Capital Campaigns – Roadmap to Success

If your nonprofit is considering expanding or renovating, you’re probably thinking about launching a capital campaign. But how do you create an effective campaign? How many donors do you need? How much money should you try to raise? Here’s a quick tutorial to outline the answers to these questions and more.

A capital campaign is a significant project for a nonprofit organization. A successful capital campaign, and the completion of the project for which funds are raised, can be a transformational event. Ideally, when viewed in retrospect the capital project will appear as a logical and inevitable step in the development of the organization as it strives to fully serve its audiences and community.

With careful planning and keen attention to detail, a capital campaign can be a powerful bridge to the future.

A successful campaign is the result of many constituencies working together for a common goal, including the board, staff, volunteers, donors, and community representatives. As the project grows from an idea to a proposal to reality, a Campaign Planis key to success. A comprehensive plan provides a framework for action and a template that is transparent and universally accepted. It is a document that speaks both internally (to those who are managing the campaign) and externally (to those who may be asked to contribute or who may be impacted by the project). As campaigns are multi-year, a clear plan also serves as a guide if key team members drop out and new team members are brought in.

1. The Goal

A key element of success is to accurately estimate the amount of money needed to be raised.

The costs of planning, acquisition, renovation, and endowment must be carefully determined. In addition, the following items need to be added to any actual cost of building, buying, or starting an endowment.

? Ten percent for campaign materials, cost of consultants and staff time, office extras.
? Ten percent for building project extras like insurance, building permits, design costs, and estimates for cost overruns or unforeseen delays.
? Ten percent additional for people who pledge but cannot or will not finish paying, or whose stock gift depreciates.
? An additional ten percent for added protection.

2. Timing

Many nonprofits hesitate to undertake capital campaigns because board members believe that the timing isn’t right; typically, if the national economy is slow, or if the stock market is underperforming. While there may be good reasons for postponing a campaign, board members should remember that the national economy is cyclical, and donors make annual appeal gifts from discretionary cash and capital campaign gifts from assets. Most organizations do not run a major campaign more than once every few decades. Your supporters will be enthusiastic about supporting a transformative project and will plan accordingly.

3. Organization

The nonprofit must have the capacity to undertake a capital campaign. A successful capital campaign must have the full faith and support of the organization’s board of trustees.

However, support grows incrementally. The following action groups are formed as the campaign progresses:

? Steering Committee. Typically composed of not more than twelve, including board members, the executive director, a campaign consultant, and perhaps major donors who are not on the board. The steering committee organizes and spearheads the campaign.

? Outside Consultant. Generally, capital campaigns require the participation of a part-time fundraising consultant who can help manage the campaign, train staff and volunteers, and interview prospects during the feasibility study.

? Campaign Committee. This group may be very large and include board members, donors, and community supporters who want to take an active role in the campaign. The campaign committee grows as the campaign gains traction. Subcommittees may include finance, fundraising, architecture and building, and public relations.

? Volunteers. These are campaign supporters who participate sporadically. They may include community leaders who host fundraising events in their homes, or who have a connection to a potential donor.

4. Campaign Case

The campaign case is the key document that provides a rationale for the project. It is both an internal summation of the organization’s goals and a marketing tool to help inform prospective donors. The case must be prepared early in the process and may be revised periodically.

5. Gift Pyramid

Once the total monetary goal has been set, a gift pyramid is created. This shows the number and size of gifts needed to meet the goal. Gifts may range in size from millions to under a hundred, depending upon the goal of the campaign.

The figures are set to reflect the giving potential of the highest donors and the total number of donors expected.

6. Prospect List

Once the gift pyramid is established, the names of prospects must be attached to each of the gifts. This is the task of the Steering Committee. Acting in complete secrecy, the committee compiles a list of prospects. Next to each prospect name is the amount projected, and the name of a person who will solicit the prospect.

If the prospect list cannot be filled with prospects to reach 50% of the goal, then the project must be reconsidered.

7. Interviews with Prospects

If there is the slightest uncertainty about prospect support for the project, a feasibility survey is required. An impartial consultant who is not directly involved with the organization is selected to conduct confidential interviews with key board members and donors. The interviews are about a half-hour in duration and are conducted at the interviewee’s convenience, in home or office.

8. Solicitation of Key Donors

The “Quiet Phase” is an initial private solicitation. It should begin only after certain conditions have been met, including if the project has been approved by the board of trustees and if the feasibility study is positive. During the Quiet Phase, it is expected that 50% of the goal will be reached.

9. The Public Phase

During the Public Phase, the solicitation effort is broadened to include anyone not directly involved with the organization, including charitable foundations, corporations, and government agencies.

10. Conclusion

A well-prepared organization need not be apprehensive about considering a capital campaign. If the appropriate incremental steps are taken, conditions can be assessed at every stage. If at any time conditions are considered unfavorable the campaign can be postponed. If conditions continue to be positive, the campaign can be allowed to progress to the public phase and then to a successful conclusion.

Thomas Hauck Communications Services provides writing and editing solutions for businesses and nonprofits. Visit us at http://www.thomashauck.net/ for information on how THCS can impact your bottom line.

Forget Bailout – Here is My Plan

Anyone facing foreclosure knows that in most cases that they have been snookered. Funny how mortgage contracts will adjust for increasing payments, but none adjust down if the economy goes bad.

Now the government is going to give Wall Street a 700 Billion dollar bailout plan. Now this plan is suppose to help the homeowner. It does not address unemployment and loss of jobs, the adjusting of mortgage rates that are the root causes.

Let us think about this:

• Gas prices are higher than ever
• We spend billions of dollars per month in Iraq
• Unemployment is high
• Food Prices have increased
• Most homes have lost value leaving little to no equity
• Utilities such as gas and electric are higher
• Credit is scarce and refinance market is dead
• Average family income is down
• Bankruptcies are high

Who wins?

• Oil companies recording record profits
• Brokers, who have taken money from the stock and equity markets
• Retiring executives from most markets with golden parachutes
• Those who are operating the banks and brokerage firms

Those responsible will not suffer; the good old taxpayer is coming to the rescue. Okay, so we bail them out and have our government, buy the homes that have lost their value in many ways. Now the government will also have to absorb the cost in foreclosure. That is an additional expense.

Here is the major question, with banks and other institutions having dumped all their bad paper on the government, what is next? The answer to that is who knows.

Here is a solution, when you wean a baby off the bottle; you just take it away from the baby. That is what we have to do to the financial institutions. This has to be fixed in part by government but with a ground floor view.

If you want to help those homeowners and reverse the economy here is the plan

• A 6-month freeze on all foreclosures and those up coming for the next year
• A $ 10,000.00 grant to all unemployed homeowners that need to get back on their feet
• An audit on all mortgage companies that financed the sub-prime market
• Allow modification of mortgage contracts on all distressed property
• Allow 6 months for homeowners to get gainful employment (if they are unemployed)
• Invest 100 billion for new “green” energy jobs
• Invest 100 billion in full scholarships in community colleges for new high tech or “green” jobs
• Financial Institutions that hold vacated property will keep them
• Those pending foreclosures will be turned over to the government
• The government will then administrate the process of implementing the above points.
• The mortgagee when employed will modify their contract with the governmental agency.
• Let the private sector sell the vacated properties through auction or other means

This is what I call trickle up economics. The intention is to assist those who are facing financial distress in most cases this will allow the homeowner to pay off their real estate taxes, allow them to find gainful employment. They will also buy food, pay utility bills, and help offset the price of gas. It is a terrible thing when you must commute 20 to 30 miles and do not have any money for gas. You must go to where the jobs are.

There are three types of people affected here, the employed, the unemployed and the multiple dwelling homeowners. The employed would need a modified contract. The unemployed would need a moratorium and financial aid if not eligible for unemployment. Then there are those who have multiple dwelling units which the economy does not directly effect their primary residence.

Implementation can be administered by HUD, the first action that needs to be taken is an instant moratorium on all forecloses and real estate tax liens.

• Set Up Special Temporary Branch under HUD to implement program
• HUD takes all the recorded default notices
• This program will be voluntary to homeowners
• Residents affected will contact a 1-800 number for the financial grant
• HUD will verify the information given
• Homeowner will fill out application and send to HUD via internet, fax or mail.
• HUD will release half of the $ 10,000.00 grant and in 30 days release the other half.
• If Homeowner is collecting unemployment benefits HUD will reduce the scheduled unemployment benefit amount from the HUD payments for the 6 month period
• Homeowner has 6 months to find gainful employment.
• Within the 4 month period Homeowner will contact HUD for mortgage contract modification
• Homeowners who are employed will contact HUD for assistance in mortgage modification
• When mortgage modification is approved by HUD then the Homeowner will start making payments to the mortgage holder of record.

Mortgage holders are not bailed out, but will be allowed have the distressed properties temporarily moved off their balance sheets into a holding company account. This will relieve their balance sheet on a temporary basis, which will allow them to qualify for appropriate credit. They will report to the SEC (if a public company) and HUD the information on the holding company, with complete details. No other transactions other than that of distressed real estate are to be post to this holding company.

When a homeowner starts to make payments on the modified mortgage contract the mortgage holder will transfer from the holding account the original value back to the mortgage holder’s original balance sheet.

In this way everybody wins, the mortgage holder, the homeowner and the government. This plan will result in more jobs; mortgage holders’ credit restored and distressed properties relieved. Of course, there are more details to work out but overall I believe my plan can be implemented in very little time.

John Tebar Certified Life Coach, Author and Entrepreneur sign up for weekly Ezine at http://holisticlifeplanningandresearch.com

Who is to Blame For High Gas Prices?

With only the possibility of John McCain and Barack Obama, I would say that whose to blame for high gasoline prices has been the most played news story across every media network over the last month or two. The national average for gasoline peaked earlier this month around $4.11 per gallon or regular 87 octane and has recently come down to about $4.03 per gallon. This obviously is a stark increase from the price range around ~$2.50 that we had seen during 2006 and 2007. The issue becomes even more important than “just an extra” $2.53 per gallon as our economy and lifestyle are based on the consumption of gasoline for transportation. The biggest question on everyone’s mind is who is to blame and how can we fix the problem? Like many other questions concerning energy, the answer is not nearly as simple as the media would have you believe. Warning: The information you are about to read may be completely foreign to you as none of the 6 major media networks have ever reported truthfully on this topic in the past.

It must be the E&P companies, right?

Not as much as you would think. While it is true that the exploration and production companies have to make some profit, when you look at the numbers the results are not as horrifying as you may have previously thought. Let’s take a look at the profit margins of some of the larger E&P companies (all of the numbers are for the trailing twelve months):

* Apache Corp. APA – 29.95%

* Anadarko Petroleum APC – 3.78%

* EnCana Corp. ECA – 14.77%

* Occidental Petroleum OXY – 29.2%

* Suncor Energy Inc. SU – 17.98%

* Microsoft Corp. MSFT – 29.26%

Now its time to play the which one of the above is not an oil and gas E&P company game? If you guess Microsoft, you probably have a bright future ahead of you and I wish you my sincerest congratulations.

This is only one example, Goldman Sachs GS has a profit margin of 23.68% and Intuitive Surgical ISRG has a profit margin of 24.68%. Many of the energy companies actually have lower profit margins than companies in other sectors. They are not the ones that are charging you too much for the goods you rely on, they are just participating in the free market economy and helping you achieve economic satisfaction more so than most of the other companies in the world.

Well then it has to be refiners?

This is definitely the last person who is causing your wallet to thin. The refiners (excluding the major integrated companies that incorporate refining and marketing activities into their overall business structure) bring the least to the bottom line when compared to the other sub-sector of the energy universe. The problem with the refiners is that since they do not produce the oil, they are reliant on spot market prices for the input of their product. This difference is called the crack spread. The crack spread is the margin refiners make when the take a barrel of crude oil and “crack” it into another form, either gasoline, heating distillate, diesel, or a number of other products. Generally crack spreads are quoted in the 3:2:1 ratio, or 3 barrels of crude are cracked into 2 barrels of gasoline and 1 barrel of heating distillate. Recently the crack spread has been in a state of free fall as highlighted by the stock prices of Valero Energy Corp. VLO, and Tesero Corporation TSO falling more than 45% each while the rest of the energy sector rallied.

Gas station owners, thats it!

Unfortunately for gas station owners, they fall into a similar category as the refiners. They do not produce the gasoline, so their input prices are out of the control. Because there is a high level of competition and a bunch of stingy consumers, they are not able to raise prices as quickly as they would need to in order to maintain historical profit margins. More than 1,000 gasoline stations closed in the United States last year, many of which were actually losing money every time they sold you a gallon of gasoline because of the rate at which gasoline spot prices were rising over the last year and a half. You should expect more gas station closing through 2008 and maybe into 2009. The business has become so unprofitable that Exxon Mobil Corp. XOM has recently announced that they are planning to sell at least 2,500 of their company owned gas stations in the United States during the next year, mostly likely at steep discounts to their worth even 3 months ago.

What about the government?

If you read my article concerning McCain’s Gasoline Tax Holiday you would know that the government sponsored gasoline tax really has little to no effect on the price of gasoline that consumers pay at the pump. The government definitely has an indirect effect on the price of gasoline due to the current drilling policies. If all United States territory was opened, not only would the markets discount this news into the future and lower energy commodity spot prices but the supply that would come online within 2-3 years would cause the price to be pushed downward in the long run. There is also a counter argument that some day we may actually need those reserves for something truly important, not just saving you a few dollars per fill up. That type of ethical issue is one that is difficult to address because facts will not allow either side to be completely “right” or “wrong” no matter how long the topic is argued. I’ll let you make your own decision on that one.

Wait a second, it can’t be my fault can it?

Actually, yes it can. The unfortunate news is that we as consumers are the cause for almost all of the rise in gasoline price. It is not just “us,” it is actually consumers all around the world who are driving up the price. Because crude and gasoline trade on global exchanges, it is not just the United States thats affects the prices, contrary to popular belief. Increased demand from India and China as well as the rest of the developing world is one of the major factors contributing to the price inflation. For example, an American used 25 barrels of oil per year while the Chinese only use 3 barrels per person per year and the Indians only use 1 barrel per person per year. Gasoline prices could become really frightening if the rest of the world would demand even 25% of the consumption that we have grown accustom to over the past century.

Another important factor is worldwide inflation. Inflation rates are growing at historically fast rates around the world. The United States has year-over-year inflation growth of 5% (if you believe the government data which many experts are suggesting you should not), China is over 8%, Russia is over 9%, so on and so forth. With all of this extra money, it is easy to see that a good portion of the price appreciation is do to the fact that people have more nominal dollars to spend, even if each one is worth less and less every day.

Our modern American economy is so heavily based on petroleum products to function that there is only a certain amount of demand that can be destroyed at these low levels of gasoline prices (I know that sounds ridiculous to say, but bear with me). Children have to go to school and adults must go to work, no matter the price of gasoline. Use yourself as an example. Would you quit your current job because of gasoline prices? At what price would you consider quitting your job? At what price would you have no choice but to quit your job? For most of you, these numbers are going to be much higher than the current price of gasoline. Many of you would be shocked to believe that gasoline spending per capita is actually only half of the historical high percentage that was reached during the 1910s and the 1980s. Do not believe for any moment that gasoline prices cannot or will not appreciate from here.

So what can we do? Are we doomed?

We are not doomed. I for one am long on the idea that the United States will be able to innovate and solve this problem. The solution won’t come from the government, but from the free markets. Only time and extreme necessity can drive us closer to the solution, but I assure you that one day it will come. I will discuss the solutions in another later article, but you should not feel as if there is no hope for America because there most certainly is going into our bright future.

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Unemployment and Housing Data Point to Bleak

Existing home sales fell to 4.86 million units, about 2.6% below consensus estimates of 4.94 million units. The report also cited a huge deterioration in median home prices, down to $215,000 or down over 6% from last year. This highlights the bleak outlook for the housing market, as the housing market has yet to find a bottom. With mortgage rates set to only head higher in the coming months, I would expect more defaults on mortgages as there seems to be no slowdown in the turmoil of the housing market.

Weekly unemployment numbers also came in worse than consensus estimates, at 406,000 for the week ending July 19th, 2008. This can only mean bad things for the overall July unemployment numbers that come out next Friday, as some analysts expect the overall unemployment rate to head higher from the 5.5% that was posted in May and June. If you do not remember what happened the last time unemployment increased, just look back and you will see that the Dow lost well over 300. If we really are in a recession, it is also important to note that unemployment during a recession has always hit at least 6%, if not more. Being that the unemployment number is a leading indicator, it seems as though a recession could be imminent, if we are not already in one. That being said it seems even more likely that we will head into a consumer recession as consumers struggle to receive a consistent stream of income without a steady job, which they have become accustomed to over the past few years.

Spending habits will clearly have to adjust for this change in net income per household, which should weigh negatively on the economy, especially for discretionary companies. The further deterioration of the housing market will continue to weigh negatively on financials and home builders until there is a clear sign that there is a turn around in the hosuing and mortgage industry. It also does not help that commodities have had a huge run up in the past year, weighing on corporate profits along with food and energy prices on the consumer. I would continue to recommend staying in traditionally defensive sectors, such as Consumer Staples and Healthcare, as they seem poised to weather the current downturn since over 70% of Staples and Healthcare companies have reported earnings better than analysts estimates. With the strong possibility of a consumer recession, sticking with staple stocks such as Proctor and Gamble PG, Wal-Mart WMT and medical suppliers such as Becton Dickinson BDX, should continue to prove a beneficial strategy as these companies offer dividends and reduced volatility in one of the most volatile markets in years.

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The Real Issue No One Talks About

The cable business networks are all a flurry with discussions about rising prices, bank failures, and our failing economy. But I have noticed something critical missing in these discussions. Seldom is anything mentioned about the underlying cause of our troubles…The worthless piece of paper we call the dollar!

The question is why?

How many times have you wished you could print money to pay your bills like our government does? It would be great if you could, wouldn’t? Of course, we are not allowed to print our own dollars to pay our bills like the government does to pay its bills.

Whenever private citizens do print money, it’s called counterfeiting. When the government prints money it’s called funding. Either way, whoever prints it, it’s still a worthless piece of paper. And the only reason this worthless piece of paper remains in demand is that people believe in it. They have “faith” those worthless pieces of paper have value.

Years ago, paper dollars were certificates redeemable in silver or gold. The value of those silver and gold certificates was the silver and gold on deposit in banks. Anyone could redeem those certificates for the precious metal they represented. In other words, it was the silver and gold “Payable to the Bearer on Demand” that gave paper money its value. But no more.

Today, paper dollars are just that: Paper! They are called Federal Reserve Notes and have no value other than the paper they are printed on. They have no redemptive value and bear no promise save debt.

If the paper dollar does have value, its purchasing power can only be measured by how many other paper dollars are out there. In other words, the more our government prints more dollars, the greater it lessens the value of every other paper dollar in our pockets. And as it turns out, our government must create billions of new paper dollars everyday just to pay the interest on its increasing debts.

It is this ever-growing mountain of debt and paper dollars that is behind rising prices. It explains why banks are failing, home prices are falling and why our economy is failing.

So the question is raised: Why are not more people talking about this worthless piece of paper called the dollar? Why do we hear so little about it on the cable business networks?

Is it because if the truth be known about the dollar no one would want them anymore? Is it because this truth would cause world-wide panic and disorder?

Certainly it would, but I believe there is another reason. It’s called ignorance.

So long as the population at large remains ignorant about what gives paper money its value, the ruse of paper money having value will continue until this growing mountain of paper implodes on itself.

This mountain of worthless paper money has been growing for over 50 years. It cannot continue to support its ever increasing weight much longer. The time is very near when, by rule of natural law, it will implode on itself. History is replete with examples of this phenomenon

When this time comes for the U.S. dollar, those left holding paper dollars, and those left depending on paper money will suffer terrible consequences.

The pundits on the cable business networks are telling people who have 401ks, Mutual Funds, and the like to “stay the course.” They say, “The stock market will eventually rebound as it always has done in the past and grow to new highs.” And maybe it will for a time, but to what end?

Stock certificates are measured in worthless paper dollars. When the time comes and this mountain of paper money implodes on itself, of what value will stock certificates, 401K’s, bonds and Mutual Funds be that are measured in dollars?

The Bible says, “The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it.” (Proverbs 27:12). If you are prudent, you will take financial refuge in something other than in paper dollars. You will convert as many paper dollars as you can into time-honored silver and gold. For the time will soon be upon us when worthless paper dollars will be widely recognized for what they are: Worthless!

Jim Lynn is a writer and webmaster for Survive Economic Collapse, a website filled with”how-to” videos and articles to survive the coming collapse of the dollar. http://Survive-Economic-Collapse.com

Renewable Energy – The Future Resource Stock

Renewable Energy is the key to our global energy needs in the future, as we run out of our supply of fossil fuels and uranium or the cost of these fuels rises for economic or political reasons, the cost of renewable energy may become much more competitive. Using current technologies, most ocean energy is not cost-effective compared to other renewable energy sources however the ocean remains one of the important potential energy source for the future. Both renewable and non-renewable energy sources are used to generate electricity, power vehicles, and provide heating, cooling, and light.

Renewable Energy is energy created from resources that are regenerative – or renewable – meaning they cannot be depleted. These resources are safe for our environment and produce energy without the harmful pollutants and emissions associated with fossil-fuels.

As the this industry expands, the expertise of these support industries is being tapped to provide the support and infrastructure needed for the advancement of renewable energy production globally. The reason for the massive growth is global companies are looking for green or renewable resource technologies and companies to invest in, fund, acquire, license or strategically partner with. Priority is given to technologies that are patented or commercial products with existing or near term revenue streams. Renewable energy systems encompass a broad, diverse array of technologies, and the current status of these can vary considerably. Some technologies are already mature and economically competitive.

Globally we recognize that utilizing renewable resources has the potential to provide us with cleaner air, a more diverse energy portfolio, and less dependence on foreign fossil fuels. Currently renewable resources accounts for only 3.4 percent of total global power generation. The International Energy Agency recently issued a report estimating that in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 50% by 2050, global investment in renewable energy, energy efficiency and carbon sequestration will need to reach roughly US $45 trillion dollars by that date.

It is expected that 60% of all our energy will come from renewable resources by the year 2070. The sooner we employ the attitude that today is better than tomorrow, the greater the opportunity to increase this figure to 80%. Renewable energy is sustainable energy that comes from the natural environment. Renewable energy, or green power, is power that comes from renewable resources such as the sun, wind, hydro-electric dams and organic matter (biomass). These resources are constantly replenished by nature and are a cleaner source of energy.

Shane Taylor is the co-publisher and co-editor of TheStockReporter.com, a site that provides many resources and articles for individuals wanting to start investing in the stock market and learn about investing in renewable energy.

Gambling in Casinos is Legal So Why is it Illegal on the Internet?

Recently the United States government has passed a law making it illegal for credit card companies or other such institutions in the United States to make payments over the internet to businesses that are involved in online gambling. I for my part would like to say that I am not a gambler of any kind as the times that I have been to a casino or gambled at one are so few as to be counted on one hand so it is not with a personal interest that I am against such a law nor is it that I profit in any way, shape or form from online gambling or any other kind. I merely speak out against a law that I consider to be unfair, illogical and hypocritical as it allows the same activity when practiced in Casinos in cities like Las Vegas or Atlantic City but not on the internet. To my way of thinking this is the equivalent of passing a law that makes it illegal to consume liquor in bars but not in restaurants; where the activity is left unaltered but for some reason the law strikes out against.

The issue to those who made the law regarding online gambling in the United States was so called “morality” which of course is arbitrary and if one looks at things from a purely logical point of view should never be used as a basis for law. It being this sort of thinking which in the US lead to the failed Volstead Act. This act being the one that brought about prohibition in the United States during the 20s which contrary to popular misconception made it unlawful not to produce or consume alcohol but to sell or buy it. Meaning one could not profit from it which of course some did and in a huge way.

Morality regardless of what ever we may be told is a point of view which has always been; as what is considered to be moral by one individual or society will not necessarily be considered as such by another individual or society. For instance some may consider adultery as immoral though the law in most countries does not regard it as illegal or at least not anymore. As another example I can state how in some countries alcohol consumption is considered illegal on religious and moral grounds though in others it is not. However morality should be distinguished between right and wrong. Of course never loosing sight of how even these two to a large extent are also subjective to interpretation though for the most part it is accepted by most of society that murder and theft are wrong.

With regards to the morality of gambling; we like many other things such as prostitution, drinking, same sex marriages, smoking, and drug taking can always argue about their moral aspects and their effect on society as a whole but can it be considered wrong for people who are past a certain age (18 in most countries) to willingly risk loosing their money in an attempt to win more of it even if this be on the internet? These people after all are aware that there is a chance that their money will be lost, at least to them. This is a question I would reply in the negative; giving the following reason. Why should it be less moral for a person to win or loose money in gambling on the internet then it is on “Wall Street”? This being a place were even larger sums of money are won and lost. If we lend some thought to the matter; is “investing” money on the stock market not a form of gambling as one is never sure one will profit or not unless one has inside information which is even illegal. Naturally I am aware that there are those who will say that on the stock market money is neither won nor loss but simply changes hands well is it not the same case with online gambling and in this argument, let it not slip our minds that investing (or gambling) on the stock market may also be done on the internet.

If we look at the issue from an even broader perceptive is not gambling on the internet less harmful on the whole then investing or gambling on the stock market? Depending on how one wishes to label it, always bearing in mind that gambling is an activity in which money changes hands more by chance then by skill or knowledge. The stock market naturally being more harmful by virtue of being able to cause devastating effects on the economy of the whole world whereas internet gambling may realistically involve only those who directly partake in it. Furthermore losses from internet gambling could never even approach those that were caused by the “sub prime market” which has set the world in to recession; though few are willing to use the term, at least for now.

The reason the United States congress has seen fit to declare gambling on the internet as illegal is based upon “morality”. I personally do not see how this be “immoral”; if such a word could be applied to people who by there own free will are risking their own assets as opposed to those who do likewise on the stock market. The stock market being a place where on many occasions those who invest do not even do so with their own savings but those of others who are not necessarily among society’s most affluent or sometimes not even informed as to what is being done with their money. Is it not or should it not be up to each individual to decide in what form he or she wishes to spend or risk loosing his or her financial resources or in this case not even on what but where?

However I in what be this whole affair see something else that perhaps some do not and that is if people are not allowed to gamble on the internet or at least those in the US then would they not be forced to do so exclusively in American casinos as they would be left with no other legal choice. This making it abundantly clear that with a law forbidding gambling on the internet on supposedly moral grounds then American casinos would no longer be loosing out to internet competition. This leaving the road clear for American gambling loses to stay in America as opposed to leaving the country. This in my opinion is the real issue that is being disguised as morality.

Naturally since casinos would be making more money because of this law so would the United States government given that casinos would have higher revenues to be taxed which in a time of crisis would not come as unwanted income. This even goes further as when Americans gamble less in casinos and more on the internet they also spend less money on traveling to those casinos, or staying in the hotels which own the casinos. This creating a situation that internet gambling has not only taken profits from American casinos but all those businesses connected to them. So taking these factors in to consideration, I in my believe (if no one else’s) claim this law was passed to assist casinos in America and their associated businesses in making higher profits while hiding behind the smoke screen that is morality. Moral grounds being that people loose their money and communities suffers as if the same thing did not occur when the identical activity is carried out in the casinos of Los Vegas or Atlantic City.

Of course like with prohibition which did not stop drinking but rather increased it; this law based on hypocrisy will also not stop online gambling either; even for Americans (let alone people from other countries) as all they need do is travel outside the US or simply find a foreign bank to issue them a credit card that is not bound to uphold laws that simply do not make sense and serve no purpose other then the interest of a select few.

My name is Gianni Truvianni, I am an author who writes with the simple aim of sharing his ideas, thoughts and so much more of what I am with those who are interested in perhaps reading something new. As for the details regarding my life I would say that there is nothing that lifts them above the ordinary. I was born in New York City in 1967 on May 21st and am presently living in Warsaw, Poland where I wrote my first book “New York’s Opera Society” now Available on Amazon.

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