The Dragonfest Land Fund is a nonprofit corporation separate from Dragonfest of Colorado, Inc.
Executive Director – Hope Reynolds
Foundation Treasurer – Cecelia Thomas
Board of Directors – All current serving Directors on the Dragonfest of Colorado, Inc. Board.
January 22, 2006
• The Dragonfest Foundation, Inc – was established on October 24, 2005 as a non-profit corporation. The process of submitting supporting documentation for approval of the 501c3 federal tax exemption status is currently underway.
The Dragonfest Foundation is a separate corporation formed under the direction and authority of the Board of Directors for Dragonfest of Colorado, Inc. It has been established for the following reasons:
• The current Dragonfest of Colorado, Inc. land savings account has approximately $90,000.00. This, along with our operating and saving accounts places us in the position where we are holding 2+ years of operating expenses in the combined accounts. Because of this, we are potentially liable for taxation on our assets – i.e. the land fund.
• By creating a separate corporation to serve as repository, we remove the issues of the land fund being vulnerable as an attached liability to Dragonfest of Colorado, Inc.
• This also removes the responsibility of having to fund raise for land, write grant proposals, solicit donations, obtain land and implement a land management plan from the Board. Instead, they can focus on improving the corporate structure and quality of the festival(s).
In addition to protecting the land fund monies from liability, obtaining land and property to ensure the continuation of Dragonfest is a primary focus of the new foundation. Over the years the Festival Board has taken into consideration many issues surrounding the purchase of land. These include:
1. Debate over buying land with improvements already on it – a commercial campground as an example, or to buy undeveloped land and make the improvements as are dictated by the Festival’s needs.
2. Price, size and availability are an ongoing concern.
3. Land specific criteria must include zoning, accessibility, conveyances (if any) and land use rights.
4. Water rights and available permits for wells. Cost of drilling is also an issue.
5. Mineral rights and laws that might allow mining corporations to come onto our land and mine for mineral resources as needed.
6. Current Dragonfest land fund monies are insufficient to procure a suitable parcel of land.
7. Mortgage payments/improvements/ongoing maintenance will need to come from donations, fund raising, grant writing and possibly the sub-letting of our land to other groups.
8. More money needs to be raised to achieve a realistic 10% down payment on a parcel of land.
9. Some people in our community argue in favor of staying where we are and continuing to rent at the current location .
10. Purchasing a warehouse to invest the land fund monies while waiting to procure land. The warehouse would give us an answer to our ongoing storage issues, provide a “real” address, have space for an office and document storage, provide meeting space and give us better credibility to pursue grant money.
• When the time comes that we can purchase land we have a Land Search Committee in place. They will be responsible for preliminary investigation of suitability of proposed parcels. (See Criteria for Land Acquisition hand out.)
• We are in the initial stages of investigating a possible joint venture with The SCA. This partnership would be for the purpose of purchasing land. The partnership would have the responsibility of defining search criteria, usage criteria, improvements, maintenance, price and related common interests. The SCA group we are in discussion with has approximately $130,000.00 in their land fund.
• Once we have purchase land – either with another organization or by ourselves, we will need to make improvements. Depending on what the land already has, we may need to build roads, add campsites, build pavilions, build storage facilities, dig wells, create septic systems and trash containment systems, install power and communications systems and certainly many other tasks yet to be determined.
• In addition to making improvements to the land, we will need to establish a land management team. The anticipated issues this team will address are: ongoing upkeep/maintenance to buildings, fencing and other facilities, continuing improvement of site, land stewardship and security/surveillance. We recognize that this is subject to revision depending on the needs of the property we purchase.
Because the Dragonfest Foundation is a separate corporation, it will have it’s own Board of Directors, Corporate Officers, Mission Statement, Bylaws, Policies, etc… This is not an elected Board, but rather an appointed Board that serves at the pleasure of the Festival Board. Currently an Executive Director and Treasurer have been appointed. The Foundation Board is charged with the fiduciary responsibility to manage the land fund and to procure land and property for Dragonfest of Colorado, Inc. The Foundation Board acts under the guidance of the Festival Board and both organizations meet monthly to discuss status. The Festival Board has given the Foundation a period of one year to formulate the mission statement, policies, bylaws and plan for fundraising and land acquisition.