1 Free Charter for your Non Profit Larp

Larp is a resource intensive activity. Developers take time to write and edit a game system at their own expense. Event holders find locations and run logistics. Players build or buy their own gear. Everyone puts in time, money or both. Like all things in the hobby category there are few monetary rewards for spending all this time and money. Camaraderie, excitement, suspense, separation from modern stresses. The rewards of larp are emotional, not financial. Which makes a non profit structure perfect as the business model for a larp.

I’ve had this charter kicking around for a while now, and it hasn’t changed much lately. Which indicates to me that it’s ‘done’ for all intents and purposes. As my wife and I are selling our condo and buying a house that precious resource time is in scare supply. Hence posting a document created a while ago. I can think of no better way to express what a larp should be about, then what I’ve included in this document. But it can be polished even more. Tweet me, comment on Google+, or post a message on the Facebook group. Our first 2015 practice event is posted as well, so check that out while you’re on the FB page.

And now, below the break, the charter.

Larp Non Profit Charter (goo.gl link to a google doc) Comments are turned on in the document so you can also just leave a comment in the document.

“Make Good Art”
-Neil Gaiman

Organization Title:
[Your Title Here]

Organizational Goal:

Create a nonprofit organization, in the form of a club, to support and grow a community of people who can practice the art of Larp as a lifelong hobby. Lacking infinite time and resources the club cannot support all forms of art that would be relevant to a larp. The community shall focus its efforts in a few areas key to larp.

  • Have fun while becoming better at a martial art
    • Safety
    • Combat
    • Physical fitness (personal skill)
  • Have fun while becoming better at creative art
    • Garb/sewing
    • Weapon/Armor Construction
    • Other fun stuff like Cooking, making props.
  • Have fun while becoming better at theatrical art
    • Storytelling
    • Improvisational Acting
    • Event execution

Organizational structure:

The organization will hold ‘events’ which are a place to practice art as a group with structure and context created by the organization and by the players. Past experience has taught us that Larp events are not profitable monetarily. They require resources in multiple categories chiefly time expenditures from the players, and organizers. They require special goods the modern world does not provide cheaply. Time, effort, and money are all needed to produce an event.

Despite the resource costs LARPs are profitable emotionally. Therefor the system must be created as a nonprofit. Even better if the system can be created as a 50(c)3 charity organization. Volunteers working for the system could be compensated with tax breaks. Donations could be accepted from the players and the external community. The system could seek grants for the above tenets (hence having them well articulated is a good idea).

The initial organization will include 2-3 members who, while maintaining gainful employment, organize the larp community. They will be responsible for recording the rules, publishing any rule books (electronically or physically as needed), scheduling no less than 2 but no more than 4 events per year. The members will need to gather, store and move materials and resources to run those events, recruiting volunteers as needed. To facilitate these activities the organization will collect dues from members, and fees from attendees . These funds will be used to pay the costs for the organizations activities, and to facilitate getting members and players to and from events.

Members of the organizational body will not be able to play active characters in the game world. They will be able to play NPC characters, marshal events, and run the game system. They will create event concepts together that the community can experience.

Organizational Limits:

In the past Larps focused on writing a rule book, and hosting events as the key to creating an organization. This organization shall instead focus on building a community. This changes the focus of day to day activity, and where this system allocate resources. It is a radical departure from our previous outlook on creating a guidebook, and hopefully will address the core reasons why our previous attempt failed. Additionally modern technology allows the formation and maintenance of such tribes, or communities of people much more easily than in previous decades.

We are not making a company to write a rule book, although we will have to write rules. We are not creating a company to host events, although we will have to host events. We are creating a club to support a community and that community LARPs. The main focus day to day of the organization should be finding people who would enjoy being members of the club, adding them to the membership. Hosting practice and events where the community can have a good time expressing their skill at art of the game together and help each other get better at that art. Much like a burn or poi format.

Do not over produce anything. Things will change over time as the community grows. The rules for the Goblin War can be rewritten (the combat section is all copied) and expanded over time. For the number of people attending the current page count of the rules is fine. For 16 players a 6 page rule book with basic information is just fine. Once the system hits 30 players, it will have to be rewritten. Once the game hits 90 players many things will need to be updated to support the higher number of players.

Every time the organization triples in size, the systems to support that organization must be reevaluated. All Larps change over time, this one will to.

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