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oceancity

Starting A Guild?

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Hi, 

 

I'm very interested in trying to start a ceramics guild with some other people I know. We want to have a shared space where we also share kilns, slab rollers, etc. But we will also have our own workspace and materials.

 

I've done some googling and most of what I'm finding are guilds that already exist and not much about how to start one. 

 

I guess the biggest obstacle for what I want is start up money to rent a space and purchase kilns, a couple wheels and some other equipment, sink traps, etc. 

 

I think I can at least get people into it and start having meetings regularly to figure out our next steps, but I'm wondering if any of you have some advice for me.

 

The goal is to have a guild that is self supporting and I'd like to get 501( c)3 status.

 

Thanks!!

 

(Hope I posted this in the right place!)

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Well... I am doing this. Sorta.

 

I started with ~18k of my own money to create a business of teaching pottery classes and providing a space for adults to work. I am coming up on one year of the adventure. The hurdles are money, time, knowledge, and skill or finding the people with them. I had enough of all to make it happen. I could purchase the equipment, built the tables etc, make the glazes and fire the kilns, teach the classes and everything in between.

Costs have been more than covered and I haven't tried to make the operation grow too fast. Today I can make more money if I am willing to do more.

Including startup costs, I have spent about ~30k and earned back ~20k+pots this year. Next year costs should be ~15k to make ~30k+pots. (My pottery sales are not included.) At the end of the day, the evil Rent is the only big expense.

 

The talk of making of making a non-profit that would take over my operation has started.

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I belong to a guild here in NH. Here is the link. http://www.nhpottersguild.com/

 

The site is under construction but links will get you to a board member who could speak to your inquiries. 

 

I can offer some personal suggestions, based on training/experience in non-profit management and hands-on board development. Feel free to message me if you wish.

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I have been thru the formation and disolvement of a pottery guild over about 25 years.

Also the forming of a non-profit as I sit on the board of one as VP.

You will need people who are very motivated and can raise money and stick with it and are good with paperwork and taxes.

You will need a large pool of people for this to stand a chance.

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And therein (needing people who...) lies most problems: lack of sustained motivation and follow-through; inability or resistance to raise money; dismissing/aversion to the importance of foundation and organization; reasonable competence with paperwork, taxes, other legalities of a 501©3, and; lack of a plan for ongoing development (with more than just  2-3 to shoulder the responsibilities).  

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