Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Why did we incorporate Norman’s Gang?
A: We incorporated Norman’s Gang for several reasons:
1. To protect our founders. Before we incorporated, all responsibility, including financial responsibility, for the Gang fell on the shoulders of the families of @normanthewheaten and @adventures_of_princess_tuck. As we doubled and tripled in size, that no longer made sense. Now the corporation has the responsibility, not individual members.
2. Having a corporate structure allows us to open bank accounts to protect our funds. The Gang can also receive money and send money as an organization rather than an individual.
3. As a company, we can protect the Gang’s intellectual property. This includes things like our logo, website and The Hood.
4. Being a corporation provides the Gang with legitimacy. We now face the world as a real organization with a corporate name, website, officers and directors. We are showing the world that we are more than just a hashtag on IG.
Q: Why did we incorporate two entities?
A: One of the goals of the Gang’s leadership was to create a 501(c)(3) charity, which would allow U.S. members to get a tax deduction for donations. However, when we began discussing this idea with our lawyers, we learned that an organization must have an entirely charitable purpose to have a chance at qualifying for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status. Since Norman’s Gang is primarily a social club (that spreads love through our dogs), it would never qualify. So we came up with the idea for the second entity, Norman’s Gang Cares Inc., which will have an entirely charitable purpose. We incorporated Norman’s Gang Cares Inc., which was the first step towards qualifying for tax-exempt status.
Norman’s Gang Cares is in the process of preparing its application to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service for 501(c)(3) status. It’s a complicated document that has many requirements. We are compiling the information and hope to make our filing sometime in 2020. We will keep you posted on our progress.
Just a quick note about why we chose to incorporate in Delaware. It is well known that Delaware is friendly to companies and non-profits because it has a well-developed system to support them. As of 2018, 67.2% of Fortune 500 companies were incorporated in Delaware. Our lawyers advised us to incorporate both entities there, and we felt that following their advice was in the best interests of the Gang.
Q: Is Norman’s Gang Inc. a for-profit entity?
A: Although Norman’s Gang Inc. is a C corporation, Norman’s Gang is NOT being run for profit. No one inside or outside the Gang — not the founders, not the Gang leadership, not the volunteers — is making money off of the Gang or any Gangsters.
Some of the funds raised last year were used to cover the Gang’s operating costs (see below), but we have donated $8,300 of the funds we raised to charity.
Q: Does Norman’s Gang have any employees?
A: No. Norman’s Gang is run entirely by volunteers. It has no employees of any kind and it does not pay a salary to anyone.
Q: Who is on the Board of Directors of Norman’s Gang?
A: The Board is currently comprised of five people: the founders (@normanthewheaten’s parents Lou and Lindsay Seekircher and @adventures_of_princess_tuck’s mom Kay Beckman), our corporate secretary (@notoriousnola’s mom Christina Pae) and a CPA (Greg Re).
Q: How are decisions made in Norman’s Gang?
A: Until recently, the Gang leadership made decisions on its own, often with input from a small group of core volunteers. It was a small organization that grew organically, and no one envisioned it doubling and tripling in size year over year. Since appointing a Board of Directors, all major decisions must be approved by a majority of the directors. Going forward, we are putting in place an Advisory Committee comprised of Gangsters who have expertise in different areas. We believe our Advisory Committee will not only help us make sounder decisions, but will also help us to stay more transparent.
Q: Why hasn’t the Gang donated to sick dogs and rescue dogs individually?
A: Before the Gang raised any money from Gangsters, the Gang’s founders often reached into their own pockets to help a sick Gangster or their parents. However, after the fundraising drive last year, the Gang leadership realized that they could no longer give money to people at their will; rather, a process had to be put in place to vet each dog or person and set standards for giving.
Unfortunately, we did not have the manpower to put those processes in place and, as a result, we only gave to one pup and one person and then stopped. We are not even sure we have the ability to put the right processes in place now, so at this point, we do not plan to give to individuals.
Norman’s Gang is a wonderful group of people who support each other every day through posts, stories and DMs. When Gangsters have asked one another to help raise money for dogs and causes, we have all rallied our followers to raise thousands of dollars. We feel that this is truly our strength and hope we will continue to support each other (and even dogs outside of the Gang) in this way.
Q: What is our operating budget going forward?
A: We can only estimate our operating budget for 2020. If we continue doing what we have been doing—sending gifts to volunteers and prizes to Gangsters, maintaining our website and domain names and keeping up our corporate registration in Delaware—as well as preparing for and filing our 501(c)(3) application with the IRS, we anticipate our operating costs for 2020 to be about $3,250. However, as we all know, budgets morph and change and costs may arise that we did not anticipate. If there are significant changes, we will be sure to let you know.
Q: Will we do more fundraising in the future?
A: We plan to reach out to Gangsters again for funding to keep the Gang running, but as we are doing this year, we intend to donate any money over our operating costs to charity. Going forward, we plan to donate the money more gradually during the course of the year rather than waiting until the end, and we will keep you posted as to when and where we are donating.
We want to emphasize, and we will repeat this at the time of any fundraiser, that NO Gangster is required to give money to the Gang and that donations to the Norman’s Gang Inc. are NOT tax deductible to anyone regardless of where you live. Giving to the Gang has always been and will always be optional; it is your decision whether or not you would like to support the work we are doing. We are also happy to celebrate Gangsters giving to charities of their choice in their home countries. Giving is SO Gangster whether you choose to support the Gang or to help anyone or any pup in need.
Q: Where have we spent the money?
A: Please see below for a line item breakdown of where the money from our fundraisers has gone. We have removed names to protect individuals’ privacy. Information is as of November 1, 2019.