[Numpy-discussion] A Foundation for the support of NumPy and SciPy

Charles R Harris charlesr.harris@gmail....
Tue Oct 4 18:57:24 CDT 2011

On Tue, Oct 4, 2011 at 5:36 PM, Nathaniel Smith <njs@pobox.com> wrote:

> [Does the group actually exist yet? Google says: "No groups match
> fastecuhla." Replying here instead...]
> I've been following discussions around non-profit incorporation for
> FOSS projects for about a decade (including some years on the internal
> mailing list for SPI Inc. -- Debian's non-profit foundation). My
> strong recommendation is that we not do it ourselves. Setting up our
> own non-profit takes an immense amount of energy, and keeping it going
> requires continuing to jump through annoying hoops on a regular basis
> (you must have a procedure for selecting a board; the board must meet
> on some regular schedule, achieve quorum, and regularly elect
> officers; each board meeting must have minutes produced and approved,
> you must file taxes on time, ...), and it's expensive to boot (you'll
> need a professional accountant, etc.). As a result, most projects that
> try going it on their own end up with a horrible mess sooner or later.
> It works okay if you're, say, Gnome, but most projects are not Gnome.
> But fortunately, this is a solved problem: there are several
> non-profit umbrella corporations that are set up to let experts take
> care of this nonsense and amortize the costs over multiple projects.
> The Software Freedom Conservancy is probably the most well put
> together:
>   http://www.sfconservancy.org/overview/
>   http://www.sfconservancy.org/members/services/
>   http://sfconservancy.org/about/board/
> Many large projects with complicated legal situations like Samba,
> Busybox, jQuery, Wine, Boost, ... have also chosen this approach:
>   http://www.sfconservancy.org/members/current/
> TL;DR: When it comes to legal matters: starting your own non-profit is
> to joining an existing umbrella non-profit as CVS is to git. (And in
> fact git is also a SF Conservancy member.)
> My $0.02,
> -- Nathaniel

All excellent points.



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