A couple of data points you are missing:
- There are some major differences between what was being proposed, and what Josh is running
I hope so.
Gary and Karen deserve all the recognition for the brilliant idea of starting an e-Sword repository and support site. But after their circumstances changed, I didn't care for the foundation and committee replacement ideas that were proposed. Foundations and committees inevitably lead to 10 people who "can't do" giving orders to 1 person who "can do". And then you get people wanting to vote on the color of a button, which makes for bureaucracy.
The advantage of our setup is we don't rely on donors for money, which in this economy would be a stressful way to survive (i.e. all organizations that rely on donations are really struggling). Of course, that works only if you have no overhead, no salaries, "no nuttin".
- Technically,Current US Labour Laws prohibit the use of unpaid, or "volunteer" labour, except in very strictly defined circumstances. Non-profit organizations, including religious groups, are not necessarily exempt from these laws;
It's perfectly legal to have volunteers. The trouble arises when you expect employees to "volunteer". Problems can also arise when you use volunteer work for interns or others as a "lure" for permanent employment (an end run around minimum wage laws). But an organization is
allowed to have volunteers--you need not pay them a salary or minimum wage--not if they're really
Various guidelines distinguish between a real volunteer and an employee. The two biggest guidelines deal with the motivation
of the volunteer (i.e. personal civic/hobby, humanitarian, charitable, religious, public service, political campaign, etc). Volunteer work in these categories is recognized as legitimate, non-economic motivations (usually much more so than money). The other major guideline is do you hire people to do the same or similar jobs and if so, are you using volunteer work as a carrot and stick for the promise of full-time employment (end run around minimum wage).
Fortunately, BibleSupport.com, churches, fire departments, political campaigns, libraries, hospitals, etc around America are not violating labor laws when we allow volunteers. The day we can't volunteer to support political candidates, religious ideas, or being a volunteer fire fighter is the day I don't want to live here anymore.
Speaking of volunteers. Bill Huff moderates downloads to remove duplicates, add descriptions, and tag files. James Rice makes Christ centered modules that are in demand and moderates the forums. Peter Pfpeller does everything from making modules to removing inappropriate content. Brent makes ToolTip. Raymond helps with complex technical solutions. Where would we be without you guys?? Thank you all...I should have named you in my original post. All of you do far more than you're credited with!