Changeset - 9050ddc7d6a8
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Bradley Kuhn (bkuhn) - 10 years ago 2012-09-03 20:41:20
Update on 10% donation requirement for Conservancy membership.
1 file changed with 19 insertions and 10 deletions:
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@@ -167,60 +167,69 @@ legitimate non-profit expense fitting with Conservancy's non-profit
  mission, Conservancy pays the expense on the Project's behalf.</p>

<p>Similarly, any copyrights, trademarks, domain name or other assets
transferred to a project can also be held by the Conservancy on behalf of
the project.  A significant service that the Conservancy provides its
members is a vehicle through which copyright ownership in the project can
be unified.  There are several advantages to having a consolidated
copyright structure, including that it makes enforcement activity easier
and more effective.  However, copyright, trademark, and domain name
assignment is not a requirement in order to join the Conservancy, rather,
it is an option for those projects that ask for it.</p>

<h2>If our project joins, must it be a member project of Conservancy forever?</h2>

<p>All agreements between member projects and the Conservancy stipulate
clearly that the member project can leave the Conservancy with a few
months' notice.  Federal tax exemption law, though, states that projects
must transfer their assets from the Conservancy in a way that is
consistent with the Conservancy's not-for-profit tax status &mdash;
meaning the assets cannot be transferred to an individual or a for-profit
entity.  Generally, a project would either find another fiscal sponsor or
form their own independent tax-exempt non-profit.</p>

<p>We fully expect that some Conservancy projects will ultimately wish to
  form their own non-profit 501(c)(3) organizations; that's why we design
  our agreements with projects to allow them to leave to another 501(c)(3)
  organization.  Typically, projects join Conservancy because the project
  leaders don't want the burdens of running a non-profit themselves.
  Often, as projects grow, leaders get interested in the non-profit
  management and organizational side of the activities and are then
  prepared to take on the additional work themselves.</p>

<h2>How are &ldquo;project leaders&rdquo; defined with respect to Conservancy?</h2>

<p>How leaders are chosen for projects varies greatly from project to
  project.  Our goal is to do our best to embody the &ldquo;natural&rdquo;
  leadership structure that evolved in your project into the formal
  agreement with Conservancy.  As part of the agreement drafting, we work
  carefully with you to understand your project's governance and write up
  formally with you the decision-making process you use. Most project
  contributors find this process of formalizing the leadership structure
  helps them clarify in their own minds the governance of their project,
  even though the process can be difficult.  Since it can be a complicated
  process, we suggest that you prepare your project community for this
  discussion once your project is accepted.</p>

<h2>How much does it cost us financially to join Conservancy?</h2>

<p>After your application is approved, as part of the negotiation of the
  formal agreement, we'll discuss this issue.  Typically, we ask that
  member projects voluntarily choose to donate some percentage of their
  donations received to support Conservancy's general operations servicing
  all its member projects (including yours).  We do understand that,
  particularly for small projects that only receive a few small donations,
  that donating a percentage of your income back to Conservancy can be a
  high burden.  Therefore, this is not a mandatory requirement.  We thus
  suggest that you be prepared to discuss this issue with us in detail
  after your application is approved.</p>
<p>New Conservancy members are required to pay 10% of their revenue that
  Conservancy processes to Conservancy's general fund, which primarily is
  used to pay staff.  (Details on how Conservancy spends its funds,
  including salaries of key employees, can be found
  in <a href="">Conservancy's
  annual filings</a>.)</p>

<p>Historically, Conservancy allowed projects to give less or nothing at
  all to the general fund, but we unfortunately discovered that without
  this requirement, Conservancy was not able to offer the myriad of
  services to all its projects, particularly to larger projects that
  have more income and therefore need more attention from staff.</p>

<p>We do understand that, particularly for small projects that only
  receive a few small donations, that donating a percentage of your income
  back to Conservancy can be a high burden.  Therefore, Conservancy
  remains open to discussion on a case-by-case basis for smaller projects
  about how to handle this requirement, and applicants should feel free to
  raise any concerns about this issue during the application process.</p>

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