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From Ross Gardler <rgard...@opendirective.com>
Subject Re: Targeted Donations?
Date Mon, 12 Sep 2011 20:21:29 GMT
On 12 September 2011 18:18, Danese Cooper <danese@gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi Rob,
>
> I think the problem is that ASF doesn't have a policy of "paying" for
> development.  Additionally, monies that do come in through the Sponsorships
> is *not* earmarked for a specific project.  There are currently no
> mechanisms to deal with this.  At ConCom we've
> seen the Meetup communities raise money for specific events

Those donations have not been to the foundation. They have been
sought, secured and accounted by external organisations that have been
a part of the event.

More below..

> On Mon, Sep 12, 2011 at 9:44 AM, Rob Weir <robweir@apache.org> wrote:
>
>> I'm seeing some members say on the ooo-users list that targeted
>> donations are not permitted at Apache.  But a cursory investigation
>> calls this statement into question.

The ASF does not generally accept targeted donations, at least I have
never heard of it doing so whilst I have heard many people that says
it cannot do so. The reasons for this are many, Danese listed a few.

The ASF does not pay for development and is unlikely to ever do so as
it is a core part of what makes the Apache Way successful. The ASF
already provides whatever reasonable infrastructure resources a
project asks for (where reasonable means that we can actual support
them in the long term). Therefore the idea of asking for money for a
specific project is difficult, all ASF resources are centrally
controlled.

>> For example, the contribution website at Apache [1] says, "If you have
>> a specific target or project that you wish to directly support, please
>> contact us and we will do our best to satisfy your wishes."
>>
>> And I see an old ASF Board resolution explicitly enabling the
>> acceptance of targeted donations [2].

The resolution says "RESOLVED, that the acceptance of a targeted
donation does not
      constitute a commitment by the Foundation to any more than a
      best effort in good faith to apply the donation as requested;
      and be it further"

>> What is the situation?  Is this just what is true of any US-based
>> non-profit, that we can only officially accept official contributions
>> at the foundation-level, but that the Board does a best-effort attempt
>> to use the funds in a way that respects the donor's wishes?

Essentially, yes. Where "best effort" means that the foundation
discourages project specific contributions and requests they be made
to the foundation as a whole.

>> I don't think the project should solicit donations to the project
>> alone.  Our project creates non-trivial load on infrastructure staff,
>> hardware and bandwidth, and that is best remediated by general,
>> unencumbered donations to ASF.

+1

>> But if someone came along and wanted
>> to donate specifically for the benefit of the project, would we really
>> be required to turn them away?

We would be expected to explain that it is not possible to accept
targeted donations but to reassure the donor that the foundation
provides all necessary infrastructure resources and the donation will
go into that pot and thus benefit the project as expected. Should this
prove to be a blocker, for example, if a donor would like to fund
something that is not normally provided by the ASF then they should be
point towards fundraising@a.o along with our recommendation/request.

We should not, under any circumstances, assume that the ASF can change
it's existing policy on this for the OOo project. On the other hand,
as with most things in the ASF, unless the law prevents us from doing
something there is always  possibility of policies being modified if
it makes the foundation as a whole a better place.

Ross

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