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Announcements Operating Systems The Almighty Buck United States BSD

FreeBSD Foundation Needs Cash For 501(c)3 Status 101

ashpool7 writes "In an *extremely* late announcement, the FreeBSD foundation has posted in their quarterly newsletter that they're $30,400 short on donations in order to prove that they're a non-profit charity (501(c)3 as they say). If your organization relies upon FreeBSD, it might be a good idea to see if you can scrounge up the $8,000 maximum donation."
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FreeBSD Foundation Needs Cash For 501(c)3 Status

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  • by Helevius ( 456392 ) on Tuesday December 21, 2004 @11:41PM (#11155645) Homepage
    Why are we looking to an "organization" (aka, corporation) to bail out FreeBSD? Why not have individuals contribute? I sent $100 to the FreeBSD Foundation via PayPal this morning.

    $100 is nothing to "pay" for the dozen or so releases I've used in the past four years. I also subscribe [freebsdmall.com] to FreeBSD releases, even though I might never remove the wrappings from the CD cases.

    I know the FreeBSD community will step up to the plate in the last 10 days of 2004 to help the FreeBSD Foundation meet the IRS' tax rules.

  • Wait wait wait... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by HaloZero ( 610207 ) <`protodeka' `at' `gmail.com'> on Wednesday December 22, 2004 @02:37AM (#11156415) Homepage
    So you need to have an income, of domations, in the thousands-of-dollars range per quarter, in order to qualify for 'not-for-profit' status?

    *clears throat* WHY?!

    I would think that their lack of monetary influx sort of makes the point for them; not-for-profit. Do they qualify for not-going-to-break-even status, atleast?
    • Re:Wait wait wait... (Score:5, Informative)

      by Kidbro ( 80868 ) on Wednesday December 22, 2004 @08:45AM (#11157428)
      *clears throat* WHY?!

      This is, of course, answered in TFA, but I'll do some cut and pasting for the lazy:

      December 31st of this year will mark the end of the FreeBSD
      Foundation's probationary period as a 501(c)3. The IRS requires
      all non-profit public charities to prove, at the five year mark,
      that they have met the "public support test" or be classified as
      a private foundation. For several reasons that are too technical
      to go into, it is in the Foundation's interest to remain a public

      The easiest way for the Foundation to demonstrate "public support"
      is to pass the "1/3rd test":

      [ Editors comment: The following formula is not presented exactly as in TFA, in order to avoid the lameness filter]
      Limited Donations / All Donations = 1 / 3

      For the purposes of this test, no single donor may contribute
      more than 2% of the total donation pool to the numerator.

      Through good fortune and the extreme charity of a handful of
      donors, the FreeBSD Foundation finds itself at risk of failing
      the "1/3rd test". As of today, the ratio of limited donations
      to total donations stands at 27.9%. While we have every confidence
      that our support history will substantiate that the FreeBSD
      Foundation is a public charity, going through the appeals process
      can be a lengthy and expensive ordeal.
  • Donated... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by cymen ( 8178 ) <cymenvig@gma[ ]com ['il.' in gap]> on Wednesday December 22, 2004 @10:06AM (#11157842) Homepage
    After I read the comments here, I didn't feel so bad not having much to donate. I encourage everyone to support FreeBSD by making a donation. As the other posters have pointed out, every donation is important to keeping the ratio in check so it doesn't matter if you can only give $10 or $20.
  • by dschelle ( 677002 ) on Wednesday December 22, 2004 @05:21PM (#11162524)

    While we are on the subject, OpenBSD is also looking for donations (around $20,000) to organize their anual hackathon, a one week meeting of most OpenBSD developers.

    See Theo's mails to misc@: (1) [theaimsgroup.com] and (2) [theaimsgroup.com]

  • by Helevius ( 456392 ) on Thursday December 23, 2004 @09:51AM (#11167288) Homepage
    If you donate via PayPal, please provide a "shipping address." FreeBSD Foundation treasurer Justin Gibbs has to mail a paper receipt to every contributor, per IRS rules. If you don't give him a "shipping address" at PayPal, he has to email you and request an address. He told me he is dealing with a "flood of donations missing address data."

  • Doesn't Yahoo use thousands of FreeBSD machines for their game servers and such? They could donate big time.
  • by Helevius ( 456392 ) on Sunday December 26, 2004 @04:44PM (#11186257) Homepage
    A visit to FreeBSDFoundation.org [freebsdfoundation.org] shows that we raised almost $40,000 in five days, to exceed the fundraising goal. Congratulations everyone, and thank you!


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