We’re entering an exciting time for the Take This Project.
If you’ve suspected things haven’t been happening as quickly (or at all) with Take This for the past few months, you’re not wrong. The project experienced a dramatic slowdown around the first of 2013 and it’s been a challenge to build back up to the momentum we experienced when the project first launched.
There are many reasons for this; not the least of which is that the founders’ passion for helping sufferers of anxiety and depression is borne of experience. Most of us either suffer from our own mental health issues, or know others who suffer. This can make merely thinking about mental illness (much less writing about or helping others talk about it) a challenge. Many of us have also been unusually busy in our personal or professional lives this year. Long story short: We’ve not always been able to find the time or the will to take the next necessary steps to move this project forward, so, mea culpa.
The good news is that the long dark night of the Take This soul seems to have passed. Yet challenges still remain. The most pressing of which has been administrative, and this is what we have now turned our attention to addressing.
The Take This Project was founded, primarily, to promote awareness of mental health issues. While this sounds simple on the surface, in reality, a sustained campaign to create public awareness involves a lot of work that can’t be done without funding. Plain and simple: for Take This to achieve its goals, it needs cash flow.
Now, at first glance, this, too, would seem simple. In the age of Kickstarter, raising money can be as simple as asking for it. And with the groundswell of attention we’ve received for Take This, we have no doubt we could raise the kind of money we’d need, via one or another crowdfund effort, to fund our short-term (and maybe even long term) goals for some time to come. But this kind of crowdfunding is not yet an option for Take This.
The problem is that the Take This Project is not currently a non-profit company. Or, really, any kind of company. We cannot, legally, collect or spend money, as Take This, without exposing ourselves and our members to financial challenges or government scrutiny. It’s one thing to conduct a fundraiser to benefit another organization (which many have done), but it’s an entirely different thing to raise money to support your own organization. Accepting donations and spending money requires sophisticated accounting and involves the possibility of severe legal risk, which we simply cannot ask any of our members to shoulder on their own. This is why, until now, we have been careful to not take any action with Take This that requires the spending or accepting of money, and why in order to move forward with our future plans, we need to do some complicated paperwork.
For Take This to legally and responsibly be able accept donations, we need for it to be a recognized non-profit entity, registered with the federal government. This is not a surprise to us, and it is not an impossible task to accomplish, but it does require us to take a certain number of steps in a specific order. It requires time and organization — two things which have been in short supply among the founding members of Take This until very recently.
This brings us to now. I am proud to report that the Take This project has officially begun the process of becoming non-profit organization, starting with the formation of a Board of Directors and the election of officers. Over the next few weeks, we will file the paperwork required to formally create Take This as a business entity and then proceed to registering that entity with the IRS as a 501c3 non-profit.
At some point in the future, hopefully this summer, we will have the green light to proceed to our Stage Two goals of fundraising and increased activities to promote awareness of mental health issues in the video game community. These goals include (but are not limited to) additional web-based awareness activities, more public appearances at events like PAX as well as outreach and counseling directed at the video game creation community. We hope to have this work completed in time for the always busy (and difficult) holiday season.
More details on the makeup of our board and our expanded mission statement should follow shortly, and we hope to provide frequent updates over the next few months as we plunge steadily into the new challenges ahead. Thank you for your continued patience and support of the project.
Founder and Chairperson, Take This Project