Cash is King

Volunteer labor can only support an organization so far. Without a steady source of revenue, an organization may not survive for long. Most organizations, including those not intended for profit, engage in some sort of commerce. In the U.S., governmental funding and philanthropy can provide funds, but not on a long-term basis. Therefore, museums run gift shops; universities host executive education programs and other summer camps; public transportation agencies sell opportunities to name their stations; non-profit associations might lend their trusted names to flog unrelated products and services. However, these extra activities may detract from an organization’s mission, or what some have dubbed “mission creep.”

An unusual opportunity to support the operating costs of the home and studio of artists Jackson Pollack and Lee Krasner in East Hampton, NY:

In contrast, the Burning Man organization is unusual in that its budget is derived from event ticket sales, rather than say, governmental grants or corporate sponsorship. This protects the organization against the demands associated with pursuing and maintaining governmental funding or corporate sponsors.

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