Foundations non profits_and_open_source

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  • Board of Directors for Metabrainz Foundation Google Summer of Code
  • Anecdote from Josh Berkus - 4 years later and he's still doing paperwork
  • But we get $100,000 in donations 
  • Foundations non profits_and_open_source

    1. 1. Foundations, Non-Profits  and Open Source Carol Smith Metabrainz Foundation, Google
    2. 2. Why this talk?
    3. 3. Disclaimer <ul><ul><li>I am not a lawyer. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>I am also not a tax accountant. </li></ul></ul>
    4. 4. <ul><li>Does your open source project need to become a non profit? </li></ul>
    5. 5. <ul><li>Probably not. </li></ul>
    6. 6. Why not? <ul><ul><li>It's somewhat expensive. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It's time consuming. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It's a lot of paperwork. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>http://www.flickr.com/photos/cseeman/4138033883/ </li></ul>
    7. 7. How costly is it? <ul><li>~$3k per year, of which (for MusicBrainz): </li></ul><ul><ul><li>$1k is insurance for board of directors liability </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>$1k is for insurance required by hosting service </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>$1k is for accounting services </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Think of it this way: If your annual budget is ~$10k, you'll spend 30% of your budget maintaining your non-profit status. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul>
    8. 8. How much time does it take? <ul><ul><li>Board of Directors meetings </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Filing paperwork </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Asking for donations, fundraising </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Talking to your tax person, talking to your lawyer, etc. </li></ul></ul>
    9. 9. How much paperwork? <ul><ul><li>Initial form 1023 to request tax-exempt status </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>990 forms/taxes - even if you make less than $25,000 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Meeting minutes from Board of Directors meetings </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Bank account paperwork </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Website where people can access all this paperwork </li></ul></ul>
    10. 10. Umbrella Organizations to Consider <ul><ul><li>Software Freedom Conservancy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Software in the Public Interest </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Apache Software Foundation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Python Software Foundation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Open Source Geospatial Foundation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Eclipse Foundation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lots of other ones not on this list </li></ul></ul>
    11. 11. So then why would you? <ul><ul><li>Liability </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Finances </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Intellectual Property </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Employees </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Grants </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Non-monetary donations </li></ul></ul>
    12. 12. If you do decide to <ul><ul><li>Hire a great attorney </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hire a great tax person </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Take time choosing your Board of Directors </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Commit to the project and the foundation </li></ul></ul>
    13. 13. Board of Directors <ul><ul><li>Select people with common interests </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Musicbrainz: music business, EFF, Creative Commons, now the BBC </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Your customers? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Be clear on the time commitment </li></ul></ul>
    14. 14. Bylaws/Rules of Incorporation <ul><li>They're your friends, actually! </li></ul>
    15. 15. Licensing Fees
    16. 16. How to be a good citizen with a foundation <ul><ul><li>Consider becoming an umbrella organization yourself </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Continue the good citizenship you practiced with your open source project </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Don't let the time and money it takes to run your non-profit sacrifice your community </li></ul></ul>
    17. 17. The Community Today
    18. 18. <ul><li>Questions? </li></ul>

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