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From Rob Weir <>
Subject Re: Making donations to the project
Date Wed, 19 Oct 2011 17:35:02 GMT
On Wed, Oct 19, 2011 at 1:28 PM, Joe Schaefer <> wrote:
> What pray tell would you want it to be spent on?
> Historically the ASF only spends money on infrastructure
> and marketing, it does NOT fund development.  In the
> past if some donor wants us to spend money on a certain
> type of equipment, we can usually make that happen so
> long as it's not a major investment.  We don't at this
> point need funding for additional sysadmin time for ooo
> (tho thatwas only recently resolved).

For most Apache projects, this would not make sense at all.  I cannot
imagine handing out 100,000 USB keys with Tomcat or Ant on it to
school children would make much sense.  But it might make sense for an
end-user facing product like OpenOffice, and funds have been used for
things like this before.

Remember, next to Firefox and probably more so that Linux itself,
OpenOffice is probably the most familiar open source product out
there.  For many it is the user's first encounter with open source (or
at least their first conscious encounter -- we all know the world runs
on Apache HTTP Server).  Open source in general benefits from users
having an earlier and good experience with open source products like
open office.  Certainly proprietary vendors work hard to get their
products introduced early into schools, funding from their marketing
budgets software giveaways, training, etc.

But you make a fair point.  We should not pursue a funding mechanism
just out of habit and then search for a use.  We should have a
persuasive purpose in mind, and then discuss the best appropriate
means of achieving that purpose.


> That leaves marketing I suppose.  You might want to broach
> this subject with Sally/press@ to see what she has to say about
> it.
>>From: Rob Weir <>
>>Sent: Wednesday, October 19, 2011 1:21 PM
>>Subject: Re: Making donations to the project
>>On Wed, Oct 19, 2011 at 12:34 PM, Dennis E. Hamilton
>><> wrote:
>>> I thought that the previous discussion (on this list, not just ooo-users)
>>> arrived
>>> at the following:
>>>  1. ASF does not accept donations that have strings on how the funds are used.
>>I've seen this expressed generally stated as "ASF does not...".  I
>>have not seen it stated as "ASF may not...".
>>In fact if you dig around, you find that the ASF Board did approve a
>>resolution that allows targeted donations:
>>"WHEREAS, the Apache Software Foundation is a support
>>      organization for open-source software development projects; and
>>      WHEREAS, donations of funds, services, or goods to the
>>      Foundation may be made with the desire on the part of the donor
>>      that the said funds, services, or goods should be utilized to
>>      directly support one or more particular projects or purposes;
>>      NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Apache Software
>>      Foundation shall accept such targeted donations; and be it
>>      further
>>      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
>>      RESOLVED, that the Foundation will not disburse funds for use by
>>      a Project Management Committee until that Project Management
>>      Committee has developed a budget indicating how those funds will be
>>      used and that budget has been approved by the Board of Directors;
>>      and be it further
>>      RESOLVED, that the Treasurer shall include the intended purpose
>>      of any such targeted donations as part of his reports, making
>>      the intended purpose of the donation a matter of public record;
>>      and be it further
>>      RESOLVED, that such targeted donations shall be applied to the
>>      Foundation's general operating fund or resource pool for
>>      allocation, disbursement, or assignment as the Foundation may
>>      see fit, bearing in mind the donor's intention and the needs of
>>      the Foundation and its projects."
>>So not a legally binding commitment to use contributions as directed
>>by the donor, but a "best effort in good faith" to use them per the
>>donor's stated intent.
>>Was this Board resolution -- admittedly quite old -- ever rescinded?
>>If not, is there any reason why we could not do something along these
>>lines, e.g., request targeted donations, develop a budget, get it
>>approved by the Board, etc.?
>>I realize that this might be far different than what other projects do
>>today.  But it appears to be a possibility that ASF considered, and
>>enabled, in previous discussions.

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