[nvda] Re: Support NVDA or you will lose it.

  • From: "Christopher Bartlett" <themusicalbrewer@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <nvda@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 30 Mar 2012 12:09:19 -0400

I personally have no objection to the requests for donations, viewing it
rather like public television.  The moment I can use NVDA in a professional
setting to control my calendar and spell-check documents for public
distribution using MS Office, I won't need JFW anymore and I'll spend my
money with NVDA.  I can't support two screen readers at this time, and while
NVDA does almost everything I need, the subset that JFW covers is more
necessary to me as a small business owner.  I hope that ceases to be true at
some point as I'd far rather my money went to support an open-source project
than a commmercial enterprise.

As to Gene's other points, yes, one could do all that, and in the process
incur more overhead, meaning you'd need more money.  Having worked for a
blindness non-profit, and administered a grant for same, you'd be amazed at
the bite capital campaigns and fund-raising takes out of the operating
budget.  You're comparing apples and oranges in comparing NVDA to large,
established non-profit organizations.  Now maybe those in charge should
consider moving NVDA's organization toward that model, but it's not a simple
choice and would distract them from doing the coding and fixing we're all
anxious to see continue.

Now, if they want to hire me to do fund raising and grant development, and
can pay me a competitive wage, I'll drop everything else I'm doing and put
full time into doing that.  I'd enjoy it and be good at it, but I can't
donate that kind of time, nor is it likely anyone else would either.  So
consider what you're asking for, which is no less than a major change in how
the funding model is organized.  It may be necessary, blind folk are
notoriously tight with money and sadly too many feel entitled to take what
they can and not give back.  It may be that in the long run, the current
model is unsupportable.  If that's the conclusion, then James et al will
have to consider the way forward carefully.

        Christopher Bartlett

-----Original Message-----
From: nvda-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:nvda-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf
Of Gene
Sent: Thursday, March 29, 2012 4:07 PM
To: nvda@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [nvda] Re: Support NVDA or you will lose it.

I want to make this as clear as possible to avoid misunderstanding.  I am
not saying that blind people should not contribute to NVDA.  At this time,
it is a worty goal to help NVDA continue to be developed.  there is a
serious shortage of funding at present.  But I consider it unacceptable for
the long term that NVDA be heavily dependent on contributions from users.
If NVDA is free for blind people, then it should be truly free, not free but
with unending appeals to guilt and for money from users.  If that is going
to be the future, it is not truly free to blind users.  It's far past time
to do more than rely on grants and user contributions. 
Perhaps professional fund-raisers should be hired.  Perhaps the experience
and advice of organizations of and for the blind who do successful
fund-raising should be sought.  I don't see guide  dog schools relying
primarily on guide dog users for support.  I don't see the Hadley school
relying primarily on blind users for support.

Organizations of and for blind people, while they do solicit contributions
from blind people, generally have a much wider gbase of funding.  It's far
past time that serious attention be given to how NVDA may be funded without
heavy dependence on the user base. either NVDA is a truly free screen-reader
or it's a screen-reader with lots of guilt attached and pressure to
contribute and that is not free.


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