FOAL was initially a core group of four people who met with the intent of starting a non-profit organization, specifically to be wild horse advocates.
A list of other folks who might like to and would be helpful in forming a Board of Directors for the organization was developed. FOAL began with seven people on the Board and has since expanded and strives to stay at ten.
The Board established our method of operation (M.O.). It was agreed from the outset to be proactive, always seeking to help form solutions for management problems rather than to be litigious, or force lawsuits in cases of mismanagement. To date, FOAL has held to that M.O. It is our philosophy that attraction and efforts to be cooperative are more effective, in the long run, than detraction (a use “honey” rather than “vinegar” philosophy).
The Board agreed upon a name for the organization, developed a mission statement, established a set of over-all goals, and elected officers.
The board applied for non-profit status with the State of Wyoming. In Wyoming it is required that Articles of Incorporation be drawn up. This was accomplished in-house.
The board then applied for 501 (c) (3) status with the IRS. Most of the heavy lifting on this was done in-house, but we did hire an accountant to review the application and make recommendations so that we could revise the application appropriately before submitting it. It still took two iterations before the IRS gave us their stamp of approval. Expect to spend many hours (hundreds, in our case) on this process.