Bill Auld

How did I start a non-profit?

Gestation time, the time from conception to birth varies.  For humans, it is nine months, elephants, 22 months and for the little opossum just 13 days.  Ideas have a gestation time too.  Ideas are conceived, sparked at pivotal moments in our lives.  Ideas just like a baby need time to grow.  The gestation time for an idea could be anything.  For Bill Auld that time was 9 years.  He remembers clearly the day his idea – to start a charity in his grandfather’s name – was conceived.

On June 4, 1998 Bill’s beloved grandfather, Joseph “Pop” Lapinski, lost his battle with pancreatic cancer.  A few days later at the evening viewing, Bill found himself feeling sad for his cousins.   Bill was the oldest of Pop’s 25 grandchildren.  Being the oldest, Bill had the opportunity to have those special days with his Pop.  The days where they would go down the street to check on a neighbor, work on project for a relative or volunteer at the church.  On these special days Bill learned about Pop’s huge heart and now, at his wake, Bill’s heart hurt thinking that some of his younger cousins would not have that same experience.  It was from this heartache that the idea for the charity was conceived.

Bill knew he had a great idea.  He would start a charity in Pop’s name with the help of his cousins.  The charity would not only help people in need, but would teach his cousins how Pop lived a life of faith and compassion.  Bill thought about the idea.  He envisioned the people the charity would help.  He thought of ways the whole family could volunteer and the healing that it would bring to them.  All of this lived in Bill’s head.  It just didn’t seem like the right time for him to share his vision.  The first few years after Pop’s passing, the timing just never seemed right.  His main concern was that his Nana was going to be okay without Pop.

In 2005, Bill hired a coach.  His coach, SoulMate Greg Provance, asked him to brainstorm all the things he wanted to do.  The list would then be ranked and the top five things would become personal goals; goals which required actionable steps.  Starting the charity was high on list and Bill knew it was time to take the necessary steps, but what were those steps?

The first step was to create a founding statement.  Something that would explain why creating this fund was so important.  He shared it with his Mom and a few cousins, but it was when he shared it with Nana that the idea was finally born.  Starting this charity was not only to honor Pop, but it was a gift for his Nana as well.  Here’s the founding statement he presented to Nana:

In order to follow the example set forth by our grandfather, the grandchildren of Joseph A. Lapinski will create and operate a charitable fund in his memory.  Just as we will never forget our “Pop”, we will strive to create a fund that will live on in perpetuity, one that will not merely honor our grandfather but honor the spirit and integrity that he so humbly displayed every day.

  • A non-profit organization will be created in order to manage the fund and officers of that organization will be comprised of the grandchildren and their spouses.  The officers will change at regular intervals to include all that are interested in taking that charge.  Over time the great grandchildren will continue this for years to come.
  • The initial goal of the fund will be to create a nest egg of $25,000.  Each year after that goal is reached the fund will donate off of the interest earned to a charity so chosen by our Nana his loving wife, Rita Lapinski. 
  • The workforce for this endeavor will come from the diverse talents, skills and enthusiasm of the grandchildren and their spouses.  Yearly we will meet to decide what tasks we wish to accomplish in the coming year in order to support the fund.
  • The Charitable Fund will not only be a vehicle to create money and provide financial donations.  It will also be designed to foster the ideal that through our actions we will strive to help others, help our family and help ourselves become more caring to the people and the world around us.

Nana, through your love for each other, your love for your family and your love for your community, you and Pop have given many a great example of how to live. You have created a tremendous legacy of which you should be proud. With this fund we hope to continue that legacy for the generations who follow.

Now that the idea was born, like any new born it needed the right nourishment and enrichment to grow.  Bill found a partner in his very detailed oriented cousin, Justin Van Der Horn.  Justin was the perfect complement for Bill’s big picture thinking.  Next Bill put his networking skills to work to find an attorney to help them establish a 501(c) (3) non-profit.  With that in the works his baby was ready to meet the world and the first fund raising event hosted by the charity was scheduled in the summer of 2008.  Money raised from this first event helped the doctor who treated Pop purchase state of the art equipment used in pancreatic cancer treatments.

Jump to today, summer of 2012.  The Joseph Lapinski Foundation has established by-laws, a Board of Directors, Board of Trustees, a website and has donated over $50,000.00 to deserving charities.  Today you’ll find Bill and his cousins busy working on the final details of their fifth annual charity dinner and coordination of their biggest volunteering effort, a 24-Hour of Kindness event to support and spread the good work of SoulMate, Michael Chase.   They may be busy and even a little stressed, but Bill reminds his cousins of words Pop was most known to say “Not to worry.”