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RE: where does our money go?



Hi, Bob!!

At 04:30 AM 11-07-03 +0000, you wrote:
>Art, how far off am I on my guesstimations?

You're doing reasonably well.

In point of fact, most Member expenses are fixed costs.  So, the cost per 
member goes down when more people join -- leaving money available for projects.

Problems we face:

There's no such thing as a free launch.  Launch costs easily can exceed 
some healthy multiple of spacecraft construction costs (AMSAT construction 
costs are extraordinarily low).  If anyone knows where we can get a free or 
inexpensive lift, PLEASE, let us know!  Yes, it pains us to see launch 
companies lifting concrete blocks to orbit on test flights when they could 
take a chip off that block and lift us.  Who out there knows these people??

While AMSAT is a scientific and educational corporation, AMSAT is not a 
business nor is it an accredited educational institution.  Whether we're 
looking for company matching funds or working with ITAR, we don't 
fit.  Some companies are generous with us giving gifts in kind (parts, 
software, etc.).  Others can't figure out what to do with us so they often 
do nothing.  A very few people are approaching their employers, 
particularly in electronic and aero-space fields, looking for 
contributions.  With luck, we'll get some company help.  If anyone knows 
somebody who knows somebody which might yield a tax deductible (USA) 
contribution, please contact me ASAP!

Private grants have some possibilities.  Do we have any experienced grant 
application writers out there?

Government grants?  Well, as one former President put it, "When you get in 
bed with the Government, you often get more than a good night's 
sleep."  Still, we look at all reasonable ideas.

As Tom enjoys pointing out, "AMSAT is an equal opportunity 
exploiter."  Without more folks willing to be exploited (read: contribute 
time, talent, money, etc.), AMSAT is nothing.  Want a particular 
transponder?  Help to build it!

Hams often ask, "What have you done for me lately?" without thinking that 
the "you" is "us."  Some hams are generous to amazing levels.  Often, hams 
say they are willing to help pay for what we've done and not what we are 
trying to accomplish.  (Just listen at a hamfest.)  So, how can we 
accomplish anything new at all?

Most problems facing AMSAT are complex and intertwined with many 
factors.  If I may paraphrase H L Menken, "Most problems have simple 
solutions which are usually wrong."  So, we need lots and lots of positive 
suggestions which are well thought out.  (Some recent ideas expressed on BB 
are in process of being implemented as I write.)

Real problems require everyone to pitch in with whatever they can 
contribute: time, talent, money, services, parts, ideas ... whatever.

Make sense?

73, art.....
W4ART  Fairfax VA
Treasurer 


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