Proposing Sourceware as SFC member project

Daniel Pono Takamori pono@sfconservancy.org
Fri Sep 2 18:51:54 GMT 2022


Mark Wielaard wrote yesterday today:
> I CCed Daniel and Bradley from the Conservancy to correct any mistakes
> in my description of the procedures.

Thanks, Mark, your summary of SFC's processes are basically correct.
What I'd like to add is that we've already pointed SFC's Evaluation
Committee to this thread — and we're confident they will all review the
discussion here as part of the evaluation of Sourceware for membership
and fiscal sponsorship by SFC.

Organizationally, we believe in transparency by default for FOSS
projects, and this is even more important for community decision making.
We encouraged Sourceware to discuss their application publicly. 

Almost ten years ago (before my time), SFC participated in a discussion
with the VertX project (and many others) when VertX was choosing a
non-profit fiscal sponsor:
https://groups.google.com/g/vertx/c/WIuY5M6RluM/m/LC_6WkTaQN0J

We learned from that experience (and other similar experiences) that
public discussion on a project's mailing list about the options
available for fiscal sponsorship, and frank discussion by the project's
leadership about what fiscal sponsorship organization best fits their
needs as a project are essential. These days there are *so many* great
options for fiscal sponsorship. There are for-profit
fiscal-sponsorship-as-a-service companies like OpenCollective. There are
corporate-business-interest-focused trade association fiscal sponsors
like Eclipse (where VertX ultimately ended up). Then, there are
charities like SFC. All these options exist because projects' needs and
culture differ. We think fiscal sponsorship sign-up is the best time for
a FOSS community to do some identity-searching and figure out what
organizational structure best fits their project culture. When
governance hasn't been explicitly defined, these growing experiences are
the times when communities need to reflect and embed their values into
their governance structure. And, in a true FOSS way, we believe this
should be done in public, community discussion.

We also post an FAQ for projects (or other fiscal sponsors looking for
information) that are considering applying:
https://sfconservancy.org/projects/apply/ In particular you can review
the standard fiscal sponsorship agreement (FSA) that we use
https://sfconservancy.org/docs/sponsorship-agreement-template.pdf that
might give you a better sense of the kind of governance and fiscal/
legal oversight we provide. SFC's interest in this regard is to preserve
the creation of free software with free software tools and to preserve
community driven development. Please let me know if you have any
questions or are curious about the differences between SFC and other
fiscal sponsors.

Sincerely,
Pono, Community Organizer at Software Freedom Conservancy


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