On Becoming a Non-Profit

On June 30th, Seacoast Eat Local quietly completed its first year as a 501c(3) nonprofit. Prior to that, we’ve been a grassroots group with support from a fiscal agent. We received official approval in February and this new status gives us the ability to directly accept donations and apply for grants. These important funding sources allow us to continue publishing Seacoast Harvest, running our Winter Farmers’ Market and SNAP/EBT program, as well connecting you to local food through our information-packed website.

This is the sort of “behind the scenes” stuff that rarely receives much attention but is a vital part of creating a sustainable organization. Therefore, we would like to take a moment to acknowledge all those who helped SEL reach this milestone.

A roaring round of applause goes to Patrick Closson and Hannah Zaitlin of McLane, who guided us through the thicket of nonprofit paperwork with expert knowledge and patience, with special thanks to Rob Nichols who helped make sense of it all. Early support was provided by the New England Grassroots Environment Fund through their Seed Grants (it really works!) and also serving as our fiscal agent until we could get on our feet, and by the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, which provided us the means to take the leap and make this transition. We are deeply indebted to you all, thank-you.

And last of all, a special thanks to our founding board members — Brendan Cornwell, Jeff Donald, Kate Donald, Erin Ehlers, Audrey Gerkin, Josh Jennings, Debra Kam, and Jean Pauly-Jennings — whose extraordinary efforts make all of this possible!

— Sara Zoë Patterson
Board Chair, Seacoast Eat Local

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