Why I Avoid Supporting Large Organizations

You don't know where your money actually goes

June 13, 2021

I don't often consoom Bryan Lunduke's content because uhh well this meme explains it well but occasionally he makes something worth watching (unlike most linux nerds of his personality) and he happened to do that a few days ago. Apparently the Linux Foundation has started working with various other organizations and governments to develop vaccine passports. Lunduke seems to be the only one criticizing this, and he is really the only person who ever really complains about this sort of thing since he's one of the only people who actually cares about what things like the Linux Foundation actually does.

Now whether or not more people should care what the Linux Foundation actually does is another discussion entirely but anyone who has ever donated to it certainly should and while I don't recall him admitting to ever doing it in that video but I'm sure he has in the past. When someone donates to the Linux Foundation they probably expect that money only to go towards maintaining the Linux kernel and promoting the use of Linux. Linux Foundation donors are also highly likely to be supporters of the free software movement so they'd probably want the Linux Foundation to promote freedom as well, but instead of promoting freedom the Linux Foundation is actively contributing to a project which is designed to restrict peoples' freedoms and Bryan Lunduke is rightfully outraged.

Now why am I talking about this? Despite being a Linux user I've never cared about anything that the Linux Foundation has done and I've never even considered donating to it (I'm sure I may have offended someone by saying that but this is a free operating system and I can do what I want, if you want to be telling people what they can and can't do go buy a Mac). I'm talking about this because there is potential for this sort of thing to happen an any sort of organization. As non-profits grow and age their focus expands and changes, as they win battles they find new ones, as they loose battles they find new fronts, and when they hit walls they find new projects to work on and the danger is that these new battles, fronts, and projects may be incompatible with the organization's original vision.

Greenpeace is a great example of this. When Greenpeace was founded its focuses were on promoting the welfare of both humans and the environment, its founders' first big action together was protesting nuclear bomb testing which is something that benefited both the green and the peace. But as time went by they began advocating for things that had much more to do with green than peace and now they actively advocate for things which would harm humans in the name of protecting the environment. We should be in harmony with our environment, this was a part of Greenpeace's original message, we should not be sacrificing ourselves for it.

The NRA is another organization that millions of people donate to so that they can advocate for the protection of our God given right to bear arms. But people who actually pay attention to gun laws in America will realize that despite all its money and support the NRA has not been effective at all and it is smaller organizations like the FPC who are actually putting forth the work to get results. The larger an organization becomes the harder it is for it to get stuff done. You wouldn't want to donate to an organization which doesn't seem to do anything productive with your money.

There is also of course the issue of where you shop. You wouldn't want to spend thousands of dollars shopping at a store only to see that store turn around and donate millions of dollars to some cause that you don't support. Of course we occasionally put into situations where we have no choice but it is important to exercise our choice when we have one.

A few years ago a guy I knew decided he wanted to join the union that most of his coworkers were a part of so he submitted whatever paperwork he needed to but the union didn't seem to be in any rush to actually make him a member. A few weeks later he received something in the mail saying something along the lines of: "The such and such union supports Joebob Dingleberry for State Senate". My friend didn't support Joebob Dingleberry and was outraged that some of his union dues would have been sent to support this candidate. He got himself out of that union as quickly as he could.

We live in a world filled with people fighting for good and for evil, it is of course up to you to find out what that good and evil is but we need to make sure that we are not unintentionally support those who fight for evil. I advise against donating to any non-profit organization which is not a religious organization or a political candidate you plan on voting for, but if you do do it make sure that you understand where your money is actually going first. We'd hate to see our money fighting on the side of evil when we sent it out to do good.