About a month ago, I posted some ideas about how we might change the way ham radio is organized locally. You can read that post, but basically, I think that we need are “real” nonprofit organizations, with paid staff, to promote ham radio and conduct ham radio activities.
I talk up this idea whenever I can, most recently in an e-mail exchange with my friend, Ralph, AA8RK. He challenged me, “What, in simple terms, would be the mission of this nonprofit? What would the money be used for?”
I replied, “A simple mission statement might be ‘to provide opportunities for people to become amateur radio operators and to become better amateur radio operators.'” Thinking about this some more, I think a good mission statement could be crafted around the five bases of amateur radio as spelled out in Part 97.1, “Basis and Purpose.” Each of those are great goals to strive for.
As for how we would use the money, I came up with the following list off the top of my head:
- Provide more training than just quarterly one-day Tech classes, such as General and Extra classes, basic electronics and antenna classes, and emergency communication training.
- Provide leadership training and perhaps other types of support services to ham radio clubs.
- Operate publicly-accessible ham radio stations and workspaces, such as our station at the Hands-On Museum.
- Run a “lending library” of equipment, such as beginner transceivers, antenna analyzers, and other test equipment.
These are things that clubs or the sections could do, but rarely do because they’re all-volunteer organizations. All-volunteer organizations can only do so much.
Anyone have any thoughts about this? Anyone good at fund raising that might want to join with me and start raising some dough?