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I work for a 'tech' non-profit that I would certainly call successful. We have been around for 25 years and had many technological 'firsts' in Australia including I believe the first search engine and service directory. But have experienced substantial growth over the past 3-4 years and have in many ways become leaders in many areas both what we provide (products/services) and how we provide them (our internal platforms, build pipeline, automation, performance etc...).

Our slogan is 'Technology for Social Justice'

Our annual report is public as we are a registered not-for-profit & charitable organisation. When I started at Infoxchange 3 ½ years ago our financial turnover was around $3M/yr (after 25 years), we are now looking at around $10M. This growth is for a number of reasons but mainly through a mix of technological improvements (paying down tech debt and technical modernisation) and very positive feedback / recognition from clients that have spread us through word of mouth, advocacy groups etc... We're also winning quite a number of awards including this years 'Google Impact Challenge' amongst others.

I do apologise for our awfully dated website which is shortly to be replaced early next month, while it may look like we perhaps do not practise what we preach so to speak I can assure you that it is, by quite some considerable distance the most neglected part of the org and as you can probably guess I'm quite embarrassed of it: https://www.infoxchange.net.au/resources/annual-reports

Around a year ago I gave a brief talk around my/our journey there over the past few years, while a lot of the content was spoken you can find the slides on my blog here: https://smcleod.net/talk-24-months/

If you have any questions I'll do my best to answer them for you.

I'm in the process of bootstrapping a tech company whose goals are "non-profit". The product is finished although in the webpage http://www.alfiv.com the model and description of the product are outdated and incomplete since I've been too busy with the technical development.

I'm thinking about the possibility of looking for investments. It seems that accepting an investment would force me to give up on the kind of things I want my company to do, what are your thoughts about accepting external investments, was your company bootstrapped or it took investors money?

In my case I want the company to give all its profits to other non-profit organisations, so quite a hard sell for a possible investor.

We have no investors and are funded by ad-hoc and long running projects that customers pay (at cost) licensing to have access to and support from us for. I believe this started out as a mix of 'in our spare time' development and then customer (perhaps local government?) that required a service to be built and hosted, at that time the organisation was just one or two people so it was able to move fast without costing much. Since then we've obviously grown a lot (120~ people and many external relationships) and we try to balance what customers want and we can provide so that the smaller customers can use systems that otherwise would need the kind of funding to developer that only he big players can afford to spend. We try to open source as much of our underlying systems as possible as we have benefited greatly from the open source communities over the years.

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