Yes, we have fun at Freedom Speakers International! So much fun that some people seem to be surprised to learn that we are an official organization requiring an actual budget, are accountable to our donors and sponsors, and must keep accurate records of our activities.
Freedom Speakers International (FSI) has been officially registered as a 501(c)3 tax-deductible organization with the IRS in the USA since mid-2017, and we have had similar status in South Korea since 2016 (tax deductions for individuals, not corporations).
And being an official organization means we spend a lot of time on paperwork instead of real work! In the photo, you can see the mountain of paperwork that FSI co-founder Eunkoo Lee and FSI accountant Sharon Jang have kept track of and had me sign today.
My role: being the rascal coming up with the projects and activities causing so much paperwork, then signing it all when they corner me.
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Some people used to ask why we needed money because we had volunteers. I always knew that such people asking had never founded, managed or run an actual organization. I used to send such people the budget information of Volunteers of America ($30 million), but I have mellowed with age and no longer send that information. That was in our early days, I guess they never imagined that we might want to grow beyond being a volunteer organization.
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If you are one of the people who called me today asking if you can volunteer right now, you may have gotten a bit of a sarcastic response. I told them: Hey, we aren't a fast-food joint where you can just order up the McVolunteer Set. We are an official organization that requires planning and documentation. I don't always answer like that, probably only 98% of the time when pop-up volunteers want to volunteer right now.
And for the people who wonder why we use so much paper, that is required by our partners and sponsor organizations, it isn't up to us.