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The Yau Law Firm
Focused on Protecting Businesses and Representing the Injured

Starting a Non-Profit Retail Business [Blog Talk Radio Episode]

Blog Talk Radio’s “Business Talk” show co-host, Jo-Anne Yau, presented, “Forming a Non-Profit Business.”  Ms. Yau spoke about the misconceptions and challenges involved in running a non-profit/charitable organization, what it takes to get it starting and how to keep it running.

Ms. Yau was joined by Jeri Millard, founder of In The Pink, a non-profit boutique/Medicare provider, that provides cancer survivors an extensive selection of apparel, products, services and resources for women, for free.  Ms. Millard, who works at least 70 hours a week, spoke about the hard work it takes keep a non-profit running.  Ms. Millard clears up any misconception to those future business owners that think that running a charitable organization is easy.  She explained the reality of  the fundraising process and the difficulties keeping a non-profit business running.  There are many specific obstacles that opening a new property necessitates; there are even more challenges involved with opening a business that offers unique products and services.

In the Pink’s business model had to be specialized, specific to cancer survivors, and researched thoroughly.  Her space is catered to women who need a safe place to go to when they are going through the process.   Ms. Millard does not receive a salary, her employees are required be certified and are paid very little.  During the show, she explained the administration issues that involve her accounting:  from her payroll, tax-deductible donations, compliance with the IRS, working with non-certified volunteers, to Medicare and HIPPA laws and more.  Ms. Millard described the difficulty in obtaining grants, expansion, and desire to reach out to an even wider client base.

There are many people who question why Ms. Millard continues her work; it may seem that her path is constantly met with obstacles.  She is also constantly working and does not get paid a salary.  The answer is in the work.  She believes it is more important to use those funds to give the gift of a new wig or any other of the many services that In The Pink provides to women who are struggling with losing their hair and can not afford to get help.  She says, “if you have to ask why I do it, you don’t get it.”

Ms. Yau wrapped up the show by discussing  the tax ramifications involved in those who wish to register their business as a non-charitable organization, the necessity of brand protection, and other tips on setting up and running a non-profit business.

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