Monday, February 21, 2011

Introducing the Initiative to Start Chicagoland Role Playing & Strategy Gaming Not for Profit

For a few weeks now, I’ve developed some ideas for a Chicagoland-based role-playing and strategy gaming nonprofit. I want it established by gamers and for gamers. With this intention, I articulated the following Initiative structure to gather a party of bright and resourceful gamers to take on this quest by each others’ sides.

Mission Statement/Purpose

Establish a non-profit that

  • Facilitates role playing and strategy gaming by securing gaming space that provides
    • Ease of access
    • Ease of parking
    • Accommodations to needs of disabled (including allergies)
    • Library of materials
    • Means of communication and community
    • Possibly even gaming events organized by nonprofit
  • Promotes and advocates legitimacy and benefits of role playing and strategy gaming
    • Some of my own ideas (all ideas welcome – feel free to speak against my ideas):
      • Newsletter/journal/magazine/articles
      • Advocacy at cons & more mainstream spheres
      • Reaching out to educators & librarians
      • Workshops for people involved to educate/discuss methods and source materials
      • Intro sessions for newbies or people who have never played anything but are curious

Procedure & Structure:

  1. Announce existence of Initiative (step 1 accomplished!)
  2. Find gamers interested in RPGing & strategy gaming nonprofit, whether as organizer, donor, beneficiary
  3. Gather those interested in organizing nonprofit
  4. Evaluate interest level throughout Chicagoland area
  5. Figure out
    • Purpose that meets Chicagoland gamers' needs
    • Organization & structure
    • Resources & appropriation of resources
  6. Execute plan


  • Me
  • Interested gamers (you)
  • Internet
If you live in or come often to the Chicagoland area, believe yourself hearty enough for this adventure, have the mettle to take on the challenge and want to establish this grand scheme, please make your voice heard in the comment section. Thank you for hearing me out.


Anonymous said...

This sounds like a wonderful idea, and it would be a great thing to have in Chicago, but I must admit, I'm not sure how plausible it is. For one, even for a NPO, renting a space is a highly expensive endeavor. A guaranter and insurance are also aspects that must be raised.
Your promotional ideas are wonderful, especially for a growing organization, it's important to get the word out.
If I may suggest, a "floating" organization first, then it's more feasible to gain interest and costs before getting your own space.

The_Lex said...

Anonymous, great ideas. I think you're one or two steps ahead right now, though. My first three personal concrete goals at the moment are (which I haven't mentioned clearly):

(1) Gauge the level of demand or interest there is in the Chicagoland commuinity

(2) Start figuring out fundraising issues without consideration of expenses or excepting any funds (I'm expressly not going to accept any funds until fiduciary responsibility is figured out fully)

(3) What are the benefits that gamers in the Chicagoland community want from this type of organization

After figuring out 1, 2 and 3 above, we can start thinking about the responsible stuff. Thinking about that stuff in the beginning will just cause too much discussion and possible discouragement. There's a time and place for responsibility discussions.

That's why I'm starting this enterprise as a loose Initiative that will pretty much work with just ideas and people. Once the ideas reach the point of execution, we'll make sure to dot the i's and cross the t's.

So yeah, right now, what kind interest and what kind of numbers can we drum up for people interested in benefiting from this kind of organization?

Anonymous said...

I see. Then, I think a good first step is to find local gaming troops. (Of which I'm sure there are plenty of in Chicago.) Check out WOTC and White Wolf forums for open groups. Many have local player searches with email contact info. You could gauge interest for this NPO within the community.
Maybe create a public yahoo/google group people can join and voice their ideas. Make your own business cards, hand them out at games and cons to point them in the direction of the group.

Jeff Smith said...

Sounds like this could be a great resource. Might I suggest checking out the Chicago RPG Meetup group to gauge support? Large concentration of gamers. You might even want to extend it to the suburban groups as well.

The_Lex said...

Jeff & Anon,

Thanks for the great ideas and suggestions. I need to find time to consider them more closely and act upon them.

@Jeff: Does the Chicago RPG Meetup have Facebook presence? I'd rather not start another Meetup account. Dropped them during a SPAM accounting purge. If no Facebook presence, do you know of contact info for organizers?