The way our business model is set up, we anticipate not needing regular donations in order to sustain operations, but we could certainly use donations now in order to get that model up and running at full steam. The goal for our crowdfunding campaign is set at $160,000, which is not a great deal of money when you consider it would be used to start up an international nonprofit. That amount would sustain us for 6 months and that is all the time we would need in order to get all of the gears of our business model in motion. Once everything is in place, we anticipate earning enough in revenue from the sale of merchandise, such as our books, to be able to cover the majority of our estimated $65K - $80K in monthly expenses. The remainder will be covered through memberships, grants, and lastly, donations. Not to suggest we wouldn't accept your charitable contributions. We just don't want you thinking Inked for Peace isn't a viable charity. In the end, your giving will cycle through and come right back to you in the form of inclusion in a robust community of like-minded people.
Of course, we would never refuse donations from anyone, but we want to be sure you are aware of a few matters before committing to donating. First off, donations are final. Inked for Peace will not refund any donations. Upon clicking the link below and confirming your donation through PayPal, you are waiving your rights to your donation. On our end, Inked for Peace guarantees to use donations as articulated in the the next section below, regardless of the state of the organization, meaning, even if the organization were to fold (which it won't), your donations will still be used as intended, until the available balance is depleted. Second, Inked for Peace cannot track and report on the exact utilization of your donation through its lifecycle. Once your donation is received, it is essentially mixed with any preexisting donations and the total account balance is used in a manner as described in the next section below. Inked for Peace will certainly provide financial records in accordance with requirements and regulations to prove the organization is adhering to its mission, strategy, and operating plan as stated on this website, in it's business plan, and in its bylaws.
That's it for rules, but we should also make sure you're aware of the fact Inked for Peace is not yet officially a nonprofit. What that means for you is your donations will not be tax deductible. We are working vigorously to get to a point where we can submit the requisite state and federal paperwork, but your donations now will help us get there much more quickly. Please keep this in mind most of all if you are willing and able to donate, but on the fence about it: donating to Inked for Peace is about so much more than helping us pay for peace-inspiring tattoos or tattoo removals; it's about helping a vibrant community thrive. Nonetheless, we highly recommend you read the remainder of this page in order to assuage any lingering concerns, many of which may not arise until some time later. Once you've done so, come on back up because the 'Donate" button will still be here waiting for you. ;)
Inked for Peace's bylaws, the manual of a nonprofit, are currently being written, but we've already captured many of the more important aspects of our organization's governance in our business plan. So that you have assurance your hard-earned dollars are going to a respectable foundation, we've extracted some of the biggest concerns on donors' minds. If you have any questions beyond that which is covered below, please do not hesitate to contact us.
You can see a complete breakdown of how we will use your donations to startup Inked for Peace by looking over the spreadsheet here. But this is what's important to note: until we can obtain the $160K in capital needed to officially get Inked for Peace up and running, sporadic, small donations will only be used to pay tattoo artists to ink those who are waiting in the queue. Currently, there are 20 people waiting to be "inked for peace." Until such time as we have enough capital to make large quantities of merchandise and/or buy large quantities of tattoo supplies, we have no other incentive, other than exposure before an international audience, by which to entice tattoo artists to get our community inked. That is why we are focused on crowdfunding and other avenues for generating interest and potential donors. What's important to note is: there are no legal protections for those responsible for Inked for Peace's founding, until it has officially incorporated under state laws of Florida and federal requirements. Why that's so important to note is because Inked for Peace employees, such as its founder, is personally liable for the organization's well-being. It is thus in every employee'a best interest to build a successful nonprofit company and using your donations wisely is vital to our success.
Inked for Peace's formation is highly dependent upon public interest. The greater the interest, the sooner the organization needs to form a Board of Directors and hire a staff, as an official nonprofit. While we can't predict when exactly Inked for Peace will see notable interest, particular in the form of regular donations through our crowdfunding campaign, we can set milestones based on the organization's number of employees. We're calling this startup time, "phase zero." The only employee during this time is the founder. His focus is to create interest and demand that can then be leveraged in the next phase. All expenses in this vein are out-of-pocket and will not be held as equity on Inked for Peace's books. In other words, he will not be reimbursed. Consider it his donation to the mission. In the process of building the community, the founder will be on the lookout for qualified partners. With their pro bono assistance, the founder will endeavor to move into "phase one" and officially incorporate Inked for Peace. Here too, expenditures during this time will be out-of-pocket, but the goal is to attract significant capital, such as through the crowdfunding campaign, for the official launch of the organization. Once official, salaries will not be rendered until the board of directors has conferred on reasonable amounts for employees in all positions, always keeping the organization's mission in the forefront of their minds.
We trust the pitch we provided on the artists and parlors page was quite enticing, but please take a moment to read over the stipulations by which tattoo artists must adhere to remain in good standing with Inked for Peace:
In general, volunteer tattoo artists will be forbidden to promote violence or engage in behavior inconsistent with promoting peace. Basically, if the behavior results in an arrest, the artist's membership will be subject to revocation. Any infractions will be investigated on a case-by-case basis and the eligibility of the volunteer tattoo artist's continued membership will be determined thereafter by the founder and/or board of directors. We understand people make mistakes and don't wish to refuse any sincerely remorseful artists.
Volunteer artists will only ink tattoos from our "flashfolio", all of which have been approved, by virtue of their being visible on the website, or possibly certain crowdsourced designs as requested. We will work with you ahead of any inking on any embellishments to the designs. (You can read more about the general guidelines which will be used for tattoo vetting in the next section below.)
Volunteer tattoo artists must ink the requesting individual in accordance with a pre-established set of procedures. We will work out the exact procedures with you ahead of time, put them in writing, and send them to you for your signature. The requestor will also have a document to sign, which you will collect and mail back along with your document(s). This is simply a formality to protect everyone involved.
If you are more familiar with the "inked for peace" process, we'll ask that you assist the requestor through much of it, short of writing out their story. For instance, taking good images and videos is best left to you, while they are in your shop.
We would be honored anytime Inked for Peace is being considered for a featured piece on media outlets of any size, to include personal blogs. We would like to offer an opportunity to enhance your piece by taking part in an interview. Simply contact us and we'll work out the details. On a related note, if you complete the piece without contacting us, and we find aspects of it to be objectionable, we will seek to contact you and resolve the issue. We would never sue, but we simply wish for Inked for Peace, its mission, and its operations to be properly represented.
Inked for Peace's success also depends greatly upon the general public's willingness and ability to "spread the word" through social media. We trust we'll be able to compel you to share anything Inked for Peace releases, such as this website, but social media outlets, especially Facebook makes sharing rather difficult because they'd prefer companies advertise. Anytime you see one of our social media icons, please click it and like it. We put some below just to test you. ;) If you'd like assistance with how exactly to share specific material, please contact us and we'll be glad to assist.
While persuading donors to donate and tattoo artists to volunteer in Inked for Peace's mission is vital to the organization's success, the primary focus of operations must be on providing a good and service to "consumers." Like Mark Cuban says, "Sales cure all." The more demand there is for peace-inspiring tattoos or removals, the more willing donors, artists, and doctors will be to contribute from their end. We can't think of a better hook than, "Free!" However, as already emphasized from the outset, there are certain conditions attached with getting "Inked for Peace." Most notable is this: at this time, only the winning tattoo design within each completed competition and the logos of other peace organizations with which we've partnered will be 100% free. All others, such as the losing designs or a crowdsourced design, will be discounted at a percentage rate to be determine in the future. Another important stipulation is this: paperwork requiring signatures, such as safety and liability forms, are unavoidable, even if a parlor already uses similar forms. For instance, if parlors require you to be at least 18 years of age in your country, so do we. Continue reading below for other pertinent information.
The first condition deals with the tattoos themselves. Inked for Peace must stringently define the subject matter of the tattoos that are approved for inking upon requestors. While there is a fine line between "freedom of speech" and "promoting peace," Inked for Peace, as the maintainer of the community, has every right to walk said line on the "promoting peace" side and dictate which tattoos promote peace and which do not. The general guidelines put in place by the founder and very likely to be upheld by the board of directors in the future is of an agnostic humanist stance; however, each tattoo will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis with the following in mind:
No religious symbology or speech. Some religious symbology has been overtaken by secular culture, to the extent the majority of humanity is unaware of its original meaning, in which case, the symbol could potentially be approved. The "peace" symbol is the preeminent example, as it was derived from a "cross," but became the symbol for the nuclear disarmament movement.
No hate/coercion symbols or speech. There are the obvious ones - KKK emblem - but then there are the not so obvious ones, like the logo for the Black Panther Party. Yes, they promoted self-defense as opposed to initiating violence, but their militant nature was coercive enough to provoke violence from their "adversaries." Careful research into the history of each symbol will be conducted, but there is another failsafe, as explained in the "Application Process" section.
No symbology which depicts a hardening of one's own identity AND exclusion of others' identities, especially as this behavior concerns race. One popular logo used for this purpose is a clenched fist. Here again, the Black Panther Party stands out as being exclusive, as opposed to being inclusive. The same holds true for Neo-Confederates or other racial separatists.
No symbology which suggests violence, such as guns or knives. While these objects are used for nonviolent purposes, their mere symbology tends to incite fear in people's minds, which does not promote peace.
There are two ways in which to get "Inked for Peace:" 1) Request to get inked with one of the tattoo designs in our "flashfoio," or 2) submit a request for a custom tattoo. For the first option, the process will be fairly streamlined. For the second option, (which will not be available until "phase one" of operations), the tattoo has to be approved by Inked for Peace before any designing can take place. You can make these requests on this website (now) or through a volunteer tattoo artist (when we have a network of them). We'll now break down the particulars of both processes below:
No matter your choice of tattoo, the first step is simply filing out the second form on the contact us page. We need basic information so that we can keep in contact with requestors during the application process - full name and location (city, state, country/province). (Note: only Inked for Peace will see your email and we guarantee we will not distribute it elsewhere.) We'll also need background information relevant to the request. All requests must contain a brief summary of your peace-inspiring tattoo story. This should tell us which cause you are supporting, but please also tell us which tattoo design you've chosen. (Note: if causes have yet to have competitions, you can still put in a request and choose whichever entry you like most as we post them, though only the winning design will be 100% free). Custom requests must contain a description of the tattoo design, so artists have something with which to work. (Note: again, we must build up our cadre of artists before we can offer this service.) If there are any concerns in the review process, Inked for Peace will work with the requestor to resolve them, but there may be instances where s custom tattoo simply cannot be approved.
The next step is a matter of matching the requestor to a tattoo artist. Inked for Peace would prefer to tap its network of volunteer tattoo artists before any other tattoo artists. If Inked for Peace has no volunteer tattoo artists within the requestor's preferred driving range, then the requestor can simply recommend a tattoo artist. The requestor would then provide the contact information for the tattoo artist or parlor. Inked for Peace will go so far as to encourage the tattoo artist to become a volunteer, but if this is not possible, Inked for Peace will work with the artist/parlor to coordinate payment. In order to greater guarantee the requestor's satisfaction and the utilization of our funds, Inked for Peace will hold off payment until video proof of the completed tattoo is received, the responsibility for which falls on the requestor.
Once all parties are satisfied, the requestor must still fulfill one last condition. The requestor must assist Inked for Peace in the editing of the webpage which will recount the requestor's story from beginning to end. The webpage will contain their original request, closing remarks about their experience, thoughts for the future as they touch upon Inked for Peace's mission, and of course, photos/videos. The requestor will have the opportunity to approve the webpage before it goes live, but thereafter they must share it through their choice of at least one social media network. There will be links embedded in your webpage for sharing purposes. The shared post will ideally mention the fact Inked for Peace is always looking to grow its community and get more people "inked for peace."
Often times, the process may be initiated by volunteer tattoo artists who are stellar "ambassadors for peace." While working out a paid tattoo with a customer, they may pitch getting an "Inked for Peace" tattoo as well. Or they might simply try some cold selling. Either way, it's more exposure for the parlors as well as Inked for Peace. But, as mentioned above, an artist may be selected for the inking. If a volunteer tattoo artist is involved, there is only one major difference in the process. The onus to ensure all steps are completed properly falls to the volunteer tattoo artist, who should be more familiar with the process. The volunteer tattoo artist must assist the requestor through the process, short of writing the explanation as to why the requestor wants the tattoo. For instance, quality video proof is on the volunteer tattoo artist to provide. They'll also be asked to share their work through their respective social media accounts and help the requestor do the same.
That you've made it all the way down here says a great deal about you. You are our kind of people...well...everyone is our kind of people, but you are clearly champions for the cause. We would be overjoyed to hear your feedback on all you've just read. A quick email will do. We're sure you're just as busy as we are. Thanks in advance and please do consider clicking that donate button at the top of the page. Otherwise, stay tuned for some exciting news from Inked for Peace. And do take care of yourselves out there.