Thursday, August 2, 2012

Betty Cone, Fall Guy?

Greensboro is talking about Grassroots Productions' loss of non profit status and the implications for Betty Cone, co-founder and manager of the well known local organization responsible for parades, celebrations and other local festivities but I'm beginning to wonder if perhaps there's more to this than meets the eye.

For starters: the argument that Ms Cone forgot to file taxes since 2008 simply doesn't fly. By her own admission from the Greensboro News & Record: “I didn’t make any big announcement. I just took the (nonprofit status) information off of our forms and moved ahead,” she said."

Here's my thinking: Someone convinced Betty Cone to convert Grassroots Productions from a non profit to a for profit business. This isn't done every day but it does happen and if everything is done properly it can be done legally.

Operating as a for profit business would allow Grassroots to greatly expand their footprint while taking advantage of the foot in the door they already have. The website was built by TriadTech in 2008 and I used the Wayback Machine to verify that there were never any references to their being a non profit on their website. It's looking to me that as far back as 2008, before a 2008 tax filing would be due in 2009, Ms Cone had already made up her mind that Grassroots was no longer going to operate as a non profit limited liability corporation.

Now the question begs, was Betty Cone acting on her own or is she taking the fall for someone she cares very deeply about.

Correction: Businesses often file taxes in advance but it still appears as if the intent was to convert Grassroots from non profit to a for profit company.