On Tue, Mar 06, 2018 at 12:06:58PM -0500, William L. Thomson Jr. wrote:
> On Tue, 06 Mar 2018 11:48:53 -0500
> Cedric Bail <ced...@ddlm.me> wrote:
> > What would be the benefit of SPI/SFC ?
> In short they handling the financial and legal paper work and
> compliance. They are accountants, attorneys/lawyers, etc. Things most
> tech projects and communities lack. Handing it over to another ensures
> things are kept in order, legal filings done on time, properly, etc.
> They do charge a fee, and are not perfect, pros and cons. Just
> mentioning for consideration.

I work with both SPI and SFC (SPI via X.org board where I serve as
treasurer, SFC via Inkscape where I serve as chairperson).

The fees charged by the two organizations are on income only.  SPI
charges 5% on donations, SFC 10%.  That is in addition to paypal or
other banking fees.  If the project has 0 income, there are 0 fees.
They both provide a variety of services at no additional fee.

SPI is a volunteer-run organization, SFC has paid staff (five people I
believe at current).  Both organizations have financial experts and
lawyers, so can and do help handle financial and legal issues.  Both
organizations take care of most/all the paperwork associated with taxes,
travel sponsorships, Google Summer of Code, reimbursements for project
expenses, contracting (including paid development work), etc.  SFC
helped Inkscape with trademark registration for its logo and branding.
SPI helped X.org with Khronos membership to register Mesa as officially
compliant with Vulkan 1.0.

In general, I've tended to find SFC much more responsive to inquiries
and issues than SPI.  For example, I can get financial transaction data
from my SFC-based project within a week or two lag, whereas for
SPI-based projects the lag can be many months (but they're working on
improving that).  Email responses from SFC tend to be return in a few
days; SPI can be a week or two and may require a couple followups to get
a response.  Faster followups and more timely access to transaction data
would be nice, but I've otherwise found both organizations helpful and
adequate to my projects' needs.  Be aware that there can be some drama
of various sorts, but as my projects haven't ever been affected I have
no comment or concerns personally; YMMV.

I was involved in both the X.org Board prior to joining SPI, and the
Inkscape Board prior to joining SFC, and will relate that in both cases
the move has been beneficial.  Not having to deal with taxes and
assorted non-profit paperwork removed a HUGE headache, gaining the
ability to accept donations as tax deductable with no fuss.  Tapping
them for handling finances enabled both increased donation activities
and improved expenditure handling, moving from donation amounts in the
$1's and $10's up to $1000's and $10,000's.  Having them on hand to deal
with legal and contractual issues is an enjoyable convenience.


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