The association needs to be able to finance it activities. Where will the money come from? will the money payers corrupt the idea of Terraism?
Are there other big charitable associations that are still independent?
An association must have some financial resources. This could be generated via donations. Greenpeace has a donation income of about 300 million €. Financial foundations would be a good guarantor for independence. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which has already been cited several times, manages a donated capital of €30 billion and annual investments of approximately €2 billion. The BRAC (Bagladesh Rural Advancement Committee) finances – as a charite organization – more than 120.000 employees in 11 countries. The organization also manages shops and trade to refinance some of their activities. I will not pretend, that the mentioned institutions do not have a financial interest of their own, nor will I deny that there has been and will be corruption or at least influencing of stakeholders. However, in general and over the years these organizations have worked along their statutory goals. Even if, not everybody agrees with the goals of the Bill and Melinda Gates. It shows that big organization can work towards an goal without being bought by the funding partners.
Where will the money come from?
At the beginning the association will likely depend on moderate membership fees. In contrast to donations, they enable a budget that can be planned. Especially for members who are private persons, financial contribution should not be made a prerequisite for membership. Otherwise one may exclude the poorer population strata from participation. My suggestion would be to encourage “voluntary membership fees” or re-occurring small donations from private individuals. Organizations and companies should pay a reasonable, minimum membership fee. Some of the earlier discussed activities from start-up participation, IP licensing, to self-production should reduce dependence on membership fees and donations over time. Substantial fines in the course of enforcement of collective actions may also contribute to financial independance.
Which rights and obligations are connected to membership and what would be a good participation structure in the association? I will again come up with some suggestions to steer up a thoughtful and detailed discussion. I know that some of the topics will be controversial.