On the subject of grant money for nonprofits:
I have worked for a variety of non-profits and written grants for them. I’m surprised that there ever was money for operating expenses available for tech-based non-profits since every foundation I’ve petitioned for grant money has specifically said that they do not provide operating costs. Instead, I write grants with a specific project in mind. This could be “build a new wing to the university library”, “Fund staff to inventory the museum collection in storage,” or “run a week-long day camp for inner-city youth that teaches non-violent conflict resolution methods.”
Unless you have some kind of revenue stream, you are going to be relying on donations and volunteers just like a community clothes closet for the homeless. Sounds like now that the gravy train of easy money is drying up these tech non-profits are being forced to demonstrate how they benefit the public good. I’m sure that there are many worthy causes, but now their in the wild competing for the same dollars and mind-share as food pantries, elder advocacy groups, and animal shelters.
Replying to my own comment because I thought of another good point.
Non-profit does not mean you can’t make money. In fact, as long as you follow the rules for organization, reporting, etc. you can make money hand over fist. Think about how every private school in the US is able to function and some grow quite fat off of those tuition dollars. If you have a tech-based non-profit that (for example) provides computer programming education to disadvantaged youth, or provides systems and education for the elderly, there’s nothing to stop you from doing consulting, selling spare parts, or charging for other services as long as those proceeds are plowed right back into the organization to feed your key mission.
Too many people think that non-profit means you aren’t a normal business. You are! You simply have convinced the government that it is in the public’s best interest to let you exist free of the burden of taxes.
You know, like the NFL. Kidding aside, that may actually be true because it’s an outlet for the tribal warfare instinct. Having said this, I am now of the opinion that the NBA should operate during the summer instead of the winter for, you know, reasons.
Not QOTD, but honorable mention:
We aren’t at war anymore. You must have missed the president guy’s mouth noises on the subject.