The Mission of your proposed Center is certainly admirable---and timely. What you propose to do is indeed unique. But all non-profits begin in that way: they are unique in that they fill a need not otherwise available.
However, I sense that your proposed program is even more unique, perhaps relating far more to a possible commercial business. You give the impression as an entrepreneur. Your program seems closer to being of a copyright or of a patent nature. You are the creator and the owner of the good and needed idea.
That is why, to my way of thinking, the non-profit route, in any event, is not the way to go. And it is not just due to whether your daughter works there and gets paid or not. It is because going non-profit would, in time, have a good chance you will lose control over the original Mission---even to be removed from the organization.
That is because a non-profit must be formed, in the words of the IRS, for the public good, and when it is formed, it is truly public. It belongs to the community. You would no longer have ownership. And from what I read of your dedication to the Mission, that possibility would be impossible for you to live with.
A Board of Trustees is required by law---in numbers usually set by respective state regulations. Those Board members are the stewards of the organization, and they can hire and fire staff as they please. As well, founders who are Board members often find themselves eased/removed from the Board.
The best and the most needed non-profit organizations begin with a vision by the founders to do something good for society---often to serve a need no one else is serving, and unfortunately, sometimes serving those individuals some others would rather not even know exist.
Founders and their Boards do, more often than not, through a shared vision, impart successfully the "ownership" of the organization to others. A shared vision that speaks to, and appeals to, a defined constituency is critically important to the success of any non-profit organization.
However, other founders, wanting to achieve their Mission as they have conceived it, later find to their dismay and consternation that the direction of the organization changes and the change may very well be severely counter to their founding views. Being ready to accept that possibility is usually not in the initial thinking of founders until it is too late.
All things considered, if you want and need total control to fulfill your worthy dream, in my opinion, going the non-profit way is not going to do it with absolute certainty. Better to answer to investors of venture funds and a lender.
Tony Poderis http://www.raise-funds.com
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