Menlo Park: Kepler's bookstore wants you to name its new nonprofit


Kepler's Books in Menlo Park is launching a new nonprofit organization to raise funds for and operate community, cultural and literary events and programs.

What that new nonprofit will be called could be up to you.

The store has released an online survey asking people for suggestions on what the nonprofit should be called. The deadline to submit ideas is Friday, Sept. 9.

Actually, Kepler's event-related activities have been conducted by a nonprofit since 2012, but it operated under the Silicon Valley Community Foundation.

Now, said Praveen Madan, Kepler's community engagement manager, the time has come to set up the nonprofit as an independent entity, with its own tax-exempt status, website, staff, executive director and board of directors.

The new nonprofit will operate similar to other local event-based nonprofits such City Arts & Lectures, Commonwealth Club, World Affairs Council, and Litquake, Mr. Madan said.

The unnamed nonprofit already has an office separate from Kepler's, located just across the street from the bookstore at 1047 El Camino Real, Suite 201.

Kepler's innovative business model of running a for-profit bookstore and a nonprofit event organizer that can receive tax-deductible donations and grants was recently written about in the Stanford Social Innovation Review.

The new nonprofit will employ event managers and is expected to have four to five full- and part-time staff members, some from Kepler's and others from outside. They're currently hiring.

The change is not expected to impact store operations or the nonprofit's current programs, Mr. Madan said.

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