oops, RE: NPO status/ facts/go forward

C. Martens c.martens at rogers.com
Mon Dec 4 17:00:11 UTC 2006

Ty for the clarifications and practical alternatives for go-forward alternatives. Now I can be specific in the content I'm writing for the ubuntutoronto.org site. Since we decided at our last meeting to give it a marketing/recruitment focus, I know that volunteers often look for this type of info, as well as possible donors/sponsors and potential partners. The schools do, too. 

I really liked Corey's stance and Evan's second solution; the experiences others have had vis a vis getting corporate funding is not surprising, given the published statistics.  To go backwards,  no,  "the  well" is not deep;  the latest ones published in the  National  Survey of Giving, Volunteering and Participating  pegs corporate funding as either 1 or 3% (I forget the exact number, and I was just proofing a mag with these statistics last week) of all the $3B donated in 2004, but that doesn't give the whole picture, so more research is being done at this time. 

I'll reword the second solution on my draft of the website's PPPS (politics, policies, privacy and structure) page, a FAQ, or the donate page (I'm still struggling with how best to present these); the draft will hopefully be approved by the group at our next meeting:

Evan wrote,

>The simpler option is that cheques are made out to the umbrella NPO but the >memo field says "in trust to UT". Cheques for payables are signed by the NPO >based on a pre-determined method of request/authorization by UT. It would >share the main bank account but would have distinct accounting.The second >method may sound more complex, but it has worked for... It's only worthwhile >to  get a separate bank account if you see more than about about $7K/year >(and more than a dozen or so transactions per month) flowing >through.

The $7k per yr/12 transactions per mth figures also gives us measurements by which we can decide if and when we've outgrown this method. Here's to high hopes! :)

And while I might differ on the definition of "no need" because the very fact that the question has been raised a few times since Ubuntu Toronto's establishment, and it should certainly be asked by outside funders/sponsors/partners, I agree wholeheartedly with Corey's final position. He wrote,

>The discussion have never been raised (at Ubuntu Canada), likely because >there is simply no need...
>One of my strong principles with Ubuntu Canada is not to duplicate any >exisiting resources. There are just so many things that need to be done, >that doing things other are doing is completely insane.

Who wants to be just another 'me, too' organization? who wants to waste time reinvesting the wheel and seeming ignorant of the larger picture? Certainly not me, heheheh. I guess one of the reasons why I like K/Ubuntu, however, is that it makes things easier for new users of Linux who will need to be gently educated now (I think the time for a large influx of new users is right). Any sales/marketer knows that prospect education is part of the sales/marketing process. Linux/DRM/distros...it can be overwhelming to new people, we want to keep it simple to avoid the overwhelming factor, yet the facts have to be there for those who want to check it out. New users shouldn't have to wade through tons and tons of web pages to find them. 

It's just a thought, but I think we should be focusing on the "ubuntu" brand as an appropriate entry point into the consciousness of prospective users, and mentioning Linux less, as the mere mention of Linux may still make a lot of people roll their eyes and shy away as just too complicated. Quite frankly, I'd also like to see a greater focus/emphasis on the 'human' side, too, and less on the tech, as the tech is just the product we're offering as a solution to human goals, interests, problems and needs. It's  the mission, the method of  attaining larger  goals that are part of a larger vision. 


C. Martens
aka dennister
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