Objectivism and nonprofit organisations

Discussion in 'Voluntary Associations' started by PRODOS, Jun 1, 2015.


    PRODOS Moderator Staff Member

    Jimmy Wales @ Quora.com

    Last edited: Jan 12, 2017

    PRODOS Moderator Staff Member

    Jimmy Wales, Wikipedia founder

    I'm a volunteer.

    I don't get paid a cent for my work at Wikipedia, and neither do our thousands of other volunteer authors and editors. When I founded Wikipedia, I could have made it into a for-profit company with advertising banners, but I decided to do something different.

    Commerce is fine. Advertising is not evil. But it doesn't belong here. Not in Wikipedia.

    Wikipedia is something special. It is like a library or a public park. It is like a temple for the mind. It is a place we can all go to think, to learn, to share our knowledge with others. It is a unique human project, the first of its kind in history. It is a humanitarian project to bring a free encyclopedia to every single person on the planet.

    Every single person.

    If all of Wikipedia's 400 million users would donate $10 each, we would have 100 times the amount of money we need. We're a small organization, and I've worked hard over the years to keep us lean and tight. We fulfill our mission, and leave waste to others.

    To do this without resorting to advertising, we need you. It is you who keep this dream alive. It is you who have created Wikipedia. It is you who believe that a place of calm reflection and learning is worth having.
    This year, please consider making a donation of $5, $10, $20 or whatever you can to protect and sustain Wikipedia.


    Jimmy Wales
    Wikipedia Founder​

    PRODOS Moderator Staff Member

    NASA Education?


    Mr. Blanchard is very appreciative for all of the volunteers who have taken their time to come out to help NASA Education.

    It is the practice and belief of Mr. Blanchard and NASA Education to do whatever is necessary to remain self-supportive in its initiatives.

    Any financial support or grants received are used strictly as seed money to get programs started.

    NASA Education prides itself in being self-sustained, as oppose to being government-sustained.

    Mr. Blanchard has proven successfully that a non-profit organization can become sufficiently self-funded using the right seed money to start towards a goal and then through utilizing the right resources to achieve its initial goals, causes literally an explosion of accomplishments.

    ( ... )

    Privately funded, NASA Education is a Crystal Lake-based, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization who’s main program, Project Fresh Start, offers a community and workforce reintegration program that includes housing, transportation, and training for U.S. veterans who are newly returned, displaced, disabled, homeless or otherwise in transition.​

    PRODOS Moderator Staff Member

    Church groups and Church projects?

    These usually do not receive or seek government funding.

    Get more information on these.

    PRODOS Moderator Staff Member

    Swaziland Animal Welfare Society


    A self-funded, non-profit organisation dedicated to promoting the welfare of animals in Swaziland.

    PRODOS Moderator Staff Member

    ClubsOfAustralia.com (resource)

    This site should have lots of nonprofit, non-government-subsidised groups we can contact.


    Currently we have over 43,000 Clubs listed with direct links to their Official Club Websites
    as well as numerous other Clubs with their contact details.

    Email Address:. info@clubsofaustralia.com

    Postal Address:.
    P.O. Box 34, Kunyung Post Office,
    Mount Eliza, VIC, 3930, Australia


    Lots of very interesting leads.

    PRODOS Moderator Staff Member

    Australia and New Zealand Third Sector Research Incorporated


    Archived (site temporarily under maintenance)

    http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:xAJnVvp-ziAJ:www.anztsr.org.au/third1.htm+"Third+Sector"+clubs&cd=7&hl=en&ct=clnk &gl=us&source=www.google.com

    The third sector is constituted by all those organisations that are not-for-profit and non-government, together with the activities of volunteering and giving which sustain them. These organisations are a major component of many industries including community health services, rural, education, housing, sport and recreation, culture and finance.

    While they differ between themselves, third sector organisations differ as a group from for-profit businesses and from government departments and authorities.

    Third sector organisations vary greatly in size and in their activities.They include neighbourhood associations, sporting clubs,recreation societies, community associations, chambers of commerce, churches, religious orders, credit unions, political parties, trade unions, trade and professional associations, private schools, charitable trusts and foundations, some hospitals, welfare organisations and even some large insurance companies.

    The third sector is gaining recognition in most countries as an important but hitherto undervalued and under-researched sector of society and of the economy. The experience of Eastern European countries has led many to recognise that third sector organisations are key institutions in civil society.

    Many terms are used to refer to third sector organisations in different industries and countries. These include non-profit, non government, community, voluntary, club, society, association, co-operative, friendly society, church, union, foundation and charity.

    The name third sector has gained international acceptance as a positive and inclusive term.

    Why Study the Third Sector?

    The centrality of the Third Sector to the well-being of society, economy and polity is coming to be widely recognised, Yet its character and dynamics, its strengths and weaknesses are not well understood. There is a need to build an infrastructure of knowledge about the Third Sector to be drawn upon by those working in the sector, by policy-makers, by the media and by the wider public whose commitments create and sustain it.

    PRODOS Moderator Staff Member

    Study: Alexis de Tocqueville on non-profit, volunteer-run associations

    Alexis de Tocqueville

    Democracy in America, Volume 2
    Section 2: Influence of Democracy on the Feelings of Americans.

    Chapter V


    I DO not propose to speak of those political associations by the aid of which men endeavor to defend themselves against the despotic action of a majority or against the aggressions of regal power. That subject I have already treated. If each citizen did not learn, in proportion as he individually becomes more feeble and consequently more incapable of preserving his freedom single-handed, to combine with his fellow citizens for the purpose of defending it, it is clear that tyranny would unavoidably increase together with equality.

    Only those associations that are formed in civil life without reference to political objects are here referred to. The political associations that exist in the United States are only a single feature in the midst of the immense assemblage of associations in that country. Americans of all ages, all conditions, and all dispositions constantly form associations. They have not only commercial and manufacturing companies, in which all take part, but associations of a thousand other kinds, religious, moral, serious, futile, general or restricted, enormous or diminutive. The Americans make associations to give entertainments, to found seminaries, to build inns, to construct churches, to diffuse books, to send missionaries to the antipodes; in this manner they found hospitals, prisons, and schools. If it is proposed to inculcate some truth or to foster some feeling by the encouragement of a great example, they form a society. Wherever at the head of some new undertaking you see the government in France, or a man of rank in England, in the United States you will be sure to find an association.

    I met with several kinds of associations in America of which I confess I had no previous notion; and I have often admired the extreme skill with which the inhabitants of the United States succeed in proposing a common object for the exertions of a great many men and in inducing them voluntarily to pursue it.

    I have since traveled over England, from which the Americans have taken some of their laws and many of their customs; and it seemed to me that the principle of association was by no means so constantly or adroitly used in that country. The English often perform great things singly, whereas the Americans form associations for the smallest undertakings. It is evident that the former people consider association as a powerful means of action, but the latter seem to regard it as the only means they have of acting.

    Thus the most democratic country on the face of the earth is that in which men have, in our time, carried to the highest perfection the art of pursuing in common the object of their common desires and have applied this new science to the greatest number of purposes. Is this the result of accident, or is there in reality any necessary connection between the principle of association and that of equality?

    Aristocratic communities always contain, among a multitude of persons who by themselves are powerless, a small number of powerful and wealthy citizens, each of whom can achieve great undertakings single-handed. In aristocratic societies men do not need to combine in order to act, because they are strongly held together. Every wealthy and powerful citizen constitutes the head of a permanent and compulsory association, composed of all those who are dependent upon him or whom he makes subservient to the execution of his designs.

    Among democratic nations, on the contrary, all the citizens are independent and feeble; they can do hardly anything by themselves, and none of them can oblige his fellow men to lend him their assistance. They all, therefore, become powerless if they do not learn voluntarily to help one another. If men living in democratic countries had no right and no inclination to associate for political purposes, their independence would be in great jeopardy, but they might long preserve their wealth and their cultivation: whereas if they never acquired the habit of forming associations in ordinary life, civilization itself would be endangered. A people among whom individuals lost the power of achieving great things single-handed, without acquiring the means of producing them by united exertions, would soon relapse into barbarism.

    Unhappily, the same social condition that renders associations so necessary to democratic nations renders their formation more difficult among those nations than among all others. When several members of an aristocracy agree to combine, they easily succeed in doing so; as each of them brings great strength to the partnership, the number of its members may be very limited; and when the members of an association are limited in number, they may easily become mutually acquainted, understand each other, and establish fixed regulations. The same opportunities do not occur among democratic nations, where the associated members must always be very numerous for their association to have any power.

    I am aware that many of my countrymen are not in the least embarrassed by this difficulty. They contend that the more enfeebled and incompetent the citizens become, the more able and active the government ought to be rendered in order that society at large may execute what individuals can no longer accomplish. They believe this answers the whole difficulty, but I think they are mistaken.

    A government might perform the part of some of the largest American companies, and several states, members of the Union, have already attempted it; but what political power could ever carry on the vast multitude of lesser undertakings which the American citizens perform every day, with the assistance of the principle of association? It is easy to foresee that the time is drawing near when man will be less and less able to produce, by himself alone, the commonest necessaries of life. The task of the governing power will therefore perpetually increase, and its very efforts will extend it every day. The more it stands in the place of associations, the more will individuals, losing the notion of combining together, require its assistance: these are causes and effects that unceasingly create each other. Will the administration of the country ultimately assume the management of all the manufactures which no single citizen is able to carry on? And if a time at length arrives when, in consequence of the extreme subdivision of landed property, the soil is split into an infinite number of parcels, so that it can be cultivated only by companies of tillers will it be necessary that the head of the government should leave the helm of state to follow the plow? The morals and the intelligence of a democratic people would be as much endangered as its business and manufactures if the government ever wholly usurped the place of private companies. Feelings and opinions are recruited, the heart is enlarged, and the human mind is developed only by the reciprocal influence of men upon one another. I have shown that these influences are almost null in democratic countries; they must therefore be artificially created, and this can only be accomplished by associations.

    When the members of an aristocratic community adopt a new opinion or conceive a new sentiment, they give it a station, as it were, beside themselves, upon the lofty platform where they stand; and opinions or sentiments so conspicuous to the eyes of the multitude are easily introduced into the minds or hearts of all around. In democratic countries the governing power alone is naturally in a condition to act in this manner, but it is easy to see that its action is always inadequate, and often dangerous. A government can no more be competent to keep alive and to renew the circulation of opinions and feelings among a great people than to manage all the speculations of productive industry. No sooner does a government attempt to go beyond its political sphere and to enter upon this new track than it exercises, even unintentionally, an insupportable tyranny; for a government can only dictate strict rules, the opinions which it favors are rigidly enforced, and it is never easy to discriminate between its advice and its commands. Worse still will be the case if the government really believes itself interested in preventing all circulation of ideas; it will then stand motionless and oppressed by the heaviness of voluntary torpor. Governments, therefore, should not be the only active powers; associations ought, in democratic nations, to stand in lieu of those powerful private individuals whom the equality of conditions has swept away.

    As soon as several of the inhabitants of the United States have taken up an opinion or a feeling which they wish to promote in the world, they look out for mutual assistance; and as soon as they have found one another out, they combine. From that moment they are no longer isolated men, but a power seen from afar, whose actions serve for an example and whose language is listened to. The first time I heard in the United States that a hundred thousand men had bound themselves publicly to abstain from spirituous liquors, it appeared to me more like a joke than a serious engagement, and I did not at once perceive why these temperate citizens could not content themselves with drinking water by their own firesides. I at last understood that these hundred thousand Americans, alarmed by the progress of drunkenness around them, had made up their minds to patronize temperance.

    They acted in just the same way as a man of high rank who should dress very plainly in order to inspire the humbler orders with a contempt of luxury. It is probable that if these hundred thousand men had lived in France, each of them would singly have memorialized the government to watch the public houses all over the kingdom.

    Nothing, in my opinion, is more deserving of our attention than the intellectual and moral associations of America. The political and industrial associations of that country strike us forcibly; but the others elude our observation, or if we discover them, we understand them imperfectly because we have hardly ever seen anything of the kind. It must be acknowledged, however, that they are as necessary to the American people as the former, and perhaps more so. In democratic countries the science of association is the mother of science; the progress of all the rest depends upon the progress it has made.

    Among the laws that rule human societies there is one which seems to be more precise and clear than all others. If men are to remain civilized or to become so, the art of associating together must grow and improve in the same ratio in which the equality of conditions is increased.​

    PRODOS Moderator Staff Member

    Study: Peter Drucker on non-profit, volunteer-run associations

    Peter Drucker, The New Realities, 1989

    The counterculture of the other half in the knowledge society is one of social status and lifestyles. The other counterculture - so far purely American - is one of values. It is the counterculture of the non-business, non-government, human-change agencies, the non-profit organizations of the so-called third sector.

    American society has become different and distinct from other countries - developed or developing, free market or socialist - in the steady growth of its third sector, the thousands of non-profit but non-governmental institutions. These institutions include the majority of America's hospitals, a very large part of the schools, and an even larger percentage of colleges and universities. They include large international philanthropic organizations and very large domestic ones like the American Red Cross, with its thousands of local chapters and a million volunteers nationwide. They include many purely local ones, e.g., the community chests which support local charities in every American city and country (town?), or the thousands of Meals on Wheels whose volunteers take hot lunches to the sick and elderly. They include large national health-care groups such as the American Heart Association, the American Lung Association, the American Mental Health Association.

    They include a great many community service groups the Salvation Army, the Girl Scouts (which now enroll one out of every four American girls of elementary school age), the Boy Scouts, or the Urban League, the effective community service of America's black city dwellers. They include the enormous diversity of churches in the US ranging from those with more than 10,000 parishioners to conventicles with 25 members. And they include an indescribable variety of cultural enterprises - hundreds of symphony orchestras, for instance, and any number of museums. These institutions are paid mainly by fees and voluntary donations rather than tax dollars. They are independent and governed by their own volunteer boards. But even a good many tax-supported and governmental activities in the US are run like third-sector institutions - the public school, for instance, or the state universities and community colleges.

    Third-sector institutions are not unknown in other countries. They occupy the "commanding heights" in Britain's education - what with the prep schools, the public schools, and the two prestige universities of Oxford and Cambridge. In Britain there are also the non-conformist churches. In Japan there are private universities and private non-governmental hospitals, many of them originally founded by Christian missionaries. The missionaries also gave Korea independent churches and schools affiliated with them. But few such institutions exist on the European continent. And even in Britain, Japan and Korea, they are confined to a few tasks. In the US they are ubiquitous. They fulfill a unique social function. They are a counterculture, different and separate from both the governmental and the business sectors and their respective values and cultures.

    The third sector is actually the country's largest employer, though neither its work force nor the output it produces show up in the statistics. One out of every two adult Americans - a total of 90 million people - are estimated to work as volunteers in the third sector, most of them in addition to holding a paid job. These volunteers put in the equivalent of 7.5 million full-time work years. If they were paid, their wages would amount to $150 billion a year.

    These institutions, today, increasingly talk of the "independent sector" rather than the "third sector." But even that term begs the question of what function these institutions perform. Non-profit, non-business, non-governmental are all negatives. One cannot, however, define anything by what it is not. What, then, is it that all these institutions do? They all have in common - and this is a recent realization - that their purpose is to change human beings. The product of the hospital is a cured patient. The product of the church is a changed life. The product of the Salvation Army - the one organization that reaches the poorest of the poor regardless of race or religion - is a derelict become a citizen.


    Increasingly, America's third sector creates a sphere of effective citizenship. One hears a good deal these days about the disintegration of community; the family, for instance, or the community of a small town. Traditional communities in all developed countries are weakening, except perhaps in Japan. But in the third sector new bonds of community are being forged.

    Even more important may be the role of the third-sector institution in creating for its volunteers a sphere of meaningful citizenship. Now that the size and complexity of government make direct participation all but impossible, it is the human-change institution of the third sector that is offering its volunteers a sphere of personal achievement in which the individual exercises influence, discharges responsibility, and makes decisions. In the political culture of mainstream society, individuals, no matter how well educated, how successful, how achieving, or how wealthy, can only vote and pay taxes. They can only react, can only be passive. In the counterculture of the third sector, they are active citizens. This may be the most important contribution of the third sector. So far it is a purely American achievement.

    In its American form, the third-sector institution can only flourish on American soil. No other country has the tradition of the frontier with its isolated communities forced to work together and to be self-sufficient, combined with the pluralism of self-governing churches, independent of state and government and therefore dependent on their congregations. No European culture, not even the closely knit Latin family, could nurture this kind of community. Only the radically different history of Japan has bequeathed a tradition of community that is comparable - in the "family" of the employing institution which translates the bonds of the feudal clan, the han, into the modern institution of government agency or business enterprise.

    And still the knowledge society - with a social mobility that threatens to become rootlessness, with its "other half", its dissolution of the ties of farm and small town and their narrow horizons - needs community, freely chosen yet acting as a bond. It needs a sphere where the individual can become a master through serving. It needs a sphere where freedom is not just being passive, not just being left alone rather than being ordered around - a sphere that requires active involvement and responsibility.​
  10. PRODOS

    PRODOS Moderator Staff Member

    Article: What’s Wrong with Government Funding of the Arts? By Lawrence W Reed (2003)
    What’s Wrong with Government Funding of the Arts?
    By LAWRENCE W. REED | June 5, 2003

    People who oppose Soviet-style collective farms, government subsidies to agriculture, or public ownership of grocery stores because they want the provision of food to be a private matter of the marketplace are generally not dismissed as uncivilized or uncaring.

    Hardly anyone would claim that one who holds such views is opposed to breakfast, lunch and dinner.

    But people who oppose government funding of the arts are frequently accused of being heartless or uncultured. This adaptation of a letter to a noted arts administrator articulates a case in favor of art, like food, relying upon private, voluntary provision.

    June 1, 2003

    Dear Sir:

    Thanks for the article you sent in which the author laments recent cuts in arts funding by state governments. In my mind, however, the fact that the arts are wildly buffeted by political winds is actually a powerful case againstgovernment funding.

    I’ve always believed that art is too important to be dependent upon politicians, too critical an aspect of culture to be undermined by being politicized. Furthermore, expecting government to pay the bill for it is a cop-out, a serious erosion of personal responsibility and respect for private property.

    But those “studies” that purport to show X return on Y amount of government investment in the arts are generally a laughing-stock among economists. The numbers are often cooked and are almost never put alongside competing uses of public money for comparison. Moreover, a purely dollars-and-cents return — even if accurate — is a small part of the total picture.

    The fact is, virtually every interest group with a claim on the treasury argues that spending for its projects produces some magical “multiplier” effect.

    Routing other people’s money through the government alchemy machine is supposed to somehow magnify national wealth and income, while leaving it in the pockets of those who earned it is somehow a drag.

    Assuming for a moment that such preposterous claims are correct, wouldn’t it then make sense from a purely material perspective to calculate the “average” multiplier and then route all income through the government?

    But isn’t that what they do in Cuba and North Korea? What happened to the multiplier in those places? It looks to me that somewhere along the way it became a divisor.

    What if, for instance, “public investment” simply displaces a certain amount of private investment? (Arts subsidy advocates never raise this issue, but I know that I personally am far less likely to make a charitable contribution to something I know is on the dole than I am to something that I know rests upon the good hearts of willing givers).

    What if “public investment” brings with it some baggage like political manipulation that over time erodes the integrity of the recipient institutions?

    How does that fit into the equation?

    What if I, as a taxpayer who earned the dollars in the first place, could keep what the government would otherwise spend on the arts and invest it in my kid’s college education and end up getting twice the return on my money than the government would ever get on the arts?

    In the early 1990s, Michigan Governor John Engler secured major reductions in state grants for the arts. If those who opposed those cuts had been heeded, the Detroit Institute for the Arts (among other institutions) would probably be weaker today, with a smaller private endowment and a more politicized offering, the alleged multiplier notwithstanding.

    If one put defense spending up against arts spending and judged them purely on their supposed “economic return,” it’s entirely possible that somebody’s study will show a higher dollar return from the latter than from the former. That may well be because a big part of the return on defense spending — keeping our freedoms and independence — isn’t very measurable in dollars. But if given the choice on how to spend scarce resources, I’d err on the side of remaining free and independent, even with all the ghastly inefficiencies at the Pentagon.

    In any event, if simply getting a good return qualifies an activity for public investment and government involvement, then I can think of lots of companies and industries that government “should” have spent tax money on — from silicon chips to Berkshire Hathaway.

    The Founders could have dispensed with all that rigmarole about rights of citizens and duties of government and simply ended the Constitution with a Preamble that said nothing more than, “We the People, in order to get a high return on our tax money, establish this Constitution to do whatever anybody can show will fetch a hefty payback.”

    Sometimes, those of us who put faith in such things as the individual, private property, the marketplace, etc., are accused of being focused solely on dollars and cents. But I think that usually, it’s those on “the other side” who are more guilty of this.

    The arts funding issue is a case in point. Public funding advocates are focused on dollars — more of them, always more of them, and no matter how much public funding of the arts we have, it will never be enough for some.

    Those of us who wish to nurture the arts privately stress many other, and far more important values. I believe, for example, that money that comes voluntarily from the heart is much more meaningful than money that comes at gunpoint (which is ultimately what taxes are all about).

    You’ve won so much more when you convince people to do the right thing, or support the right causes, because they want to instead of because they have to. For that reason, I don’t believe in shotgun marriages either.

    I can think of an endless list of desirable, enriching things in life, of which very few carry an automatic tag that says, “Must be provided by taxes and politicians.” Such things include good books, nice lawns, nutritious food, and smiling faces.

    A rich culture consists, as you know, of so many good things that have nothing to do with government, and thank God they don’t. We should seek to nurture those things privately and voluntarily because “private” and “voluntary” are key indicators that people are awake to them and believe in them.

    The surest way I know to sap the vitality of almost any worthwhile endeavor is to send a message that says, “You can slack off of that; the government will now do it.” That sort of “flight from responsibility,” frankly, is at the source of many societal ills today: many people don’t take care of their parents in their old age because a federal program will do it; others have abandoned their children because until recent welfare reforms, they’d get a bigger check if they did.

    Speaking of welfare reforms, that whole ball of wax has its applicability to the issue of arts funding.

    After decades of throwing $5 trillion at various forms of public welfare, a Democratic president finally ended the federal entitlement to it, in 1996. Why? Because the evidence was overwhelming that public welfare weakened private institutions that historically worked to change lives for the better, eroded the work ethic and destroyed families, produced intergenerational dependency and other harmful social pathologies.

    We even changed the name of Michigan’s welfare department to the “Family Independence Agency.” Now, having said all that, you can understand why I’m a little skeptical when anyone argues that making the arts ever more dependent upon government will somehow have different, more beneficial effects; that putting mothers on the dole is bad but putting artists on it is good. This is why I think we ought to change the name of the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs to the “Artists Independence Agency” with the goal of phasing itself out and encouraging art and artists to broaden their base of support and stand on their own feet.

    Now, I know that art is just about everything to some people, especially those whose living derives from it. But as adults, we have to resist the temptation to think that what we are individually doing is somehow the greatest thing since the proverbial first loaf of sliced bread and that therefore it must receive more than what people give it willingly (that is, that it should also get some of their money unwillingly through taxes).

    I think what my church does is important, but I don’t want government giving it money. I think what we do at the Mackinac Center is important, but we’d go out of business before we’d take a nickel of somebody’s money against his will.

    I might even like certain nongovernment-funded art forms more than the ones that are politically well connected enough to get a grant, but I don’t want to corrupt them with a government check. On and on.

    As children, we want what we want and we want it now, and we don’t care where it comes from or even if somebody has to be robbed for us to get it. But as discerning adults who put a higher premium on mutual respect and building a culture that rests upon creativity and persuasion over coercion, we should have different standards.

    True, some people if left free and alone will not place a high value on art. Or they may only go to Ted Nugent concerts. Well, that’s what living in a free society is all about. It would bother me to no end to dragoon somebody (or their tax dollars) to a concert or a museum they’d rather pass on, even if the alternative is that they’ll just sit on their porch and smoke a joint or read one of those dime store romance novels.

    There are many other reasons why I am critical of a formal subsidy role for government when it comes to the arts, but a very important one that I can’t end without mentioning here is this: I am serious about this thing we call the Constitution. I don’t see where the Founders (or those who have amended it nearly 30 times since) in either letter or spirit intended for art to be a function of the federal government and I have similar reservations about it being a state function as well. To put it bluntly, if I were to concede that art is a legitimate function of government under the Constitution, I think I would have to take the Constitution and tear it up into little pieces. Why? Because if reading either the spirit or the letter of the Constitution can give rise to the view that art is a legitimate function of government, then I guess anything that anybody really wants or thinks is good should also be a function of government. The whole purpose of a Constitution is to say that some things are provinces of government, and other things are not.

    When some people hear me say that, they think I must be denigrating the arts or somehow assigning them an unimportant role. Not at all. I think child-rearing is pretty darned important. But that’s a parental responsibility first and foremost. I think reading good books is pretty darned important, but that doesn’t mean it’s a government function to make us do it. Making sure there’s food in the grocery stores is important, but as we know, there’s always less of it in places where the government says it will grow it and stock the shelves for us (North Korea being one good example). As I said earlier, lots of things are critically important in life and sometimes all we do is endanger or trivialize them when we turn them over to the government.

    This notion that government has to support the arts is a relatively recent one in America. I know of no evidence that art was not valued in the days when it was not regarded as a government function, and I know of even less evidence that suggests Americans would value it less if the government got out of it or if government weren’t taking so much from us as it now does in taxes. With government at all levels consuming something in the neighborhood of 42 percent of all that we earn, it’s amazing to me that Americans are still as generous as they are to the arts and so many other worthwhile endeavors. Just think how supportive we might be if government took only half what it now does from us! I think in such an environment, great institutions like the very one you manage would be stronger and better.

    For further reading on this subject, let me suggest these two great works of privately-funded literature:
    1. “Subsidies to the Arts: Cultivating Mediocrity” by author Bill Kaufman:

    2. “Ten Good Reasons to Eliminate Funding for the National Endowment for the Arts” by Laurence Jarvik:

    Lawrence W. Reed
    Mackinac Center for Public Policy
  11. PRODOS

    PRODOS Moderator Staff Member

    NPV Category: Open Source software
    Examples of Open Source software:
    • Wordpress
    • Drupal
    • MediaWiki
    • phpbb


    Open-source software (OSS) is computer software that is available in source code form: the source code and certain other rights normally reserved for copyright holders are provided under a software license that permits users to study, change, improve and at times also to distribute the software.
    Open source software is very often developed in a public, collaborative manner. Open-source software is the most prominent example of open-source development and often compared to (technically defined) user-generated content or (legally defined) open content movements.[1]
    A report by Group states that adoption of open-source software models has resulted in savings of about $60 billion per year to consumers


    The Open Source Definition is used by the Open Source Initiative to determine whether or not a software license can be considered open source.

    The definition was based on the Debian Free Software Guidelines, written and adapted primarily by Bruce Perens. They are by no means definitive even as applied to software. Clause 3 is the primary legal difference between free software and open source software as such, free software is stricter in interpreting 3. Clauses 5 and 6 are not a condition of any major open content license regimes, which commonly do restrict types of uses and users; for instance, Creative Commons has open content licenses that explicitly forbid commercial use.


    The free software movement was launched in 1983. In 1998, a group of individuals advocated that the term free software should be replaced by open source software (OSS) as an expression which is less ambiguous and more comfortable for the corporate world.
  12. PRODOS

    PRODOS Moderator Staff Member

    Investigate FREE services provided by COMMERCIAL enterprises

    For instance, Facebook is free to use, Google is free to use, Free-to-air TV.
  13. PRODOS

    PRODOS Moderator Staff Member

    Notes on Amateur pursuits

    An amateur (French amateur "lover of", from Old French and ultimately from Latin amatorem nom. amator, "lover") is generally considered a person attached to a particular pursuit, study, or science, without pay and often without formal training. Amateurism can be seen in both a negative and positive light. Since amateurs often do not have formal training, some amateur work may be sub-par. For example, amateur athletes in sports such as basketball, baseball or football are regarded as having a lower level of ability than professional athletes. On the other hand, an amateur may be in a position to approach a subject with an open mind (as a result of the lack of formal training) and in a financially disinterested manner.

    The lack of financial benefit can also be seen as a sign of commitment to an activity; and until the 1970s the Olympic rules required that competitors be amateurs. Receiving payment to participate in an event disqualified an athlete from that event, as in the case of Jim Thorpe. In the Olympics, this rule remains in place for boxing.

    Many amateurs make valuable contributions in the field of computer programming through the open source movement.

    Amateur dramatics is the performance of plays or musical theater, often to high standards and often not, but lacking the budgets of professional West End or Broadway performances.

    Astronomy, history, linguistics, and the natural sciences are among the myriad fields that have benefited from the activities of amateurs.

    Article about Amateur Scientists ...

    Amateur Science--Strong Tradition, Bright Future
    By Forrest M. Mims III

    Contemporary science has its roots in the achievements of amateur scientists of centuries past.

    Although they lacked what we would define as formal scientific training, they deciphered the basic laws of physics and principles of chemistry. They invented instruments. And they discovered, documented, sketched, and painted planets, comets, fossils, and species.

    An editorial in a leading science journal once proclaimed an end to amateur science: “Modern science can no longer be done by gifted amateurs with a magnifying glass, copper wires, and jars filled with alcohol” (1).

    I grinned as I read these words. For then as now there's a 10 × magnifier in my pocket, spools of copper wire on my work bench, and a nearby jar of methanol for cleaning the ultraviolet filters in my homemade solar ultraviolet and ozone spectroradiometers.

    Yes, modern science uses considerably more sophisticated methods and instruments than in the past. And so do we amateurs.

    When we cannot afford the newest scientific instrument, we wait to buy it on the surplus market or we build our own.

    Sometimes the capabilities of our homemade instruments rival or even exceed those of their professional counterparts.

    The term amateur can have a pejorative ring. But in science it retains the meaning of its French root amour, love, for amateurs do science because it's what they love to do. Without remuneration or reward, enthusiastic amateurs survey birds, tag butterflies, measure sunlight, and study transient solar eclipse phenomena. Others count sunspots, discover comets, monitor variable stars, and invent instruments.

    Many amateurs have contributed observations and data that have been incorporated into papers and books.

    Some are accepted as colleagues by their professional counterparts. They present their findings at conferences and publish papers in peer-reviewed journals. For each of these, hundreds more devote their spare time to making observations, measurements, sketches, photographs, and reports without receiving direct recognition. Although some are retired, others are taxi drivers, photographers, civil servants, pilots, or missionaries, the latter group having an especially impressive record of achievement. And some, like my grandmother Leitha Mims, do not even think of themselves as amateur scientists. Yet through years of careful gardening she cultured a new variety of amaryllis.

    Then there are the student scientists.

    Each year more than half a million science fair projects are prepared by students in the United States. Although most projects are required learning assignments, a surprising number of students do original work, and some even make discoveries. Many alumni of the International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) and the Science Talent Search are now working scientists, and at least five are Nobel laureates.

    Amateur scientists identify with student scientists, perhaps because we often don't realize that some of our experiments are not supposed to work.

    When my son Eric wanted to build a novel optical fiber seismometer, a professional seismologist said it would not succeed because our Texas house rests on soil and not bedrock. Eric proceeded anyway, and his supersensitive seismometer detected many earthquakes and two underground nuclear tests in Nevada, an achievement that won him college scholarships, science fair awards, and trips to the ISEF and the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

    An atmospheric scientist said my daughter Vicki's attempt to detect solar x-ray flares with a Geiger counter would not work. Remembering Eric's experience, I excitedly told her this meant her project would succeed! And succeed it did, for Vicki detected six X-class x-ray flares. Her project won science fair awards and was recently published in a book.

    The journal Science itself was begun by a famous amateur scientist and inventor. Although his methods were sometimes ridiculed by some scholarly scientists, their names are long forgotten. But everyone remembers Thomas Edison, who began Science as a private venture in 1880. Expelled from school at the age of seven for being “retarded,” Edison was taught at home by his mother. His life changed forever when he found an old copy of Michael Faraday's Experimental Researches in Electricity and promptly built every project in the book. Thus the self-taught English amateur scientist, who was also schooled at home, passed the torch to the young American.

    Astronomy has traditionally been among the most fertile fields for serious amateurs. Clyde Tombaugh's discovery of Pluto ranks among the best known of their comparatively recent achievements.

    In recent years, hundreds of other amateur astronomers have filled a wide range of niches left behind when many professionals graduated to fully automated observatories dedicated to a limited range of tasks. They discover new supernovae, comets, and time occultations; patiently count sunspots; photograph meteor trails; and measure the fluctuations of variable stars.

    More than 100 members of the American Association of Variable Star Observers have logged from 10,000 to more than 100,000 observations each. The record is held by South African Danie Overbeek, who has logged more than 188,000 variable stars in some 40 years of observing.

    Many serious amateur astronomers have worked closely with professionals, even coauthoring books and papers with them. A paper on massive storms on Saturn that appeared in Science (2) was coauthored by Donald Parker, who discovered the storms and who is famous for his detailed planetary images. Although astronomy is his passion, Parker earns a living as an anesthesiologist for Mercy Hospital in Miami, Florida.

    Although thousands of amateurs observe the solar system and beyond, many more thousands monitor Earth. More than 10,000 citizen volunteers make daily observations for the U.S. National Weather Service. Several years ago, the Weather Service honored Earl Stewart, who in 75 years provided nearly 28,000 daily readings from his station in Cottage Grove, Oregon.

    Thousands of amateur naturalists participate in the Audubon Society's Christmas bird count, providing vital data for studies of bird migration and population trends. Cornell University's Laboratory of Ornithology has collaborated with thousands of amateurs to survey bird populations and identify food preferences.

    Many other amateurs pursue science on their own. French taxi driver Pierre Morvan is a self-taught entomologist who for more than 20 years has spent his vacations collecting, drawing, and studying Asian ground beetles, especially those of the Himalayas.

    Johan Gjefsen Reinhard used his own funds to finance a 2-year investigation of ancient ceremonial centers in the Andes, the highest archaeological ruins on Earth. An important aspect of Reinhard's work is diving in high-altitude lakes once viewed as significant by the Incas.

    Roger Baker has contributed projects to “The Amateur Scientist” column in Scientific American and to the amateur science magazine Science Probe. He used one of these projects, a simple means of measuring ground-level ozone, to compare his results to those from a government instrument. Baker found that the latter was malfunctioning, a fact acknowledged by the responsible agency. Among his many scientific pursuits, Baker grinds lenses from window glass and has made instruments that measure the oxygen in water and the turbidity of what appear to be perfectly clear fluids.

    Although many prizes, awards, and honors are given to student and professional scientists, there are only a few major prizes for which amateurs are eligible. Among these few is the Rolex Award for Enterprise, a prize that has been received by several amateur scientists, including beetle collector Morvan and Inca researcher Reinhard. Aside from occasional commendation letters, most amateur scientists are never recognized for their achievements.

    For some amateur scientists, the most important recognition is the opportunity to work alongside their professional colleagues or to be sent by them on field assignments. NASA has sent my instruments and me on field trips to measure various atmospheric and ecological effects of smoke from biomass burning, twice to Brazil and three times to major forest fires in the western United States. Several publications have come from this work, which has been the most fulfilling of my experiences as an amateur scientist. Among the findings is that the survivability of nonpigmented, potentially pathogenic, airborne bacteria is enhanced during the burning season in Brazil, a phenomenon that is highly correlated with diminished ultraviolet B (UV-B) caused by thick smoke.

    A few scientists refuse to take the work of their amateur counterparts seriously. In 1990, Jerry McDonald, who was working on a Ph.D. in sociology, found hundreds of beautifully preserved tracks of reptiles, amphibians, and insects in Permian sandstone in southern New Mexico. In 1 year alone, McDonald carried on his back more than 18,000 kilograms of footprint-bearing slabs on 240 trips along the 1-kilometer trail between the excavation and his jeep.

    Professional paleontologists were unimpressed by McDonald's claims, because Permian trackways had never been found in southern New Mexico. Undaunted, McDonald drove some of his specimens to the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History and the Carnegie Museum of Natural History. The paleontologists at these museums were so impressed that they asked for samples to display. Nevertheless, some paleontologists continued to reject McDonald's find. “Scientist wins world acclaim but is snubbed in New Mexico,” read a page-one headline in the El Paso Times (3). When New Mexico politicians learned that McDonald's trackways were being acquired by major museums back east, they came to his rescue. Soon thereafter the U.S. Congress authorized a study of McDonald's discoveries and how to protect them.

    Fortunately McDonald's experience is unusual. In this era of big science, the most important lesson to be learned from his discovery and the achievements of countless other amateurs is that scientific observations and discoveries don't necessarily require giant government grants and huge teams of researchers with specialized degrees. Small science still works, and it often works during off hours, weekends, and holidays when professionals are generally at home or on vacation.

    As we enter the next millennium, the future of amateur science has never looked better. Amateurs built some of the first home computers, and today many us own systems that far outclass what was available to our professional colleagues only a few years ago. It no longer matters that I can't do a nonlinear regression with a calculator, because economical software does it automatically, and an inexpensive printer then produces plots as crisp as any published in Science.

    Computers have greatly expanded the capabilities of professionals and amateurs alike, but the Internet has become the great equalizer.

    Several years ago I measured record low ozone over central Texas. Thanks to e-mail, I quickly notified scientists at NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the Environmental Protection Agency and then organized a quick paper for Eos with them as coauthors. No one asked if I had a degree in the field; all that mattered was the significance of the event and the quality of the data. When I measured large spikes in UV radiation caused by the scattering from cumulus clouds over Hawaii's Mauna Loa Observatory, I e-mailed the results to UV specialist John Frederick. I then incorporated Frederick's comments in a communication we jointly sent to Nature. Frederick, the editors at Nature, and the peer reviewers never asked to see my credentials. Instead, they judged the work on its merits.

    I could write much more about amateur science, but the allowed space has run out. Besides, the data logger connected to the UV-B radiometer in the field outside my window is beeping to be downloaded. I always enjoy writing about science, but doing science is much more exciting. At noon, the ozone layer measured a thinner-than-normal 240 Dobson units. I wonder if today's hazy sky reduced the UV-B enough to balance the increase expected from the reduced ozone?
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    Australia's Third Sector (Parliamentary report December 2008)
    What is the 'Third Sector'?

    2.2 For analytical purposes the scholarly literature often divides society into four sectors:[1]

    Business (First Sector)

    Government (Second Sector)

    Not-For-Profit, non-government, voluntary, intermediary (Third Sector)

    Family (Fourth Sector)
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    Why doesn’t Hillsdale accept any federal or state taxpayer subsidies?

    In 1975, the federal government said that Hillsdale had to sign a form stating that we did not discriminate on the basis of sex. Hillsdale College had never discriminated on any basis, and had never accepted federal taxpayer subsidies of any sort, so the College felt no obligation to comply, fearing that doing so would open the door to additional federal mandates and control. Our trustees pledged two things: first, that the College would continue its long-standing policy of non-discrimination, and second, that it would not accept any encroachments on its independence. The case went to court, and Hillsdale College won a partial victory, but the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals did rule that Hillsdale College was an “indirect recipient” of federal funding because of participation in federal grant and loan programs. In 1984, Grove City College in Pennsylvania fought and lost a similar legal battle. The case then went to the Supreme Court, and in Grove City v. Bell, it was determined that if even one student received a federal grant or loan, it made that institution a direct recipient of federal funds. To avoid the hassles of government control, Hillsdale College announced its decision to end participation in all federal financial aid programs in 1985. In 2007, Hillsdale announced that it would no longer accept State of Michigan taxpayer subsidies earmarked for student financial aid, thereby making the College completely independent of taxpayer support.​
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    Human Rights First: No Government Funding

    Human Rights First, a 501(c)3 registered charity, undergoes an independent audit annually and files information returns with various governmental regulatory agencies.

    All of the organization’s resources come from private contributions from individuals, foundations, law firms and corporations.

    In order to maintain independence, Human Rights First does not accept any government funding.

    Foundation support is a critical part of Human Rights First’s funding.

    More than 35 foundations in the U.S. and Europe currently support the organization’s work. Among its most significant foundation supporters are Atlantic Philanthropies, the Ford Foundation, the Open Society Institute, The John Merck Fund and the Oak Foundation.
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    Bond University

    As a private, independent and not-for-profit university, Bond receives little or no government funding for undergraduate student places, postgraduate course work student places or recurrent capital works.

    Currently, there is a high reliance on income from tuition fees. FEE-HELP is available to Bond students and assists them in the payment of tuition fees.

    A strategic goal of the University is to diversify income through community engagement, philanthropic commitment, exploration of various investment opportunities and increased research funding.
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    Cousteau Society

    Through the link between members of the US- and France-based organizations and through the network of Cousteau Schools. Love for the environment entails diagnosing its needs and tending to it, which come at a price.

    To maintain their independence, The Cousteau Society and Cousteau Society accept no government subsidies.

    To finance projects, The Cousteau Society and Cousteau Society rely on the help of individuals.

    Join us! Help us! The more people who express their commitment to our cause, the more influence we have in the battles that loom ahead
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    Nazi Cinema

    Although Goebbels founded the Filmkreditbank GmbH in order to fund the industry, the funds came from private investors. Thus, there were no government subsidies to the film industry in Nazi Germany.

    Because of this, the industry was forced to remain profitable – and to produce films that met the expectations of the audience.
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