The Nonprofit Status of Distant Hill

"The superior man seeks what is right; the inferior one what is profitable"  Confucius

What We Learned About Becoming a Nonprofit

In the summer of 2012, Antioch University New England environmental education graduate student Maisie Rinne worked with us to determine the many steps necessary to obtain nonprofit status for Distant Hill Gardens.

 

There are two main advantages to Distant Hill Gardens obtaining 501(c)3 nonprofit status, and both are directly related  to funding:

 

  • Distant Hill would become eligible for public and private grants.
  • Any contributions to Distant Hill Gardens would be tax-deductible.

 

These are both very important benefits to the possible future funding needs of Distant Hill Gardens. However, we learned that in New Hampshire, a nonprofit's Board of Directors must have at least five voting members, none of whom can be related by blood or marriage. Both of us could not be on the board, and the decisions for the future of Distant Hill would not be ours to make. The Board, and not us, would have complete control of the day to day running of the organization. 

 

Because of this fact, we have decided not to file for 501c3 status at this time. We are not comfortable giving up control of Distant Hill just yet. 

 

Michael and Kathy Nerrie

 

Some Funding Options for Distant Hill Projects

In order to make the natural resources of Distant Hill accessible to everyone, we have developed a partnership with ACCESS, a non-profit organization serving the Monadnock Region. It helps people with disabilities create meaningful lives through Education, Employment, and Community connections. 
 
In the fall of 2013, Distant Hill Gardens, through ACCESS, received a trail building grant from Q2C, the Quabbin to Cardigan Partnership. A small group of students and teachers from ACCESS,  helped us build our first 'Trails-for-All' to one of the nine vernal pools on the property.
 
We recieved a second grant in the spring of 2014 to help us continue the work on the trails. The long range plan is to connect as many of the vernal pools with accessible trails as is possible.
 
Another funding source we are looking in to is the possibility of establishing a non-profit 'FRIENDS OF DISTANT HILL GARDENS'.
This would secure the financial advantages of a nonprofit without having to relinquishing control of Distant Hill Gardens to a board of directors. 

 

Michael and Kathy Nerrie