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[liberationtech] Am I the only one who feels tricked by the Kickstarter campaign thinking that BRCK will be non-profit?

Mitar mmitar at
Wed Sep 17 20:55:18 PDT 2014


An addendum: They also reached to me and we talked over Skype about
this issue. I really think that they are doing a great job and have
many more problems than companies in Bay Area. Raising money for them
as a company from Africa is really hard and they have hard time
getting investments. Getting big support from the community through
crowdfunding made easier for them to get investors, so this is also
something interesting to see how crowdfunding can help as a signal to

I do understand that sometimes it is hard to plan in advance and when
faced with hard decision of maybe not being able to continue the
project if you do not change your tax status and ways you fund the
project. And you cannot always know this in advance. But then maybe we
are missing ways as a community to address such challenges. And allow
projects to live and thrive without having to cut part of their income
as a profit for investors.


On Wed, Sep 17, 2014 at 8:35 PM, Mitar <mmitar at> wrote:
> Hi!
> On Wed, Sep 17, 2014 at 8:08 PM, Juan Batiz-Benet <juan at> wrote:
>> Thank you Richard. Very well put. I wish more people understood things so
>> clearly. Many very smart people somehow believe tax status distinguishes
>> Good from Evil, completely ignoring a wealth of counter examples. Some of
>> the most glaring: SpaceX and MPAA.
> OK. I would just add to this that what I am talking about is not the
> question if a project is for-profit or not for-profit. This is really
> for them to decide how they want to wrap it into an organization.
> There are advantages and disadvantages to any of these forms, both tax
> and other questions, like ways how to raise funding. And of course
> non-profits do not mean that they are "good" by itself. They can be
> misused as well. And I think what makes an organization "good" are
> mostly other things, not for-profit status.
> What I am concerned is that they did not explain this initially. If
> they would, I would decide differently. Not because non-profits are
> "better", but exactly because non-profits have harder time raising
> funding otherwise and I like to help a little to overcome that. This
> is where I see crowdfunding an important part of this landscape. Being
> possible to get funding from the community and then being responsible
> to the community. Which is what I think is one of main aspects of
> "good" organization which is trying to make a positive social change.
> Now, they looked like they are non-profit, but then decided to turn
> for-profit exactly for exactly those reasons: it is hard to raise
> money as for-profit. I understand that, but for me it feels like
> double dipping. I do understand that for some people this is not a
> concern, because we all contribute to crowdfunding campaigns for
> different reasons.
> But what I wanted to do is mostly see what others are thinking about
> this. And I am glad to be getting responses. It seems I am the only
> one concerned about this, but this is also good. If people believe
> that anything goes approach works, just that you get funding and
> projects off the ground, why not. Personally, I will be more careful
> next time and everything is OK. I am also learning. :-)
> Mitar
> --


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