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Re: PerlMonks as do gooders- or, MonkCorps

by scottstef (Curate)
on Apr 27, 2001 at 17:13 UTC ( #76063=note: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to PerlMonks as do gooders- or, MonkCorps

Your idea is VERY noble, however I have a few problems with this idea.:
1. The potential for abuse- this has already been mentioned.
2. The fact that many non-profits have people making a lot more than me getting paid for doing what they do has always been a big problem for me. I no longer support non-profits that have professional telemarketers do their "begging". Why should I donate to a cause that can afford to send some outrageous % of my to a telemarketing firm?
3. Determining the "cause"- How do we determine whom to help? There are several non-profits that i have a hard time supporting because of their views, actions, or messages.
4. What about if someone posts a project and noone works on it? Do we need a non-profit to become irrate because we didn't help them or didn't finish in time?
5. What happens when something gets written that wonks out their system, code crashes, etc. What do we have to prevent us from getting slammed?

Please don't get me wrong, I am all for donating time, i work with several different forums that are a bit obscure. I am starting an on-line club for the high school near me to help some of the kids there get into computers. I work with the non-profit my sister works for to help them with computer needs. I follow a few mailing lists that are non-profits and read posts and send snippets that way- (kinda like PM). There are plenty of opportunites to be a do gooder in our own everday lives, I don't think we at PM should try to play project manager for non-profits. I don't and don't think most of us here need anymore meetings/conference calls/deadlines. I much prefer the small work that picking up a side job(donated) here or there offers.


Comment on Re: PerlMonks as do gooders- or, MonkCorps
Re: Re: PerlMonks as do gooders- or, MonkCorps
by Hero Zzyzzx (Curate) on Apr 27, 2001 at 18:00 UTC

    Thanks for your personal thoughts and concerns on the idea. I think I need to clarify what I'm proposing.

    Our system would just match-make, providing a forum for non-profits and monks to connect. A non-profit would post a proposal, a moderator would decide if it's truly from a non-profit, and it would go into a section of the site. During the request process, all sorts of disclaimers could be put out- a couple obvious ones are "We don't guarantee anyone will help you, PerlMonks isn't liable, the work and it's security, functionality, and useability isn't the responsibility of PerlMonks, etc."

    Monks could then visit the section and browse through. If a monk is particularly interested in helping an environmental organization, they could look for that type of project. If they don't like the project, they don't have to do it. If a monk wants to help a pro-choice group, great. If they want to help a children's advocacy group, great. Again, it's up the individual monk what they want to get involved in.

    Having worked for non-profits for the last six years, I can answer some of your questions:

    1. Abuse: I think it's up to the individual monk to determine the validity of an organization and it's project.
    2. Non-Profit integrity: I've always worked for the poor, "scrappy" non-profits, mostly environmental organizations. I can't comment on how the well funded ones operate. However, we ran our own telephone calling centers, didn't call anyone but our members, and only 20% of a telephone donation went to administrative costs. I was the DBA for the membership department, so I was intimately involved with the fundraising. It's actually rather economical to run a phone project.

      Regardless of the above, a monk could choose the organization they want to help, and not help those they don't agree with.
    3. Who to help: This would be up to the monk. They could poke around 'til they found a project that interested them.
    4. No-one helping: It would be articulated to the non-profit among the disclaimers that we can't guarantee that anyone is going to pick up their project.
    5. Getting slammed for crappy code: This would be the monks fault. Again, the PerlMonks site would just match-make. The monk would handle everything, including responsibility, after making the initial connection.

    Most of the concerns about this idea has been from people who wouldn't have the time to get involved, or folks who don't really seem to trust non-profits. That's fine, and all valid issues. Don't work on any of the projects. I still think having this opportunity available to the monastery would be a good one. Maybe even something a foundation would throw some money at.

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