[OpenLayers-Dev] OSGeo Project Sponsorship

Christopher Schmidt crschmidt at metacarta.com
Sat Nov 15 16:58:41 EST 2008

On Sat, Nov 15, 2008 at 04:02:30PM -0500, John R. Frank wrote:
> >> In the case of going with the OSGeo Project Sponsorship program, the 
> >> OSGeo acts as our fiscal agent.  As a 501(c)(3) (US tax code) 
> >> organization, they can accept tax deductible contributions toward OSGeo 
> >> projects.
> >
> > Their application is still pending acceptance.  So, it could be a few 
> > months before they start giving out receipts for tax purposes.
> The tax exempt status of the donation channel is probably crucial --- at 
> least for US-based donors.  Other solutions can't really compete with 
> OSGEO without that also having tax exempt status.  501c3 applications are 
> not complicated but they take calendar time.
> OTOH, until OSGEO gets approved to process donations to projects, they are 
> an expensive savings account :-)
> If a donor shows up *before* OSGEO can make the donor's donation tax 
> exempt, we might as well just open a bank account at regular bank.

I'm not sure who "we" is in this case -- It's either a person (which
then means that a single person is taking on the liability) or
"MetaCarta". The latter has serious social issues with it, since the
only way I can see collecting money in that situation is people writing
a check directly to MetaCarta -- which hardly seems likely to go over
well. (Perhaps there is some other way that I'm missing?) 

> 1)  PSC agrees that OL should find a tax exempt donation channel
> 2)  PSC hopes that OSGEO will soon be that channel
> 3)  PSC agrees to seek donations while #2 sorts itself out

Note that we can still *accept* donations even before #2 sorts itself
out, and I think that's worthwhile. If people are willing to dnate money
to an organization which is not yet completed with 501c3 status -- as
they might in the "open our own bank account" above -- then I don't see
a reason to tell them "no, you shouldn't".  (It's not clear from the
above if you agree on this point.)

Christopher Schmidt

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