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From Shane Curcuru <...@shanecurcuru.org>
Subject Re: Making donations to the project
Date Wed, 19 Oct 2011 15:33:27 GMT


On 10/19/2011 8:13 AM, Rob Weir wrote:
> On Wed, Oct 19, 2011 at 4:20 AM, Ian Lynch<ianrlynch@gmail.com>  wrote:
>> This is a transfer of a discussion that started on the private list. It
>> started by considering the situation of TeamOO in relation to the ASF. Many
>> people over time have made small donations to TeamOO - some probably that
>> are philosophically opposed to the Apache license and are committed to LibO
>> or even something different. This leaves TeamOO in a difficult position in
>> terms of administering the funds they have. ASF policy is that money donated
>> simply goes to the ASF not to specific projects. Some would consider that
>> the ASF donations system is not very accessible to individuals wanting to
>> donate small amounts of money. This discussion is to explore ways of working
>> that fit ASF's charitable status and donations policy while enabling those
>> that want to make monetary contributions to OpenOffice.org to be able to do
>> so.
>>
>
> 1. IMHO (and I have no omniscience here) the problem Team OpenOffice
> has is that they are soon to lose the "contribute" link on
> OpenOffice.org.  Without that, their ability to raise funds is
> drastically reduced.  It really shuts off their funding.    No one has
> questioned what they did with the funds historically.  It was all used
> for the benefit of the community, or at least I've heard no one
> suggest otherwise.  But their business model, from a funding
> perspective, was highly dependent on having a prominent "contribute"
> link on the OpenOffice.org website, which receives a huge among of
> traffic.  So any suggestion that they can simply raise money on their
> own, without that link and without the use of the OOo trademark, may
> be technically true, but i practice I don't see how that could work.
>
> 2. We could substitute a link to make ASF donations.  But my guess is
> we would get a drastically smaller catch than the previous Team
> OpenOffice link received:

I certainly hope to see progress ASAP on substituting a friendly link to 
the ASF donate page, or even better, to an updated donate page that's 
more appealing.

I agree (in a separate issue) that the overall ASF donation information 
on the website is not simple enough for these kind of users.  Luckily, 
that's fairly easy to fix; the apache.org website is in the CMS system 
and patches are welcome.

> a) ASF has no European entity, so donations are not tax deductible as
> charitable contributions in Europe (Is this true?)

This is a question for fundraising@ who can investigate.


> b) We're not able to say anything to potential contributors about how
> the donations would be used.  All we can say is they will not be used
> for the benefit of any specific project, i.e., the donations cannot be
> targeted.  We probably lose 90% of the donations right there.
>
>
> One way out:  Is there any way, with suitable disclaimers,and with
> respect of the trademarks,  that we can link to an external non-profit
> organization, for those users who want to contribute to the larger OOo
> ecosystem?  A link that we put along the link to the ASF donation
> page?  Maybe as part of a link exchange, where they agree to link as
> well to the ASF donation page?

Without knowing a lot more details, I my first thought is -1 on how 
you're presenting that.  I'd also imagine, from knowing many ASF Members 
and all the current and recent directors pretty well at this point, that 
the board would not approve what I think you're saying.

The policy of the ASF not directly funding development on our projects 
is a strong one.  I'm not saying that to be mean, I just want people to 
understand that the idea of the ASF directly participating in 
fundraising to pay specific people to code on our projects is not 
something that (in my opinion) will ever happen.

I *could* imagine something less tightly coupled, where on the future 
oo.o site we have a number of Links or Resources pages that point to a 
whole host of well-behaved OOo related organizations, including Team 
OpenOffice e.V.  It certainly serves our mission of encouraging new 
volunteers to become contributors to our projects - along with finding 
new users for our projects - to have a strong ecosystem around our 
projects.

Many existing projects have pages - properly labelled - that link to 
various consulting groups, trainers, software companies, ISPs and the 
like who provide services related to those Apache projects.  I would 
hope the AOOo PPMC would work with a number of the obvious organizations 
around the OOo ecosystem to provide links to many of them in this way.

I hope I'm being clear here; the distinction of fundraising directly in 
the ASF's name for a third party versus providing links to well-behaved 
[1] third parties that provide related services to our projects is 
subtle but important.

- Shane

[1] Well-behaved first requires respecting our marks, and providing 
honest communications, and also presumes the services provided by the 
organization are useful to users of the related Apache product.

>
> -Rob
>
>> That is an attempt to summarise the discussion. If I got anything important
>> wrong or left anything out please comment accordingly.
>>
>>
>> --
>> Ian
>>
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>>

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