Bootstrap Austin (and the Bootstrap Network) are a service of Aviri. We do NOT have 501(c)(3) status and have no plans to do so in the future. We do not wish to collect donations from outside parties and true to the bootstrap way, would rather become self-sufficient by serving our customer. Initially, this customer has been the bootstrap community of entrepreneurs. Moving forward, we plan to offer products and services, including joint offerings with some of our member companies.
Bootstrap is an example of an emerging set of organizations which blur the lines between public service and profit-making. We are committed to empowering and organizing entrepreneurs and educating them in the bootstrap way. Similar to Craigslist, profit-making is not the #1 priority of the organization, but self-sufficiency certainly is and will become a focus as we make our way across the Valley of Death. Just as with Craigslist, we will continue to offer a set of free services for our members, while charging for a set of others. For example, we currently charge for meetings, while participation in our online forums is free and will remain so.
Bootstrap is also not run by committee or a board, one of the other benefits of not being a registered nonprofit. Members are invited and remain members by mutual agreeement and while they adhere to the organization's rules of conduct. Bootstrap always reserves the right to ask members to leave for any reason. Members who serve bootstrap in any capacity (and in turn get a waiver of meeting fees) are appointed and do so in mutual agreement with myself or other leaders who have been given jurisdiction over certain aspects of the organization.