In Reply to: how do you prove FCF is part of The Family? posted by sleuth on February 13, 2005 at 11:21:33:
What the Consultants Had to Say
Just prior to the above-mentioned WS meeting, Gary, Paul and Ike made a trip to California, to team up with Tim LA for a week, in order to follow up on people met at the Chicago Book Fair. We also met with a number of other experts, from whom we hoped to get advice and counsel. We were very much still in the learning stage, and hoped to gain some more insight into how the field of publishing, marketing and business worked.
We explained to a number of consultants about the Family's background, and our desire to reach today's markets with our books, tapes and videos. We then told them we were new at this commercial approach, and asked their advice.
At first the idea of meeting many highly successful and high-powered professionals was a bit intimidating. However, with each new encounter we became more excited. It was thrilling to watch these seasoned consultants rave about how we were just what the world needed today, how the time was perfect for us, and how we had it all! Nearly everyone we approached was very impressed with the content of our products: our 'family values' emphasis, our loving and comprehensive programs for teaching children and training young adults, our social welfare projects (CTP ministries), our 'self-help' publications, our outstanding music and videos, and even some of our more far-out doctrines such as hearing from beyond, etc. They repeatedly told us that all of these are currently 'hot items' in today's market! It's these people's jobs to study trends, and according to them we have it-even for the worldly markets!
They also said we have a running start with an already established, well-trained distribution base (you, our worldwide Family) that insures a basic success for any publication. PTL! Of course they also offered constructive criticism, which was, after all, why we had gone to them.
For starters, they all said that our image and the way we portrayed ourselves needed some help, so that those we would market our products to would be able to better understand who we are and what we are about. If we were to publish and mass-market, our products would need to be packaged in such a way so as to sell themselves, and fine-tuned to "target" whichever group of people we hope to reach, with an "image" that people would easily understand.
A number of consultants also advised that we should be bolder in proclaiming our message and beliefs and avoid the 'excuse me for living' presentation, and commented that some of our media and PR materials made us appear somewhat defensive. After we explained to one consultant our radical background and the wild, hip image of our early days, she replied, 'It looks like in trying to appear more respectable today you squared yourselves!'-Ha!
In summary, according to the experts, the Family has got it! We just need a little help with some of our packaging and approaches, and to promote our products and services more vigorously. This was all quite encouraging for us.
Becoming a Legal Entity
It was apparent that if the GPU was to fulfill the vision of helping reach the world in many new ways with GP tools, they would have to form a legal entity for the purpose of conducting business, publishing, etc. The question was, what type? None of us involved had any previous experience in this sort of venture. There were also potential pitfalls, risks, complications and unknowns to consider. It was going to be a completely new step for us, one which potentially would affect the whole Family. Before making such a major decision it was brought before the Lord. Here's the counsel Dad gave:
(Dad speaking:) As you know, folks, I was never afraid to try new things, new ways. My goal was to preach the Gospel, and I was willing to try any way to do it. As Jesus said to His disciples, I say now to you, "Greater things than these shall you do."
I know your worries, your concerns. But the Lord works in many different ways, and we have to be open and willing to explore. Just like I said, you've got to try the doors. You've got to knock on the various ones, open them up and look inside. See what's there, see what the fruit's going to be and judge each step of the way.
So knock on this door and pursue it. Check it out, and it will become clearer as time goes on which route you need to take. You're on the right track as far as researching, finding out the information and seeing if you have the wherewithal to build a house. That's just what you should do. You can't make the decisions without having the information, and you can't have the information unless someone takes the time to research it and find out how they need to do it. So do the research. Search it out, find it out and seek it out so that the answers to your questions are found.
Remember that in the past, there were new things that you suggested. They were expensive, it was quite radical, it was a real departure from the way we'd done things. But you had the vision and the Lord gave it to you, and it was the right decision, and it changed things for the better, didn't it? But we would have never known if we hadn't tried them, and if I hadn't let you do the research.
So move ahead. Test the waters. Learn the ropes. Knock on the doors and it will become clearer to you what must be done and what you're supposed to do. You don't have to worry, you are on the right path as far as the researching and searching the matter out. And then you will know and it will become clearer to you what path you must take.
See, it's one of these step-by-step scenes where they just have to go step-by-step, and as they go and as they learn, other doors will open, other paths will appear and you will then know what you are supposed to do. You can't always know the end from the beginning, but as you go patiently forward step-by-step, then the path becomes clearer and the way more evident. (End of message from Dad.)
Again, the counsel from Heaven was to follow the Lord step-by-step. It's a good thing we did, because the Lord was working behind the scenes, unbeknownst to us.
A Meeting Engineered in Heaven
About this same time, some Family members in California were on a witnessing road trip with their children. While staying at a campground, they met a professional fund-raiser named Pat, who was on holiday. Pat had been in Australia when the persecution hit there, and was well-acquainted with the sensational charges made against the Family. Seeing this chance encounter (or so he thought!) as an opportunity to determine if the Family was as evil as the media had portrayed us, Pat casually but systematically "interviewed" each of the Family children while he horsed around with them in the pool. To his amazement, he found them to be not just 'normal', but chock full of personality, fun, love, and a delight to be with!-This convinced him that the accusations against the Family were without merit. He also realized that Family members had a lot to offer society, and felt that he could help us do a better job of reaching the world by helping to raise funds which could be used to help missionaries.
Those who had first met Pat soon introduced him to some of us from the GPU. At each of our meetings, Pat raved about the kids he met at the campground. They were what convinced him to offer his help. 'A little child shall lead them!' (Isa.11:6). PTL!
The Threshold of a New Direction
After understanding our needs better, Pat's counsel was that we should set up a non-profit organization (charity or foundation), as opposed to a regular profit-making business, which was what we had been considering up to this point. It's important to understand that when the term 'non-profit organization' is used, it does not mean that such a legal entity cannot generate a financial profit from any business it may conduct or donations it receives. It definitely can! The main difference between a 'non-profit' and a regular business organization is that the profits produced by a non-profit organization cannot go into any individuals' pockets, but must be strictly accounted for and used to further the organization's publicly stated mission, which must be in the public interest. In brief, its income must be spent entirely on charitable purposes. This is why governments are willing to give such organizations a tax break-because non-profit organizations offer a service to the community and are a benefit to the community.
The more that Pat explained about nonprofit organizations, the clearer it became that our type of work made us eligible to qualify for tax exempt status, and such an approach would allow us to accomplish most of our major goals. By forming a registered non-profit organization, we could also engage in fund-raising on a larger scale than before, and thus be able to assist individual projects and organizations which minister the Lord's love and answers to this needy world. Plus, we could fulfill our objectives of publishing and mass marketing, while at the same time helping the needy in many spheres.
While those of us involved in setting up the non-profit organization would never have considered such a high-profile venture in the past, the Lord indicated clearly through prophecy that this was part of the 'new day,' and the time was right to take this bold step!
Confirmation and Encouragement from the Lord!
Later, we prayed and asked the Lord for His further guidance and confirmation on whether to proceed in the direction of a nonprofit organization:
(Jesus speaking:) I have raised this one [Pat] up, and I have engineered all that has passed before in meeting with him, in his contacts, in his life. I have engineered everything to this point.
I will bring all these things to pass that I have promised. This foundation, this work, will be the vehicle to begin. This point in time is the time to begin this trip down the road of My will. Be not fearful, but believing-believing in Me, believing that I will do all the things that I have said. Move forward boldly and with faith. You have yielded unto Me and you have done those things that I have shown you and now I say to you, do this thing. Do it wisely, do it prayerfully, but do it, for the time is at hand.
Be not afraid of the intricacies involved. Be not afraid of the details that shall follow. Be not afraid of the web that you will begin to weave, for all these things are in My hand. I have purposed them, and the intents of such are for your good and for the good of the work and for the good of the kingdom. I will weave this thing and I will use this one whom I have raised up to help you in the design and the weaving. I shall inspire him just as I will inspire you. (End of message from Jesus.)
(Dad speaking:) I'm really proud of you for your faith-your faith to tackle new things, your faith to follow God and your faith to move beyond many things that I didn't have faith for. It's not so much that I didn't have faith for it, it just wasn't God's time. But now it is, and I'm really happy that you do have faith to move forward, to take bold new steps.
I'm glad you're not bound by the past. You have the past there as an anchor, and you have all that I have taught you as a guidepost, but I'm glad to see that you're willing to let go in some ways and not let the guideposts be hitching posts. You go forward using my words and using the cautions and the wisdom that are contained therein, but you're willing to apply them to today and do what you have to do to follow the Lord.
So don't be afraid to take the steps you're taking. They are bold steps but they're within the Lord's will, and He's leading and we're leading. Keep listening, because as you listen we'll speak, and when we speak we'll tell you what's right and what's wrong, what to do and what you shouldn't do. And if you follow you'll be successful.
Don't worry about this man because I've checked him out. His motives are OK, and we Here have worked on him. We've worked in his life, and he is the one for now. You'll learn a lot of things from this man and it'll be a benefit, so don't worry. Just move forward and watch what happens, and then you'll know that you were doing the right thing. (End of message from Dad.)
Having received this encouragement from the Lord and Dad, several of us, working together with Pat, began the tedious, time consuming effort of working on the paperwork needed to set up a non-profit, tax-exempt Foundation. Every aspect of this new operation involved a myriad of legal and business details and considerations, most of which we were quite unfamiliar with! We spent months working on all of the details, including writing a "Mission Statement", which outlines the purpose and goals of the Foundation. This paperwork took almost three months to complete, at which time it was sent in to the IRS for approval. After incorporating in January 1997, in March the Foundation was approved by the IRS as a separate and independent tax-exempt, non-profit legal entity named "Family Care Foundation" (FCF). The decision-making body of the Family Care Foundation is its Board of Directors, of which Gary is president.
Family Care Foundation-How It Operates, Its Mission, Goals, and Operations
(From Larry, FCF executive director:) To explain what we're all about, in technical terms: Family Care Foundation is an independent, non-profit, 501(c)(3), human service agency and missionary support organization, whose activities consist of funding and conducting programs and projects across a broad spectrum of countries, needs, program areas, and organizations. FCF is legally incorporated in the State of California as a California Public Benefit Corporation, and has received tax exempt status from the IRS. This means that contributions to Family Care Foundation are tax deductible for the (American) donor, and that Family Care Foundation and all of the charitable projects conducted under the umbrella of FCF are exempt from a variety of U.S. Federal and State taxes.
Following is the Mission Statement of the Family Care Foundation. (See page 10.)