With apologies to those who know me, let me introduce myself and why I'm here. I've been collecting CP for more years than I can remember, specialising always, first in Utrics and then Pings. For the latter, until late 2003, I was the UK National Collection Holder for the Pinguicula National Collection. (I admit to being a member of ICPS and its listserver group, which despite the comments of some in this discussion is an organisation that welcomes pure amatures such as myself as well as professional. I count the experienced and inexperienced, as well as professionals and fellow amatures amoungst my CP friends.)
Ordinarily I wouldn't think it necessary or relevant, but in this case I'll add that I'm a Business Analyst (or more accurately a professional Problem Solver) who has worked in the public and private sectors and with not-for-profit organisations. I am also an author, including of the Royal Horticultural Society's Wisley Handbook titled "Carnivorous Plants" (now out of print). I spent several years helping people of various backgrounds start new enterprises (businesses, charities, etc.)
Most importantly (probably), I am here because BUGWEED asked me to join. In fact, he asked me to read everything here and then comment! So I suppose that I should also add that I talk plainly, though hopefully with no intention to offend.
So, I have at least read the first 17 pages (did I really read 17 pages!) and I see energy - tons of it. It's very positive and I will return to that point.
But I am very very muddled. I see people volunteering yet without an indication of a role to volunteer to do. I see people appointed to positions without a statement that describes the responsibilities of the roles. I see names being discussed without a clear indication that you know why you are naming something. I say "you", because I see no clear boundary that says when a person "belongs" or what the "belong" to, so I do not know when "I" become part of what it is you are creating or how to tell who belongs and who does not! The point I am trying to make is that this presents a large risk and this risk also relates back to the energy I spoke of.
Your energy is clear. It abounds. But there's an odd thing about energy that every successful sportsman knows. Timing is everything. Spend your energy too early and you will not win the race, you will tire and be overtaken by others who conserved their stregth until the right moment. My concern here is that there is a risk that this wonderful idea (and I sincerely mean that) will burn out most of the people who are hungry to volunteer. The opportunity to participate is attracting volunteers before they can be assigned to anything and it is almost inevitable that many will tire. I know because I have actually owned a National Collection. I know first hand how hard it is to start, get approved, maintain approval, build the colection, gain support, maintain PR, etc.
Some of the comments in the preceeding 17 pages point at the need to organise or structure. You've done the check to see if there is enthusiasm - clearly there is. It's time to realise that that task is over. Bank the enthusiasm and promise to call on it in a structured way so as to best facilitate the contributors effort while maximising the effect of their contribution. Logic dictates that it's time to take a deep breadth, control the emotions and build a skeleton that will allow you be clear about what you are doing and where you need help. What I believe you actually need is not just a "proposal" (as has been mentioned) but a Business Proposal. It has to be of that standard if there is to be any chance of securing or identifying funds, people's time and other support (e.g. from media who can help promote what is being done).
Even 17 pages later, I still cannot clearly (if at all) define what it is you intend to do. Create a National Collection? What does that mean? Every National Collection is unique and has its own aims and limits. When you talk about deciding on a name, are you naming the organisation that will own the National collection, an organisation that will do something other than own the National Collection or perhaps are you attempting to name the National Collection itself? I do not know and I suspect you do not either.
By now I may be rapidly being labelled negative. However, in business the primary cause of failure is too much action, too little planning. Here everyone is shouting to be heard (the enthusiasm is wonderful and infectious) but with too little guidance and structure for anyone to be able to make good use of what is said. If people do not see their contribution making a difference, they eventually tire of contributing.
I say pause a while, to decide on the few roles that need definition and then fill those roles with people who can best perform them. The single biggest task at this stage must be to create the Business Proposal and theregfore to decide what sections it needsto contain and, MORE importantly the purpose for which it is being written (is it to put to people needed as volunteers, to use as a basis for seeking charitable status, to seek financial support, or what?)
Use the same pause to decide your processes. How will you gather what you need efficiently and effectively? Using a discussion forum to gather data is not (in my experience) particularly effective unless part of a very well defined process (because dicsussion fora are almost impossible to control!).
Who can do this? Well BUGWEED was I think nominated and then accepted the presidency - strange in as much as I'm not sure exactly what it is he is now president of (but I do actually believe his being president would be and is logical and just, if not entirely democratic!), so BUGWEED should probably define his initial team. It needn't be permanent, it just needs to iron out what the first steps are and who should drive them. (And just in case I've guessed wrong, if BUGWEED isn't a "he", my apologies for the assumption that he is!)
To my mind it's too early to form a not-for-profit organisation as you've no definition of why you need one, what it will do or what/who for (so any attempt will be turned down by the authorities - the application would normally be rigorously tested).
I think it was Barry who asked if you want to be a rogue organisation or not. Do you realise how critical this question is? If you are an organisation dedicated to supporting a National Collecton you CANNOT collect plants or seed except with written permission from accredited authorities or owners of the plants/land. You CANNOT risk owning any pant of dubious origin. You cannot allow a plant to be imported into the collection illegally (e.g. without declaration to Customs of crossing a border). You cannot risk breaching CITES (even though, if my time permits, I may tell you why CITES should be ignored - oh how I hope someone from CITES will be reading!!!).
But most of all, I end with the same advice I give all people new to the hobby of plant growing:- do not let my thoughts be the cause of delay or failure. I offer my thougts as my own personal views, based on my experience. I will not be offended if they are rejected and I remind all that every experienced grower can remember discovering someone else's advice on plants was wrong!
I haven't commented on each of the 17 pages I've so far read - I've left that for later because if you buy into my advice now, there are higher priorities.
I may say more when I see what reaction this gets! But please do understand that I support the idea (as much as I can understand what it is) and hope it eventually succeeds.