I’d love to tackle a larger feasibility study; sadly, this week is not the week. The good news is tomorrow I meet with a lead organizer for the local IAF organizer to map out potential connections. That could open dozens of doors all at once – hopefully a mix of large, mid-sized, and smaller faith institutions.
The next step is a bunch of one-on-ones, trust building, and data gathering. The Incubator has helped me feel more prepared for those conversations with a deeper analysis around relational meeting, and a much clearer sense of what questions to ask. The questions in the final tabs of the Prompt 6 Mini-Feasibility Study spreadsheet are super clear and helpful, if you haven’t checked them out already.
If I can match Carrie’s speed of analysis and opportunity hunting (high fives!), that could put us on track for our first group purchase in February or March. April or May may be the right time for a second group purchase and formal founding.
With that pace, we’d be able to map out a timeline to profitability. I have some concerns around a quick path to profitability since many institutions in Cleveland are smaller and more financially strapped than many faith institutions in cities on the coast, I assume. Still we’re going to plow ahead with the existing, relatively cohesive networks of faith institutions through the IAF and other networks and see where it takes us.
I think what I find most intimidating about this whole process is the idea of my personally seeing all the details through on arranging contracts for institutions that join CPA Cleveland. Details are not my strength. I do not know contracts well. It will take a lot of focus for me to stick with the details in the meaningful way that allows CPA Cleveland to do right by its member institutions. The experienced CPA people who will be able to support us help me feel confident for this challenge.
I’m also excited to tackle this challenge with other folks in the Incubator! I’ve enjoyed getting to know all of you. I’d like to stay in touch. How about every two weeks open house Zoom chats to update each other on progress and help address pressing questions?
2 thoughts on “One-on-ones for days”
Awesome plan, Jonathan! Do you have local support to see through the contract details? Is there someone from your board you can consult on the legal side, or perhaps local pro bono counsel available to you? Contracts can definitely be daunting, but I know you are going to do a great job asking for help!
Love your idea of open house Zoom chats! While I might not be able to join and the space may be dedicated mostly to CPA-building, I’d love to stay posted on your work. Cleveland is close to Detroit – hopefully we can connect in person soon and support each other as we have similar goals. Preferably over pizza! 🙂
Hi Jonathan! To Ale’s point about pro bono legal resources, it’s definitely worth looking into local universities that might have business and community law clinics or nonprofits. At my organization, Michigan Community Resources, connecting nonprofits to a network of (mostly corporate) attorneys is one of our hallmark programs.