on Monday it may be an important announcment regarding the future of this blog.

  5. I was about to write that you need the involvement of someone with experience in fund-raising/running a non-profit, and then up pops Trey’s reply!
    Even if you are only at the conceptual stage, it can be good to have someone available to ask, “So what’s next?”
    Good luck!

  6. terri0729 says:

    Please do not look at this hurdle as a failure on your part. Nothing good is simply done. Hold fast to your determination that you have to do something to help the elderly because it is so very much needed! Both of my parents are in their 80’s and I have told my husband, my wonderful blessing from God, that we are never going to allow them to go into a nursing home. His reply to me was this, “Of course we won’t!” I have a heart for the plight of the “forgotten and neglected”. This pursuit of yours is one that I know God will bless! I am going to pray for you and your dream. Please, please don’t give up or get discouraged! I am having my own problems right now. I am in pain, I’m weary, I’m struggling to get it together mentally every day. My new medication for my fibromyalgia and MS is really messing me up, but I am not in despair! Check my post for Sunday’s Thoughts, it may help to give you some comfort. It is what I hold fast too in my times need. God bless you and your wonderful wife,

  7. Phyllis says:

    Wow I am sorry things have not been good for you as I was just thinking about a non profit for the same reasons you are thinking.
    I have a friend form high school that is terminally ill with cancer and has been dealing with it for 18 yrs and they are now saying he has maybe 2 years but more like 1 left.
    He is working on his bucket list and is coming to Texas the end of march to ride a bull (like Tim Mcgraw’s song “Live like you were dying”) due to his condition I am a rather concerned over him doing this ride, but he is determined to see it through regardless of what could happen so I am going with him for support and so he is not alone.

    anyway the thought went through my mind about an organization/foundation that would be able to help those terminally ill full fill at least 1 bucket list item.
    So I sat down here and put in the words bucket list foundations and found you along with 2 others.


    I have a few ideas of things to do or places to contact to see if they would be interested in helping but I have no experience in figuring out a business plan nor filing for grants.

    I hope things are going better for you

  8. T. Evans says:

    Please contact me. I can help you.:)

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