It is time to catch everyone up on what Military Minds Inc (MMI) has been up for the last couple of years. This post will give much of the background of where we were, and more about our vision moving forward.
There has been a re-birth of sorts, awareness of PTSD is at unprecedented levels and the stigma has been reduced dramatically. We can proudly state that we feel we were part of the movement to change the narrative related to PTSD. Which is what MMI was founded for – build that awareness with a high level of snark that the predominately Veteran community is known for.
As PTSD knows no bounds, MMI quickly realized that the First Responder community are equal partners in awareness, and we have expanded our reach into those communities, which has shaped us to a point that we are at today.
In 2016, MMI tested the Canadian fundraising waters with a motorcycle poker run in Edmonton Alberta, to great success. Previous to these, most of the fundraising had been done through website merchandise sales.
There were some other events worldwide that were also thrown by members and supporters of MMI with also good results.
That one Canadian motorcycle ride evolved into the launch of our 2017 Cross Canada riding Fundraiser,
aptly named “The Rolling Barrage”(TRB), during the year of the 100th Anniversary of the Canadian Battle at Vimy Ridge, for which the Artillery Barrage showed tactical benefits. 2018 saw the second running of the event, with even greater success. 2019 boasts our largest planning team of Supporters, Police Forces, Fire Fighters, and military (both past and present) participating in what will be our most unique ride yet.
So, we have learned that we can fundraise well, in case people are wondering – we profited around $50,000 in the 2 years. We have gained expansive knowledge of fundraising operations in 2017 and applied them into our lessons learned which allowed us to generate a better profit percentage in the 2018 event. 2019 promises to build a more epic ride as we continue to learn and grow. The Rolling Barrage team involves organizers that are currently serving or retired Military, Police (RCMP and other forces), Fire Fighters, EMS operators etc, and some hugely supportive civilian volunteers. Shortly I will tell you our plans for the funds raised.
Go check out TRB at all the weblinks
Give us a Facebook like,
Subscribe to the TRB website by signing up with an email address at the bottom of the webpage, and get email updates as planning for TRB 2019 continues.
As alway, we would love if you share these links with your friends.
Now where else are we going?
MMI is restructuring – rewriting bylaws to establish our mandate, adjusting the board of directors to give a greater spectrum of perspectives and experience, and working to become the most transparent fundraising and awareness powerhouse in the Canadian PTSD community.
MMI will continue to grow its fundraising operations, and have another event in the works that will be launching in 2019…. But we aren’t going to let the cat out of the bag just yet… you may see some hints coming, but more details will be coming really soon.
This leads us to the MILLION dollar question that we have been asked many, many, times since TRB first rode in 2017 – “what are you doing with the money?” Well, I’m not ready to give you those answers in this paragraph – more pontification first.
MMI needed to figure out the big picture strategic vision of what it wants to achieve and where it wants to go. The simplest answer to that question is – we want to become a CRA registered charity that can hand out tax receipts to people who donate to us.
Becoming a CRA registered charity is not an easy task – there is paperwork, and legislation(which defines the “how”), lots and lots of boring dry regulatory mumbo jumbo to read and figure out the best way we can operate that ensures we stay on the path towards that goal.
As it stands right now – MMI is a Federally incorporated, Not for Profit Corporation. Our business number is 841618135RC0001 and listed in the public Federal Databases.
The road to CRA status is not an easy one, the biggest challenge that lies ahead is the conduct of the board of directors, and process paperwork that MMI generates. This is a multi-year process. Everyone involved being a volunteer with full time other tasks (life, jobs etc), means that it will take some time.
One of the biggest hurdles is making sure the money trail is properly followed. We paid a public accountant to audit the 2017 financial records, and have been preparing the 2018 records in the fashion that they demostrated for us.
Back to the topic that started this stream of consciousness – what are we doing with the money?
We are disbursing the funds in a manner that will withstand government and public scrutiny. Which isn’t easy.
The rules state that CRA charities can only use funds in a specific manner – which means we can’t just always hand over cash – as a matter of fact, you can only hand over cash to another CRA charity. “Qualified Donees” is what the legislation calls it.
So that means we need to buy things that not for profits can use to further their stated goals as a use of our funds.
In 2018, we tested our disbursement process with much internal discussion about the accountability, legal liability, and other factors associated with disbursement of the funds we raised.
In case you didn’t see us tell people about it – here is the news piece from the launch of TRB 2018, where we bought a piece of equipment. This was a portable sawmill that Rally Point Retreat wanted and needed as part of their PTSD programs on their property in Nova Scotia. We spent around $5000 on the mill and its pieces.
And now we are ready to spend more. But we need to do our due diligence.
Our process (so far) is fairly simple –
Groups that wish funding will submit applications to MMI. It will not be a “first come, first served”. We will establish a time frame that funds will be disbursed and applications will be comparatively analysed by a committee established for exactly that purpose.
We are still building the application form webpage, but it will be coming soon. In short terms, here is what we are likely looking at:
Requests need to be from registered (provincial or federal) organization that fall within the realm of support and advancement of PTSD programs, or research.
We will ask for things like –
tell us about you- all the social media pages, websites etc, (brag a bunch),
copy of your organization constitution/bylaws – to show us your mandate,
information about the programs,
stats about participation,
what you are asking us for? and,
what it will help provide for your program?
That will start the conversation. We want to help those groups that are outside the mainstream of funding like MMI is.
We are growing, we aren’t perfect, and our new board of directors will be launching into 2019 with a newly articulated vision and purpose that we hope will make everyone pay attention to us. We look forward to everyone following along and joining us.
Please check out all the various pages of MMI and its subsidiary event(s), subscribe to the websites to get emailed updates when we launch them. There will be different lists you can subscribe to so that you only get the updates from the area that you want. The area to subscribe to MMI general news updates is on the right side of the desktop.
Check out other areas where we are online –
Instagram – MMI and TRB
Twitter – MMI
We will continue to increase our online footprint, please show us some online love and follow, subscribe, and share our content.
We thank you for your support and encourage checking out our webstore often as we are getting ready to build upon new ideas and move into a great future.
More information coming soon. Feel free to drop us a line with questions.