Francis Irving, senior developer at mySociety – an organisation that runs some of the biggest democracy projects in the UK – has shared some of his thoughts about online transparency and citizen collaboration in a Q&A for Journalism.co.uk’s news:rewired site.
What advice would he give to people going down the non-profit publishing route, we asked. Irving answers:
A non-profit is a business as well – it still has to make a surplus, it is just that that surplus is used to do more of the charitable work, rather than as personal profit.
I would advise people to go one of two ways – either have some good ideas for business models from the start (take a look at Patient Opinion for an example) or work out how to run it entirely on philanthropic donations and volunteer work.
It’s going to be as hard to start a sustainably funded non-profit as it is to start a successful for-profit business.