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TOPIC: Creative business set up/marketing?

Creative business set up/marketing? 9 years 2 months ago #60342

I came across this website for an inspector here in Portland:  nonprofithomeinspections.org/

This guy has set up his business as a 501.c3 non-profit.  He has a price list and also says "ince NHI also provides free home inspection services for low-income people." 

If I came across this as a home buyer (even one that wasn't low-income) I'd be really really interested. 

Wondering if any of you have come across something similar or tried something like this.

(By the way some of you might not know that to set up with the IRS as a 501.c3 you have to have a board of directors, file specific paperwork etc...so it's not just something this guy did as a throw away marketing tool).

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Goal Line Inspections
fielding your inspection needs
www.goallineinspections.com
Serving: Portland, Gresham, Beaverton and the greater Portland metro area

Re: Creative business set up/marketing? 9 years 2 months ago #60375

Very interesting. I'd like to know what the non profit part of this is. Seems suspicious.

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Dominic Maricic
Home Inspector Pro Home Inspection Software - CEO

Re: Creative business set up/marketing? 9 years 2 months ago #60407

Doug,
Thanks for the mention of my nonprofit.  I started up Nonprofit Home Inspections after my mother died from exposure to asbestos in the home.  As a single parent with 6 kids, she couldn't afford to have a home inspection.  Our nonprofit gives free home inspections to low income families and other nonprofits that serve low income populations.  For example, we recently completed a free inspection for a safe house for victims of domestic violence.  I'm still in process of adding information to our website, but feel free to check out my personal website at charleslewis.com as well.  In addition to being a licensed home inspector, I'm also a licensed general contractor and have over 15 years of construction experience.  I've got a master's degree from Harvard University and have started up two other very successful nonprofit organizations that help underserved populations.  I'm looking forward to using this new nonprofit to help a lot of families avoid the same thing we had to endure.
In any case, thanks again for the mention.  It would be great to connect sometime in the near future.
Charles

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Last Edit: by Charles Lewis.

Re: Creative business set up/marketing? 9 years 2 months ago #60449

Hi Charles,

Thanks for the info, that's very interesting! So do you run things as two separate businesses? One as the non profit and one as a for profit?

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Dominic Maricic
Home Inspector Pro Home Inspection Software - CEO

Re: Creative business set up/marketing? 9 years 2 months ago #60454

Dominic,

We are only a nonprofit with no for-profit component.  Similar to nonprofit hospitals, credit unions, etc., the IRS allows us to work with anyone as long as we are fulfilling our charitable purpose.  There are a couple big differences between nonprofit organizations and for-profit businesses, however.  The biggest issue is that nonprofit organizations are all publicly owned.  As such, you cannot "sell" nonprofit later or gain any equity from the organization.  For example, at the first nonprofit that I started, I was able to grow the organization into the largest program of its kind in the state with over $2,000,000 in net assets.  When I decided to leave, however, all of those assets rightfully stayed with the nonprofit organization.  Running a nonprofit is also much more difficult in terms of paperwork and financial oversight.  Nonprofit organizations have additional oversight and regulations imposed on them by the IRS, the Department of Justice and the Secretary of State.  Having run other nonprofit organizations for the past 15 years, I'm able to navigate all of the various requirements, but it is very much harder to run a nonprofit than it is to run a for-profit business (I've done both).  That's probably why it hasn't been done in the home inspection industry previously.  Most of the big home inspection associations like NACHI, ASHI, etc. are nonprofit organizations, however.  We're looking forward to using our model to help low and middle income families avoid some of the potentially life threatening hazards that can come with home ownership.

Charles

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