setting up a charity (state) is not too difficult. there are some hoops to jump through but anyone can do it. I helped organize the cancer charity that I sit on the board of (Blue Faery The Adrienne Wilson Liver Cancer Association).
obtaining federal exemption, 501(c)iii, status is another matter. Many more hoops to jump through. most charities try and obtain federal exempt status so that person's contributions to the charity are tax deductible.
Of course, if you have no concerns about becoming tax deductible, you do not have to seek federal exemption. that would make a lot of the record keeping much simpler.
Keep in mind that anytime you take in money from others you have a legal and a moral duty to spend the money that has been donated wisely. This is not a small responsibility.
But the thing is, I have to ask why would you want to set up a JWD charity?
If you just want to focus attention on giving to other causes, you can just start a thread "Cause of the Month" or something and ask JWD folks to support whatever it is you want to tout that month.
If you want to create a resource to funnel money into education or activism against the Society - there are others that are already set up that you can donate your money to. (Randy and other counter-cult ministries are 501(c)iii orgs.)
If you wanted to create a resource such as an online repository (the library idea mentioned a couple of weeks ago), you don't need a charity to do that. Just set it up as a website and ask for donations. Nicolau has already started a Wikipedia site: http://www.watchtowerwiki.org/index.php/Main_Page
(I think the library idea, might have also included a physical space where old publications, etc. could be stored and donated to. Such an idea has limited value as only a few would ever go and reference the materials or borrow them. But if one was still interested maybe you should ask Randy if he has any space at the office for a library and start sending him your old pubs. Really though, the materials should be scanned and made available but then you will have copyright issues to deal with.)
Support network? that's what JWD is already for (in part) and I am sure Simon appreciates donations or purchases.
So again, I guess I don't see exactly what value there would be in setting up a charity.
The only thing that I might imagine would be if you set up a charity that on its face was not completely in the vein of a counter-cult ministry or evangelistic, etc. and that you hoped would get wider support and even support from JWs but I don't see that happening. JWs are not known for being supporters of charities and one that had even a little negative take on the Society would be viewed as an apostate organization.
maybe I just need to hear your or other's ideas about what the FUNCTION and the MISSION of such a charity would be?
-Eduardo Leaton Jr., Esq.