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How can you ask for money while promoting a money-free world?

I get asked this so many times that I thought maybe it’s time to write an article on it.

Of course, it’s an absolutely natural response for anyone to question the motives of someone like me who wants to promote a moneyless world, and then asks for money to do it. I get that. I really do. But I would ask those who pose the question to also extend that same empathy and see it from the opposite point of view.

The first defence is obvious. It is just much, much easier to spread any message today using money and advertising. We all enjoyed free viral proliferation through social media for a while, but as anyone who runs online campaigns knows, all social media today is pretty much locked down except for two things: spectacularly amazing content and sponsored posts.

Much as we would love to be able to constantly provide spectacularly amazing content, we are only human and most likely our content would still never compete with some celebrity’s wardrobe error! Though we rarely do it, the most effective way for us to reach all of our social media subscribers today is through sponsored posts. Hurts, but it’s true.

The second is not so obvious. Much of my writing focuses on the ideas of sharing and volunteerism as the means of getting things done in a money-free world. So why then try to raise money for a large project like Freeworlder when it could have been done freely by volunteers? Well, the simple answer is that most people – including volunteers – are still subject to financial pressures, and, unless they are extremely passionate about a project can only commit a small fraction of their time to non-money making projects.

This makes large scale volunteer projects inefficient at best, impossible at worst. In the case of building the Freeworlder site, we actually did enlist over twenty volunteers who were happy to help coding the application. But when it came to starting the work, they were nowhere to be found. So instead, we ran a fundraiser and the site was completed in less than five months.

We don’t live in a money-free world yet. We have to separate the ideology from the day-to-day practicalities of spreading that ideology

Thirdly, we are volunteers and our work incurs ongoing costs. It comes down to this: the less financial pressures on us, the more time we can then dedicate to promoting these ideas. You see, we don’t live in a money-free world yet. We have to separate the ideology from the day-to-day practicalities of spreading that ideology. For example, you wouldn’t question an AIDS charity for raising money for carrying out their work – because they aren’t promoting a money-free world – but they face exactly the same practical difficulties and issues that we face in promoting our ideas.

The bottom line is that while puritanism is a nice idea, it doesn’t progress the movement faster. In fact it slows us down. Take it from someone with more than six year’s experience trying. By supporting our efforts with a cash donation, you are bringing us closer to the day when we can all stop asking.

Published in Blog


  1. Frank Frank

    Good post.

    Next on the list.

    Get the living costs down to near zero for yourself and the serious volunteers then they can dedicate the time.

    That’ll also be a great example.


  2. Frank Frank

    Good commenting system too! Best ive done, it never went wrong!

  3. Jennifer Jennifer

    I find that i”m living in two worlds. One of barter/trade/money and simultaneously, the free world.
    As I enlarge my free world with discovering true gifting and receiving, the shift is that the barter world is slowing dissolving and the free “reality” is expanding around me. I sense we are all on the journey of transforming our core beliefs and this shifts the world around us. Each one of us on the planet may be in different places in this journey. I believe this is the expansion and evolution of all beings on the planet We’re learning to change our beliefs about what true free gifting is and love for self reflected in “other” and as we each do this, it touches those around us and spreads the message via “who we Be”. Together we create the New Reality upon love and the agreement of what’s showing up in our individual worlds.

  4. Matthew Sands Matthew Sands

    As someone who was involved in the aforementioned discussion I feel this to be a massive straw man.
    First if all I saw no one try to assassinate your character. You asked a question and got answers that disagreed with you.
    Also you misrepresent the objections here. Literally no one objected to fundraising, it was charging for services that we thought would undermine the message. Vluntary donations is one thing, charging for things is another. Ultimately the FWC claims we don’t need money or trade for society to function and we could and should provide everything for free. But if the movement itself can’t even provide it’s services, resources and media for free then you almost prove the naysayers right

  5. Roland Mollbrandt Roland Mollbrandt

    I totally agree!!!
    During a transition period, there will still be some need for money.

    But as long as it is clearly stated, that it is ONLY for the transition period, I see NO problem with that!

    Can’t wait for the world to be transformed in the spirit of Ubuntu.

    Fear, competition and created shortages, is what’s causing all our problems!
    Love and created abundance in the spirit of Ubuntu, is what will PREVENT all our problems!

  6. Henno Henno

    We need a transitional tool.

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