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We are in a small rural town less than 13,000 market research shows an alarming number youth and young adults most with kids, minimum wage jobs or unemployed. I've been told by non locals to quit trying to start a nonprofit just go volunteer. However, my action plan should I be successful will give the youth to adults job skills in graphic arts and illustrations. Upon completion test to certify able to work freelance, businesses, or hopefully a stepping stone to college. The abilities to create logos, stationary, business cards, websites, web development the possibilities are endless.I want to provide fine arts programming and creative arts, many of those that will come to the community art center, will miss that college experience of fine arts. I am training myself in many mediums. As well as the different open source Graphic Arts Design and illustration comparing them to Adobe. Cost efficiency is at forefront. I paid for the business name and tax number now I am in a quandary. I am working on pieces of art to either put on my website, ebay ect. to raise my federal tax exemption fee would that be wrong? I am in dire need board members who want to actually do not just want to be on it for status. So many seem on multiple boards but I need those who will fundraise, get down and it takes so much work to create a program like this The only hiccup is there is mental health group that does art work but how would I approach them please tell I became totally disabled back in 2003, I have lost touch and many have passed on that would know the right people to pull of a fundraiser. I need guidance. I worked a helping field worked as lead volunteer service provider, I posted on my facebook for family grandmas, posted to the public on social media for any one wanting to improve lives providing developing skills, creating a small number of jobs. Adding to our community. Help, encourage and tell me how to get a working board. I have done so much too much myself for over a year and still am it is 5 am I started working at 3 am, Send prayers and help my way this will raise so many of all races above and beyond the poverty level. Plans to keep it afloat include art shows, art auctions different ways to put supplies back in and raise the creative side and let it expand their hearts and minds to see new ways in the world. Through many new windows. What tool kit would you recommend me.I do have a computer degree, training in substance abuse education and 3 classes short of my social work degree. My last head injury makes where that will be hard My plan is to get it set on course where I (within my education and professional work history) has been worked and planned where The Artist in Me could possibly survive longer than the possible 5. I will get a good board once we are going then step down to do my life's work and be right there with those learning to help guide and encourage allowing me to work around my disabilities which no local jobs will do. I am helper Always have and am trying to get back to it beyond a soup kitchen with this they can soar like they mean it. Soon to have business email.

Hi Kelley, and thanks for contacting CTB,
My first impression is that you have the beginnings of a good idea, but only the beginnings.  I sense that you are trying to take too many steps all at once and, therefore, have difficulty keeping a focus on what to do next.  So my first advice is to slow down and focus on a couple of the most important first steps!
You mention having a plan, but it is not clear to me whether you have a fully developed formal business plan. That usually is a necessary first step, and you can find information in Chapter 42 of our Table of Contents.  A formal business plan is structured in a way that helps people focus and guides their thinking about best ways to build their organization.  I also suggest that you find a mentor to help you with the plan, because few human services training programs address business planning.  You might ask a respected local business person to mentor you, or seek advice from a business education instructor in a local school district or community college. 
Finally, I suggest that you call up the existing arts program you mentioned and offer to collaborate with them, at first as a volunteer and later as a colleague.  That can get you connected with informal local networks of people interested in the arts and in building arts businesses.
Best wishes!

Question Date: Wed, 07/05/2017