We’ve been pursuing this mission for five years now, giving it our everything. We’ve learned so much about how to best train writers and impact our media culture. Our goal is always to put the maximum resources on target. In order to achieve that, we are making a couple of big changes to the way we pursue the mission.
The mission will now operate under the name “The Company,” and we will be moving forward with a new legal structure for the organization.
You can find the full announcement here, but here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions. This transition is being made with the unanimous approval of the board of directors of the School of Kingdom Writers, as well as with the blessing of our intercessory team, stakeholders, full-time students, and advisors.
Note: This FAQ is written by Brad and Melissa Pauquette, the use of the word “we,” “me,” and “I” refer to Brad and Melissa unless otherwise noted.
What is the change?
We (Melissa and Brad Pauquette) are pursuing the same mission under a new name and legal structure. It will be the same team, same values, same resources, and even the same location, but we will now be fulfilling this mission as “The Company.”
As part of this change, we are leaving behind our 501c3 designation, and simplifying the business structure as an LLC.
Why “The Company”?
Our first instinct might be to think of a company as a greedy corporation, but a “company” is literally a group of people who work together for a common purpose, like a company of prophets or David’s company of mighty men. In the military, a “company” is the smallest tactically complete unit, capable of completing its mission independently from the battalion.
“The Company” also alludes to our focus on helping writers succeed in the marketplace. This differentiates us from many writing groups. We believe that Christian writers can impact the world by leverage the existing markets.
Plus, doesn’t this name sound cool?
Why this change?
There are two compelling factors behind this change:
First, we did not know it when we launched, but two other organizations were started slightly before ours using a very similar “Kingdom Writers” name. It’s really cool that God has others on a similar mission! We’ve all been growing and that puts us on a trademark collision course. We’re all on the same Kingdom team, so rather than wait for a problem to erupt, we’d rather take the high road and change now.
Secondly, being a 501c3 nonprofit has certain advantages, but also a lot more administrative overhead (which means wasted time, stress, and money) and it decreases the flexibility with which we can operate. We really haven’t seen many of the benefits—we don’t have any large donors and we don’t seem fit in the box for many grant programs. Restructuring will give us a lot more freedom to operate effectively and put more resources on target.
We’re also concerned about several recent federal court cases, in which the courts have ruled that 501c3 educational organizations (like the School of Kingdom Writers) are subject to Title IX requirements even if they receive no federal education dollars. This is a change from previous policy. As a Bible-believing organization, this is not negotiable for us. Title IX would require us to ignore our values in hiring and student recruiting, which just won’t work. The solution is to restructure without the 501c3 status.
Regardless of how the IRS classifies us, this is a ministry. Our goal is to accomplish the mission, not to turn a profit.
Why make this change now?
General business sense says to fix a problem as soon as you’re aware it must be fixed. We know with certainty that we will need to change our name at some point, and with five years of experience under our belt we’re also certain that the 501c3 structure is not ideal for this mission, so it’s our intention to make this change now, rather than wait.
What about current students?
All current students will finish their term with the School of Kingdom Writers. Nothing will change.
What about future students?
We will offer the same programs formerly offered by the School of Kingdom Writers. New students will simply be accepted into the same programs under the new name.
How will this change impact graduates and alumni?
Graduates of any of the School of Kingdom Writers’ programs will have the choice to use the School of Kingdom Writers name on their resumes or to update their resumes to reference The Company.
What about current donors?
If you are currently giving to the School of Kingdom Writers, you don’t need to do anything right now. You can continue to give to SOKW as you have been giving, and those donations will still be tax deductible.
The School of Kingdom Writers will be training writers at least through August, and will continue to need your support during that time. Once the board of directors determines what comes next for the School of Kingdom Writers, they’ll contact all of the active donors to discuss the next best steps.
If you’d like to make a change now, you’ll be able to donate to “The Company” after February 1. Those donations will not be tax deductible, but they will be used for our continuing mission to train writers.
What about the building the School of Kingdom Writers is rehabbing?
The future of the building at 35 S. 4th St. in downtown Zanesville has not yet been determined. With or without these changes, this project has been at a standstill. The board of directors of the School of Kingdom Writers will determine the next steps for the building soon.
The on-site students will continue to meet at our space at 47 N. 4th St. in downtown Zanesville. At the end of the school year, the lease will transfer to The Company, and we will continue to use the same space.
What technically is happening?
“The Company” is a fictitious name (or DBA) of a new Ohio LLC called Writercorp ltd, which was created specifically for this purpose.
We (Brad and Melissa Pauquette) are resigning from our position at the School of Kingdom Writers and taking our skills, experience, and intellectual property to The Company. We are doing this with the blessing of the board of directors of the School of Kingdom Writers, who agree that this is the best way to serve our God-given mission.
Any assets that belonged to the School of Kingdom Writers that will now be used by The Company have been purchased at a fair market value from the nonprofit organization, as negotiated by the board of directors.
The board of directors of the School of Kingdom Writers is still discussing what will happen to the old 501c3 organization (School of Kingdom Writers, Inc.), and whether it should be dissolved or repurposed to serve the mission in a different capacity. For now, it will complete the existing student contracts and continue to serve current students through the end of our school year in August.
How can I learn more?
Please attend our open meeting on Tuesday, January 31, 2023 at 8pm ET. All are welcome. One of our chief values is transparency, and we’re happy to answer all of your questions.
You can use this Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86780380820?pwd=VFh2Q3pPSWV2eVAwamM5U0hOWlJnUT09
You can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.