What is Tsuga?
Tsuga is an all-volunteer network of networks, making it easy and fast for someone to carry out a new community improvement project. We take care of the tedious and complex nonprofit administrative tasks so that people and their passion can get started immediately on the work at hand. We leverage our own grants, business sponsorships and donations to cover administrative costs, as well as provide project management coaching as part of our free services package.
You can serve anyone with any good idea?
From simple projects to full mission statements destined to become their own nonprofit organization, Tsuga is the no cost incubator service for Oregon’s emerging social entrepreneurs. Our five-year strategic plan includes offering $2,000 Summer Project grants so that high-school and college students can complete something exciting over summer break without needing to raise any additional funds. For more long-term projects, we can help set up endowments and a dedicated donor base so the most committed social entrepreneurs can grow their passion project to full fruition.
How do I get started?
Sign up for a free consultation and brainstorming session with one of our Community Improvement Project Advisors. They’ll help you explore your idea and begin some of the project planning with you. If you decide the Tsuga Community is the right partnership for you, you’ll meet with Ethan Erickson, our Founder and Commission President to go over the contracting process. It’s important that every step forward is protected through Tsuga’s 501(c)(3) nonprofit fiscal sponsorship.
Is this too good to be true?
Some nonprofits are set up to fulfill a specific mission, to carry out fundraising and use that funding for a specific purpose. Tsuga’s mission is to help someone’s passion turn them into a proud Social Entrepreneur. Our role in the nonprofit sector isn’t to serve one mission, it’s to allow all kinds of new and exciting work in our communities to begin from a forward position. When people get excited about making the world a better place, they are often unaware of all that goes into setting up a new organization, keeping it in compliance with bylaws and government standards, or knowing what has to happen to legally dissolve the nonprofit should the mission ever end. For those who are simply trying to add something special to their resume early on in their career, or to do something special with their wealth at the end of their working years, Tsuga makes sure people make the best use of their time and talents. There’s no catch.
Specifically, what is Tsuga doing for me that I can’t do for myself?
If all you’re trying to do is volunteer in a food pantry or to bring blankets to those who live outside, you don’t need a partnership with Tsuga to do those things. However, if you’re looking to develop something special, a project where your community can involve their time, talents and treasure, Tsuga can do a lot so that you don’t have to help you see your vision come to life.
How is this different than Go-Fund-Me?
Tsuga is a support network of people who have been successful doing this type of work. GoFundMe is a simple for-profit website. Your dedicated Tsuga.org webpage facilitates all of the same functions as those for-profit fundraising sites, but without you or your donors giving up personal data including social security numbers. As part of GoFundMe’s Terms and Conditions, you declare that you are not providing any goods or services in exchange for the donation of funds. When in fact that’s what you’re trying to do, with Tsuga you don’t have to pay personal income taxes on the money “gifted” to your cause like you would through GoFundMe. Moreover, with direct donor-relation options, you get to employ a higher percentage of funds donated for project purposes. With that said, if someone wants to integrate crowdfunding widgets or third-party sites, those can be embedded and leveraged through your Tsuga.org webpage as well.
Why not just do my work as a for-profit small business?
Setting up a small business is easy enough, but you would still need to file with the state, set up a bank account, pay business taxes on your revenue, do enough bookkeeping to file tax returns at the end of the year and then find time in between to develop and carry out something worthwhile. Tsuga is already set up to take care of all of that for you, as well as to arrange things like nonprofit rate insurance coverage if needed. We’ll host and maintain a web page on your behalf at no additional cost. Most importantly, with Tsuga’s 501(c)(3) nonprofit status, if someone comes along and likes what you’re doing to the point of making a significant donation to your cause, the donor’s gift is tax-deductible for them and not considered taxable income for you.