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Old 07-25-2010, 10:03 PM   #1
Retarded_Penguin_Brewing
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Default The Old Olympia Brewery

So since I have a lot of time to sit and ponder life here in Iraq, I started thinking about the old brewery and my memories from childhood of the whistle and the smell that always wafted from there. I haven’t been home in awhile, but I came across a news article about a small fire that had broken out back in May. It really made me sad to hear about such an icon just crumbling away like it is and people breaking in. I was born and raised in Olympia, WA and I know many people feel a strong connection with this piece of the town’s heritage. So here’s the question I pose, what are your thoughts collectively about the hurdles of creating say a non-profit organization and collect donations to resurrect this structure to its former glory and retro fit for a museum or some other sort of public place? I’m a mechanic by trade with no real legal background, so I was hoping there might be some people on here with a better working knowledge of Washington laws and businesses and such.

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Old 07-26-2010, 01:26 PM   #2
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Hi Penguin. I work in the not-for-profit sector (I'm currently managing director of a human rights organization, and have previously worked with church, arts, and educational organizations) so can help you think through this a little.

Legally creating a not-for-profit is easy - step 1 is incorporating within your state and step 2 is applying to the IRS.

The real issues are about organizing. You need to find (recruit) a solid core of people who are passionate about the issue and willing to work with you on it. These folks would form your organization's board. And you need someone who will lead them - presumably you. These are the people who will contribute themselves and ask others to contribute. They will also recruit other people to your cause.

Creating a group like this is very possible, if you have an important issue you are dealing with and there are people who are passionate about it.

Your project is very sobering to me, though. I don't know the building you are talking about, but I can't imagine its less than a $5 million project. You're not going to get there through $100 or even $1,000 donations. You would need to find some major gifts, at least one or two in the $1,000,000 + range, and you would probably need to forge some sort of partnership with the local government. This could be quite challenging.

Hope this helps. Feel free to pm me.

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Old 07-26-2010, 01:45 PM   #3
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I know it would be quite an undertaking. It is listed as a historical landmark by the city. A few years ago it was going to be purchased by a few private individuals to the tune of about $43 million. That deal fell through when one of the investors turned out to be a con artist. The city has commisioned several studies to help determine the redevelopment potential of the old brewery.

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