We Finally Did It!!!

Well, I can hardly believe it myself. We, the Pan-American College Fund, received our 501(c)3 status… Finally. It has been a long journey and I have almost lost everything. If anyone has the desire to set out on the journey of building a nonprofit, let me warn you, no one is responsible for your dream, but you. The reality is, finding dedicated people is difficult. I was lucky. I knew a group of people I trusted right from the beginning. So, my board was/is solid.

However, when it comes to third-party help, it was not as easy. I experienced a bad attorney in the early stages. I trusted him and never questioned what he was doing. It turns out, he had other interests which were more important to him. This led to his total neglect of the organization and almost resulted in our incorporation being canceled by the state. It was the sheer grace of God that I caught it in time. I found a friend from high school who was an attorney and he helped me straighten out some issues and helped me handle the state registration for a few years until I was able to get the organization stabilized.

Then, I used an organization to help apply for our 501(c)3 status. In the middle of the process, I received a letter that the organization would no longer be handling the application process and that the money would be refunded to our account. What? I don’t need the money credited to my account, I need the money to go to the IRS so it can be applied toward our application fee. Getting a refund was a month-long process. After months of back and forth, I was able to get an actual refund. I moved the paperwork to Harbor Compliance. They really made a nightmare process much easier to handle. And, more importantly, they were successful.

This is the corporate logo we decided to use. We overlay it over a map of the Americas so that it gives a better visual image, but you can’t copyright flags so this version without the flags is our copyrighted logo.

Another thing that is important for people to understand is exactly what countries are included in the Americas. The geographical region of North America runs from Greenland down to Panama and includes the Caribbean. In the North American region, we also include the geopolitical region of Central America. However, Central America is located on the North American Continent. So the three geopolitical regions of North, Central, and South America are located in the two geographical regions of North and South America. South America runs from Columbia down to Argentina.

If you visit our website (www.panamericancollegefund.org) you will see we are building a new site. We have learned a lot over the last few years. Dealing with attorneys, government agencies, potential students, and donors has taught us a great deal about how we need to structure our organization. I will be discussing these issues in future posts.

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