By JBS Staff
In late 2005 the American Opinion Foundation (AmericanOpinionFoundation.com) was established as a 501(c)(3) charitable foundation. The mission of this foundation is: “To empower Americans to understand, enjoy and preserve the freedom and moral responsibility embodied in America’s founding principles.”
Although the American Opinion Foundation (AOF) and The John Birch Society (JBS) are legally separate organizations, there are many close ties. The missions of the two organizations are quite similar, the Board of Directors and officers of AOF have been drawn from the officers and staff of the JBS, and AOF is housed within the headquarters buildings of the JBS in Appleton, Wisconsin.
Alan Scholl, Executive Director of AOF, just recently returned from exhibiting at the 27th Annual Michigan Home Education Convention May 13-15 in Lansing, attended by thousands of Michigan home school families. He reports that the AOF booth was a great success. The new booth design was one of the most attention-getting exhibits at the conference (see photo). Several keynote speakers came personally to the booth and complimented AOF efforts, videos, and its Americanist organizational stance. Hundreds of families stopped by the booth during the three-day event.
In 2009 AOF launched an aggressive, online educational effort, FreedomProject.com, which garnered over 5,000 views of AOF materials online during the first year. Much more exciting to see was the total of nearly 22,500 downloads, and 19,855 linked embeddings of our videos all over the worldwide web.
Among the many other reasons for enthusiasm about the increasing influence of AOF and FreedomProject:
- Online views of eight completed seminars/presentations as of April 22nd were 1,063 full online views, 15,578 downloads, and 13,646 embeds on other pages or sites. This means FreedomProject is on track to hit at least 120,000 live/online impacts this year!
- The new FreedomProject Constitution video presentations (7 individual presentations of 10 minutes or less, each) will be posted soon, hopefully before the end of June.
- The Facebook pages for AOF and FreedomProject have been growing rapidly in influence with over 6000 friends and fans gained from the first couple months of activity.
- AOF Volunteer ranks are expanding! In all, seventeen volunteers have stepped forward. Some donate a few hours a week to help us produce video, audio, and web content. One is providing assistance in instruction, and another is doing a full day each week in technical and web support. Still another (with a BA in graphic arts) is doing web design and graphics for our organization’s material and websites, and another talented intern will be starting a 32-hour per week commitment with us in June. In addition, we have five committed, contributing writers from four states, all at Masters or PhD levels, creating content for the two websites. A top-notch LMS (Learning Management System) is in place, awaiting development of our planned K-12 grades curriculum.
According to Alan, “All AOF needs is more support, more material, and more help investing in our efforts to keep the rise of Americanist understanding growing!”