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I have been asked, as CEO of The Atlas Society: Why did The Atlas Society not take bailout money from the federal government?
Why, during these tremendously challenging economic times, when 40 million Americans are unemployed, when the voluntary donations upon which your organization depends are in jeopardy, when other organizations like yours -- including Objectivist organizations many times your size -- applied for and accepted government bailout funds, why did you forgo that route at The Atlas Society?
In my full answer to that question HERE, and video HERE, I lay out four reasons, the most important of which is:
"The Atlas Society is a non-profit educational organization -- our mission is to engage the next generation with the ideas of Ayn Rand. The Atlas Society is not a restaurant, or a beauty salon, or a car wash that has been shut down and prevented from doing business by government policy. To the contrary...found new ways to sell our wares, and found new markets in which to operate."
Now, we have many in our community whose businesses have been shut down and for whom it would be perfectly moral to seek restitution, and we stand by them in that decision.
And while we are affected by the fact that so many in our community have lost jobs, have businesses, revenue, and as a result have less disposable income to invest in our work, we do not consider that grounds for The Atlas Society to compromise our principles and rely on government handouts when we are perfectly capable of innovating and cost-cutting and finding alternate ways to carry out our mission without seeking government assistance.
I affirmed that "The Atlas Society is not a victim. And to pretend otherwise would be an insult to the many of our donors who are victims of the government, and it would be an insult to our own imagination."
We believe that if we work hard, and inspire others to do the same, that if we have the right ideas, and if we provide value, that donors will recognize that, and step forward. And guess what, that’s exactly what’s happened! Revenues since the beginning of lockdown are up nearly 200% -- including nearly 100 donations from NEW and lapsed donors!
Thank you for stepping forward! If you agree with our decision, consider sending in another donation -- of any size -- here. If you plan on giving sometime this year, we’d be enormously grateful if you’d consider making your donation early. In response to donor requests, we’ve added new options for giving -- such as stock donations, asset gifts, and legacy planning here.
Where there is crisis there is also opportunity -- one which we’re seizing aggressively here at The Atlas Society. Join us! The Atlas Society has never accepted government assistance -- and we never will. You have that as my personal pledge. Our principled rejection of government bailout funds, and decision instead to rely on innovation, imagination, cost-cutting, and partnership-building is a manifestation of Ayn Rand’s ideas in action, echoing her immortal words:
“And we mean it!”
We hope you do too -- but as always we welcome disagreement, feedback and debate!
With grit -- and gratitude,
Jennifer Anju Grossman
CEO, The Atlas Society