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.
Its first task involved creating a Board of Directors from a list of interested individuals, and from that list, seven people were nominated and voted in. The FOAL board has since expanded and strives to have nine to eleven board members.
Next, we 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.
We actively work in cooperation with the local BLM Field Office with an MOU (memorandum of understanding) in place.
To date, FOAL has held to that method of operation. It is our philosophy that attraction and efforts to be cooperative are more effective – in the long run – than detraction (i.e. the use of “honey” rather than “vinegar” philosophy).
As an organization, it agreed upon a name for the organization, developed a mission statement, established a set of overall goals, and elected officers.
FOAL applied for non-profit status with the State of Wyoming. In Wyoming, it is required that Articles of Incorporation be published and adopted. This was accomplished in-house by the founding board members.
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.